Koshelev Igor'

The ≪Divine Design≫ argument in the English philosophy of nature in the 17th century

Koshelev Igor' (2014) "The ≪Divine Design≫ argument in the English philosophy of nature in the 17th century ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2014, vol. 55, pp. 107-120 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201455.107-120


The article deals with the development of the teleological argument (the design argument) as elaborated in the works of the English natural philosophers Robert Boyle and John Ray. The argument in question constitutes one of the most convincing proofs of the existence of the rational design and is primarily known from the “fifth way” of Thomas Aquinas and from the “Natural Theology” by W. Paley. However, the basis for the modern research in this field was created precisely by the above-mentioned natural philosophers in the context of scientific revolution of the 17th century and the mechanistic philosophy that this epoch gave rise to. Recognizing the irrevocability of the conceptualization of the “teleological argument” in Paley for the modern times, the author analyzes the early stages of its formation. The main part of the article is devoted to the analysis of “The Treatise of the Final Causes” by Boyle and “The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation” by Ray. Conclusions as to the signifi cance of these works for the consequent development of teleology are given in the final part of the article.


philosophy of nature, natural theology, teleological argument, argument from design, rational design, Christianity, Robert Boyle, John Ray.


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Koshelev Igor'