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Mechanistic replacement of purpose in biology


, : Mechanistic replacement of purpose in biology. Philosophy Of Science 15(1): 47-51

The materialistic method of explanation discovers new determining agents, but upon examination metaphysical (purposive) relationships are required to connect the agents to the phenomena they determine, and a transcendental superstructure is required to unify the whole. An examination of Lamarck and Darwin indicates the gaps in their mechanistic explanation of evolution. These gaps invited the metaphysician to reenter biology with their elan vital (life force). With the geneticists has come a new mechanistic surge, but they too implicitly postulate metaphysical wills in order to explain biological organization. It is the nature of the human mind to alternate in its acceptance of mechanical and purposive biological explanation. The recognition of this fact is the first step toward a new transcendental synthesis of current materialistic data.

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DOI: 10.2307/185199


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