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Subcategories:History/traditions: Teleology and Function
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Teleology
  1. Peter Achinstein (1983). The Nature of Explanation. Oxford University Press.
    Offering a new approach to scientific explanation, this book focuses initially on the explaining act itself.
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  2. Peter Achinstein (1978). Teleology and Mentalism. Journal of Philosophy 75 (10):551-553.
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  3. Frederick R. Adams (1979). A Goal-State Theory of Function Attributions. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):493 - 518.
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  4. D. Maurice Allan (1952). Towards a Natural Teleology. Journal of Philosophy 49 (13):449-459.
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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Colin Allen, Marc Bekoff & George V. Lauder (eds.) (1998). Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology. The Mit Press.
  8. Friedrich Alverdes (1937). Kausalität, Finalität Und Ganzheit. Acta Biotheoretica 3 (3).
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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. Francisco J. Ayala (1998). Teleological Explanations Versus Teleology. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 20 (1):41 - 50.
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  15. 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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  16. Robert C. Baldwin (1936). Teleology and the Idea of Value. Journal of Philosophy 33 (5):113-124.
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  17. 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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  18. William Bechtel (1986). Teleological Functional Analyses and the Hierarchical Organization of Nature. In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), Current Issues in Teleology. University Press of America. 26--48.
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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. Morton Beckner (1968). The Biological Way of Thought. Berkeley, University of California Press.
  22. Mark Bedau (1993). Naturalism and Teleology. In Steven J. Wagner & Richard Warner (eds.), Naturalism: A Critical Appraisal. University of Notre Dame Press. 23--51.
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  23. Mark Bedau (1992). Goal-Directed Systems and the Good. The Monist 75 (1):34-51.
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  24. Mark Bedau (1992). Where's the Good in Teleology? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):781-806.
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  25. Mark Bedau (1991). Can Biological Teleology Be Naturalized? Journal of Philosophy 88 (11):647-655.
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  26. Mark Bedau (1990). Against Mentalism in Teleology. American Philosophical Quarterly 27 (1):61 - 70.
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  27. Charles G. Bell (1948). Mechanistic Replacement of Purpose in Biology. Philosophy of Science 15 (1):47-51.
  28. 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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  29. Harry Binswanger (1992). Life-Based Teleology and the Foundations of Ethics. The Monist 75 (1):84-103.
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  30. Jonathan Birch (2012). Robust Processes and Teleological Language. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):299-312.
    I consider some hitherto unexplored examples of teleological language in the sciences. In explicating these examples, I aim to show (a) that such language is not the sole preserve of the biological sciences, and (b) that not all such talk is reducible to the ascription of functions. In chemistry and biochemistry, scientists explaining molecular rearrangements and protein folding talk informally of molecules rearranging “in order to” maximize stability. Evolutionary biologists, meanwhile, often speak of traits evolving “in order to” optimize some (...)
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  31. Marcelo D. Boeri (1995). Chance and Teleology in Aristotle's Physics. International Philosophical Quarterly 35 (1):87-96.
  32. Michael Boylan (1984). The Place of Nature in Aristotle's Teleology. Apeiron 18 (2):126 - 140.
  33. Michael Boylan (1981). Mechanism and Teleology in Aristotle's Biology. Apeiron 15 (2):96 - 102.
  34. R. B. Braithwaite (1946). Teleological Explanation: The Presidential Address. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 47:i - xx.
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  35. Robert N. Brandon (1984). Grene on Mechanism and Reductionism: More Than Just a Side Issue. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:345 - 353.
    In this paper the common association between ontological reductionism and a methodological position called 'Mechanism' is discussed. Three major points are argued for: (1) Mechanism is not to be identified with reductionism in any of its forms; in fact, mechanism leads to a non-reductionist ontology. (2) Biological methodology is thoroughly mechanistic. (3) Mechanism is compatible with at least one form of teleology. Along the way the nature and value of scientific explanations, some recent controversies in biology and why reductionism has (...)
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  36. Robert N. Brandon (1981). Biological Teleology: Questions and Explanations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 12 (2):91-105.
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  37. Hugh Bredin (1978). Teleology. Philosophical Studies 26:338-340.
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  38. Baruch Brody (1975). The Reduction of Teleological Sciences. American Philosophical Quarterly 12 (1):69 - 76.
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  39. Robert Brown (1952). Dispositional and Teleological Statements. Philosophical Studies 3 (5):73 - 80.
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  40. Arthur W. Burks (1988). Teleology and Logical Mechanism. Synthese 76 (3):333 - 370.
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  41. E. C. (1998). The Experimental Foundations of Galen's Teleology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (1):63-80.
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  42. Rich Cameron (2010). Aristotle's Teleology. Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1096-1106.
    Teleology is the study of ends and goals, things whose existence or occurrence is purposive. Aristotle’s views on teleology are of seminal importance, particularly his views regarding biological functions or purposes. This article surveys core examples of Aristotle’s invocations of teleology; explores philosophically puzzling aspects of teleology (including their normativity and the fact that ends can, apparently, act as causes despite never coming to exist); articulates two of Aristotle’s arguments defending commitment to teleology against critics who attempt to explain nature (...)
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  43. Rich Cameron (2004). How to Be a Realist About Sui Generis Teleology Yet Feel at Home in the 21st Century. The Monist 87 (1):72-95.
    The reigning orthodoxy on biological teleology assumes that teleology either must be reduced (or eliminated) or it depends on a supernatural agent. The dominant orthodox sect rejects supernaturalism and eliminitivism, and, given the poverty of competing views has been allowed to become complacent about the adequacy of favored reductivist accounts. These are beset by more serious problems than proponents acknowledge. Moreover, the assumption underlying orthodoxy is false; there is an alternative scientifically and philosophically plausible naturalistic account of teleology. We can (...)
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  44. Rich Cameron (2003). The Ontology of Aristotle's Final Cause. Apeiron 35 (2):153-79.
    Modern philosophy is, for what appear to be good reasons, uniformly hostile to sui generis final causes. And motivated to develop philosophically and scientifically plausible interpretations, scholars have increasingly offered reductivist and eliminitivist accounts of Aristotle's teleological commitment. This trend in contemporary scholarship is misguided. We have strong grounds to believe Aristotle accepted unreduced sui generis teleology, and reductivist and eliminitivist accounts face insurmountable textual and philosophical difficulties. We offer Aristotelians cold comfort by replacing his apparent view with failed accounts. (...)
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  45. John Canfield (1965). Teleological Explanation in Biology: A Reply. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (60):327-331.
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  46. John Canfield (1964). Teleological Explanation in Biology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 14 (56):285-295.
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  47. John V. Canfield (1966). Purpose in Nature. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
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  48. Gustavo Caponi (2013). Teleología Naturalizada (Naturalized Teleology). Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 28 (1):97-114.
    En la Teoría de la Selección Natural, el concepto de función biológica debe suponerse para delimitar el concepto de aptitud; y éste debe suponerse para delimitar el concepto de adaptación y también para explicar el fenómeno al que este último alude. Esos tres conceptos, por otra parte, son especificaciones de tres conceptos de aplicación más universal. El concepto de función biológica es un caso particular del concepto general de función; y el concepto de aptitud especifica el concepto de eficiencia. El (...)
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