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26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / c. Purpose denied

[no aspect of nature contains genuine purpose]

14 ideas
Theophrastus doubted whether nature could be explained teleologically [Theophrastus, by Gottschalk]
Eyes could be used for a natural purpose, or for unnatural seeing, or for a non-seeing activity [Aristotle]
Only Epicurus denied purpose in nature, for the whole world, or for its parts [Epicurus, by Annas]
Teleological accounts are fine in metaphysics, but they stop us from searching for the causes [Bacon]
We will not try to understand natural or divine ends, or final causes [Descartes]
Spinoza strongly attacked teleology, which is the lifeblood of classical logos [Roochnik on Spinoza]
For Spinoza eyes don't act for purposes, but follow mechanical necessity [Roochnik on Spinoza]
Final causes are figments of human imagination [Spinoza]
The sun and rain weren't made for us; they sometimes burn us, or spoil our seeds [La Mettrie]
If the world aimed at an end, it would have reached it by now [Nietzsche]
'Purpose' is just a human fiction [Nietzsche]
The only human purpose is that created by our genetic history [Wilson,EO]
Chemistry entirely explains plant behaviour [Searle]
People are trying to explain biological teleology in naturalistic causal terms [Lycan]