Teleology in the Ancient World: Philosophical and Medical Approaches

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Julius Rocca
Cambridge University Press, Oct 12, 2017 - History - 344 pages
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The ancient origins of teleological concepts are sometimes either conveniently forgotten or given a distorted appearance. On the one hand, ancient teleology has been obscured by the theological cloak of creationism. On the other, Darwinists have sometimes failed to give due consideration to the variety and subtlety of teleology's intellectual antecedents. The purpose of this book is to restore the balance by looking at the manifold ways in which teleology in antiquity was viewed. The volume, consisting of twelve essays by leading authorities in their fields, examines the ways in which teleological arguments were used in antiquity and how these discussions inform and influence current debates on evolution, creationism and intelligent design. As well as examining philosophical contributions to the subject, a specific aim is to examine ancient medical thinking on this topic and its relationship to ancient philosophical ideas.
 

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Contents

David Sedley
25
Atemporal Teleology in Plato
45
Teleology and Names in the Platonic and Anaxagorean
58
Why Doesnt the Moon Crash into the Earth? Platonist
76
Do the Gods of Neoplatonism Really Care?
92
Biology and Teleology in Aristotles Account of the City
107
Aristotles Followers
151
Enigmatic Aristotelian of the Seventeenth
169
Clues to the Future?
203
Plato
217
Teleology and Necessity in Greek Embryology
242
Bibliography
272
Index Locorum
289
General Index
302
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About the author (2017)

Julius Rocca is Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Classical Philology, Humboldt-Universitšt zu Berlin. His book Galen on the Brain (2003) was awarded the 2006 Outstanding Book in the History of the Neurosciences award by the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences.

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