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  1. On the Ontology of Functions.Stefano Borgo, Riichiro Mizoguchi & Barry Smith - 2011 - Applied Ontology 6 (2):99-104.
    This special issue of Applied Ontology is devoted to the foundation, the comparison and the application of functional theories in all areas, with particular attention to the biological and engineering domains. It includes theoretical and technical contributions related to the description, characterization, and application of functions.
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  • Artefacts and Family Resemblance.Pawel Garbacz - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):419-447.
    I develop in this paper a conception of artefacts based on L. Wittgenstein’s idea of family resemblance. My approach peruses the notion of frame, which was invented in cognitive psychology as an operationisable extension of this philosophical idea. Following the metaphor of life-cycle I show how this schematic notion of frame may be filled with the content relevant for artefacts if we consider them from the point of view of their histories. The resulting conception of artefacts provides a new insight (...)
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  • The Conceptual Elusiveness of Engineering Functions.Pieter E. Vermaas, Dingmar van Eck & Peter Kroes - 2013 - Philosophy and Technology 26 (2):159-185.
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  • New Perspectives on Artifactual and Biological Functions.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Applied Ontology 11 (2):89-102.
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  • Mechanistic Explanation in Engineering Science.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):349-375.
    In this paper I apply the mechanistic account of explanation to engineering science. I discuss two ways in which this extension offers further development of the mechanistic view. First, functional individuation of mechanisms in engineering science proceeds by means of two distinct sub types of role function, behavior function and effect function, rather than role function simpliciter. Second, it offers refined assessment of the explanatory power of mechanistic explanations. It is argued that in the context of malfunction explanations of technical (...)
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  • The Conceptual Elusiveness of Engineering Functions. [REVIEW]Pieter E. Vermaas, Dingmar Eck & Peter Kroes - 2013 - Philosophy and Technology 26 (2):159-185.
    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 the role (...)
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  • Validating Function-Based Design Methods: An Explanationist Perspective.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - Philosophy and Technology 28 (4):511-531.
    Analysis of the adequacy of engineering design methods, as well as analysis of the utility of concepts of function often invoked in these methods, is a neglected topic in both philosophy of technology and in engineering proper. In this paper, I present an approach—dubbed an explanationist perspective—for assessing the adequacy of function-based design methods. Engineering design is often intertwined with explanation, for instance, in reverse engineering and subsequent redesign, knowledge base-assisted designing, and diagnostic reasoning. I argue that the presented approach (...)
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  • Preliminaries to a Logic of Malfunction.Massimiliano Carrara - 2015 - In Pavel Arazim Michal Dancak (ed.), The Logica Yearbook. College Publications. pp. 33-47.
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