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Functions

Philosophical Review 82 (2):139-168 (1973)

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  1. Reconstrucción estructuralista de la teoría de la selección natural.Santiago Ginnobili - 2012 - Agora 31 (2):143-169.
    Aunque parece una teoría relativamente simple, la teoría de la selección natural ha traído muchas discusiones al respecto de su reconstrucción. En particular, los autores han tenido dificultades a la hora de elucidar el concepto de aptitud (fitness) adecuadamente. El punto de vista de este trabajo consiste en que para entender adecuadamente esta cuestión, y además, para dar cuenta de manera adecuada de las explicaciones seleccionistas, tanto las dadas por Darwin como sus aplicaciones más actuales, es necesario a la hora (...)
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  • Darwinism, Memes, and Creativity: A Critique of Darwinian Analogical Reasoning From Nature to Culture.Maria Kronfeldner - 2007 - Dissertation, University of Regensburg
    The dissertation criticizes two analogical applications of Darwinism to the spheres of mind and culture: the Darwinian approach to creativity and memetics. These theories rely on three basic analogies: the ontological analogy states that the basic ontological units of culture are so-called memes, which are replicators like genes; the origination analogy states that novelty in human creativity emerges in a "blind" Darwinian manner; and the explanatory units of selection analogy states that memes are "egoistic" and that they can spread independently (...)
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  • Does Justification Aim at Truth?Peter J. Graham - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):51-71.
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  • Why is Warrant Normative?Peter J. Graham - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):110-128.
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  • Knowledge‐First Functionalism.Mona Simion - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):254-267.
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  • Duševne bolesti i rasprava o biološkim funkcijama (Eng. Mental illnesses and the debate on biological functions).Zdenka Brzović - 2016 - In Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Luca Malatesti & Elvio Baccarini (eds.), Moralni, Politički I Epistemološki Odgovori Na Društvene Devijacije (Eng. Moral, Political, and Epistemological Responses to Antisocial Deviation). Rijeka: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka. pp. 183-199.
    In this paper, I discuss the question whether objective criteria could be provided for judging something to be a mental illness. I consider the two most prominent objectivist or naturalistic accounts of mental illness, evolutionary and bio-statistical account, which offer such a criterion by relying on the notion of biological function. According to such suggestions, illness is a condition in which there is dysfunciton in some feature of an organism. In this context, I consider different accounts for ascribing functions in (...)
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  • Justified Judging.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):81–110.
    When is a belief or judgment justified? One might be forgiven for thinking the search for single answer to this question to be hopeless. The concept of justification is required to fulfil several tasks: to evaluate beliefs epistemically, to fill in the gap between truth and knowledge, to describe the virtuous organization of one’s beliefs, to describe the relationship between evidence and theory (and thus relate to confirmation and probabilification). While some of these may be held to overlap, the prospects (...)
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  • Explaining How to Perceive the New: Causal-Informational Teleosemantics and Productive Response Functions.Fabian Hundertmark - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    According to Karen Neander’s causal-informational teleosemantics, the contents of perceptual states depend on the etiological response functions of sensory-perceptual systems. In this paper, I argue that this theory is, despite its virtues, unable to explain how humans and other animals are capable of perceiving properties with which no sensory-perceptual system has ever been confronted. After rejecting Neander’s own proposal in terms of second-order similarity and a proposal inspired by Ruth Millikan in terms of simplicity, I offer a solution which equates (...)
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  • The Teleological Notion of 'Function'.Karen Neander - 1991 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (4):454 – 468.
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  • Teleosemantics and Indeterminacy.David Papineau - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):1-14.
    The aim of this paper is to defend the teleological theory of representation against an objection by Jerry Fodor. I shall argue that previous attempts to answer this objection fail to recognize the importance of belief-desire structure for the teleological theory of representation.
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  • Vrijednosti u psihijatriji i pojam mentalne bolesti (Eng. Values in psychiatry and the concept of mental illness).Luca Malatesti & Marko Jurjako - 2016 - In Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Luca Malatesti & Elvio Baccarini (eds.), Moralni, Politički I Društveni Odgovori Na Društvene Devijacije (Eng. Moral, Political, and Social Responses to Antisocial Deviation). Rijeka: University of Rijeka. pp. 153-181.
    The crucial problem in the philosophy of psychiatry is to determine under which conditions certain behaviors, mental states, and personality traits should be regarded as symptoms of mental illnesses. Participants in the debate can be placed on a continuum of positions. On the one side of the continuum, there are naturalists who maintain that the concept of mental illness can be explained by relying on the conceptual apparatus of the natural sciences, such as biology and neuroscience. On the other side (...)
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  • The Aim of Belief and the Aim of Science.Alexander Bird - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):171.
    I argue that the constitutive aim of belief and the constitutive aim of science are both knowledge. The ‘aim of belief’, understood as the correctness conditions of belief, is to be identified with the product of properly functioning cognitive systems. Science is an institution that is the social functional analogue of a cognitive system, and its aim is the same as that of belief. In both cases it is knowledge rather than true belief that is the product of proper functioning.
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  • Usefulness Drives Representations to Truth -- A Family of Counterexamples to Hoffman’s Interface Theory of Perception.Manolo Martínez - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
    An important objection to signaling approaches to representation is that, if signaling behavior is driven by the maximization of usefulness (as is arguably the case for cognitive systems evolved under regimes of natural selection), then signals will typically carry much more information about agent-dependent usefulness than about objective features of the world. This sort of considerations are sometimes taken to provide support for an anti-realist stance on representation itself. Here I examine the game-theoretic version of this skeptical line of argument (...)
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  • Conservative Reduction of Biology.Christian Sachse - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):33-65.
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  • Preface.Raphael van Riel & Albert Newen - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):5-8.
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  • Teleosemantics and Productivity.Manolo Martinez - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):47-68.
    There has been much discussion of so-called teleosemantic approaches to the naturalization of content. Such discussion, though, has been largely confined to simple, innate mental states with contents such as ?There is a fly here.? Even assuming we can solve the issues that crop up at this stage, an account of the content of human mental states will not get too far without an account of productivity: the ability to entertain indefinitely many thoughts. The best-known teleosemantic theory, Millikan's biosemantics, offers (...)
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  • Evolutionary Theory Meets Cognitive Psychology: A More Selective Perspective.Lawrence Shapiro & William Epstein - 1998 - Mind and Language 13 (2):171-94.
    Quite unexpectedly, cognitive psychologists find their field intimately connected to a whole new intellectual landscape that had previously seemed remote, unfamiliar, and all but irrelevant. Yet the proliferating connections tying together the cognitive and evolutionary communities promise to transform both fields, with each supplying necessary principles, methods, and a species of rigor that the other lacks. (Cosmides and Tooby, 1994, p. 85).
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  • Autonomy in Anticipatory Systems: Significance for Functionality, Intentionality and Meaning.John Collier - unknown
    Abstract Many anticipatory systems cannot in themselves act meaningfully or represent intentionally. This stems largely from the derivative nature of their functionality. All current artificial control systems, and many living systems such as organs and cellular parts of organisms derive any intentionality they might have from their designers or possessors. Derivative functionality requires reference to some external autonomously functional system, and derivative intentionality similarly requires reference to an external autonomous intentional system. The importance of autonomy can be summed up in (...)
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  • Functions: Consensus Without Unity.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1993 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):196-208.
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  • Disease.Rachel Cooper - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (2):263-282.
    This paper examines what it is for a condition to be a disease. It falls into two sections. In the first I examine the best existing account of disease (as proposed by Christopher Boorse) and argue that it must be rejected. In the second I outline a more acceptable account of disease. According to this account, by disease we mean a condition that it is a bad thing to have, that is such that we consider the afflicted person to have (...)
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  • New Perspectives on Artifactual and Biological Functions.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Applied Ontology 11 (2):89-102.
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  • Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal.Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):301-327.
    Some ‘naturalist’ accounts of disease employ a biostatistical account of dysfunction, whilst others use a ‘selected effect’ account. Several recent authors have argued that the biostatistical account offers the best hope for a naturalist account of disease. We show that the selected effect account survives the criticisms levelled by these authors relatively unscathed, and has significant advantages over the BST. Moreover, unlike the BST, it has a strong theoretical rationale and can provide substantive reasons to decide difficult cases. This is (...)
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  • Conceptual Innovation, Function First.Mona Simion & Christoph Kelp - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • On Illness, Disease, and Priority: A Framework for More Fruitful Debates.Anke Bueter - 2019 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 22 (3):463-474.
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  • Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal: Table 1.Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw021.
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  • Function and Teleology.Justin Garson - 2008 - In Anya Plutynski & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 525-549.
    This is a short overview of the biological functions debate in philosophy. While it was fairly comprehensive when it was written, my short book ​A Critical Overview of Biological Functions has largely supplanted it as a definitive and up-to-date overview of the debate, both because the book takes into account new developments since then, and because the length of the book allowed me to go into substantially more detail about existing views.
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  • The Mind as Neural Software? Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):269-311.
    Defending or attacking either functionalism or computationalism requires clarity on what they amount to and what evidence counts for or against them. My goalhere is not to evaluatc their plausibility. My goal is to formulate them and their relationship clearly enough that we can determine which type of evidence is relevant to them. I aim to dispel some sources of confusion that surround functionalism and computationalism. recruit recent philosophical work on mechanisms and computation to shed light on them, and clarify (...)
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  • É legítimo explicar em termos teleológicos na biologia?Ricardo Santos do Carmo, Nei Freitas Nunes-Neto & Charbel Niño El-Hani - 2012 - Revista da Biologia 9 (2):28-34.
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  • Cartesian Functional Analysis.Deborah J. Brown - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):75 - 92.
    Despite eschewing the utility of ends or purposes in natural philosophy, Descartes frequently engages in functional explanation, which many have assumed is an essentially teleological form of explanation. This article considers the consistency of Descartes's appeal to natural functions, advancing the idea that he is utilizing a non-normative, non-teleological form of functional explanation. It will be argued that Cartesian functional analysis resembles modern causal functional analysis, and yet, by emphasizing the interdependency of parts of biological systems, is able to avoid (...)
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  • Functional Anatomy: A Taxonomic Proposal.Ingvar Johansson, Barry Smith, Katherine Munn, Nikoloz Tsikolia, Kathleen Elsner, Dominikus Ernst & Dirk Siebert - 2005 - Acta Biotheoretica 53 (3):153-166.
    It is argued that medical science requires a classificatory system that (a) puts functions in the taxonomic center and (b) does justice ontologically to the difference between the processes which are the realizations of functions and the objects which are their bearers. We propose formulae for constructing such a system and describe some of its benefits. The arguments are general enough to be of interest to all the life sciences.
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  • Making Naturalised Epistemology (Slightly) Normative.Marcin Miłkowski - 2010 - In Konrad Talmont-Kaminski & Marcin Miłkowski (eds.), Beyond Description. Naturalism and Normativity.
    The standard objection against naturalised epistemology is that it cannot account for normativity in epistemology (Putnam 1982; Kim 1988). There are different ways to deal with it. One of the obvious ways is to say that the objection misses the point: It is not a bug; it is a feature, as there is nothing interesting in normative principles in epistemology. Normative epistemology deals with norms but they are of no use in prac-tice. They are far too general to be guiding (...)
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  • Hylomorphism: A Critical Analysis.Antonella Corradini - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (3):345-361.
    In this essay, I examine those versions of hylomorphism that attribute to form a very strong explicative role. According to them, form is both the source of new emergent powers and expression of the finalist structure of organisms. The main aim of this essay is to show that these two aspects do not holdup because the form only exercises a structural function, but does not exert an autonomous explanatory function. The form only allows the material components to develop those powers (...)
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  • A Generalized Selected Effects Theory of Function.Justin Garson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):523-543.
    I present and defend the generalized selected effects theory (GSE) of function. According to GSE, the function of a trait consists in the activity that contributed to its bearer’s differential reproduction, or differential retention, within a population. Unlike the traditional selected effects (SE) theory, it does not require that the functional trait helped its bearer reproduce; differential retention is enough. Although the core theory has been presented previously, I go significantly beyond those presentations by providing a new argument for GSE (...)
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  • Enciclopédia de Termos Lógico-Filosóficos.João Branquinho, Desidério Murcho & Nelson Gonçalves Gomes (eds.) - 2006 - São Paulo, SP, Brasil: Martins Fontes.
    Esta enciclopédia abrange, de uma forma introdutória mas desejavelmente rigorosa, uma diversidade de conceitos, temas, problemas, argumentos e teorias localizados numa área relativamente recente de estudos, os quais tem sido habitual qualificar como «estudos lógico-filosóficos». De uma forma apropriadamente genérica, e apesar de o território teórico abrangido ser extenso e de contornos por vezes difusos, podemos dizer que na área se investiga um conjunto de questões fundamentais acerca da natureza da linguagem, da mente, da cognição e do raciocínio humanos, bem (...)
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  • On the Ontology of Functions.Stefano Borgo, Riichiro Mizoguchi & Barry Smith - 2011 - Applied Ontology 6 (2):99-104.
    This special issue of Applied Ontology is devoted to the foundation, the comparison and the application of functional theories in all areas, with particular attention to the biological and engineering domains. It includes theoretical and technical contributions related to the description, characterization, and application of functions.
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  • There Are No Ahistorical Theories of Function.Justin Garson - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Theories of function are conventionally divided up into historical and ahistorical ones. Proponents of ahistorical theories often cite the ahistoricity of their accounts as a major virtue. Here, I argue that none of the mainstream “ahistorical” accounts are actually ahistorical. All of them embed, implicitly or explicitly, an appeal to history. In Boorse’s goal-contribution account, history is latent in the idea of statistical-typicality. In the propensity theory, history is implicit in the idea of a species’ natural habitat. In the causal (...)
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  • The Dialectic of Life.Christopher Shields - 2012 - Synthese 185 (1):103-124.
    In the dialectic of debates about the extension of life, one witnesses a predictably repeating pattern: one side appeals to a motley of variegated criteria for something’s qualifying as a living system, only to find an opposite side taking issue with the individual necessity or collective sufficiency of the proposed criteria. Some of these criteria tend to cluster with one another, while others do not: metabolism, growth and reproduction; self-organization and homeostasis; an ability to decrease internal entropy by the appropriation (...)
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  • Really Naturalizing Virtue.Stephen Brown - 2005 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 4 (1):7-22.
    A plausible naturalistic virtue ethics requires a plausible naturalistic account of virtue. One way of naturalizing virtue is to give an account of the virtues as those traits that enable realization of the ends of creatures like us. However, three important concerns threaten the theoretical adequacy ofthe view. It appears that the fact of human variability entails that there is no human lifeform comparable to that of other living things. It appears that, even if there is a human lifeform, this (...)
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  • Duties Regarding Nature: A Kantian Environmental Ethic.Toby Svoboda - 2015 - Routledge.
    In this book, Toby Svoboda develops and defends a Kantian environmental virtue ethic, challenging the widely-held view that Kant's moral philosophy takes an instrumental view toward nature and animals and has little to offer environmental ethics. On the contrary, Svoboda posits that there is good moral reason to care about non-human organisms in their own right and to value their flourishing independently of human interests, since doing so is constitutive of certain virtues. Svoboda argues that Kant’s account of indirect duties (...)
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  • Where to Look for Emergent Properties.Agustín Vicente - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):156.
    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the emergence issue. The contemporary debate, in contrast with that of past times, has to do not so much with the mind–body problem as with the relationship between the physical and other domains; mostly with the biological domain. One of the main sources of this renewed interest is the study of complex and, in general, far-from-equilibrium self-preserving systems, which seem to fulfil one of the necessary conditions for an entity to be emergent; namely, (...)
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  • Mental Acts and Mechanistic Psychology in Descartes' Passions.Gary Hatfield - 2008 - In Neil Robertson, Gordon McOuat & Tom Vinci (eds.), Descartes and the Modern. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 49-71.
    This chapter examines the mechanistic psychology of Descartes in the _Passions_, while also drawing on the _Treatise on Man_. It develops the idea of a Cartesian “psychology” that relies on purely bodily mechanisms by showing that he explained some behaviorally appropriate responses through bodily mechanisms alone and that he envisioned the tailoring of such responses to environmental circumstances through a purely corporeal “memory.” An animal’s adjustment of behavior as caused by recurring patterns of sensory stimulation falls under the notion of (...)
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  • Applied Ethics Series (Center for Applied Ethics and Philosophy).Jacob Blair - 2011
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  • Internalism and Entitlement to Rules and Methods.Joshua Schechter - forthcoming - In Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Peter J. Graham (eds.), Epistemic Entitlement. Oxford University Press.
    In our thought, we employ rules of inference and belief-forming methods more generally. For instance, we (plausibly) employ deductive rules such as Modus Ponens, ampliative rules such as Inference to the Best Explanation, and perceptual methods that tell us to believe what perceptually appears to be the case. What explains our entitlement to employ these rules and methods? This chapter considers the motivations for broadly internalist answers to this question. It considers three such motivations—one based on simple cases, one based (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Cognitive Artifacts.Richard Heersmink - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (1):78-93.
    This article looks at some of the metaphysical properties of cognitive artefacts. It first identifies and demarcates the target domain by conceptualizing this class of artefacts as a functional kind. Building on the work of Beth Preston, a pluralist notion of functional kind is developed, one that includes artefacts with proper functions and system functions. Those with proper functions have a history of cultural selection, whereas those with system functions are improvised uses of initially non-cognitive artefacts. Having identified the target (...)
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  • A Plea for the Plurality of Function.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Review of Contemporary Philosophy 15:70-81.
    In this paper I defend a pluralistic approach in understanding function, both in biological and other contexts. Talks about function are ubiquitous and crucial in biology, and it might be the key to bridge the “manifest image” and the “scientific image” identified by Sellars (1962). However, analysis of function has proven to be extremely difficult. The major puzzle is to make sense of “time-reversed causality”: how can property P be the cause of its realizer R? For example, “pumping blood” is (...)
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  • Moralni, Politički I Društveni Odgovori Na Društvene Devijacije (Eng. Moral, Political, and Social Responses to Antisocial Deviation).Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Luca Malatesti & Elvio Baccarini (eds.) - 2016 - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka.
    Ovaj je zbornik nastao kao rezultat istraživanja provedenog unutar istoimenoga znanstveno-istraživačkoga projekta na kojemu su urednici istovremeno bili i glavni istraživači, a ostali autori članovi istraživačke skupine. Kao svjedoci različitih vrsta otklona od prevladavajućeg, uobičajenoga, normalnoga, pozitivnog ili ponašanja koje se karakterizira kao asocijalno, zapitali smo se – što postojeće čini normom, treba li odstupanje od norme nužno smatrati devijacijom i kakvi su poželjni društveni odgovori na odstupanja od normi. Često se smatra ispravnim upravo ono što je prevladavajuće, a ono (...)
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  • On Natural Selection and Hume's Second Problem.Armando Aranda-Anzaldo - 1998 - Evolution and Cognition 4 (2):156-172.
    David Hume's famous riddle of induction implies a second problem related to the question of whether the laws and principles of nature might change in the course of time. Claims have been made that modern developments in physics and astrophysics corroborate the translational invariance of the laws of physics in time. However, the appearance of a new general principle of nature, which might not be derivable from the known laws of physics, or that might actually be a non-physical one (this (...)
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  • Function, Selection, and Construction in the Brain.Justin Garson - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):451-481.
    A common misunderstanding of the selected effects theory of function is that natural selection operating over an evolutionary time scale is the only functionbestowing process in the natural world. This construal of the selected effects theory conflicts with the existence and ubiquity of neurobiological functions that are evolutionary novel, such as structures underlying reading ability. This conflict has suggested to some that, while the selected effects theory may be relevant to some areas of evolutionary biology, its relevance to neuroscience is (...)
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  • Proper Function and Recent Selection.Peter H. Schwartz - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):210-222.
    "Modern History" versions of the etiological theory claim that in order for a trait X to have the proper function F, individuals with X must have been recently favored by natural selection for doing F (Godfrey-Smith 1994; Griffiths 1992, 1993). For many traits with prototypical proper functions, however, such recent selection may not have occurred: traits may have been maintained due to lack of variation or due to selection for other effects. I examine this flaw in Modern History accounts and (...)
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  • EXPLICAÇÕES TELEOLÓGICAS E FUNCIONAIS EM LIVROS DIDÁTICOS DE BIOLOGIA DO ENSINO MÉDIO.Ricardo Santos do Carmo - 2010 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
    Neste trabalho, avaliamos as implicações que o debate filosófico acerca das explicações em termos de função e objetivo podem ter no contexto educacional, particularmente no ensino e aprendizagem de biologia. Para alcançar este objetivo, investigamos como três obras didáticas de biologia do Brasil utilizam a linguagem teleológica na formulação de explicações para os assuntos que são objeto de estudo dessa ciência. Na análise das obras, exploramos os enunciados teleológicos e funcionais a partir de dois projetos explanatórios discutidos na filosofia da (...)
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