David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 95 (5):215-254 (1998)
Function theorists routinely speculate that a viable function theory will be equally applicable to biological traits and artifacts. However, artifact function has received only the most cursory scrutiny in its own right. Closer scrutiny reveals that only a pluralist theory comprising two distinct notions of function--proper function and system function--will serve as an adequate general theory. The first section describes these two notions of function. The second section shows why both notions are necessary, by showing that attempts to do away with one of them fail. This demonstration draws on examples from the artifactual realm to motivate major points of the argument. The third section is an outline of artifact function. It confirms the conclusions of the second section, and also begins the task of describing some of the special features of artifact function needing accommodation within the general theory.
|Keywords||proper function artifacts Ruth Millikan adaptationism|
|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
Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). Computing Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
Richard Heersmink (2013). A Taxonomy of Cognitive Artifacts: Function, Information, and Categories. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):1-17.
Wybo Houkes (2006). Knowledge of Artefact Functions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.
Bjørn Jespersen & Massimiliano Carrara (2011). Two Conceptions of Technical Malfunction. Theoria 77 (2):117-138.
Amie L. Thomasson (2003). Realism and Human Kinds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):580–609.
Similar books and articles
Beth Preston (2009). Biological and Cultural Proper Functions in Comparative Perspective. In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press
Ulrich Krohs (2009). Functions as Based on a Concept of General Design. Synthese 166 (1):69-89.
Osamu Kiritani (2011). Function and Modality. Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (1):1-4.
D. M. Walsh (1996). Fitness and Function. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):553-574.
Justine Kingsbury (2006). A Proper Understanding of Millikan. Acta Analytica 21 (40):23-40.
Ruth G. Millikan (1989). In Defense of Proper Functions. Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.
Françoise Longy (2013). Artifacts and Organisms: A Case for a New Etiological Theory of Functions. In Philippe Huneman (ed.), Functions: Selection and Mechanisms. Springer 185--211.
Beth Preston (1998). Why Is a Wing Like a Spoon? A Pluralist Theory of Function. Journal of Philosophy 95 (5):215-254.
Jeroen de Ridder (2006). The (Alleged) Inherent Normativity of Technological Explanations. Techne 10 (1):79-94.
Ruth Garrett Millikan (1999). Wings, Spoons, Pills, and Quills: A Pluralist Theory of Function. Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):191-206.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads84 ( #39,917 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #99,332 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?