...material systems, [advocates of modern Mechanistic Philosophy] tell us, are utterly devoid of final causality; but the mind is the clearest paradigm of final causality [viz., intentionality and rational desire]; hence the mind cannot possibly be any kind of material system, including the brain.
-- Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, p. 194
And to cite a work Feser references in TLS, on a similar theme:
… Heterogeneity of parts is required for the very possibility of that causality operating on itself which characterizes the growth of living beings.
For the same reason it is necessary that the heterogeneous parts of the living being make up a certain order. The notion of order is inseparable from that causality, which is itself an order of dependence. That which is cause under a certain aspect can be effect under another. The ability of a living being to move itself, even though it be only to assimilate and grow, involves therefore the organization of heterogeneous parts of which it is composed. This is why one says of living bodies that they are organisms or that living matter is organic [organiseé]. The finalism of Aristotle is an attempt to give a reason for the very existence of this organization.
Aristotle is often reproached for his anthropomorphism, that is to say, for his habit of considering nature from man's point of view. If to do so is an error, the reproach is justified, but Aristotle's attitude in this regard had nothing naive in it. He was conscious of it, just as he was of the reasons for adopting it. At the moment he begins the study of the parts of animals, he declares straightforwardly: "to begin with, we must take into consideration the parts of man. For, just as each nation reckons by that monetary standard with which it is most familiar, so must we do in other matters. And, of course, man is the animal with which are all most familiar [History of Animals, 491a]."
At first sight there is something disconcerting in this naivete. It seems far too simple to evaluate the parts of other animals in terms of those of the human body…. Upon reflection, however, is something to be said in favor of this proposition, for in a certain sense it is true. It is not necessarily that man may be better known to us than the rest [of creation], but, to begin with, whatever object is considered, the knowledge that we have of it is human knowledge which expresses itself in some human language; and, next, the knowledge which man has of himself, imperfect as it may be, is by nature privileged. In knowing himself man knows nature in a unique way, because in this unique case the nature that he knows, he is. In and through the knowledge which man has of himself nature knows herself directly; she becomes conscious of herself in him, self-conscious one might say, and there is strictly nothing else that man can hope to know in this way. Even other men … remain for him parts of the "external world." In fact, all the rest of the universe is and remains for him the external world. Since then there is no other knowledge for each of us other than our own knowledge, things known exist for us only in relation to ourselves, and among these things there is only one that we can apprehend directly in itself, and that is what we are and what each calls "I," "me."
… To explain heterogeneous parts by the same principles which explain homogeneous parts is to leave deliberately unexplained the heterogeneity of the heterogeneous.
–– Étienne Gilson, From Aristotle to Darwin and Back Again (University of Notre Dame Press, 1984), pp. 3–5
And again on page 97, Gilson comments:
…we should repeat that man is a part of nature, that he is a unique case in nature, a nature which knows itself from within, and that through man who is part of nature she knows herself directly from within. Everything happens as if, in producing man endowed with reason, nature continued, under the form of the production of the artisan, the work which she performed until then physiologically. It is a mistaken anthropomorphism to reason as if the two finalities worked in the same manner, as if nature fashioned an eye in the same manner that an optician fashions a telescope. But it is perhaps a legitimate anthropomorphism to think that two series of operations of analogous structure, and leading to comparable results, are in the last analysis of the same nature. Human craftsmanship continues the works of nature, and at times completes it, by entirely different means.