David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
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.
Similar books and articles
Timothy Shanahan (1990). Evolution, Phenotypic Selection, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 57 (2):210-225.
Robert Arp (2007). Evolution and Two Popular Proposals for the Definition of Function. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (1):19 - 30.
Karen Neander (1991). Functions as Selected Effects: The Conceptual Analyst's Defense. Philosophy of Science 58 (2):168-184.
Michael Bertrand (2013). Proper Environment and the SEP Account of Biological Function. Synthese 190 (9):1503-1517.
Paul E. Griffiths (1993). Functional Analysis and Proper Functions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.
Richard N. Manning (1997). Biological Function, Selection, and Reduction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (1):69-82.
Justine Kingsbury (2008). Learning and Selection. Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):493-507.
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
Peter Godfrey-Smith (1994). A Modern History Theory of Functions. Noûs 28 (3):344-362.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads38 ( #111,235 of 1,911,836 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #255,606 of 1,911,836 )
How can I increase my downloads?