David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 168 (1):179 - 199 (2009)
Because much of the recent philosophical interest in functions has been motivated by their application in biology and other sciences, most of the ensuing discussions have focused on functional explanations to the neglect of the practical role of functional knowledge. This practical role is essential for understanding how users form plans involving artifacts. We introduce the concept of instrumental function which is intended to capture the features of functional claims that are relevant to practical—in particular, instrumental—reasoning. We discuss the four primary features of an instrumental function ascription, the teleological component of such ascriptions and give a clear definition of malfunction in terms of incapability to perform as well as “normal” tokens of the same type.
|Keywords||Artifact Function Analytical philosophy of engineering Instrumental reasoning Malfunction|
No categories specified
(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
Robert C. Cummins (1975). Functional Analysis. Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Paul Sheldon Davies (2000). The Nature of Natural Norms: Why Selected Functions Are Systemic Capacity Functions. Noûs 34 (1):85–107.
Maarten Franssen (2006). The Normativity of Artefacts. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):42-57.
Wybo Houkes (2006). Knowledge of Artefact Functions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.
Peter McLaughlin (2001). What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Bjørn Jespersen & Massimiliano Carrara (2011). Two Conceptions of Technical Malfunction. Theoria 77 (2):117-138.
Pieter E. Vermaas, Dingmar Eck & Peter Kroes (2013). The Conceptual Elusiveness of Engineering Functions. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 26 (2):159-185.
Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas (2013). Pluralism on Artefact Categories: A Philosophical Defence. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):543-557.
Similar books and articles
Christian Miller (2007). The Structure of Instrumental Practical Reasoning. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (1):1–40.
Stephanie Beardman (2007). The Special Status of Instrumental Reasons. Philosophical Studies 134 (2):255 - 287.
Berel Dov Lerner (1995). Winch and Instrumental Pluralism. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (2):180-191.
John Ziman (2003). Non-Instrumental Roles of Science. Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (1):17-27.
Françoise Longy (2013). Artifacts and Organisms: A Case for a New Etiological Theory of Functions. In Philippe Huneman (ed.), Functions: Selection and Mechanisms. Springer. 185--211.
Joel J. Kupperman (2005). The Epistemology of Non-Instrumental Value. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):659–680.
Rowan Cruft (2010). On the Non-Instrumental Value of Basic Rights. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (4):441-461.
Christian Miller (2007). The Structure of Instrumental Practical Reasoning. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (1):1-40.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads9 ( #168,856 of 1,142,636 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #60,802 of 1,142,636 )
How can I increase my downloads?