Teleology Redux

  • Michael Ruse
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 67)


Although Mario Bunge is best known as a philosopher of physics — and deservedly so — he has in fact turned his keen attention to just about every other area of science. Truly he might be called the twentieth-century’s answer to William Whewell!1And like Whewell, Bunge has considered the biological sciences, and has things of interest to say about them. I think it is fair to conclude that, generally speaking, Bunge and I agree about biology. We are both suspicious of attempts to put biology apart from the physical sciences. In particular we both think that some sort of axiomatic or hypothetico-deductive ideal is appropriate in the biological sciences as well as in physics and chemistry [Bunge 1967; Ruse 1973].


Mold Jurassic Bark Doyle Photography 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brewster, D.: 1854,More Worlds than One: The Creed of the Philosopher and the Hope of the Christian, Murray, London.Google Scholar
  2. Buckland, W.: 1836,Geology and Mineralogy: Bridgewater Treatise 6, Pickering, London.Google Scholar
  3. Bunge, M.: 1967,Scientific Research, Springer, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Darwin, C.: 1859,On the Origin of Species, Murray, London.Google Scholar
  5. Darwin, C.: 1969,Autobiography, N. Barlow (ed.), Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Lewontin, R. C.: 1978, ‘Adaptation’,Scientific American239, 212–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Nagel, E.: 1977, ‘Teleology Revisited’,J. Phil.74, 261–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Owen, R.: 1834, ‘On the Generation of the Marsupial Animals, with a Description of the Impregnated Uterus of the Kangaroo’,Phil. Trans., 333–64.Google Scholar
  9. Paley, W.: 1819,Natural Theology, inCollected Works, Rivington, London, 1st published 1802.Google Scholar
  10. Ruse, M.: 1973,Philosophy of Biology, Hutchinson, London.Google Scholar
  11. Ruse, M.: 1977, ‘Is Biology Different from Physics?’, in R. Colodny (ed.),Logic, Laws, and Life, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, pp. 89–127.Google Scholar
  12. Ruse, M.: 1979,The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  13. Scheffler, I.: 1963,The Anatomy of Inquiry, Knopf, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Simpson, G. G.: 1953,The Major Features of Evolution, Columbia University Press. New York.Google Scholar
  15. Williams, G. C.: 1966,Adaptation and Natural Selection, Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar
  16. Woodfield, A.: 1976,Teleology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  17. Wright, L.: 1976,Teleological Explanations, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Ruse
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations