Are homologies (selected effect or causal role) function free?

Philosophy of Science 76 (3):307-334 (2009)
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Abstract

This article argues that at least very many judgments of homology rest on prior attributions of selected‐effect (SE) function, and that many of the “parts” of biological systems that are rightly classified as homologous are constituted by (are so classified in virtue of) their consequence etiologies. We claim that SE functions are often used in the prior identification of the parts deemed to be homologous and are often used to differentiate more restricted homologous kinds within less restricted ones. In doing so, we discuss recent criticism of this view that has been offered (especially that offered by Paul Griffiths). *Received July 2007; revised November 2008. †To contact the authors, please write to: Department of Philosophy, 201 West Duke Building, Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708; e‐mail: [email protected] or [email protected].

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Author Profiles

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