How to use Teleology in a sentence
The challenge for any mechanistic theory, then, is to explain the teleology of the human world in non-teleological terms.
Darwin himself spent a large part of the later years of his life in thus extending the new teleology.
The modern theory of evolution, on the other hand, has reintroduced a scientific teleology of another type.
But with the decline of dogmatic belief and the spread of religious doubt - as the special sciences also grow more general, and the natural sciences become more speculative about matter and force, evolution and teleology - men begin to wonder again about the nature and origin of things, just as it was the decay of polytheism in Greek religion and his own discoveries in natural science which impelled Aristotle to metaphysical questions.
The final conception of the Kantian philosophy is, therefore, that of ethical teleology.Advertisement
But this, since it arises from the moral order as a unity grounded in the very essence of freedom and not accidentally instituted by external commands, establishes the teleology of nature on grounds which a priori must be inseparably connected with the inner possibility of things.
In this sense the physical realm demonstrates a certain teleology (telos = ' end ' or ' purpose ').
If we try to bring the contents of theism under Kant's three traditional arguments, then moral and aesthetic considerations - the " values " - fall under the Design argument or the study of teleology; albeit there is a great gap between Paley's supernatural watchmaker and any moral argument or appeal to the beautiful.
In this materialistic or quasi-materialistic system Daring finds room for teleology; the end of Nature, he holds, is the production of a race of conscious beings.
It cannot be said that previously to Darwin there had been any very profound study of teleology, but it had been the delight of a certain type of mind - that of the lovers of nature or naturalists par excellence, as they were sometimes termed - to watch the habits of living animals and plants, and to point out the remarkable ways in which the structure of each variety of organic life was adapted to the special circumstances of life of the variety or species.Advertisement
Teleology in this form of the doctrine of design was never very deeply rooted amongst scientific anatomists and systematists.
Darwin's theory had as one of its results the reformation and rehabilitation of teleology.
But this phraseology soon disappears, without his considering how, in default of some sort of teleology, it is legitimate to treat the world's history as a process.
Nor is the variety of its forms imposed upon it from without; there is neither external teleology in nature, nor mechanism in the narrower sense.
At the same time it is a curious attempt to restore mechanism and reconcile it with teleology by using the word " mechanism " in a new meaning, according to which God performs His own reciprocal actions within Himself by uniform laws, which are also means to divine ends.Advertisement
Aesthetics, or the scientific consideration of the judgments resting on the feelings of pleasure and pain arising from the harmony or want of harmony between the particular of experience and the laws of understanding, is the special subject of the Kritik of Judgment, but the doctrine of teleology there unfolded is the more important for the complete view of the critical system.
However, I do not believe in universal teleology, which seems to be a position advocated by many Reformed people.
In this sense the physical realm demonstrates a certain teleology (telos = ' end ' or ' purpose ' ).
Finally, it is to be observed that Locke had a singularly clear view of organic arrangements (which of course he explained according to a theistic teleology) as an adaptation to the circumstances of the environment or to " the neighbourhood of the bodies that surround us."
From his belief in teleology he is not deterred by the enigma of pain; he is a determined optimist.Advertisement
Darwin's introduction of thremmatology into the domain of scientific biology was accompanied by a new and special development of a branch of study which had previously been known as teleology, the study of the adaptation of organic structures to the service of the organisms in which they occur.
Teleology had, indeed, an important part in the development of physiology - the knowledge of the mechanism, the physical and chemical properties, of the parts of the body of man and the higher animals allied to him.
But, as applied to lower and more obscure forms of life, teleology presented alfnost insurmountable difficulties; and consequently, in place of exact experiment and demonstration, the most reckless though ingenious assumptions were made as to the utility of the parts and organs of lower animals.
Teleology, in this narrower sense, as the study of the adaptation of organic structures to the service of the organisms in which they occur, was completely revolutionized by Darwinism and the research founded on it.
Yet, in its characteristic religion and legislation there are essential spiritual and ethical peculiarities which give it a uniqueness and a permanent value, the reality of which becomes more impressive when the Old Testament is viewed, not merely from a Christian or a Jewish teleology, but in the light of ancient, medieval and modern Palestine.Advertisement
The teleology of nature is thus made to rest on a transcendental theology, which takes the ideal of supreme ontological perfection as a principle of systematic unity, a principle which connects all things according to universal and necessary natural laws, since they all have their origin in the absolute necessity of a single primal being" (p. 538).
Those who were unwilling to accept evolution, without better grounds than such as are offered by Lamarck, and who therefore preferred to suspend their judgment on the question, found in the principle of selective breeding, pursued in all its applications with marvellous knowledge and skill by Darwin, a valid explanation of the occurrence of varieties and races; and they saw clearly that, if the explanation would apply to species, it would not only solve the problem of their evolution, but that it would account for the facts of teleology, as well as for those of morphology; and for the persistence of some forms of life unchanged through long epochs of time, while others undergo comparatively rapid metamorphosis.