Viability explanation

Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457 (1995)
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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DOI 10.1007/BF00857593
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References found in this work BETA
Ruth G. Millikan (1989). In Defense of Proper Functions. Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.

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Citations of this work BETA
Arno G. Wouters (2003). Four Notions of Biological Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (4):633-668.
Arno Wouters (2003). Four Notions of Biological Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (4):633-668.
James W. McAllister (1997). Philosophy of Science in the Netherlands. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2):191 – 204.

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