The great problem for this tradition of hostility to teleology has been that of explaining (or explaining away) the very phenomena that led Aristotle and his followers to posit teleology in the first place. A number of recent theorists have described these phenomena as instances of a kind of information. The problem for modernists is to explain the presence (or apparent presence) of such information in a world consistently, in the last analysis, of nothing but blind, purposeless processes.
In this paper, I will focus primarily on the case of psychology. I will argue that the reality of mental causation and personal agency cannot be made to square with the modernist doctrine of physicalism: the thesis that the physical (and presumably ateleological) domain of reality is causally complete. However, I will argue in sections 13 through 15 that my conclusions about mental causation have implications for our view of physics and biology as well.
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