Viability explanation

Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457 (1995)

Authors
Arno Wouters
Utrecht University
Abstract
This article deals with a type of functional explanation, viability explanation, that has been overlooked in recent philosophy of science. Viability explanations relate traits of organisms and their environments in terms of what an individual needs to survive and reproduce. I show that viability explanations are neither causal nor historical and that, therefore, they should be accounted for as a distinct type of explanation.
Keywords functional explanation  functional counterfactual  proximate / ultimate  design explanation  explanation in ethology  explanation in functional morphology  explanation in evolutionary biology  viability explanation
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DOI 10.1007/bf00857593
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References found in this work BETA

Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
The Nature of Selection.Elliott Sober - 1986 - Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.
In Defense of Proper Functions.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.

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Citations of this work BETA

Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Function, Homology and Character Individuation.Paul E. Griffiths - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 73 (1):1-25.
Four Notions of Biological Function.Arno G. Wouters - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (4):633-668.
Hot-Blooded Gluttons: Dependency, Coherence, and Method in the Historical Sciences.Adrian Currie - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):929-952.

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