Aristotle and the Eternal Caterpillar.

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Couvalis, Spyridon George
Roux, Suzanne Raymonde
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Department of Languages - Modern Greek
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Design arguments are arguments from apparent purposiveness to the conclusion that there is an intelligent deliberating being who planned the order in the world. Socrates and Plato put such arguments. Empedocles, Democritus and Epicurus argue that all such purposiveness, except for the action of intelligent beings like humans or gods, is only apparent. We point out that both camps share the common assumption that all cases of working for the sake of something involve intelligent deliberation. Using Aristotle, we argue that this assumption is false. Unintelligent creatures can act for the sake of something. We use this argument and Aristotle’s further remarks to also argue that this shows that if there were a designer of the universe which acted for the sake of producing living things, it might well be an unintelligent designer, like an eternal caterpillar.
Greek Research
Couvalis, George and Roux, Suzanne 2007. Aristotle and the Eternal Caterpillar. In E. Close, M. Tsianikas and G. Couvalis (eds.) "Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University June 2005", Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek: Adelaide, 73-80.