From Big Medical Encyclopedia

TELEOLOGY (Greek teleos logos which achieved the goal + the doctrine) — the idealistic doctrine attributing to the natural phenomena and processes ability to a goal-setting, edges it is actually inherent only in the person. As opposed to mechanistic to a determinism (see), and sometimes and as addition of T to it. postulates a special type of causality — target. According to these representations, the net result of process (purpose) makes objective causal impact on process, defines its direction. The purpose in this case is considered as a special causative factor — the final cause (causa finalis).

Distinguish external and immanent T. According to external T. the final causes are established by god. Adhered to this view of a source of expediency in particular, it is mute. philosopher Wolf (Ch. Wolff), to-ry entered the term «teleology». From the point of view of immanent T., the final causes are internal forces of the nature, define processes of morphogenesis in the real world. Supporters of immanent T. were Aristotle who exerted deep impact on biology and medicine of antiquity and the Middle Ages, G. W. Leibniz who stated a number of the valuable ideas about communication of structure and function at live organisms, F. W. Schelling trying to formulate the nonmechanical concept of development of the nature, G. Hegel who subjected to sharp criticism the doctrine about external expediency and other philosophers.

Teleologic style of thinking was characteristic of a row biol. theories of 17 — 19 centuries. Views are indicative in this respect. Lamarck, to-ry explained a progressive orientation of evolutionary process of the organic world proceeding from the teleologic «principle of gradation», i.e. allegedly immanent to live organisms of property to aim at perfection. On a teleologic basis are constructed also such biol. concepts, as aristogenez H. F. Osborn, L. S. Berg's nomogenesis, H. Driesch's entelekhiya, etc. (see Vitalism). In biology and medicine from positions T. explained manifestations of integrity and expediency in wildlife. Main lack of T. was that her supporters considered empirically observed expediency live as initial and in essence non-material property.

Therefore T. served as the fertile field for emergence of the various fideistichesky concepts aiming to reconcile science with religion (see Theology). These tendencies are shown in pantheism — the religious and idealistic doctrine dissolving god in the nature, a panpsychism, according to Krom the nature is allegedly allocated with mentality, the gilozoizm considering thinking and feeling as the integral (attributive) properties of all things.

However the developing natural sciences demanded materialistic philosophical interpretation of the patterns found by it. Idealistic essence of T. caused a resolute protest from scientists. In philosophy of fr. materialists of 18 century D. Diderot, Zh. Lametri, etc. the consecutive materialistic understanding of processes of life activity is developed, the deep idea is stated, according to a cut expediency of live organisms is result of long historical development of the nature. At the same time the French materialists, having done huge work on the statement of the scientific principles of knowledge of life, could not offer her consecutive kauzualny explanation, leaving the wide field for creation of various idealistic concepts. Metaphysical (mechanistic) limitation of their outlook, inability to comprehend objective dialectics of developments in wildlife was the main cause of it.

Attempt to overcome limitation of both a mechanistic determinism, and T. I. Kant undertook. He insisted on need for all cases to aim at a strict causal explanation of phenomena of life. At the same time it assumed that in some cases (especially it concerned problems of growth, reproduction and morphogenesis) the causal explanation at this stage of scientific knowledge is impossible. Concerning these phenomena Kant found it possible to use a concept of «the purpose of the nature» as the regulatory, heuristic principle, i.e. in the form of a peculiar explanatory model, at the same time without identifying it with objective factors.

Strictly scientific approach to a solution of the problem of expediency in wildlife was developed by Ch. Darwin. It gave rational interpretation of relative expediency of live, having shown that it is result of long evolutionary process, selection of the fittest life-forms which are reasonablly organized in relation to external environment. The Darwin concept enriched with achievements of modern cybernetics (see), molecular biology (see), neurophysiology (see) and other natural sciences, creates fundamental premises for overcoming negative influence of T.

In the course of scientific studying of organic expediency ideas of a teleono-miya and quasiteleology were created, to-rye in essence have nothing in common with T. They interpret the causal relations in language of cybernetics by means of concepts of the program and a feed-back for the purpose of fixation of the predeterminirovannost of result of action observed in complex systems.

At the same time as a result of limitation of mechanistic methodology, eurysynusic among a part of scientists of the bourgeois countries, at collision with fundamental difficulties in interpretation of integrity and expediency of live systems revival in this or that form of teleologic representations is possible. Ideas of T. the large modern cytologist I. Haas, the famous biochemist and the molecular biologist G. Schramm, etc. develops, e.g.

For radical overcoming T. the combination of exact scientific approach and conscious use of materialistic dialectics in the solution of problems of organic integrity and expediency is necessary. The dialectic materialism considers a research of problems of organic expediency as a part of the bulk functional analysis of complex systems of organic type. Functional approach in his broad understanding studies dynamics of interaction of elements of system representing special steady type of behavior of these elements (or subsystems). At functional approach of system and their components are considered from the point of view of results of their functioning that allows to reveal one of specific properties of these systems. As function is not always definitely directed, it is convenient to distinguish functional approach in the narrow sense of the word — the analysis of the behavior of systems which is not connected with idea of an orientation, and functional and target approach, i.e. a research of the behavior of systems characterized as directed or conditional and purposeful, and actually target approach, at Krom happens the appeal of scientific research to a final stage of process as its purposes, going from a cut analytically are established the reasons on their investigation. At target approach in a research of systems of the cyclic and directed interactions, developments, etc. studying is based as if the result of process is available actually in the form of a peculiar purpose. The appeal to this purpose acts at similar approach as special reception of a hypothetical anticipation, the description of the process which is subject to the subsequent scientific analysis. As I. P. Pavlov wrote, «the idea of the possible purpose during the studying of each system can serve only as a grant, as reception of scientific imagination for the sake of statement of new questions and all variation of experiments with car unknown to us, a hand-made article of human hands, but not as the final purpose». Therefore target approach cannot be put in one row with traditional and new methods of a causal research of live systems. Especially it cannot be opposed to them as it takes place in case of its teleologic interpretation, in quality allegedly «the most characteristic» for biology. It has a certain cognitive value only in connection with these methods in their system reflecting the general dynamics, the strategy of the scientific search fixing and dismembering forms of objects, revealing their functional role, an origin and essence.

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I. T. Frolov, S. A. Pastushny.