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In Defense of Teleology

  • Ragnar Granit

Abstract

The bad reputation teleological thinking enjoys in many circles may perhaps be traceable to its metaphysical history. As a young man with some interest in philosophy I was taught that there are two metaphysical variants of teleology, the transcendental form which saw in it a divine law, and the immanent form which regarded purposiveness as one of Nature’s inherent principles of design. I daresay that many scientists would have been willing to accept immanent teleology on its merits had it not been for the fact that it failed to provide a causal explanation and thus had no predictive value. The current scientific explanation is based on a causal relation between events A and B of such a nature that, knowing A one can predict that B will occur.

Keywords

Firing Rate Recurrent Inhibition Tonic Firing Teleological Explanation Alpha Motoneurones 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ragnar Granit
    • 1
  1. 1.Karolinska InstitutetThe Nobel Institute for NeurophysiologyStockholm 60Sweden

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