Search results for 'Biological function' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Wilfried Allaerts (1999). The Biological Function Paradigm Applied to the Immunological Self-Non-Self Discrimination: Critique of Tauber's Phenomenological Analysis. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 30 (1):155-171.score: 87.0
    Biological self reference idioms in brain-centered or nervous-system-centered self determination of the consious Self reveal an interesting contrast with biological self-determination by immunological self/non-self discrimination. This contrast is both biological and epistemological. In contrast to the consciousness conscious of itself, the immunological self-determination imposes a protective mechanism against self-recognition (Coutinho et al. 1984), which adds to a largely unconscious achievement of the biological Self (Popper 1977; Medawar 1959). The latter viewpoint is in contrast with the immunological (...)
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  2. Michael Bertrand (2013). Proper Environment and the SEP Account of Biological Function. Synthese 190 (9):1503-1517.score: 78.0
    The survival enhancing propensity (SEP) account has a crucial role to play in the analysis of proper function. However, a central feature of the account, its specification of the proper environment to which functions are relativized, is seriously underdeveloped. In this paper, I argue that existent accounts of proper environment fail because they either allow too many or too few characters to count as proper functions. While SEP accounts retain their promise, they are unworkable because of their inability to (...)
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  3. Arno G. Wouters (2003). Four Notions of Biological Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (4):633-668.score: 66.0
    I argue that there are at least four different ways in which the term ‘function’ is used in connection with the study of living organisms, namely: (1) function as (mere) activity, (2) function as biological role, (3) function as biological advantage, and (4) function as selected effect. Notion (1) refers to what an item does by itself; (2) refers to the contribution of an item or activity to a complex activity or capacity of (...)
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  4. Benoni B. Edin (2008). Assigning Biological Functions: Making Sense of Causal Chains. Synthese 161 (2):203 - 218.score: 66.0
    A meaningful distinction can be made between functions and mere effects in biological systems without resorting to teleological arguments: (i) biological systems must cope with a multitude of problems or they will cease to exist; (ii) the solutions to these problems invariably depend on circular causal chains (“feedback loops”); and (iii) biological functions are attributes of elements in biological systems that have an effect which, by contributing to the correcting behavior of a feedback control system, assists (...)
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  5. Marshall Abrams (2009). Fitness “Kinematics”: Biological Function, Altruism, and Organism–Environment Development. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):487-504.score: 61.0
    It’s recently been argued that biological fitness can’t change over the course of an organism’s life as a result of organisms’ behaviors. However, some characterizations of biological function and biological altruism tacitly or explicitly assume that an effect of a trait can change an organism’s fitness. In the first part of the paper, I explain that the core idea of changing fitness can be understood in terms of conditional probabilities defined over sequences of events in an (...)
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  6. Agustín Vicente (2012). Burge on Representation and Biological Function. Thought 1 (2):125-133.score: 60.0
    In Origins of Objectivity, Burge presents three arguments against what he calls ‘deflationism’: the project of explaining the representational function in terms of the notion of biological function. I evaluate these arguments and argue that they are not convincing.
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  7. Colin Allen & Marc Bekoff (1995). Biological Function, Adaptation, and Natural Design. Philosophy of Science 62 (4):609-622.score: 60.0
    Recently something close to a consensus about the best way to naturalize the notion of biological function appears to be emerging. Nonetheless, teleological notions in biology remain controversial. In this paper we provide a naturalistic analysis for the notion of natural design. Many authors assume that natural design should be assimilated directly to function. Others find the notion problematic because it suggests that evolution is a directed process. We argue that both of these views are mistaken. Our (...)
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  8. Richard J. Hall (1990). Does Representational Content Arise From Biological Function? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:193 - 199.score: 60.0
    In virtue of what does a representational state have the content it does? Several philosophers have recently proposed that a representational state gets its content from its biological function. After explaining the sense of biological function used in these views, I criticise the proposal. I argue that biological function only determines representational content up to extensional equivalence. I maintain that this holds even if biological function is defined in terms of an intensional (...)
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  9. Jacques Viret (2005). Generalised Biological Function. Acta Biotheoretica 53 (4).score: 58.0
    A physiological function can be described as a cycle based on a cusp bifurcation set in catastrophe theory. This cycle involves four phases that are successively developed along a functional potential, which is used to perform a given physiological act. The work we present is firstly based on a detailed study of the global function of vision, which covers a vast field extending from the molecular to cerebral scale. We then present other examples of generalised functions by expanding (...)
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  10. Arno Wouters (2003). Four Notions of Biological Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (4):633-668.score: 57.0
    I argue that there are at least four different ways in which the term 'function' is used in connection with the study of living organisms, namely: (1) function as (mere) activity, (2) function as biological role, (3) function as biological advantage, and (4) function as selected effect. Notion (1) refers to what an item does by itself; (2) refers to the contribution of an item or activity to a complex activity or capacity of (...)
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  11. Bence Nanay (2010). A Modal Theory of Function. Journal of Philosophy 107 (8):412-431.score: 54.0
    The function of a trait token is usually defined in terms of some properties of other (past, present, future) tokens of the same trait type. I argue that this strategy is problematic, as trait types are (at least partly) individuated by their functional properties, which would lead to circularity. In order to avoid this problem, I suggest a way to define the function of a trait token in terms of the properties of the very same trait token. To (...)
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  12. Bence Nanay (2011). Function, Modality, Mental Content. Journal of Mind and Behavior 32:84-87.score: 54.0
    I clarify some of the details of the modal theory of function I outlined in Nanay (2010): (a) I explicate what it means that the function of a token biological trait is fixed by modal facts; (b) I address an objection to my trait type individuation argument against etiological function and (c) I examine the consequences of replacing the etiological theory of function with a modal theory for the prospects of using the concept of (...) function to explain mental content. (shrink)
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  13. Kenneth G. Ferguson (2007). Biological Function and Normativity. Philo 10 (1):17-26.score: 52.0
    Ruth Millikan and others adopt a normative definition of biological functions that is heavily used in areas such as Millikan’s teleosemantics, and also for emerging efforts to naturalize other areas of philosophy. I propose an experiment called the Lapse Test to determine exactly what form of normativity, if any, truly applies to biological functions. Millikan has not gone far enough in playing down as “impersonal” or “quasi” the precise mode of normativity that she attributes to biological functions. (...)
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  14. Richard N. Manning (1997). Biological Function, Selection, and Reduction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (1):69-82.score: 51.0
    It is widely assumed that selection history accounts of function can support a fully reductive naturalization of functional properties. I argue that this assumption is false. A problem with the alternative causal role account of function in this context is that it invokes the teleological notion of a goal in analysing real function. The selection history account, if it is to have reductive status, must not do the same. But attention to certain cases of selection history in (...)
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  15. Alan C. Love (2007). Functional Homology and Homology of Function: Biological Concepts and Philosophical Consequences. Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):691-708.score: 49.0
    “Functional homology” appears regularly in different areas of biological research and yet it is apparently a contradiction in terms—homology concerns identity of structure regardless of form and function. I argue that despite this conceptual tension there is a legitimate conception of ‘homology of function’, which can be recovered by utilizing a distinction from pre-Darwinian physiology (use versus activity) to identify an appropriate meaning of ‘function’. This account is directly applicable to molecular developmental biology and shares a (...)
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  16. Michael C. Reed, Anna Lieb & H. Frederik Nijhout (2010). The Biological Significance of Substrate Inhibition: A Mechanism with Diverse Functions. Bioessays 32 (5):422-429.score: 48.0
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  17. Alexander Rosenberg (1989). Perceptual Presentations and Biological Function: A Comment on Matthen. Journal of Philosophy 86 (January):38-44.score: 45.0
  18. A. C. Purton (1979). Biological Function. Philosophical Quarterly 29 (114):10-24.score: 45.0
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  19. Wilfried Allaerts (1997). The Self and its Biological Function: Contrasts Between Popper and Sartre. Logique Et Analyse 40:189-214.score: 45.0
     
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  20. Elizabeth W. Prior (1985). What is Wrong with Etiological Accounts of Biological Function? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 66 (3-4).score: 45.0
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  21. R. Goode & P. E. Griffiths (1995). The Misuse of Sober's Selection for/Selection of Distinction. Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):99-108.score: 44.0
    Elliott Sober''s selection for/selection of distinction has been widely used to clarify the idea that some properties of organisms are side-effects of selection processes. It has also been used, however, to choose between different descriptions of an evolutionary product when assigning biological functions to that product. We suggest that there is a characteristic error in these uses of the distinction. Complementary descriptions of function are misrepresented as mutually excluding one another. This error arises from a failure to appreciate (...)
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  22. Oliver M. Lean (2013). Getting the Most Out of Shannon Information. Biology and Philosophy:1-19.score: 43.0
    Shannon information is commonly assumed to be the wrong way in which to conceive of information in most biological contexts. Since the theory deals only in correlations between systems, the argument goes, it can apply to any and all causal interactions that affect a biological outcome. Since informational language is generally confined to only certain kinds of biological process, such as gene expression and hormone signalling, Shannon information is thought to be unable to account for this restriction. (...)
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  23. Pierre-Luc Germain, Emanuele Ratti & Federico Boem (Forthcoming). Junk or Functional DNA? ENCODE and the Function Controversy. Biology and Philosophy:1-25.score: 43.0
    In its last round of publications in September 2012, the Encyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) assigned a biochemical function to most of the human genome, which was taken up by the media as meaning the end of ‘Junk DNA’. This provoked a heated reaction from evolutionary biologists, who among other things claimed that ENCODE adopted a wrong and much too inclusive notion of function, making its dismissal of junk DNA merely rhetorical. We argue that this criticism rests on (...)
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  24. Ulrich Krohs (2009). Functions as Based on a Concept of General Design. Synthese 166 (1):69-89.score: 42.0
    Looking for an adequate explication of the concept of a biological function, several authors have proposed to link function to design. Unfortunately, known explications of biological design in turn refer to functions. The concept of general design I will introduce here breaks up this circle. I specify design with respect to its ontogenetic role. This allows function to be based on design without making reference to the history of the design, or to the phylogeny of (...)
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  25. Bence Nanay (2012). Function Attribution Depends on the Explanatory Context: A Reply to Neander and Rosenberg's Reply to Nanay. Journal of Philosophy 109 (10):623-627.score: 42.0
    In ‘A modal theory of function’, I gave an argument against all existing theories of function and outlined a new theory. Karen Neander and Alex Rosenberg argue against both my negative and my positive claim. My aim here is not merely to defend my account from their objections, but to (a) very briefly point out that the new account of etiological function they propose in response to my criticism cannot avoid the circularity worry either and, more importantly, (...)
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  26. Mohan P. Matthen (1988). Biological Functions and Perceptual Content. Journal of Philosophy 85 (January):5-27.score: 42.0
    Perceptions "present" objects as red, as round, etc.-- in general as possessing some property. This is the "perceptual content" of the title, And the article attempts to answer the following question: what is a materialistically adequate basis for assigning content to what are, after all, neurophysiological states of biological organisms? The thesis is that a state is a perception that presents its object as "F" if the "biological function" of the state is to detect the presence of (...)
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  27. Massimiliano Carrara & Pieter E. Vermaas (2009). The Fine-Grained Metaphysics of Artifactual and Biological Functional Kinds. Synthese 169 (1):125 - 143.score: 42.0
    In this paper we consider the emerging position in metaphysics that artifact functions characterize real kinds of artifacts. We analyze how it can circumvent an objection by David Wiggins (Sameness and substance renewed, 2001, 87) and then argue that this position, in comparison to expert judgments, amounts to an interesting fine-grained metaphysics: taking artifact functions as (part of the) essences of artifacts leads to distinctions between principles of activity of artifacts that experts in technology have not yet made. We show, (...)
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  28. 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.score: 42.0
    Both biological traits and artifacts have proper functions. But accounts of proper function are typically based on the biological case. So adapting these accounts to the artifact case requires finding cultural analogues of biological concepts. This can go wrong in two ways. The biological concepts may not pick out either biological or cultural proper functions correctly; or they may have no cultural analogues. I argue that things have gone wrong in the first way with (...)
     
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  29. Matteo Mameli (2006). Norms for Emotions: Biological Functions and Representational Contents. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (1):101-121.score: 40.0
    Normative standards are often applied to emotions. Are there normative standards that apply to emotions in virtue solely of facts about their nature? I will argue that the answer is no. The psychological, behavioural, and neurological evidence suggests that emotions are representational brain states with various kinds of biological functions. Facts about biological functions are not (and do not by themselves entail) normative facts. Hence, there are no nor- mative standards that apply to emotions just in virtue of (...)
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  30. Arantza Etxeberria & Jon Umerez (2009). Biological Organization and the Role of Theoretical Biology : Function and Autonomy. In González Recio & José Luis (eds.), Philosophical Essays on Physics and Biology. G. Olms.score: 40.0
  31. Micah Lott (2012). Have Elephant Seals Refuted Aristotle? Nature, Function, and Moral Goodness. Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3):353-375.score: 39.0
    An influential strand of neo-Aristotelianism, represented by writers such as Philippa Foot, holds that moral virtue is a form of natural goodness in human beings, analogous to deep roots in oak trees or keen vision in hawks. Critics, however, have argued that such a view cannot get off the ground, because the neo-Aristotelian account of natural normativity is untenable in light of a Darwinian account of living things. This criticism has been developed most fully by William Fitzpatrick in his book (...)
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  32. Marcel Weber, Behavioral Traits, the Intentional Stance, and Biological Functions.score: 36.0
    It has been claimed that the intentional stance is necessary to individuate behavioral traits. This thesis, while clearly false, points to two interesting sets of problems concerning biological explanations of behavior: The first is a general in the philosophy of science: the theory-ladenness of observation. The second problem concerns the principles of trait individuation, which is a general problem in philosophy of biology. After discussing some alternatives, I show that one way of individuating the behavioral traits of an organism (...)
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  33. Daniel K. Rosenberg, Barry R. Noon & E. Charles Meslow (forthcoming). Biological Corridors: Form, Function, and Efficacy. Bioscience 47 (10):677-687.score: 36.0
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  34. Big Bang (2003). Biology 78, 79; Biological Complexity 73, 133; Function 88, 266" Blind Watchmaker" Hypothesis 133 Buddhism 204 Cambridge Platonists 81, 88. [REVIEW] In Paul K. Moser & Paul Copan (eds.), The Rationality of Theism. Routledge. 78--80.score: 36.0
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  35. J. Bremner, C. L. J. Frid & S. I. Rogers (2004). Biological Traits of the North Sea Benthos—Does Fishing Affect Benthic Ecosystem Function? Benthic Habitats and the Effects of Fishing. Symposium 41.score: 36.0
     
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  36. Robert F. Brucker (1973). Biological Membranes The Structure and Function of Biological Membranes L. I. Rothfield. Bioscience 23 (1):58-58.score: 36.0
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  37. J. C. Dupont (2004). Human Brain Function (Biological and Philosophical Considerations). Revue Philosophique de la France Et de L Etranger 129 (3):307-313.score: 36.0
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  38. Aubrey Gorbman (1974). Pituitary Gland The Pituitary Gland, a Comparative Account: Biological Structure and Function, Volume 4 R. L. Holmes J. N. Ball. [REVIEW] Bioscience 24 (9):530-530.score: 36.0
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  39. Doreen Kimura (1988). Biological Influences on Cognitive Function. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (2):200.score: 36.0
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  40. P. N. Srivastava (1968). Radiation Biological Techniques in the Study of Thyroid Function. In. In Peter Koestenbaum (ed.), Proceedings. [San Jose? Calif.. 36--82.score: 36.0
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  41. Fred Wilt (1982). Regulation and Development Biological Regulation and Development: Molecular Organization and Cell Function Robert Goldberger. Bioscience 32 (8):690-690.score: 36.0
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  42. Michael D. Wyatt, James M. Allan, Albert Y. Lau, Tom E. Ellenberger & Leona D. Samson (1999). 3‐Methyladenine DNA Glycosylases: Structure, Function, and Biological Importance. Bioessays 21 (8):668-676.score: 36.0
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  43. Matteo Mossio, Cristian Saborido & Alvaro Moreno (2009). An Organizational Account of Biological Functions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):813-841.score: 34.0
    In this paper, we develop an organizational account that defines biological functions as causal relations subject to closure in living systems, interpreted as the most typical example of organizationally closed and differentiated self-maintaining systems. We argue that this account adequately grounds the teleological and normative dimensions of functions in the current organization of a system, insofar as it provides an explanation for the existence of the function bearer and, at the same time, identifies in a non-arbitrary way the (...)
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  44. Christine Clavien (2009). Comment Comprendre les Émotions Morales. Dialogue 48 (03):601-.score: 33.0
    The two main goals of this paper are to question the possibility of the existence of moral emotions and to decipher the notion of moral emotion. I start with a brief critical analysis of various philosophical understandings of moral emotions before setting out an evolutionary line of approach that seems promising at first glance: according to the functional evolutionary approach, moral emotions have the evolutionary function of sustaining cooperation. It turns out ultimately that this approach has its own drawbacks. (...)
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  45. J. Collier (2011). Explaining Biological Functionality: Is Control Theory Enough? South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (1).score: 33.0
    It is generally agreed that organisms are Complex Adaptive Systems. Since the rise of Cybernetics in the middle of the last century ideas from information theory and control theory have been applied to the adaptations of biological organisms in order to explain how they work. This does not, however, explain functionality, which is widely but not universally attributed to biological systems. There are two approaches to functionality, one based on etiology (what a trait was selected for), and the (...)
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  46. Pieter E. Vermaas, Dingmar Eck & Peter Kroes (2013). The Conceptual Elusiveness of Engineering Functions. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 26 (2):159-185.score: 32.0
    In this paper, we describe the conceptual elusiveness of the notion of function as used in engineering practice. We argue that it should be accepted as an ambiguous notion, and then review philosophical argumentations in which engineering functions occur in order to identify the consequences of this ambiguity. Function is a key notion in engineering, yet is used by engineers systematically in a variety of meanings. First, we demonstrate that this ambiguous use is rational for engineers by considering (...)
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  47. Argyris Arnellos, Luis Emilio Bruni, Charbel Niño El-Hani & John Collier (2012). Anticipatory Functions, Digital-Analog Forms and Biosemiotics: Integrating the Tools to Model Information and Normativity in Autonomous Biological Agents. Biosemiotics 5 (3):331-367.score: 31.0
    We argue that living systems process information such that functionality emerges in them on a continuous basis. We then provide a framework that can explain and model the normativity of biological functionality. In addition we offer an explanation of the anticipatory nature of functionality within our overall approach. We adopt a Peircean approach to Biosemiotics, and a dynamical approach to Digital-Analog relations and to the interplay between different levels of functionality in autonomous systems, taking an integrative approach. We then (...)
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  48. Antti Revonsuo (2000). The Reinterpretation of Dreams: An Evolutionary Hypothesis of the Function of Dreaming. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):877-901.score: 30.0
    Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function. Phenomenal dream content, however, is not as disorganized as such views imply. The form and content of dreams is not random but organized and selective: during dreaming, the brain constructs a complex model of the world in which certain types of elements, when compared to waking life, are underrepresented whereas others are over represented. Furthermore, dream content is (...)
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  49. Peter J. Graham (forthcoming). The Function of Perception. In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Scientia: Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Synthese Library.score: 30.0
    What is the biological function of perception? I hold perception, especially visual perception in humans, has the biological function of accurately representing the environment. Tyler Burge argues this cannot be so in Origins of Objectivity (Oxford, 2010), for accuracy is a semantical relationship and not, as such, a practical matter. Burge also provides a supporting example. I rebut the argument and the example. Accuracy is sometimes also a practical matter if accuracy partly explains how perception contributes (...)
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  50. Pablo Schyfter (2012). Standing Reserves of Function: A Heideggerian Reading of Synthetic Biology. Philosophy and Technology 25 (2):199-219.score: 30.0
    Synthetic biology, an emerging field of science and technology, intends to make of the natural world a substrate for engineering practice. Drawing inspiration from conventional engineering disciplines, practitioners of synthetic biology hope to make biological systems standardized, calculable, modular, and predictably functional. This essay develops a Heideggerian reading of synthetic biology as a useful perspective with which to identify and explore key facets of this field, its knowledge, its practices, and its products. After overviews of synthetic biology and Heidegger’s (...)
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