Functional analysis and the species design

Synthese 194 (4) (2017)
Authors
Karen Neander
Duke University
Abstract
This paper argues that a minimal notion of function and a notion of normal-proper function are used in explaining how bodies and brains operate. Neither is Cummins’ notion, as originally defined, and yet his is often taken to be the clearly relevant notion for such an explanatory context. This paper also explains how adverting to normal-proper functions, even if these are selected functions, can play a significant scientific role in the operational explanations of complex systems that physiologists and neurophysiologists provide, despite a lack of relevant causal efficacy on the part of such functions
Keywords Function  Functional analysis  Mechanism  Explanation  Complexity  Organized complexity  Causal efficacy  Idealization  Physiology  Neurophysiology
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0940-9
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References found in this work BETA

Knowing One's Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.
Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

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Citations of this work BETA

Emotions in Early Sartre: The Primacy of Frustration.Andreas Elpidorou - 2017 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 41 (1):241-259.
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