Steinbecks Nonteleological Perspective Essays

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There is no meaning to life. Life has no inherent meaning. The meanings of our lives are chosen by what we feel and experience or are assigned to us by others. The ends of our existence cannot be foreseen and will not be limited by such things as destiny. These are the ideas and philosophies of those who believe life to be non-teleological. A famous literary example of a non-teleologist is a man named John Steinbeck. Throughout his life Steinbeck experimented with Darwinism, transcendentalism, realism, socialism, naturalism, and Taoism (Endnotes 1). Each of these ways of thinking show up in Steinbeck’s philosophy and therefore his work cannot be classified specifically. All that may be said is that he had a non-teleological way of …show more content…
For instance, we do not use a knife to cut objects because the blade is sharp, we made the knife in order to cut the object. But teleologists admit that there are objects that are non-teleological. We take advantage of the shape of mountains by skiing on them, but mountains are not the shape they are in order for us to ski on them (1). This can also be explained as “ends exist in the mind which studies nature, not in nature itself” (1). Teleologists must admit that there on non-teleological parts of life, otherwise their philosophy would include such ridiculous beliefs as sodium and chloride being combined to taste salty rather than the salty taste being an effect of the two elements bonding.
Steinbeck was correct in thinking that as a non-teleological thinker he must also take into account the teleological outlook on life. Steinbeck said: “Teleological answers necessarily must be included in the non-teleological method since they are a part of the picture even if only restrictedly true and as a soon as their qualities of relatedness are recognized. Even erroneous beliefs are real things and have to be considered proportional to their spread or intensity” (Log from the Sea of Cortez 171). Steinbeck believed teleology to be only a small part of the big picture and that by not expanding their view and opening their minds teleologists would have a very limited

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