History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Sneaky ‘design’ arguments in Schopenhauer

January 6th, 2015 · No Comments

The question of design is a victim of causal versus non-causal explanations. You can see the ‘obvious’ difference if you cross the border into a different country, e.g. the realm of Schopenhauer. Although that philosopher wasn’t a theist his theme of the ‘Will in nature’ clearly distinguishes ‘causal’ and ‘non-causal’ explanation. The question is what the term ‘will’ then means. But many problems disappear even as the sense of mystery if anything increases. In any case, Schopenhauer’s thesis virtually prints out a whole new currency of ‘design’ explanations in nature. This is not conventional science, and I am not sure if the boundary between causal and ‘will’-issues is clear. But there is one very obvious hybrid explanation, almost tailor-made for situations where ‘mechanisms’ seem goal-oriented: biochemical machines in nature which have a ‘purpose’, i.e. do something, etc…: ‘Will’ can stand outside of time/space and somehow ‘generate’ causal sequences in nature. The problem remains that this ‘other’ aspect is not viewable in a test tube, so…

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