Synthese 166 (1):69-89 (2009)
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 an organism, while retaining the normative aspect of function ascriptions. The concept is applicable to the function and design of technical artifacts as well. Several problems well known with other definitions can be overcome by this approach.
|Keywords||Function Malfunction Biological design Technical design Cummins Millikan Type fixation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories.Ruth G. Millikan - 1984 - MIT Press.
Knowing One's Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.
Citations of this work BETA
Function Ascription and Explanation: Elaborating an Explanatory Utility Desideratum for Ascriptions of Technical Functions.Dingmar van Eck & Erik Weber - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1367-1389.
Can Functionality in Evolving Networks Be Explained Reductively?Ulrich Krohs - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53:94-101.
Health, Homeostasis, and the Situation-Specificity of Normality.Antoine C. Dussault & Anne-Marie Gagné-Julien - 2015 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36 (1):61-81.
Validating Function-Based Design Methods: An Explanationist Perspective.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - Philosophy and Technology 28 (4):511-531.
Natural Sources of Normativity.Wayne Christensen - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):104-112.
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