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Not by DesignRetiring Darwin's Watchmaker$
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John Reiss

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520258938

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520258938.001.0001

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Philsophical Background

Philsophical Background

Chapter:
(p.9) 2 Philsophical Background
Source:
Not by Design
Author(s):

John O. Reiss

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520258938.003.0002

This chapter provides the necessary philosophical background by defining teleological thinking and why it is a problem, and distinguishes conditional teleological explanations, which are acceptable, from purposive and deterministic teleological explanations, which are not. It discusses Georges Cuvier's principle of the conditions for existence, arguing that this principle is a conditional teleological principle, and concludes by noting certain parallels between the principle of the conditions for existence and the weak anthropic principle.

Keywords:   teleological thinking, conditional teleological explanations, purposive teleological explanations, deterministic teleological explanations, Georges Cuvier, conditions for existence, weak anthropic principle

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