How a Lack of Teleological Thinking Lost the Marriage Debate

Patriarchy approved.

Darwinian Reactionary

This post is an addendum to my series on marriage. You should probably read at least part one of that series before this post in order to understand what I’m talking about.

The most common objections to a procreative understanding of marriage result from the failure to appreciate that institutions are teleofunctional in nature, and so possess the distinctive character of teleological kinds.  Teleological kinds display the following features:

A) Human intentions do not determine an object’s function. One may intend to use a toaster as a door jam, or a space heater, or to illuminate a room by the glow of its electric coils, but none of these things are its function (what Millikan calls a direct proper function). These uses are what Millikan would call “derived” proper functions; the sense in which we would say that the toaster is functioning as a heater is derived from the user’s…

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