Darwin's language may seem teleological, but his thinking is another matter
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Darwin's biology was “teleological” only if the term “teleology” is defined in a manner that fails to recognize his contribution to the metaphysics and epistemology of modern science. His use of teleological metaphors in a strictly teleonomic context is irrelevant to the meaning of his discourse. The myth of Darwin's alleged teleology is partly due to misinterpretations of discussions about whether morphology should be a purely formal science. Merely rejecting such notions as special creation and vitalism does not prevent the pernicious effects of teleological reasoning, even at the present time.
Key wordsDarwin teleology teleonomy function morphology anatomy epistemology metaphor
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