David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 166 (1):69-89 (2009)
Looking for an adequate explication of the concept of a biological function, several authors have proposed to link function to design. Unfortunately, known explications of biological design in turn refer to functions. The concept of general design I will introduce here breaks up this circle. I specify design with respect to its ontogenetic role. This allows function to be based on design without making reference to the history of the design, or to the phylogeny of an organism, while retaining the normative aspect of function ascriptions. The concept is applicable to the function and design of technical artifacts as well. Several problems well known with other definitions can be overcome by this approach.
|Keywords||Function Malfunction Biological design Technical design Cummins Millikan Type fixation|
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References found in this work BETA
Elliott Sober (2000). Philosophy of Biology. Westview Press.
Nelson Goodman (1968). Languages of Art. Bobbs-Merrill.
Donald Davidson (1987). Knowing One's Own Mind. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.
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Citations of this work BETA
Dingmar van Eck & Erik Weber (2014). Function Ascription and Explanation: Elaborating an Explanatory Utility Desideratum for Ascriptions of Technical Functions. Erkenntnis 79 (6):1367-1389.
Ulrich Krohs (2015). Can Functionality in Evolving Networks Be Explained Reductively? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53:94-101.
Dingmar van Eck (2015). Validating Function-Based Design Methods: An Explanationist Perspective. Philosophy and Technology 28 (4):511-531.
Ingvar Johansson (2008). Functions and Shapes in the Light of the International System of Units. Metaphysica 9 (1):93-117.
Wayne Christensen (2012). Natural Sources of Normativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):104-112.
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