Function, homology and character individuation

Philosophy of Science 73 (1):1-25 (2005)

Authors
Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney
Abstract
I defend the view that many biological categories are defined by homology against a series of arguments designed to show that all biological categories are defined, at least in part, by selected function. I show that categories of homology are `abnormality inclusive'—something often alleged to be unique to selected function categories. I show that classifications by selected function are logically dependent on classifications by homology, but not vice-versa. Finally, I reject the view that biologists must use considerations of selected function to abstract away from variation and pathology to form a canonical description of a class of biological systems.
Keywords C1  370600 History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine  780199 Other  279999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
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Reprint years 2006
DOI 10.1086/510172
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Microbiology and the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):553-568.
The Functional Sense of Mechanism.Justin Garson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (3):317-333.

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