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Darwin Rocks Hegel: Does Nature Have a History?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2015

David Kolb*
Affiliation:
Bates College, davkolb@gmail.com, www.dkolb.org
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Extract

In the popular press and the halls of politics, controversies over evolution are increasingly strident these days. Hegel is relevant in this connection, even though he rejected the theories of evolution he knew about, because he wants rational understanding and a larger process to comprehend natural processes and their history, but without any claims for intelligent design. The way current debates get publicised, there appear to be two extreme positions. The first is a reductionist materialism: all complex systems are describable purely in terms of the qualities of their most basic components, and the systems themselves result from Darwinian selection. No teleological concepts at all need be applied. At the other extreme is total teleology; all systems and their interactions and development are the result of preconceived conscious purposeful design by a powerful designer. The ontological status of the designer is usually filled out with theological notions.

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Copyright
Copyright © The Hegel Society of Great Britain 2008

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References

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