Functions and functional explanation revisited: Philippe Huneman : Functions: Selection and mechanisms. Dordrecht: Springer, 2013, viii+243pp, €106,95 HB

Metascience 24 (2):253-258 (2014)
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Functions: selection and mechanisms is a collection of eleven original contributions to the philosophical debates surrounding functions. In the words of Philippe Huneman, editor of the volume, the aim of the book is to reflect “upon the metaphysics of function and the various problems that functional explanations raise” . This is accomplished by a diverse collection of chapters that focus on various aspects of the main topic. A collection such as this is certainly welcome. As Huneman notes in his introduction, where he helpfully summarises the various contributions and introduces the reader to the philosophical debates about functions, there are several advances in recent philosophy of science that necessitate a re-evaluation of the positions regarding functions. Central among them are the rich literature on mechanisms, as well as recent developments within biology and philosophy of biology. The chapters are organised i ..
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