David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 66 (3):222 (1999)
"Modern History" versions of the etiological theory claim that in order for a trait X to have the proper function F, individuals with X must have been recently favored by natural selection for doing F (Godfrey-Smith 1994; Griffiths 1992, 1993). For many traits with prototypical proper functions, however, such recent selection may not have occurred: traits may have been maintained due to lack of variation or due to selection for other effects. I examine this flaw in Modern History accounts and offer an alternative etiological theory, the Continuing Usefulness account, which appears to avoid such problems
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Arno Wouters (2005). The Function Debate in Philosophy. Acta Biotheoretica 53 (2):123-151.
Justin Garson (2012). Function, Selection, and Construction in the Brain. Synthese 189 (3):451-481.
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.
Daniel M. Kraemer (2014). Revisiting Recent Etiological Theories of Functions. Biology and Philosophy 29 (5):747-759.
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