Piotr LenartowiczCorresponding author and Jolanta KoszteynCorresponding author

On Paley, Epagogé, Technical Mind and a fortiori Argumentation

7 – 2002, pages 49-83
Date of online publication: 30 November 2020
Date of publication: 30 November 2002


It is our intention to re-investigate only a few of the innumerable epistemological problems concerning Paley's argumentation for the existence of God. Nowadays this argumentation is commonly considered as invalid. Modern philosophers believe that the Humean Dialogs on Natural Religion and the Darwinian theory of evolution deprived Paley's reasoning of any cognitive validity. This judgment seems to us unjustified. We shall try to demonstrate that the very meaning and the logical structure of Paley's argumentation are continuously misunderstood, and that critics have attacked rather a false image of Paley's cognitive pathway. Furthermore, we will show that Paley actually argues for the existence of a single agent producing biological organs. Indeed Paley demonstrates, that a biological organ is a kind of objective whole, and by necessity one produced by a single agent. However, Paley's form of argumentation is not sufficient to indicate whether this agent might be identified with a divine Creator, or Aristotelian "soul" building and commanding biological organs, or the recently discovered, described and deciphered deoxynucleotide polymer (DNA, molecular genome) present in the reproductive biological cell.

Cite this article

Lenartowicz, Piotr, Koszteyn, Jolanta. "On Paley, Epagogé, Technical Mind and a fortiori Argumentation." Forum Philosophicum 7 (2002): 49–83. doi:10.35765/forphil.2002.0701.4.