Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):525-541 (2012)

Authors
Sune Holm
University of Copenhagen
Abstract
In this paper, I discuss the aetiological account of biological interests, developed by Varner, in the context of artefactual organisms envisioned by current research in synthetic biology. In “Sections 2–5”, I present Varner's theory and criticise it for being incapable of ascribing non-derivative interests to artefactual organisms due to their lack of a history of natural selection. In “Sections 6–7”, I develop a new alternative to Varner's account, building on the organisational theory of biological teleology and function. I argue that the organisational account of biological interest is superior to Varner's aetiological account because it can accommodate both artefactual and naturally evolved organisms, provides a non-arbitrary and practical way of determining biological interests, supports the claim that organisms have interests in a sense in which artefacts do not, and avoids the possibility of there being a conflict between what an organismic part is supposed to do and what is in the interest of the organism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0075-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,259
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Knowing One’s Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.
Functions.Larry Wright - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (2):139-168.
In Defense of Proper Functions.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Trilemma for Teleological Individualism.John Basl - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1027-1029.
A Functional Naturalism.Anthony Nguyen - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):295-313.
Teleology and Biocentrism.Sune Holm - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Arguments Against Biological Interests.Aaron Simmons - 2010 - Environmental Ethics 32 (3):229-245.
Norms for Emotions: Biological Functions and Representational Contents.Matteo Mameli - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (1):101-121.
Synthetic Biology and the Ethics of Knowledge.T. Douglas & J. Savulescu - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (11):687-693.
Synthetic Biology: A Challenge to Mechanical Explanations in Biology?Michel Morange - 2012 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):543-553.
Editors' Introduction to Special Issue.Ute Deichmann, Michel Morange & Anthony S. Travis - 2012 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):470-472.
Biological Functions and Biological Interests.Gary E. Varner - 1990 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):251-270.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-05-03

Total views
41 ( #278,567 of 2,518,714 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #205,867 of 2,518,714 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes