The main and original contribution of this volume is to offer a discussion of teleology through the prism of religion, philosophy and history. The goal is to incorporate teleology within discussions across these three disciplines rather than restrict it to one as is customarily the case. The chapters cover a wide range of topics, from individual teleologies to collective ones; ideas put forward by the French aristocrat Arthur de Gobineau and the Scottish philosopher David Hume, by the Anglican theologian and founder of Methodism, John Wesley, and the English naturalist Charles Darwin.

chapter |15 pages


ByWilliam Gibson, Dan O’Brien, Marius Turda

section Section I|57 pages


chapter 1|21 pages

‘We apply these tools to our morals’

Eighteenth-century freemasonry, a case study in teleology
ByRichard (Ric) Berman

chapter 2|16 pages

Teleologies and religion in the eighteenth century

ByWilliam Gibson

chapter 3|18 pages

John Wesley and the teleology of education

ByLinda A. Ryan

section Section II|53 pages


chapter 4|17 pages

Teleology and race

ByMarius Turda

chapter 5|18 pages

Charles Darwin and the argument for design

ByDavid Redvaldsen

chapter 6|16 pages

Teleology and Jewish heretical religiosity

Nietzsche and Rosenzweig
ByDavid Ohana

section Section III|75 pages


chapter 7|16 pages

Can the sciences do without final causes?

ByStephen Boulter

chapter 8|18 pages

Hume, teleology and the ‘science of man’

ByLorenzo Greco, Dan O’Brien

chapter 9|20 pages

What is the function of morality?

ByMark Cain

chapter 10|19 pages

Is intuitive teleological reasoning promiscuous?

ByJohan De Smedt, Helen De Cruz