Institutt for filosofi og førstesemesterstudier


Karen Koch: "Hegel's defense of puposiveness in nature"

The lecture will focus on how to understand Hegel's claim that the world itself reveals teleological structures.

Karen Koch er amanuensis ved Freie Universität, Berlin.

Hegel is well known for his claims that the world itself reveals teleological structures, and that there are therefore objective purposes in nature. One can defend an even stronger reading in claiming not only that there are objective purposes in nature but also that the paradigmatic object is a purpose. In this case, the primary conception of objects is based on their purposiveness. In order to defend such a thesis, I confront Hegel with two traditional objections against a teleological understanding of nature. I aim to show that the reproach of anthropomorphism as well as that of backward causation do not affect Hegel’s account of purposiveness. Instead, Hegel takes these objections as the very grounds on which he builds his own case.