Function attribution depends on the explanatory context: A Reply to Neander and Rosenberg's Reply to Nanay

Journal of Philosophy 109 (10):623-627 (2012)
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In ‘A modal theory of function’, I gave an argument against all existing theories of function and outlined a new theory. Karen Neander and Alex Rosenberg argue against both my negative and my positive claim. My aim here is not merely to defend my account from their objections, but to (a) very briefly point out that the new account of etiological function they propose in response to my criticism cannot avoid the circularity worry either and, more importantly, to (b) highlight, and attempt to make precise, an important feature of my modal theory that may have been understated in the original paper – that function attributions depend on the explanatory project at hand.

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Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp


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