Matteo Mossio
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
The organizational account of biological functions interprets functions as contributions of a trait to the maintenance of the organization that, in turn, maintains the trait. As has been recently argued, however, the account seems unable to provide a unified grounding for both intra- and cross-generation functions, since the latter do not contribute to the maintenance of the same organization which produces them. To face this ‘ontological problem’, a splitting account has been proposed, according to which the two kinds of functions require distinct organizational definitions. In this article, we propose a solution for the ontological problem, by arguing that intra- and cross-generation functions can be said to contribute in the same way to the maintenance of the biological organization, characterized in terms of organizational self-maintenance. As a consequence, we suggest maintaining a unified organizational account of biological functions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axq034
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: 69,177
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Organisms ≠ Machines.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):669-678.

View all 44 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

An Organizational Account of Biological Functions.Matteo Mossio, Cristian Saborido & Alvaro Moreno - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):813-841.
The Sources of Normativity in the Biological Functions.Andrés Luis Jaume Rodríguez - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 44:33-44.
Unity in the Concept of Function.Christian Steiner - 2009 - Conceptus: Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie (94):91-106.
Functional Analysis and Proper Functions.Paul E. Griffiths - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.


Added to PP index

Total views
88 ( #131,007 of 2,499,418 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #278,169 of 2,499,418 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes