Functional complexity in organisms: Parts as proxies [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):641-668 (2000)
The functional complexity, or the number of functions, of organisms hasfigured prominently in certain theoretical and empirical work inevolutionary biology. Large-scale trends in functional complexity andcorrelations between functional complexity and other variables, such assize, have been proposed. However, the notion of number of functions hasalso been operationally intractable, in that no method has been developedfor counting functions in an organism in a systematic and reliable way.Thus, studies have had to rely on the largely unsupported assumption thatnumber of functions can be measured indirectly, by using number ofmorphological, physiological, and behavioral parts as a proxy. Here, amodel is developed that supports this assumption. Specifically, the modelpredicts that few parts will have many functions overlapping in them, andtherefore the variance in number of functions per part will be low. If so,then number of parts is expected to be well correlated with number offunctions, and we can use part counts as proxies for function counts incomparative studies of organisms, even when part counts are low. Alsodiscussed briefly is a strategy for identifying certain kinds of parts inorganisms in a systematic way.
|Keywords||complexity evolution function modularity parts|
|Categories||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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ellen Clarke (2011). The Problem of Biological Individuality. Biological Theory 5 (4):312-325.
Kevin Korb & Alan Dorin (2011). Evolution Unbound: Releasing the Arrow of Complexity. Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):317-338.
Marvalee H. Wake (2008). Organisms and Organization. Biological Theory 3 (3):213-223.
Yuri I. Wolf & Eugene V. Koonin (2013). Genome Reduction as the Dominant Mode of Evolution. Bioessays 35 (9):829-837.
Similar books and articles
Paul Edmund Griffiths (2006). Function, Homology, and Character Individuation. Philosophy of Science 73 (1):1-25.
Alvaro Moreno & Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo (2009). The Problem of the Emergence of Functional Diversity in Prebiotic Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):585-605.
Paul E. Griffiths (1993). Functional Analysis and Proper Functions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.
William P. Bechtel (1982). Two Common Errors in Explaining Biological and Psychological Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 49 (December):549-574.
F. W. Kroon & W. A. Burkhard (1990). On a Complexity-Based Way of Constructivizing the Recursive Functions. Studia Logica 49 (1):133 - 149.
James Tanaka (1998). Parts, Features, and Expertise. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):37-38.
Jakob Hohwy (2007). Functional Integration and the Mind. Synthese 159 (3):315-328.
Daniel W. McShea (1991). Complexity and Evolution: What Everybody Knows. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (3):303-324.
Erich Grädel & Yuri Gurevich (1995). Tailoring Recursion for Complexity. Journal of Symbolic Logic 60 (3):952-969.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #148,332 of 1,102,740 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #84,424 of 1,102,740 )
How can I increase my downloads?