Wie aktuell ist Kants Auflösung des Naturteleologie-Problems?

Schark, Marianne
Is Kant’s solution to the problem of natural teleology still relevant? In the science of biology the notions of purposiveness and function continue to have a widespread use. This use appears problematic if one has to understand purposiveness and functions as mind-dependent, that is, as relational properties that an entity aquires only as a means in the context of the achievement of some end present in the mind of some intentional agent. The paper takes a close look at Kant’s argumentation for why we are obliged to think teleologically about organisms and at his non-naturalistic solution of the problem of natural teleology. Finally the power of Kant’s solution is discussed in comparison to the two main contemporary naturalistic analyses of the notion of function in the philosophy of biology, namely the etiological theory and the causal role-account of functions.