The following sub-sections describe some key differences among teleological theories.
Teleological ethics, (teleological from Greek telos, “end”; logos, “science”), theory of morality that derives duty or moral obligation from what is good or desirable as an end to be achieved.
In contrast to Papineau's theory, some teleological theories are combinatorial theories.
In this analyzed form, the teleological character of ascriptions of intention in action is made explicit.
Nevertheless, biologists and philosophers have continued to question the legitimacy of teleological notions in biology.
It is generally thought to be in some sense teleological and normative but both “teleological” and “normative” need qualifying.
This teleological element may seem somewhat out of step with Locke’s unqualified empiricist rejection of teleological metaphysics in the Essay.
Of course, in the case of intentionality, unlike the case of water, the hidden nature or essence cannot be an inner structure, if a teleological theory is correct.
Thus, those who reject teleomentalism typically seek truth conditions for teleological claims in biology that are grounded in non-mental facts about organisms and their traits.
On the one side is the teleological (and often theological) wing that sees nature’s processuality as a matter of teleological directedness towards a positive destination.
The manifest appearance of function and purpose in living systems is responsible for the prevalence of apparently teleological explanations of organismic structure and behavior in biology.
The preceding survey of teleological theories of content does not mention all of the extant teleological theories but it illustrates some of the commonalities and differences among them.
(The relevant respects and properties R are referred to variously as teleological properties or as marks or signs of design, and objects having such properties are sometimes referred to as teleological objects.
Many commentators on the Timaeus have pointed out that the teleological account set out in the Timaeus is the fulfillment of a quest for teleological explanations related in the Phaedo (see, e.g., Strange 1999).
consciousness: representational theories of | intentionality | language of thought hypothesis | meaning, theories of | mental content: externalism about | mental content: narrow | mental content: nonconceptual | mental content: teleological theories of
aesthetics: aesthetic judgment | Kant, Immanuel | Kant, Immanuel: critique of metaphysics | Kant, Immanuel: philosophical development | Kant, Immanuel: philosophy of science | Kant, Immanuel: theory of judgment | teleology: teleological notions in biology
But, on a broader construal of what it means for a concept to be teleological, a concept might be counted as teleological if it concerns what something is for, and the notion of what something was selected for counts as teleological in that sense.
One could alternatively understand it in teleological terms (Plantinga 1993) and couple this with a requirement that every justified perceptual belief be based on some appropriate experiential evidence (although teleological theories tend not to take this extra step).
The a posteriori arguments in natural theology that are referred to as “teleological” claim that the natural world displays some sort of purposive or end-directed design, and that this licenses the conclusion that the natural world has some sort of very powerful and intelligent designer (see the entry on teleological arguments for God’s existence).
adaptationism | altruism: biological | biological individuals | biology: philosophy of | causation: probabilistic | Darwinism | evolution | game theory: evolutionary | genetics: evolutionary | genetics: molecular | genetics: population | molecular biology | natural selection | natural selection: units and levels of | teleology: teleological arguments for God’s existence | teleology: teleological notions in biology
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