Henry Alexander Henrysson: Reason in Nature – Natural Reason
Teleology is considered to have been one of the first casualties of the Scientific Revolution. New mathematical approach to natural movement and the scathing criticism of such major figures as Bacon and Descartes is usually thought to be sufficient evidence of teleology’s demise. It has, nevertheless, been unclear what exactly most natural philosophers in the seventeenth century thought about the possibility of a completely un-axiological universe. Indeed, one could argue that the key elements of teleological thought play a rather prominent role in the thought of major philosophers throughout the early-modern period and well into contemporary thought. The present essay is devoted to the simple question whether anti-teleological thought can possibly act as a truthful and exact representation of nature.
Keywords: teleology, early-modern philosophy, nature, causality, ontology