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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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Design versus the Epicurean Hypothesis

Design versus the Epicurean Hypothesis

Two Thousand Years of Debate

(p.30) (p.31) 3 Design versus the Epicurean Hypothesis
Not by Design

John O. Reiss

University of California Press

This chapter pursues the debate over design from its origins in ancient Greek philosophy through the Enlightenment to Cuvier and Darwin, contrasts teleological views with those of the atomist or Epicurean school, and examines the prehistory of the principle of the conditions for existence itself. It also examines the scientific revolution and the revolt against teleology, and the emergence of the modern argument of design in the later seventeenth century. The chapter furthermore explores the rebirth of natural theology and then turns to the viewpoint promulgated by three leading British scientists: Robert Boyle, John Ray, and Isaac Newton.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, Cuvier, Darwin, scientific revolution, teleology, natural theology, Robert Boyle, John Ray, Isaac Newton

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