Etiological theories of function: A geographical survey [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 13 (4):505-527 (1998)
Formulations of the essential commitment of the etiological theory of functions have varied significantly, with some individual authors' formulations even varying from one place to another. The logical geography of these various formulations is different from what is standardly assumed; for they are not stylistic variants of the same essential commitment, but stylistic variants of two non-equivalent versions of the etiological theory. I distinguish these “strong” and “weak” versions of the etiological theory (which differ with respect to the role of selection in their definitions of function), draw out their respective implications, and argue that the weak version is to be preferred to the strong
Keywords Biology  Etiology  Geography  Science  Cummins, R
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006559512367
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Arno G. Wouters (2003). Four Notions of Biological Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (4):633-668.
Coleen Macnamara (2015). Reactive Attitudes as Communicative Entities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):546-569.
Arno Wouters (2003). Four Notions of Biological Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (4):633-668.

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