When molecular biologists formulate their fundamental questions (how are DNA breaks repaired? how does the cell divide? how are RNAs localized in the cell? how are protein amounts regulated?) they seem to believe that the organism is actually capable of solving such problems. That is, they believe it engages in the pursuit of ends, organizing its activity according to the idea or logic of the tasks at hand. But they commonly try to answer these questions merely by tracing and adding together local causes — showing how one thing controls another, how this makes that happen. Such making, however, never reaches to the biologically and contextually expressed intentional activity that informed the original questions. Causes by themselves do not pursue tasks. The always lawful molecular proceedings in the organism are vital to analyze, but to offer these proceedings as explanations of a living performance is misguided. If the organism is able to coordinate physical causes for the satisfaction of its own needs and aims, then it governs those causes at least as much as it is governed by them.
How should we understand this governing? We need a reconciliation of the causal and intentional ways of thinking — a reconciliation that does justice to them both without a dualistic cleaving of the world.