Proper environment and the SEP account of biological function

Synthese 190 (9):1503-1517 (2013)
Abstract
The survival enhancing propensity (SEP) account has a crucial role to play in the analysis of proper function. However, a central feature of the account, its specification of the proper environment to which functions are relativized, is seriously underdeveloped. In this paper, I argue that existent accounts of proper environment fail because they either allow too many or too few characters to count as proper functions. While SEP accounts retain their promise, they are unworkable because of their inability to specify this important feature. However, I suggest that this problem can be overcome by the application of a new strategy for specifying proper environment that is grounded in the operation of natural selection and I conclude by offering a first approximation of such an account.
Keywords Biological function  Serendipitous malfunction  Survival enhancing propensity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Michael Bertrand, Proper environment and the SEP account of biological function
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
John Bigelow & Robert Pargetter (1987). Functions. Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):181-196.
Robert C. Cummins (1975). Functional Analysis. Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Paul E. Griffiths (1993). Functional Analysis and Proper Functions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.

View all 12 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
D. M. Walsh (1996). Fitness and Function. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):553-574.
Arno G. Wouters (2003). Four Notions of Biological Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (4):633-668.
Paul E. Griffiths (1993). Functional Analysis and Proper Functions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.
Ruth G. Millikan (1989). In Defense of Proper Functions. Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.
Owen Flanagan (2000). Dreaming is Not an Adaptation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):936-939.
Richard N. Manning (1997). Biological Function, Selection, and Reduction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (1):69-82.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-08-10

Total downloads

82 ( #17,031 of 1,099,719 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #23,292 of 1,099,719 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.