natural. Luego, se contrasta la dialéctica de los sistemas teleológicos y de los sistemas dealeatoriedad. El artículo finaliza con una reflexión sobre cómo las cuestiones planteadasson pertinentes en el área de estudios de ciencias ambientales, donde se unen sistemasfísicos, biológicos y humanos, con los diversos matices y usos de los conceptosteleológicos.
: Teleología. Biología. Ciencia. Epistemología. Ambiente.
1. Introduction – The Teleology Notion
Teleology is derived from two Greek words:
(end, goal, purpose) and
(reason, explanation). Teleology, therefore, is a reason or explanation for something infunction of its end, purpose or goal (VILLA, 2000, p. 723). In synthesis, the concept or ideas of teleology can be defined as a “Doctrine that considers the world as a system of relationships between means and ends” (FERREIRA, 1986, p. 1658).Before starting the historical considerations, it is worthy to observe that theteleology concept can be applied as much in the field of rational cognitive processes as innatural processes and these two situations do not necessarily converge for a clear understanding of the issues. On the other hand, the thought, that is necessarily finalistic,can serve to understand aspects of the real world that are not finalistic.Ernst Mayr pointed out that the concept of teleology, in the history of philosophy andthe sciences, is used in various contexts, referring to several structurally differentphenomena (MAYR, 2005, p. 65-82). The history of the use of the teleological concept isfundamental for a better understanding of the significance attributed to this concept, andthis article aims to demonstrate this. Within the processes and phenomena to which theconcept of teleology is traditionally applied, Mayr points out the following:
: relates to the perception that certain characteristics of aphenomenon, system, or process under study presents a tendency to develop towards afinal state. That is, when given a pre-determined initial state, it would seem valid to infer that it would necessarily follow its determined path until the end.
occur in situations in which various objects (such ascomplex systems) are randomly produced, having different characteristics andorganizations among themselves, and that due to ambient constraints, only a limitednumber of them manage to survive after a time.
In this case, it is common to respond,when asked why some characteristics of the object exist, that it has or had a function that