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Marcus W. Hunt

Marcus William Hunt is a lecturer at Concordia University Chicago. He received a PhD in philosophy from Tulane University. His interests include the philosophy of the family, of religion, and of the emotions. He can be reached at



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Why is the Teleological Argument so Popular?

Issue: 12:4 (The forty seventh issue)
Why are teleological arguments based on biological phenomena so popular? My explanation is that teleological properties are presented in our experiences of biological phenomena. I contrast this with the view that the attribution of teleological properties to biological phenomena takes place at an intellective level – via inference, and as belief or similar propositional attitude. I suggest five ways in which the experiential view is the better explanation for the popularity of such teleological arguments. Experiential attributions are more easy, impactful, and implastic. The experiential view accommodates cases of conflicting attributions, and it makes sense of the readiness with which we follow such teleological arguments. I respond to objections and explain how my view builds on existing answers to this question found in the philosophical literature.