Re: Getting up in the morning (was: Re: The Quest for the Purpose of Life)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 21:18:25 MST

At 09:02 AM 1/29/02 -0800, Lee wrote:

>I think part of the basic
>idea of "purpose", at least as I understand the word, implies a
>conscious telos, not merely the post-hoc appearance of one.

Dan Dennett deals quite satisfactorily with this in DARWIN'S DANGEROUS
IDEA, and I think I'll leave it with a recommendation to re-read his
opening chapters. E.g.:

< [Darwin argues:] Let me start with regularity--the mere purposeless,
mindless, pointless regularity of physics--and I will show you a process
that eventually will yield products that exhibit not just regularity but
purposive design. [p. 65] >

He *didn't* just mean *people who exhibit via their intentionality*, either.

>there are genuine differences between purposefully designed things
>and evolved things; evolved things, for example, do not have neatly
>organized and compartmented functions.

You can't think with your kidney, or skate on it, or see colors with it, or
type very well with it; it doesn't grow hair or tan in the sun. Specialized
enough for my, uh, purposes.

Damien Broderick

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