The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 8 July 2018 - Page 28

teleology” is indeed thought provoking. What is even more thought provoking is the success of their “mythologizing of teleology” and the fact that this process could prove so devestating for Psychological theories such as Freud’s and Piaget’s. Because this process was so successful it might prove useful to remind ourselves of what teleological explanation is via Hacker’s characterization: “Our discourse about the living world around us, about ourselves, our bodies and activities, and about the things we make is run through with description and explanation in terms of goals, purposes and functions. We characterise things such as organs and artefacts, and also social institutions in terms of their essential functions and their efficacy in fulfilling them. We explain animal morphology in terms of the purposes served by theur shapes, limbs and features. This is not a causal explanation(although it is perfectly consistent with, and indeed calls out for one), since we explain what the organ or feature is for and not how it came about and not how(by what causal processes) it fulfills its function. We describe what it enables the animal to do and how it affects the good of the animal or its offspring. We commonly explain why certain substances animate and inanimate(artefactual) or constituent parts of substances(organs of living things or components of artefacts) do what they do by describing what they do it for…We explain and justify human action, including our own, by specifying the rationale of the prospective or antecedently performed action, and we often account for the behaviour of social institutions likewise. These kinds of description are called “teleological descriptions” and these kinds of answers to the question why, teleological explanations— explanations by reference to an end or purpose(telos).”(p163-4) Hacker goes onto add that: “Teleological explanation is typically an explanation in terms of reasons, motives and intended goals…and is said to yield understanding(Verstehen) in a distinctive form by contrast with explanation in terms of causal law that is the mark of the natural sciences.”(p164) Hacker also agrees that teleology is linked to the idea of the good on the grounds of psuche being a biological/psychological substance whose essence it is to come into being, flourish and eventually die and decay. Living beings on his and Aristotle’s account have absolute needs tied to health and mortality. These needs extend from life-maintaining activities to activities producing the quality of life necessary for a flourishing existence. These latter activities require a considerable amount of learning and the acquisition of many complex skills. We can clearly see a hierarchy of needs emerging from this account. Abrahams Maslow’s theory is a hierarchical theory in which satisfying a need “causes” another high W"WfVVVBFVW&vRFW&R2F2FV'( Ɩ6'&F