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Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology

Francisco J. Ayala
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Mar., 1970), pp. 1-15
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186024
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology
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Abstract

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 appropriate.

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