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From Humanism to Meta-, Post- and Transhumanism?


Edited By Irina Deretić and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

The relationship between humanism, metahumanism, posthumanism and transhumanism is one of the most pressing topics concerning many current cultural, social, political, ethical and individual challenges. There have been a great number of uses of the various terms in history. Meta-, post- and transhumanism have in common that they reject the categorically dualist understanding of human beings inherent in humanism.
The essays in this volume consider the relevant historical discourses, important contemporary philosophical reflections and artistic perspectives on this subject-matter. The goal is to obtain a multifaceted survey of the concepts, the relationship of the various concepts and their advantages as well as their disadvantages. Leading scholars of many different traditions, countries and disciplines have contributed to this collection.
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Christos Y. Panayides, University of Nicosia - Aristotle and Darwin on Living Things and Teleology


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Christos Y. Panayides

University of Nicosia

Aristotle and Darwin on Living Things and Teleology


In Physics (Phys.) II 3.194b23–195a3 [Either Phys. or Phys, throughout the paper], Aristotle presents his doctrine of the four ‘causes’ (aitia). Very briefly, in this well-known stretch of text [Why do we need a coma here/Delete?] he acknowledges the existence of four different kinds of causes:

The efficient cause, where this is identified with the thing(s) from which an action originates. To give one example, the efficient cause of a child is its father, i.e., the male adult human being who provided the agency that triggered the relevant developmental process.1

The material cause, or ‘that out of which as a constituent a thing comes to be’ (Phys. 194b24); e.g., the material cause of a statue is the bronze out of which it is made.

The formal cause, where this is identified with the essence or the definition of a thing. Let us suppose that a man sets out to build a house. The formal cause of the builder’s actions is the essence or the definition of house he has in mind.

The final cause, where this is the ‘end’ (telos) or the thing ‘for the sake of which’ (to hou heneka) something happens or comes to be (Phys. 194b32–33). For instance, the final cause of the builder’s actions is the house itself, i.e...

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