Variation was in fact a purposive response.
These difficulties arise quite naturally from the obligation, which metaphysicians, theologians, moral philosophers, men of science, and psychologists alike recognize, to give an account, consistent with their theories, of the relation of man's power of deliberate and purposive activity to the rest of the universe.
We have shown that the direct observation of the origin of new characters in palaeontology brings them within that domain of natural law and order to which the evolution of the physical universe conforms. The nature of this law, which, upon the whole, appears to be purposive or teleological in its operations, is altogether a mystery which may or may not be illumined by future research.
It throws light on many phases of the search for truth, upon the plain man's claim to start with a subject which he knows whose predicate which he does not know is still to be developed, or again upon his use of the negative form of judgment, when the further determination of his purposive system is served by a positive judgment from without, the positive content of which is yet to be dropped as irrelevant to the matter in hand.
Moreover, if philosophy is to complete its constructive work, it must bring the course of human history within its survey, and exhibit the sequence of events as an evolution in which the purposive action of reason is traceable.