Viability explanation

Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457 (1995)
Abstract
This article deals with a type of functional explanation, viability explanation, that has been overlooked in recent philosophy of science. Viability explanations relate traits of organisms and their environments in terms of what an individual needs to survive and reproduce. I show that viability explanations are neither causal nor historical and that, therefore, they should be accounted for as a distinct type of explanation.
Keywords functional explanation  functional counterfactual  proximate / ultimate  design explanation  explanation in ethology  explanation in functional morphology  explanation in evolutionary biology  viability explanation
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Michael Levin (1997). Plantinga on Functions and the Theory of Evolution. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (1):83 – 98.
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