David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):39-54 (1995)
In this paper I discuss recent debates concerning etiological theories of functions. I defend an etiological theory against two criticisms, namely the ability to account for malfunction, and the problem of structural doubles. I then consider the arguments provided by Bigelow and Pargetter (1987) for a more forward looking account of functions as propensities or dispositions. I argue that their approach fails to address the explanatory problematic for which etiological theories were developed.
|Keywords||Function fitness dispositions explanation|
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Citations of this work BETA
Michael Bertrand (2013). Proper Environment and the SEP Account of Biological Function. Synthese 190 (9):1503-1517.
Justin Garson (2011). Selected Effects and Causal Role Functions in the Brain: The Case for an Etiological Approach to Neuroscience. Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):547-565.
Sune Holm (2012). Biological Interests, Normative Functions, and Synthetic Biology. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):525-541.
Michael Levin (1997). Plantinga on Functions and the Theory of Evolution. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (1):83 – 98.
Justin Garson (2012). Function, Selection, and Construction in the Brain. Synthese 189 (3):451-481.
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