The Organizational Account of Function is an Etiological Account of Function

Acta Biotheoretica 64 (2):105-117 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The debate on the notion of function has been historically dominated by dispositional and etiological accounts, but recently a third contender has gained prominence: the organizational account. This original theory of function is intended to offer an alternative account based on the notion of self-maintaining system. However, there is a set of cases where organizational accounts seem to generate counterintuitive results. These cases involve cross-generational traits, that is, traits that do not contribute in any relevant way to the self-maintenance of the organism carrying them, but instead have very important effects on organisms that belong to the next generation. We argue that any plausible solution to the problem of cross-generational traits shows that the organizational account just is a version of the etiological theory and, furthermore, that it does not provide any substantive advantage over standard etiological theories of function.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories
(categorize this paper)
Reprint years
2016
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ARTTOA-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-07-22
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Process Dynamics of Normative Function.Christensen, Wayne David & Bickhard, Mark H.
White Queen Psychology and Other Essays for Alice.Wedgwood, Ralph & Millikan, Ruth Garrett

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2015-05-16

Total downloads
55 ( #25,040 of 34,904 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #13,747 of 34,904 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.