Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Descent of MindPsychological Perspectives on Hominid Evolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Corballis and Stephen E. G. Lea

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780192632593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632593.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 March 2019

Beliefs about purpose: on the origins of teleological thought

Beliefs about purpose: on the origins of teleological thought

Chapter:
(p.278) 14 Beliefs about purpose: on the origins of teleological thought
Source:
The Descent of Mind
Author(s):

Deborah Kelemen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632593.003.0014

This chapter examines and speculates on some possible answers to questions on the nature of the teleological stance and why people are driven to think about the purpose of objects. It lays out some general assumptions and argues that adopting the teleological construal is not just something people find useful to do, but is something that they are compelled to do because of the way minds are designed. In support of this, the chapter briefly overviews some of the evidence demonstrating the pervasiveness of teleological ideas through human history and across cultures. It further discusses Jean Piaget's domain, generalist ideas on ‘childhood artificialism’, three ‘domain-specific’ hypotheses, Frank Keil's idea of ‘functional things’, and Scott Atran's argument that the stance evolved as part of a specialised mental module for classifying and reasoning about biological kinds. Finally, the chapter discusses the hypothesis on ‘Promiscuous Teleology’.

Keywords:   teleological stance, objects, Jean Piaget, childhood artificialism, domain-specific hypotheses, Frank Keil, functional things, Scott Atran, Promiscuous Teleology

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .