Selected effects and causal role functions in the brain: the case for an etiological approach to neuroscience

Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):547-565 (2011)
Abstract
Despite the voluminous literature on biological functions produced over the last 40 years, few philosophers have studied the concept of function as it is used in neuroscience. Recently, Craver (forthcoming; also see Craver 2001) defended the causal role theory against the selected effects theory as the most appropriate theory of function for neuroscience. The following argues that though neuroscientists do study causal role functions, the scope of that theory is not as universal as claimed. Despite the strong prima facie superiority of the causal role theory, the selected effects theory (when properly developed) can handle many cases from neuroscience with equal facility. It argues this by presenting a new theory of function that generalizes the notion of a ‘selection process’ to include processes such as neural selection, antibody selection, and some forms of learning—that is, to include structures that have been differentially retained as well as those that have been differentially reproduced. This view, called the generalized selected effects theory of function, will be defended from criticism and distinguished from similar views in the literature
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
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


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,007
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
Mark Bedau (1992). Where's the Good in Teleology? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):781-806.
John Bigelow & Robert Pargetter (1987). Functions. Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):181-196.
Christopher Boorse (1976). Wright on Functions. Philosophical Review 85 (1):70-86.

View all 45 references

Citations of this work BETA
Justin Garson (2013). The Functional Sense of Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 80 (3):317-333.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-03-23

Total downloads

39 ( #43,563 of 1,101,180 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #81,288 of 1,101,180 )

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.