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  1.  80
    What is Natural Selection?Björn Brunnander - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):231-246.
    ‘Natural selection’ is, it seems, an ambiguous term. It is sometimes held to denote a consequence of variation, heredity, and environment, while at other times as denoting a force that creates adaptations. I argue that the latter, the force interpretation, is a redundant notion of natural selection. I will point to difficulties in making sense of this linguistic practise, and argue that it is frequently at odds with standard interpretations of evolutionary theory. I provide examples to show this; one example (...)
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  2. On the Theoretical Motivation for Positing Etiological Functions.Björn Brunnander - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):371-390.
    It is a plain fact that biology makes use of terms and expressions commonly spoken of as teleological. Biologists frequently speak of the function of biological items. They may also say that traits are 'supposed to' perform some of their effects, claim that traits are 'for' specific effects, or that organisms have particular traits 'in order to' engage in specific interactions. There is general agreement that there must be something useful about this linguistic practice but it is controversial whether it (...)
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  3.  6
    Did Darwin Really Answer Paley’s Question?Björn Brunnander - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (3):309-311.
    It is commonly thought that natural selection explains the rise of adaptive complexity. Razeto-Barry and Frick have recently argued in favour of this view, dubbing it the Creative View. I argue that the Creative View is mistaken if it claims that natural selection serves to answer Paley’s question. This is shown by a case that brings out the contrastive structure inherent in this demand for explanation. There is, however, a rather trivial sense in which specific environmental conditions are crucial for (...)
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  4. Is the Language of Intentional Psychology an Efficient Tool for Evolutionists.Björn Brunnander - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (1):147-152.
    The language of intentional psychology is commonly used as a means of addressing issues concerning selection. This habit is generally considered an efficient shorthand, but oft-reported misunderstandings leave room for doubt. I stress the general point that efficiency of a mode of expression is an empirical matter, deserving the same treatment, theoretically and methodologically, as other such matters. Mistaken assumptions regarding the relevant cognitive capacities may make for inefficient communication, and discourse about human evolution is a plausible case in point.
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  5.  66
    Philosophy and Default Descriptivism: The Functions Debate.Björn Brunnander - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (4):417-430.
    Abstract: By focusing on contributions to the literature on function ascription, this article seeks to illustrate two problems with philosophical accounts that are presented as having descriptive aims. There is a motivational problem in that there is frequently no good reason why descriptive aims should be important, and there is a methodological problem in that the methods employed frequently fail to match the task description. This suggests that the task description as such may be the result of “default descriptivism,” a (...)
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  6.  12
    Did Darwin Really Answer Paley’s Question?Björn Brunnander - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):309-311.
    It is commonly thought that natural selection explains the rise of adaptive complexity. Razeto-Barry and Frick have recently argued in favour of this view, dubbing it the Creative View. I argue that the Creative View is mistaken if it claims that natural selection serves to answer Paley’s question. This is shown by a case that brings out the contrastive structure inherent in this demand for explanation. There is, however, a rather trivial sense in which specific environmental conditions are crucial for (...)
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  7.  38
    Natural Selection and Multiple Realisation: A Closer Look.Björn Brunnander - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):73 - 83.
    The target of this article is the claim that natural selection accounts for the multiple realisation of biological and psychological kinds. I argue that the explanation actually offered does not provide any insight about the phenomenon since it presupposes multiple realisation as an unexplained premise, and this is what does all the work. The purported explanation mistakenly invokes the ?indifference? of selection to structure as an additional explanatorily relevant factor. While such indifference can be explanatory in intentional contexts, it is (...)
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  8.  9
    Is the Language of Intentional Psychology an Efficient Tool for Evolutionists?Björn Brunnander - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):147-152.
    The language of intentional psychology is commonly used as a means of addressing issues concerning selection. This habit is generally considered an efficient shorthand, but oft-reported misunderstandings leave room for doubt. I stress the general point that efficiency of a mode of expression is an empirical matter, deserving the same treatment, theoretically and methodologically, as other such matters. Mistaken assumptions regarding the relevant cognitive capacities may make for inefficient communication, and discourse about human evolution is a plausible case in point.
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