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||$42.58 used (68% off) $42.66 new (68% off) $64.99 direct from Amazon Amazon page|
|Call number||QH331.M377 2001|
|ISBN(s)||0521782333 9780521782333 0521038855|
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Citations of this work BETA
Peter J. Graham (2012). Epistemic Entitlement. Noûs 46 (3):449-482.
Ulrich Krohs (2009). Functions as Based on a Concept of General Design. Synthese 166 (1):69-89.
Jonathan Gilmore (2011). A Functional View of Artistic Evaluation. Philosophical Studies 155 (2):289-305.
Bjørn Jespersen & Massimiliano Carrara (2013). A New Logic of Technical Malfunction. Studia Logica 101 (3):547-581.
Bjørn Jespersen & Massimiliano Carrara (2011). Two Conceptions of Technical Malfunction. Theoria 77 (2):117-138.
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