Teleology in the Ancient World: Philosophical and Medical Approaches [Hardback]

Julius Rocca (Editor)

ISBN: 9781107036635 | Published by: Cambridge University Press | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 284p,
Status: Not yet published - advance orders taken

Teleology in the Ancient World: Philosophical and Medical Approaches


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.

Table of Contents

Introduction Julius Rocca; Part I. The Socratic Foundations of Teleology: 1. Socrates, Darwin, and teleology David Sedley; Part II. Plato and the Platonic Tradition: 2. Atemporal teleology in Plato Samuel Scolnicov; 3. Teleology and names in the Platonic and Anaxagorean traditions Harold Tarrant; 4. Why doesn't the Moon crash into the Earth? Platonic and Stoic teleologies in Plutarch's Concerning the face which appears in the orb of the Moon Jan Opsomer; 5. Signs and tokens: do the gods of Neoplatonism really care? John Dillon; Part III. Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition: 6. Biology and teleology in Aristotle's account of the city Mariska Leunissen; 7. Aristotelian mechanistic explanation Monte Ransome Johnson; 8. The purpose of the natural world: Aristotle's followers and interpreters R. W. Sharples; 9. William Harvey: enigmatic Aristotelian of the seventeenth century James G. Lennox; Part IV. Teleology in Medicine: 10. Teleology in Hippocratic texts: clues to the future? Elizabeth Craik; 11. The place of disease in a teleological worldview: Plato, Aristotle, Galen Philip van der Eijk; 12. Teleology and necessity in Greek embryology R. J. Hankinson.

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