Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology

  title={Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology},
  author={Francisco Jos{\'e} Ayala},
  journal={Philosophy of Science},
  pages={1 - 15}
  • F. Ayala
  • Published 1 March 1970
  • Biology, Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
The ultimate source of explanation in biology is the principle of natural selection. Natural selection means differential reproduction of genes and gene combinations. It is a mechanistic process which accounts for the existence in living organisms of end-directed structures and processes. It is argued that teleological explanations in biology are not only acceptable but indeed indispensable. There are at least three categories of biological phenomena where teleological explanations are… 

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    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
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