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Teleological Explanation

Rowland Stout

in Things That Happen Because They Should: A Teleological Approach to Action

Published in print:
1996
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780198240631
eISBN:
9780191680212
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240631.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind

Aristotle defines teleological explanation as explanation of something in terms of what that thing is for the sake of. What it is for something to be for the sake of something else is for it to be a ... More


Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action

G. F. Schueler

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780199250370
eISBN:
9780191598364
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199250375.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, General

This book involves rethinking the answer to Davidson's question, ”What is the relation between a reason and an action when the reason explains the action by giving the agent's reason for doing what ... More


Teleology in Spinoza and Early Modern Rationalism

Don Garrett

in New Essays on the Rationalists

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780195165418
eISBN:
9780199868285
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0195165411.003.0015
Subject:
Philosophy, History of Philosophy

This chapter seeks to establish (1) that Spinoza accepts the legitimacy of many teleological explanations; (2) that in two important respects, Leibniz's view of teleology is not more, and perhaps ... More


Causal Explanation

Rowland Stout

in Things That Happen Because They Should: A Teleological Approach to Action

Published in print:
1996
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780198240631
eISBN:
9780191680212
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240631.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind

Three reasons are used to interpolate a chapter on causal explanation into a book about agency. First, the book claims that both the Argument from False Beliefs and the Argument from the Impotence of ... More


Philsophical Background

John O. Reiss

in Not by Design: Retiring Darwin's Watchmaker

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780520258938
eISBN:
9780520944404
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520258938.003.0002
Subject:
Biology, Evolutionary Biology / Genetics

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, ... More


Plato

R. J. Hankinson

in Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought

Published in print:
2001
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780199246564
eISBN:
9780191597572
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199246564.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy

Plato offers the first metaphysical exploration of the nature of causation and explanation, and the relationship between these and other metaphysical concepts, such as forms, properties, and the ... More


Goal‐Directed Action

Alfred R. Mele

in Motivation and Agency

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780195156171
eISBN:
9780199833467
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/019515617X.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

Argues for a constraint on a proper theory of motivation – namely, that proper motivational explanations of goal‐directed actions are causal explanations. The chapter criticizes the thesis that ... More


From Goodness to God: Closing the Explanatory Gap

Angus Ritchie

in From Morality to Metaphysics: The Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199652518
eISBN:
9780191745850
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion

This chapter develops a positive argument for theism, claiming it is capable (in a way secular accounts are not) of bridging the explanatory gap described in Chapter 2. It begins by defending agent ... More


Doing Things for a Purpose, Doing Things for Fun

Rüdiger Bittner

in Doing Things for Reasons

Published in print:
2001
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780195143645
eISBN:
9780199833085
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0195143647.003.0011
Subject:
Philosophy, Moral Philosophy

The chapter tries to account for two kinds of cases that raise difficulties for the present conception of reasons for which people do things, namely, things done for a purpose, where the reason seems ... More


The Primacy of Will

Christopher Janaway

in Self and World in Schopenhauer's Philosophy

Published in print:
1999
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780198250036
eISBN:
9780191597817
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0198250037.003.0011
Subject:
Philosophy, History of Philosophy

Schopenhauer conceives the will as metaphysically primary, as the thing in itself that underlies all phenomena, but also as having primacy over the intellect in human psychology. Experience is a ... More


Purpose Without Theism?: Axiarchism and Neoplatonism

Angus Ritchie

in From Morality to Metaphysics: The Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199652518
eISBN:
9780191745850
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652518.003.0009
Subject:
Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion

This chapter considers the axiarchic account advanced by John Leslie and Hugh Rice. Against axiarchism, it argues that the goodness of a state of affairs is something that cries out for an ... More


Determinism and Obligation

Ishtiyaque Haji

in The Obligation Dilemma

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
September 2019
ISBN:
9780190050856
eISBN:
9780190050887
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190050856.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, General

Chapter 2 addresses the deterministic horn. Whether determinism threatens obligation turns partly but pivotally on whether the alternatives obligation requires are of the sort that one can have even ... More


What about Hylomorphism?: Some Medieval and Recent Ruminations on Swinburne’s Dualism

Marilyn McCord Adams

in Reason and Faith: Themes from Richard Swinburne

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
December 2015
ISBN:
9780198732648
eISBN:
9780191796869
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732648.003.0010
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion

This chapter uses a comparison and contrast of Swinburne’s dualism and medieval hylomorphisms to expose some strategic theoretical choices that Swinburne has made. Among other things, he forwards a ... More


Indirect Directness

Jennifer McKitrick

in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 10

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
March 2017
ISBN:
9780198791973
eISBN:
9780191834196
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791973.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

Nick Kroll’s Teleological Approach to Dispositions (TAD) promises to explain the sense in which dispositions are directed at manifesting. However, Kroll’s explanation of directedness is problematic ... More


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