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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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Materialism, Teleology, and Evolution in the Enlightenment

Materialism, Teleology, and Evolution in the Enlightenment

(p.57) 4 Materialism, Teleology, and Evolution in the Enlightenment
Not by Design

John O. Reiss

University of California Press

The Enlightenment has traditionally been seen as the age of reason, when time-honored traditions of belief and social structure fell under the withering assault of the free-thinking philosophes. This chapter discusses its origins, and the rise of materialism and evolution. It discusses the speculations of Buffon, Maupertius, and Diderot that led to the birth of the evolutionary theory and then examines the trend of French free thought in the Enlightenment. The chapter closes the history of the debate over design by briefly looking at the development of philosophy in Germany in the early eighteenth century and by examining how Immanuel Kant developed his characteristic teaching on teleology on nature.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, materialism, evolution, Buffon, Maupertius, Diderot, philosophy, Germany, Immanuel Kant, teleology

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