Teleology and Darwin’s the Origin of Species: Beyond Chance and Necessity?

  • Leon R. Kass
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 7)


Few books have turned men’s minds more than Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life. Yet where the turning will or should come to rest is still uncertain, for the full significance of Darwin’s ideas remain a subject of inquiry and controversy. Granting that Darwin was right about the fact of evolution — granting, that is, that all of nature flows, that nature is subject to “history” — it is by no means yet settled what difference this insight should make for our thinking about nature, about man’s nature and his place in nature, about the good life for man, or about God. In this essay, I will consider one of the disputed questions, one which may also be central for several of the others: the question of teleology, of the presence of ends or purposes in nature.


Natural Selection Living Thing Special Creation Intelligent Life Mere Survival 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon R. Kass
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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