The Romantic and Teleological Nature of the Universe

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What if the teleological (purposive) nature of the universe was romantic? In this article the author discusses this exact issue and its implications on our. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. What if the teleological ( purposive) nature of the universe was romantic? In this article the author discusses this.

For Leibniz, it thus makes little sense to study forms unless one is willing to invest them with an intrinsic functionality that they share with other forms. For to construe natural forms as the products of a divine, all-encompassing design is to ignore the crucial fact that natural entities are themselves dynamic and continually undergoing change. Viewed as dynamic, self-organizing, and teleologically oriented in its very essence, each substance attests to the rationality of creation—not as a finished product, but as an organism that is both cause and effect, means and end of its own continued and open-ended flourishing.

Leibniz, Philosophical Essays henceforth PE , tr. Das Erkenntnisproblem, vol. What we sense is only a certain resultant to which we are habituated, and we are not able to distinguish the things that enter into the resultant because of their multitude, just as when one hears the noise of the sea from afar, one does not discern what each wave does. In the course of its Bildung, the individual will experience countless partial recognitions of its unique, inner determinacy, reservoirs of power previously unsuspected and revealed only belatedly by each uniquely minded substance in its evolving encounter of the world.

That is, each substance carries within it—at least implicitly—the entirety of those qualities and determinations that it may realize over time. As he elaborates this notion, Leibniz not only recalls strikingly similar views found in Plotinus but also anticipates key tenets of an organicist model developed, many decades later, by Kant and Goethe: the nature of an individual substance or of a complete being is to have a notion so complete that it is sufficient to contain and to allow us to deduce from it all the predicates of the subject to which this notion is attributed.

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Yet even as Leibniz offers compelling reasons for a rehabilitation of Aristotelian teleology and final causation, he does so in ways that significantly contract the scope of these concepts and leave their function decisively altered. Dutens Geneva: Fratres des Tournes, , vol. II, Pt.

1. The Primacy of the Aesthetic

In framing nature as comprised of so many singularities, seemingly disaggregated and actuated by a dynamism beyond their comprehension, Leibniz had punted on the key question concerning the relation between theoretical and practical reason, understanding and judgment. What, if anything, would allow Leibniz to recover a sense of intersubjectivity, human cooperation, and a teleological conception of the good — understood as the rational and sustainable flourishing of a community or species?

By reintroducing teleology and final causation strictly on behalf of individual substances, Leibniz bequeathed his heirs a world peopled by countless, hermetically sealed self- movers. In one sense, the statement shows Leibniz reclaiming the ontological foundation that allows him to construe the motion of seemingly mindless particles as rational and coherent after all. There is an unmistakable allegiance to Aristotelian Realism at work here.

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Nature is not merely the aggregate operation of randomly moving singularities but, still, a single, integrated and orderly whole kosmos. What has changed, however, is that Leibniz re introduces this ontology so as to contain the dispersed, seemingly random motion of individual substances that, by their very constitution, cannot themselves have any awareness of the ontology in which they participate.

Whereas for Aristotle, an onto-teleological framework grounds and guides all empirical study and description of natural processes, in Leibniz that framework serves to contain the dispersive effects of a Nominalist epistemology bequeathed him by late Scholasticism. Having taken minimal singularities for his point of departure, Leibniz thus struggles to preserve not only the notion of a unified kosmos but the very coherence of reason logos over and above discrete and seemingly random acts of individual volition.

Vestiges of Teleology in the Bildungsroman and Romantic Aesthetic Theory The main predicament confronted by romantic theories and narratives of Bildung concerns the apparent split between a strictly naturalist account of organic development from monads to maggots and an aesthetic—reflective framework mindful of the normative presuppositions of teleology that, since Aristotle, were felt to stabilize the relations of self-organizing and self-realizing living beings.

For me and for this written work [diese Schrift], for my love to her [Liebe zu ihr] and for her cultivation, nothing is more to the purpose than to annihilate right at the outset what we call order, to distance myself from it, and expressly claim the right to a delightful confusion, to be sustained in deed.

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Evolution occurred because the original polarity of creation, the very 'Law of Creation', itself gives birth to subsequent polarities, as each pole is itself a unity that can be further polarized what Wilhelm Reich later termed 'orgonomic functionalism' and what at the biological level constitutes physiology , [16] an insight that would later be taken up by the concept of emergent evolution, including the emergence of mind and consciousness. The Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders. Romanticizing is nothing other than a qualitative raising into higher power…. The contrast here is with what he calls external or extrinsic purposiveness. When one complements the other, both grow together inseparably.

Concurrently, this same dialectic also plays out at a formal-rhetorical level. Thus the above passage shows the status of writing itself to be unstable. Is it a medium for expression of real persons in time and space? Is one the substitute for the other? And, if so, in which direction does the substitution go? Or have writing and the beloved that is its putative topic merged outright? According to Kant, what makes judgment the quintessential philosophical operation is that in it we first gauge the distance separating discretion from determination, chance from reason.

Bernard New York: Hafner, , p. First, all parts of the system are present solely on behalf of the whole; and, second, the entire structure must be self-organizing. In contrast to the mechanical model where A can exist and have its effect independently of C, in the teleological model A causes C but is not also capable of existing independently of C.

Fragments of a Romantic Theory of Evolution

A is both cause and effect of C. Teleology requires that, whatever the details might be, the parts turn out to be present specifically because of functions within the whole. Mechanism requires that, whatever the details, functions or purposes within the whole play no real role in determining the form and presence of the parts.

Rather, as a hypothesis ventured by judgment antecedent to any determinate understanding, it frames natural phenomena as an analogue for the project of reason itself. Still, unlike Schlegel a decade later, Kant is not prepared to embrace the perpetual irony of simultaneously inhabiting incommensurable frameworks.

But for Kant there is no less of a need for teleology in understanding a machine such as a watch, than there is in understanding an organism. And this means that … it cannot be the non-machine-like character of organisms which makes them mechanically inexplicable. Like its analogue of the beautiful and the aesthetic idea in Part I, the hypothesis of a teleologically constituted nature is introduced solely for the purpose of reason grounding itself and proceeding when confronted with phenomena that resist causally determinative explanation.

As he notes, nothing is gained for the theory of nature or the mechanical explanation of its phenomena by means of its effective causes by considering them as connected according to the relation of purposes. The exhibition of the purposes of nature in its products, so far as they constitute a system according to teleological concepts, properly belongs only to a description of nature, which is drawn up in accordance with a particular guiding thread. Here reason, no doubt, accomplishes a noble work, instructive and practically purposive in many points of view, but it gives no information as to the origin and the inner possibility of these forms, which is the special business of theoretical natural science.

Teleology, therefore, as science belongs to no doctrine but only to the critique, and to the critique of a special cognitive faculty, viz. CrJ, p.

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It bears pointing out, however, that teleology here is not proffered simply as a makeshift solution at a moment of conceptual difficulty. Far from a gratuitous contrivance, teleology offers speculative support for what is experienced, at least as a constant potentiality, at every turn not just in observable natural phenomena but within mind itself: namely, its capacity not merely to react to natural phenomena but to arrive at a coherent account of their lawful, continuous and predictable formation Bildung.

This the mind can do inasmuch as it understands itself to participate in the order of nature, to be of that very order. In constructing a valid hypothesis about the teleological constitution of self-generating and self-organizing natural beings, human mental development Bildung recognizes itself as both the progenitor of the teleological hypothesis and as prima facie evidence of its validity.

In so acknowledging the deep filiation between Bildung and teleology, Kant continues to edge away from the Cartesian model of knowledge as a form of predicative dominion over objects and closer to a Aristotelian conception of knowledge as a participation in and adequation to phenomena.

It would act in support of research, not as an explanatory principle. Kant assumes that we would never be able to arrive at a system of empirical laws without accepting that nature is organized in such a way that we may know it.

Kant, Immanuel: Aesthetics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The supposition with regard to the purposiveness of nature is linked to a purely negative mode of knowing nature: the denial of such a principle would imply the end of any form of research. The first, evidently intended by Van de Vijver, concerns the specter of a definitive rupture within the fabric of reason, and the consequent disintegration of the Enlightenment ideal of human knowledge and an ethical community progressively wrought by critical reflection.

And yet, as she herself notes, it would be a mistake to think of teleological explanation as competing for the same epistemological space as causally determinative understanding. In fact, the latter presupposes a teleological framework as its enabling condition. Allen W. Wood and George 59 Di Giovanni Cambridge, , p. Yet this migration of teleology and its eschatological presuppositions, out of the domain of philosophy and theology into historical culture, and their consequent political instrumentalization is another story.

Related Papers. A Companion to Kant. By tu trong. BIRD, Graham org. By Thiago Carlos. By Jeffrey McDonough. By Jennifer Mensch. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.

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Need an account? Click here to sign up. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hopethat the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

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For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Reblogged this on Sri Aurobindian Ontology. This contrast with ontological models that: have matter emerging from within intelligence, have matter emerging from without intelligence, and have matter and intelligence emerging simultaneously. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

Darwinism's Problem With Teleology

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content April 29, April 29, Matthew T. Schelling, Coleridge, and Paul experience the fall originally taking place in the human heart. Because of a fissure in our hearts, we perceive ourselves, and so nature, to be dead. This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not. Rate this:.