David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 107 (8):412-431 (2010)
The function of a trait token is usually defined in terms of some properties of other (past, present, future) tokens of the same trait type. I argue that this strategy is problematic, as trait types are (at least partly) individuated by their functional properties, which would lead to circularity. In order to avoid this problem, I suggest a way to define the function of a trait token in terms of the properties of the very same trait token. To able to allow for the possibility of malfunctioning, some of these properties need to be modal ones: a function of a trait is to do F just in case its doing F would contribute to the inclusive fitness of the organism whose trait it is. Function attributions have modal force. Finally, I explore whether and how this theory of biological function could be modified to cover artifact function.
|Keywords||Function Biological function Modal theory of function Trait type individuation|
|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
Bence Nanay (2014). The Representationalism Versus Relationalism Debate: Explanatory Contextualism About Perception. European Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):321-336.
Ben Phillips (forthcoming). Contextualism About Object-Seeing. Philosophical Studies:1-20.
Bence Nanay (2014). Teleosemantics Without Etiology. Philosophy of Science 81 (5):798-810.
Jonathan Birch (2012). Robust Processes and Teleological Language. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):299-312.
Similar books and articles
Beth Preston (1998). Why is a Wing Like a Spoon? A Pluralist Theory of Function. Journal of Philosophy 95 (5):215-254.
Giuseppe Primiero & Mariarosiaria Taddeo (2012). A Modal Type Theory for Formalizing Trusted Communications. Journal of Applied Logic 10 (1):92-114.
Robert Goldblatt (2001). Quasi-Modal Equivalence of Canonical Structures. Journal of Symbolic Logic 66 (2):497-508.
Patrick Blackburn (2001). Modal Logic as Dialogical Logic. Synthese 127 (1-2):57 - 93.
Takashi Yagisawa (2008). Modal Realism with Modal Tense 1. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):309-327.
Daniel Nolan (2010). Comments on John Divers's “on the Significance of the Question of the Function of Modal Judgment”. In B. Hale & A. Hoffman (eds.), Modality. Oxford University Press 220-226.
Osamu Kiritani (2011). Modality and Function: Reply to Nanay. Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (2):89-90.
Osamu Kiritani (2011). Function and Modality. Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (1):1-4.
Added to index2010-07-07
Total downloads130 ( #27,029 of 1,789,736 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #92,929 of 1,789,736 )
How can I increase my downloads?