Teleology

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 1, 1976 - Philosophy - 232 pages
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The notions of purpose, goal, end and function are used (and abused) in descriptions of a very wide range of human, animal and machine behaviour. Andrew Woodfield provides here a unified account of such teleological descriptions and explanations, their varieties, their logical structure and their proper uses. He concentrates his argument on the concepts of 'goal-directed behaviour' and 'natural function', and combines original philosophical criticism with a meticulous, detailed survey of the main competing theories in this diffuse and difficult field.
 

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Contents

The method of analysis
19
Part Two GOALDIRECTED BEHAVIOUR
39
Sommerhoffs theory of directive correlation
55
Charles Taylors conception of teleology
73
General assessment of behaviourist theories
89
Part Three FUNCTIONS
107
Ends and functional explanations
124
Part Four GOALS
141
Internalist theories
160
The cybernetical approach
183
Part FIve CONCLUSION
201
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