Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1210-1220 (2021)

Justin Garson
Hunter College (CUNY)
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the French philosopher of science Edmond Goblot wrote three prescient papers on function and teleology. He advanced the remarkable thesis that functions are, as a matter of conceptual analysis, selected effects. He also argued that “selection” must be understood broadly to include both evolutionary natural selection and intelligent design. Here, I do three things. First, I give an overview of Goblot’s thought. Second, I identify his core thesis about function. Third, I argue that, despite its ingenuity, Goblot’s expansive construal of function cannot be right. Still, Goblot deserves long-overdue credit for his work.
Keywords philosophy of biology  teleology  Edmond Goblot  selected effects
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DOI 10.1086/714871
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References found in this work BETA

Functions.Larry Wright - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (2):139-168.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea.Daniel C. Dennett - 1996 - Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):169-174.

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