Epistemology: Teleology versus Materialism

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Essay #: 053677
Total text length is 6,660 characters (approximately 4.6 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Epistemology: Teleology versus Materialism
Introduction
Epistemology is the philosophical (and, increasingly, scientific) examination of how we learn, and how we know what we know. As such, there is not epistemology, but many epistemologies. We know this fact to be true in daily life: for example, we use as epistemology known as folk psychology to understand how people act in everyday contexts. For example, if someone winces, we believe that they are chagrined. There are, however, many other epistemologies. In the chemistry lab, we do not impute motives to the behaviors of molecules (as we do to the behaviors of people), but rather know them to proceed from well-understood and deterministic laws of chemistry.
Thus, epistemology can have...
The end:
.....wn explanation, no teleology, because our material knowledge of it is sufficient to explain why and how it formed, and why and how it struck the Gulf Coat.
It seems best to relegate teleology to the domain of folk psychology, but it is hardly likely that people will drop the epistemological habit of explaining every event, natural and otherwise, to some manifestation of human or divine will.
References
Christensen, S.M. & Turner, D.R. (1993). Folk psychology and the
philosophy of mind. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum
Rolston, H. (1999). Genes, genesis, and God: values and their
origins in natural and human history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Woodfield, A. (1976). Teleology, volume 541. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press Archive