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Subcategories:History/traditions: Teleology and Function
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  1. Francisco J. Ayala (2009). Masters. Causality and Design : Teleological Explanations in the Living World. In González Recio & José Luis (eds.), Philosophical Essays on Physics and Biology. G. Olms.
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  2. Sergio E. Chaigneau & Guillermo Puebla (2013). The Proper Function of Artifacts: Intentions, Conventions and Causal Inferences. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):391-406.
    Designers’ intentions are important for determining an artifact’s proper function (i.e., its perceived real function). However, there are disagreements regarding why. In one view, people reason causally about artifacts’ functional outcomes, and designers’ intended functions become important to the extent that they allow inferring outcomes. In another view, people use knowledge of designers’ intentions to determine proper functions, but this is unrelated to causal reasoning, having perhaps to do with intentional or social forms of reasoning (e.g., authority). Regarding these latter (...)
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  3. Abel De La Rosa, Patricia S. Steeg & Roger L. Williams (1995). Nm23/Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinase: Toward a Structural and Biochemical Understanding of its Biological Functions. Bioessays 17 (1):53-62.
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  4. Terrence W. Deacon (2006). Reciprocal Linkage Between Self-Organizing Processes is Sufficient for Self-Reproduction and Evolvability. Biological Theory 1 (2):136-149.
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  5. P. Dullemeijer (1968). Some Methodology Problems in a Holistic Approach to Functional Morphology. Acta Biotheoretica 18 (1-4).
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  6. Pieter Dullemeijer (1985). Diversity of Functional Morphological Explanation. Acta Biotheoretica 34 (2-4).
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  7. James Griesemer (2011). Philosophy and Tinkering. Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):269-279.
    I characterize Wimsatt’s approach to philosophy of science as philosophy for science and then briefly consider a theme emerging from his work that informs just one of the many current developments in philosophy of biology that he inspired: scaffolding as a problem of mechanistic explanation for functionalists.
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  8. U. An Heiden, G. Roth & H. Schwegler (1985). Principles of Self-Generation and Self-Maintenance. Acta Biotheoretica 34 (2-4).
    Living systems are characterized as self-generating and self-maintaining systems. This type of characterization allows integration of a wide variety of detailed knowledge in biology.The paper clarifies general notions such as processes, systems, and interactions. Basic properties of self-generating systems, i.e. systems which produce their own parts and hence themselves, are discussed and exemplified. This makes possible a clear distinction between living beings and ordinary machines. Stronger conditions are summarized under the concept of self-maintenance as an almost unique character of living (...)
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  9. Ingvar Johansson, Barry Smith, Katherine Munn, Nikoloz Tsikolia, Kathleen Elsner, Dominikus Ernst & Dirk Siebert (2005). Functional Anatomy: A Taxonomic Proposal. Acta Biotheoretica 53 (3).
    It is argued that medical science requires a classificatory system that (a) puts functions in the taxonomic center and (b) does justice ontologically to the difference between the processes which are the realizations of functions and the objects which are their bearers. We propose formulae for constructing such a system and describe some of its benefits. The arguments are general enough to be of interest to all the life sciences.
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  10. Daniel Kahn & Hans V. Westerhoff (1993). The Regulatory Strength: How to Be Precise About Regulation and Homeostasis. Acta Biotheoretica 41 (1-2).
    The concepts of regulation and homeostasis are of frequent use but lack a single universally accepted definition. Here we propose a definition of theregulatory strength andhomeostatic strength, which allow to assess the importance of a regulatory pathway in a quantitative fashion.
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  11. Marc Lange (2004). The Autonomy of Functional Biology: A Reply to Rosenberg. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):93-109.
    Rosenberg has recently argued that explanations supplied by (what he calls) functional biology are mere promissory notes for macromolecular adaptive explanations. Rosenberg's arguments currently constitute one of the most substantial challenges to the autonomy, irreducibility, and indispensability of the explanations supplied by functional biology. My responses to Rosenberg's arguments will generate a novel account of the autonomy of functional biology. This account will turn on the relations between counterfactuals, scientific explanations, and natural laws. Crucially, in their treatment of the laws' (...)
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  12. Melvin L. Moss (1968). A Theoretical Analysis of the Functional Matrix. Acta Biotheoretica 18 (1-4).
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  13. Dirk S. Paul, Nicole Soranzo & Stephan Beck (2014). Functional Interpretation of Non‐Coding Sequence Variation: Concepts and Challenges. Bioessays 36 (2):191-199.
  14. Charles Rathkopf (2013). Localization and Intrinsic Function. Philosophy of Science 80 (1):1-21.
    This paper describes one style of functional analysis commonly used in the neurosciences called task-bound functional analysis. The concept of function invoked by this style of analysis is distinctive in virtue of the dependence relations it bears to transient environmental properties. It is argued that task-bound functional analysis cannot explain the presence of structural properties in nervous systems. An alternative concept of neural function is introduced that draws on the theoretical neuroscience literature, and an argument is given to show that (...)
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Teleology
  1. T. P. A. (1971). Review of J. D. McFarland, Kant's Concept of Teleology. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 24 (4):750-750.
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  2. Giampaolo Abbate (2012). The Role of Necessity in Aristotles Teleology as Explained by Logical Implication. Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 15 (1):1-25.
  3. Peter Achinstein (1978). Teleology and Mentalism. Journal of Philosophy 75 (10):551-553.
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  4. Felix Adler (1904). The Problem of Teleology. International Journal of Ethics 14 (3):265-280.
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  5. Doug Al-Maini (2005). Technique and Teleology in Plato's Rhetoric. The European Legacy 10 (4):283-298.
    This paper is an investigation of the place of rhetoric in Plato's judgement that philosophers must rule. The possibility that rhetoric could facilitate the rule of philosophy raises the question of whether rhetoric could also be used to undermine the governance of philosophy. It is my thesis that Plato argues for understanding rhetoric as limited in its ability to function at cross-purposes to those of philosophy because of a basic and direct relationship between the effectiveness of rhetoric and its ability (...)
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  6. D. Maurice Allan (1952). Towards a Natural Teleology. Journal of Philosophy 49 (13):449-459.
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  7. Colin Allen, Teleological Notions in Biology.
    Teleological terms such as "function" and "design" appear frequently in the biological sciences. Examples of teleological claims include: A (biological) function of stotting by antelopes is to communicate to predators that they have been detected. Eagles' wings are (naturally) designed for soaring. Teleological notions were commonly associated with the pre-Darwinian view that the biological realm provides evidence of conscious design by a supernatural creator. Even after creationist viewpoints were rejected by most biologists there remained various grounds for concern about the (...)
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  8. Colin Allen (2001). Cognitive Relatives and Moral Relations. In [Book Chapter] (in Press).
    The close kinship between humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans is a central theme among participants in the debate about human treatment of the other apes. Empathy is probably the single most important determinant of actual human moral behavior, including the treatment of nonhuman animals. Given the applied nature of questions about the treatment of captive apes, it is entirely appropriate that the close relationship between us should be highlighted. But the role that relatedness should play in ethical theory is less (...)
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  9. Colin Allen, Marc Bekoff & George V. Lauder (eds.) (1998). Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology. The Mit Press.
  10. Friedrich Alverdes (1937). Kausalität, Finalität Und Ganzheit. Acta Biotheoretica 3 (3).
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  11. Agnes Robertson Arber (1954/1985). The Mind and the Eye: A Study of the Biologist's Standpoint. Cambridge University Press.
    Agnes Arber's international reputation is due in part to her exceptional ability to interpret the German tradition of scholarship for the English-speaking world. The Mind and the Eye is an erudite book, revealing its author's familiarity with philosophy from Plato and Aristotle through Aquinas to Kant and Hegel; but it is not dull, because the quiet enthusiasm of the author shines through. In this book she turns from the work of a specialist in one science to those wider questions which (...)
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  12. Andre Ariew, Platonic and Aristotelian Roots of Teleological Arguments in Cosmology and Biology.
    AristotleÕs central argument for teleologyÑthough not necessarily his conclusionÑis repeated in the teleological arguments of Isaac Newton, Immanuel Kant, William Paley, and Charles Darwin. To appreciate AristotleÕs argument and its influence I assert, first, that AristotleÕs naturalistic teleology must be distinguished from PlatoÕs anthropomorphic one; second, the form of AristotleÕs arguments for teleology should be read as instances of inferences to the best explanation. On my reading, then, both NewtonÕs and PaleyÕs teleological arguments are Aristotelian while their conclusions are (...)
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  13. Andre Ariew (2007). Teleology. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
    Teleology in biology is making headline news in the United States. Conservative Christians are utilizing a teleological argument for the existence of a supremely intelligent designer to justify legislation calling for the teaching of "intelligent design" (ID) in public schools. Teleological arguments of one form or another have been around since Antiquity. The contemporary argument from intelligent design varies little from William Paley's argument written in 1802. Both argue that nature exhibits too much complexity to be explained by 'mindless' natural (...)
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  14. W. R. Ashby (1947). The Nervous System as Physical Machine: With Special Reference to the Origin of Adaptive Behaviour. Mind 56 (January):44-59.
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  15. Robin Attfield (1975). Toward a Defence of Teleology. Ethics 85 (2):123-135.
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  16. Francisco J. Ayala (1999). Adaptation and Novelty: Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 21 (1):3 - 33.
    Knives, birds' wings, and mountain slopes are used for certain purposes: cutting, flying, and climbing. A bird's wings have in common with knives that they have been 'designed' for the purpose they serve, which purpose accounts for their existence, whereas mountain slopes have come about by geological processes independently of their uses for climbing. A bird's wings differ from a knife in that they have not been designed or produced by any conscious agent; rather, the wings, like the slopes, are (...)
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  17. Francisco J. Ayala (1998). Teleological Explanations Versus Teleology. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 20 (1):41 - 50.
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  18. Francisco J. Ayala (1970). Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology. Philosophy of Science 37 (1):1-15.
    The ultimate source of explanation in biology is the principle of natural selection. Natural selection means differential reproduction of genes and gene combinations. It is a mechanistic process which accounts for the existence in living organisms of end-directed structures and processes. It is argued that teleological explanations in biology are not only acceptable but indeed indispensable. There are at least three categories of biological phenomena where teleological explanations are appropriate.
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  19. Robert C. Baldwin (1936). Teleology and the Idea of Value. Journal of Philosophy 33 (5):113-124.
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  20. Étienne Balibar (2009). Eschatology Versus Teleology : The Suspended Dialogue Between Derrida and Althusser. In Pheng Cheah & Suzanne Guerlac (eds.), Derrida and the Time of the Political. Duke University Press.
  21. Gary Banham (2007). Practical Schematism, Teleology and the Unity of the Metaphysics of Morals. In Kyriaki Goudeli, Pavlos Kontos & Iolis Patellis (eds.), Kant: Making Reason Intuitive. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In this piece I address the question of how the two parts of the *Metaphysics of Morals* are to be related to each other through invocation of the notion of practical schematism. In the process I argue that understanding the notion of moral teleology will help us address the relationship between Kant's principles of right, virtue and the categorical imperative.
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  22. John Basl (2012). Nothing Good Will Come From Giving Up on Aetiological Accounts of Teleology. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):543-546.
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  23. Timothy M. Beardsley (2013). Life 2.0: Researchers Close in on the Ultimate Chicken-or-Egg Question. BioScience 63 (3):157-163.
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  24. William P. Bechtel & Jennifer Mundale (1996). Integrating Neuroscience, Psychology, and Evolutionary Biology Through a Teleological Conception of Function. Minds and Machines 6 (4):481-505.
    The idea of integrating evolutionary biology and psychology has great promise, but one that will be compromised if psychological functions are conceived too abstractly and neuroscience is not allowed to play a contructive role. We argue that the proper integration of neuroscience, psyychology, and evolutionary biology requires a telelogical as opposed to a merely componential analysis of function. A teleological analysis is required in neuroscience itself; we point to traditional and curent research methods in neuroscience, which make critical use of (...)
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  25. Morton Beckner (1969). Function and Teleology. Journal of the History of Biology 2 (1):151 - 164.
    The view of teleology sketched in the above remarks seems to me to offer a piece of candy to both the critics and guardians of teleology. The critics want to defend against a number of things: the importation of unverifiable theological or metaphysical doctrines into the sciences; the idea that goals somehow act in favor of their won realization; and the view that biological systems require for their study concepts and patterns of explanation unlike anything employed in the physical sciences. (...)
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  26. Morton Beckner (1968). The Biological Way of Thought. Berkeley, University of California Press.
  27. Mark Bedau (1992). Where's the Good in Teleology? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):781-806.
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  28. Mark Bedau (1991). Can Biological Teleology Be Naturalized? Journal of Philosophy 88 (11):647-655.
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  29. Mark Bedau (1990). Against Mentalism in Teleology. American Philosophical Quarterly 27 (1):61 - 70.
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  30. Charles G. Bell (1948). Mechanistic Replacement of Purpose in Biology. Philosophy of Science 15 (1):47-51.
  31. T. J. M. Bench-Capon (2002). The Missing Link Revisited: The Role of Teleology in Representing Legal Argument. [REVIEW] Artificial Intelligence and Law 10 (1-3):79-94.
    In this paper I recapitulate the ideas of Berman and Hafner (1993) regarding the role of teleology in legal argument. I show how these ideas can be used to address some issues arising from more recent work on legal argument, and how this relates to ideas associated with the New Rhetoric of Perelman. I illustrate the points with a discussion of the classic problem of which vehicles should be allowed in parks.
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  32. Jonathan Bennett (1983). Teleology and Spinoza's Conatus. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 8 (1):143-160.
  33. Selim Berker (2013). Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions. Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
    When it comes to epistemic normativity, should we take the good to be prior to the right? That is, should we ground facts about what we ought and ought not believe on a given occasion in facts about the value of being in certain cognitive states (such as, for example, the value of having true beliefs)? The overwhelming answer among contemporary epistemologists is “Yes, we should.” This essay argues to the contrary. Just as taking the good to be prior to (...)
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  34. Sylvia Berryman (2007). Teleology Without Tears: Aristotle and the Role of Mechanistic Conceptions of Organisms. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):351-369.
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  35. Gabor Betegh (2008). Tale, Theology, and Teleology in the Phaedo. In Catalin Partenie (ed.), Plato's Myths. Cambridge University Press.
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  36. Harry Binswanger (1992). Life-Based Teleology and the Foundations of Ethics. The Monist 75 (1):84-103.
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