Date of Award

Summer 1996

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Vater, Michael

Second Advisor

Goldin, Owen

Third Advisor

Harrison, Stanley


Philosophical theories seldom get conclusively refuted. The notion that nature is goal directed or is teleological in orientation, however, seems at least a likely candidate for polite dismissal. The unprecedented success of the mechanical model in the physical sciences and the rather stagnant state of science using the teleological model facilitated the idea of subordinating all explanation to the model that was so successful in physics. Advances in medicine, anatomy, chemistry," molecular biology and biology itself all profited from this methodological turn. The idea of teleology thus seems to antedate true scientific and empirical investigation and teleology belongs more to the museum of bygone ideas than the laboratory of competing hypotheses. The attempt to save some version of teleology therefore invites some explanation...



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