David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philo 10 (1):17-26 (2007)
Ruth Millikan and others adopt a normative definition of biological functions that is heavily used in areas such as Millikan’s teleosemantics, and also for emerging efforts to naturalize other areas of philosophy. I propose an experiment called the Lapse Test to determine exactly what form of normativity, if any, truly applies to biological functions. Millikan has not gone far enough in playing down as “impersonal” or “quasi” the precise mode of normativity that she attributes to biological functions. Further, her mode fails to qualify as genuine normativity at all, lacking an essential feature: some lapse of responsibility on the part of any entity or system that is charged with failing to do as it is “supposed.” Nor, as we will see, is there anything in English idioms used to describe biological functions that can provide a persuasive argument to rehabilitate Millikan’s normative definition
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Kenneth G. Ferguson (2009). Meaning and the External World. Erkenntnis 70 (3):299 - 311.
Wayne Christensen (2012). Natural Sources of Normativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):104-112.
Similar books and articles
Andrés Luis Jaume Rodríguez (2008). The Sources of Normativity in the Biological Functions. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 44:33-44.
Ruth G. Millikan (1989). In Defense of Proper Functions. Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.
Amin Turki (2011). On the Normativity of the Immune System. Medicine Studies 3 (1):29-39.
Lenny Moss & Daniel J. Nicholson (2012). On Nature and Normativity: Normativity, Teleology, and Mechanism in Biological Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):88-91.
Robert D. Rupert (1999). Mental Representations and Millikan's Theory of Intentional Content: Does Biology Chase Causality? Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):113-140.
Benoni B. Edin (2008). Assigning Biological Functions: Making Sense of Causal Chains. Synthese 161 (2):203 - 218.
Mohan Matthen (2013). Millikan's Historical Kinds. In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. John Wiley & Sons. 135--154.
Maarten Franssen (2009). The Inherent Normativity of Functions in Biology and Technology. In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. Mit Press.
Daniel M. Kraemer (2013). Statistical Theories of Functions and the Problem of Epidemic Disease. Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):423-438.
Valerie Gray Hardcastle (2002). On the Normativity of Functions. In Andre Ariew (ed.), Functions. Oxford University Press.
Beth Preston (2009). Biological and Cultural Proper Functions in Comparative Perspective. In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. Mit Press.
Ruth G. Millikan (2005). Language: A Biological Model. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Added to index2011-02-24
Total downloads29 ( #63,451 of 1,100,145 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #90,386 of 1,100,145 )
How can I increase my downloads?