Functional analysis and the species design

Synthese 194 (4) (2017)
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This paper argues that a minimal notion of function and a notion of normal-proper function are used in explaining how bodies and brains operate. Neither is Cummins’ notion, as originally defined, and yet his is often taken to be the clearly relevant notion for such an explanatory context. This paper also explains how adverting to normal-proper functions, even if these are selected functions, can play a significant scientific role in the operational explanations of complex systems that physiologists and neurophysiologists provide, despite a lack of relevant causal efficacy on the part of such functions



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Author's Profile

Karen Neander
PhD: La Trobe University; Last affiliation: Duke University

Citations of this work

How to Be a Function Pluralist.Justin Garson - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1101-1122.
There Are No Ahistorical Theories of Function.Justin Garson - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1146-1156.

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