Neo‐functional Analysis: Phylogenetical Restrictions on Causal Role Functions

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):601-615 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The most recent resurgence of philosophical attention to the so-called ‘functional talk’ in the sciences can be summarized in terms of the following questions: (Q1) What kind of restrictions, and in particular, what kind of evolutionary restrictions as well as to what extent, are involved in functional ascriptions? (Q2) How can we account for the explanatory import of function-ascribing statements? This paper addresses these questions on the basis of a modified version of Cummins’ functional analysis. The modification in question is concerned with phylogenetical restrictions on causal role functions, and it stems from an analysis of some primary areas in molecular biology. I examine how evolutionary consideration affects the so-called “function-analytical explanatory strategy” (Cummins [1975] 1998, 2002). Finally, I argue that the neo-functional analysis here proposed accounts for a certain convergence between the main rival theories of biological function.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,330

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Function without purpose.Ron Amundson & George V. Lauder - 1994 - Biology and Philosophy 9 (4):443-469.
Functional analysis and proper functions.Paul E. Griffiths - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.
Role functions, mechanisms, and hierarchy.Carl F. Craver - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):53-74.
Definability in functional analysis.José Iovino - 1997 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 62 (2):493-505.
Functional analysis and etiology.Ron McClamrock - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (2):249-260.
Cartesian Functional Analysis.Deborah J. Brown - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):75 - 92.
Functional analysis.Robert E. Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
68 (#213,736)

6 months
6 (#196,298)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

Functions.Larry Wright - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (2):139-168.
Discovery and explanation in biology and medicine.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1993 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Philosophy of Experimental Biology.Marcel Weber - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references