David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Cambridge University Press (2001)
This book offers an examination of functional explanation as it is used in biology and the social sciences, and focuses on the kinds of philosophical presuppositions that such explanations carry with them. It tackles such questions as: Why are some things explained functionally while others are not? What do the functional explanations tell us about how these objects are conceptualized? What do we commit ourselves to when we give and take functional explanations in the life sciences and the social sciences? McLaughlin gives a critical review of the debate on functional explanation in the philosophy of science that has occurred over the last fifty years. He discusses the history of the philosophical question of teleology, and provides a comprehensive review of the post-war literature on functional explanation. What Functions Explain provides a sophisticated and detailed Aristotelian analysis of our concept of natural functions, and offers a positive contribution to the ongoing debate on the topic.
|Keywords||Biology Philosophy Social sciences Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$30.86 used (77% off) $30.87 new (77% off) $64.99 direct from Amazon Amazon page|
|Call number||QH331.M377 2001|
|ISBN(s)||0521782333 9780521782333 0521038855|
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Peter J. Graham (2012). Epistemic Entitlement. Noûs 46 (3):449-482.
Philippe Huneman (2014). A Pluralist Framework to Address Challenges to the Modern Synthesis in Evolutionary Theory. Biological Theory 9 (2):163-177.
Bjørn Jespersen & Massimiliano Carrara (2011). Two Conceptions of Technical Malfunction. Theoria 77 (2):117-138.
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.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2006). Parts and Theories in Compositional Biology. Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):471-499.
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