Results for 'Function'

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  1. Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.Peter Godfrey-Smith (ed.) - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book explains the relationship between intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing links philosophy of mind to more general issues about the relations between organisms and environments, and to the general pattern of 'externalist' explanations. The author provides a biological approach to the investigation of mind and cognition in nature. In particular he explores the idea that the function of cognition is to enable agents to deal with environmental complexity. The history of the idea in the work (...)
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  2.  8
    Functions: Selection and Mechanisms.Philippe Huneman (ed.) - 2013 - Springer.
    This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’s papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ”etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’s ”systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ”etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its (...)
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  3. Function-Based Conceptual Engineering and the Authority Problem.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Mind.
    In this paper, I identify a central problem for conceptual engineering: the problem of showing concept-users why they should recognise the authority of the concepts advocated by engineers. I argue that this authority problem cannot generally be solved by appealing to the increased precision, consistency, or other theoretical virtues of engineered concepts. Outside contexts in which we anyway already aim to realise theoretical virtues, solving the authority problem requires engineering to take a functional turn and attend to the functions of (...)
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  4. Normal‐Proper Functions in the Philosophy of Mind.Andrew Rubner - 2022 - Philosophy Compass:1-11.
    This paper looks at the nature of normal-proper functions and the role they play in theories of representational content. More specifically: I lay down two desiderata for a theory which tries to capture what's distinctive of normal-proper functions and discuss two prominent theories which claim to satisfy them. I discuss the advantages of having normal-proper functions ground a theory of representational content. And, I look at both orthodox and heterodox versions of such theories.
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  5. Functional Analysis and Mechanistic Explanation.David Barrett - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2695-2714.
    Piccinini and Craver (Synthese 183:283–311, 2011) argue for the surprising view that psychological explanation, properly understood, is a species of mechanistic explanation. This contrasts with the ‘received view’ (due, primarily, to Cummins and Fodor) which maintains a sharp distinction between psychological explanation and mechanistic explanation. The former is typically construed as functional analysis, the analysis of some psychological capacity into an organized series of subcapacities without specifying any of the structural features that underlie the explanandum capacity. The latter idea, of (...)
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  6.  47
    Function, Selection, and Design.David J. Buller (ed.) - 1999 - State University of New York Press.
    A complete sourcebook for philosophical discussion of the nature of function in biology.
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  7.  95
    A New Functional Approach to Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):739-758.
    This article develops and defends a new functional approach to scientific progress. I begin with a review of the problems of the traditional functional approach. Then I propose a new functional account of scientific progress, in which scientific progress is defined in terms of usefulness of problem defining and problem solving. I illustrate and defend my account by applying it to the history of genetics. Finally, I highlight the advantages of my new functional approach over the epistemic and semantic approaches (...)
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  8. Revealing Social Functions Through Pragmatic Genealogies.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - In Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James & Raphael Van Riel (eds.), Social Functions in Philosophy: Metaphysical, Normative, and Methodological Perspectives. London: Routledge. pp. 200-218.
    There is an under-appreciated tradition of genealogical explanation that is centrally concerned with social functions. I shall refer to it as the tradition of pragmatic genealogy. It runs from David Hume (T, 3.2.2) and the early Friedrich Nietzsche (TL) through E. J. Craig (1990, 1993) to Bernard Williams (2002) and Miranda Fricker (2007). These pragmatic genealogists start out with a description of an avowedly fictional “state of nature” and end up ascribing social functions to particular building blocks of our practices (...)
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  9.  58
    Functions and Cognitive Bases for the Concept of Actual Causation.David Danks - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):111-128.
    Our concept of actual causation plays a deep, ever-present role in our experiences. I first argue that traditional philosophical methods for understanding this concept are unlikely to be successful. I contend that we should instead use functional analyses and an understanding of the cognitive bases of causal cognition to gain insight into the concept of actual causation. I additionally provide initial, programmatic steps towards carrying out such analyses. The characterization of the concept of actual causation that results is quite different (...)
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  10.  9
    The Functional Approach: Scientific Progress as Increased Usefulness.Yafeng Shan - forthcoming - In New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. New York: Routledge.
    The functional approach to scientific progress has been mainly developed by Kuhn, Lakatos, Popper, Laudan, and more recently by Shan. The basic idea is that science progresses if key functions of science are fulfilled in a better way. This chapter defends the function approach. It begins with an overview of the two old versions of the functional approach by examining the work of Kuhn, Laudan, Popper, and Lakatos. It then argues for Shan’s new functional approach, in which scientific progress (...)
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  11. The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Alyssa Ney & David Albert (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a new volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? What is the nature of the fundamental space (or space-time manifold) of quantum mechanics?
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  12.  6
    Function, Selection, and Innateness the Emergence of Language Universals.Simon Kirby - 1999 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book explores issues at the core of modern linguistics and cognitive science. Why are all languages similar in some ways and in others utterly different? Why do languages change and change variably? How did the human capacity for language evolve, and how far did it do so as an innate ability? Simon Kirby looks at these questions from a broad perspective, arguing that they can be studied together. The author begins by examining how far the universal properties of language (...)
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  13.  84
    Executive Functions in Decision Making: An Individual Differences Approach.Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Timo Mäntylä & Fabio Del Missier - 2010 - Thinking and Reasoning 16 (2):69-97.
    This individual differences study examined the relationships between three executive functions (updating, shifting, and inhibition), measured as latent variables, and performance on two cognitively demanding subtests of the Adult Decision Making Competence battery: Applying Decision Rules and Consistency in Risk Perception. Structural equation modelling showed that executive functions contribute differentially to performance in these two tasks, with Applying Decision Rules being mainly related to inhibition and Consistency in Risk Perception mainly associated to shifting. The results suggest that the successful application (...)
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  14.  51
    Reflective Argumentation: A Cognitive Function of Arguing.Michael H. G. Hoffmann - 2016 - Argumentation 30 (4):365-397.
    Why do we formulate arguments? Usually, things such as persuading opponents, finding consensus, and justifying knowledge are listed as functions of arguments. But arguments can also be used to stimulate reflection on one’s own reasoning. Since this cognitive function of arguments should be important to improve the quality of people’s arguments and reasoning, for learning processes, for coping with “wicked problems,” and for the resolution of conflicts, it deserves to be studied in its own right. This contribution develops first (...)
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  15.  6
    Function and Design Revisited.David J. Buller - 2002 - In Andre Ariew, Robert Cummins & Mark Perlman (eds.), Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology. Clarendon Press.
    Several analyses of biological function — for example, those of Williams, Millikan, and Kitcher — identify an item’s function with what natural selection designed it to do. Allen and Bekoff have disagreed, claiming that natural design is a special case of biological function. I argue that Allen and Bekoff’s account of natural design is unduly restrictive and that it fails to mark a principled distinction between function and design. I distinguish two approaches to the phenomenon of (...)
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  16. Against Functional Reductionism in Cognitive Science.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):319 – 333.
    Functional reductionism concerning mental properties has recently been advocated by Jaegwon Kim in order to solve the problem of the 'causal exclusion' of the mental. Adopting a reductionist strategy first proposed by David Lewis, he regards psychological properties as being 'higher-order' properties functionally defined over 'lower-order' properties, which are causally efficacious. Though functional reductionism is compatible with the multiple realizability of psychological properties, it is blocked if psychological properties are subdivided or crosscut by neurophysiological properties. I argue that there is (...)
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  17.  21
    Function and Malfunction in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences and Social Sciences.Michal Hladky, Paola Hernández-Chávez, Thomas Bonnin & David Suárez Pascal - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (1):39-43.
  18. Functions as Selected Effects: The Conceptual Analyst’s Defense.Karen Neander - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (2):168-184.
    In this paper I defend an etiological theory of biological functions (according to which the proper function of a trait is the effect for which it was selected by natural selection) against three objections which have been influential. I argue, contrary to Millikan, that it is wrong to base our defense of the theory on a rejection of conceptual analysis, for conceptual analysis does have an important role in philosophy of science. I also argue that biology requires a normative (...)
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  19. Persistence Through Function Preservation.David Rose - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):97-146.
    When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a (...)
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  20.  38
    Functional Language and Biological Discovery.David B. Resnik - 1995 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 26 (1):119 - 134.
    This paper provides an explication and defense of a view that many philosophers and biologists have accepted though few have understood, the idea that functional language can play an important role in biological discovery. I defend four theses in support of this view: (1) functional statements can serve as background assumptions that produce research problems; (2) functional questions can be important parts of research problems; (3) functional concepts can provide a framework for developing general theories; (4) functional statements can serve (...)
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  21. Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
  22.  24
    Function Vector Synchronization Based on Fuzzy Control for Uncertain Chaotic Systems with Dead-Zone Nonlinearities.Sarah Hamel, Abdesselem Boulkroune & Amel Bouzeriba - 2016 - Complexity 21 (S1):234-249.
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  23.  63
    Computability: Computable Functions, Logic, and the Foundations of Mathematics.Richard L. Epstein - 1989
    This book is dedicated to a classic presentation of the theory of computable functions in the context of the foundations of mathematics. Part I motivates the study of computability with discussions and readings about the crisis in the foundations of mathematics in the early 20th century, while presenting the basic ideas of whole number, function, proof, and real number. Part II starts with readings from Turing and Post leading to the formal theory of recursive functions. Part III presents sufficient (...)
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  24. The Functions of Consciousness.Bernard J. Baars - 1988 - In A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness. Cambridge University Press.
  25. The Function of Morality.Nicholas Smyth - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1127-1144.
    What is the function of morality? On this question, something approaching a consensus has recently emerged. Impressed by developments in evolutionary theory, many philosophers now tell us that the function of morality is to reduce social tensions, and to thereby enable a society to efficiently promote the well-being of its members. In this paper, I subject this consensus to rigorous scrutiny, arguing that the functional hypothesis in question is not well supported. In particular, I attack the supposed evidential (...)
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  26.  3
    Functions of Consciousness: Conceptual Clarification.Takuya Niikawa, Katsunori Miyahara, Hiro Taiyo Hamada & Satoshi Nishida - 2022 - Neuroscience of Consciousness 2022 (1).
    There are many theories of the functions of consciousness. How these theories relate to each other, how we should assess them, and whether any integration of them is possible are all issues that remain unclear. To contribute to a solution, this paper offers a conceptual framework to clarify the theories of the functions of consciousness. This framework consists of three dimensions: (i) target, (ii) explanatory order, and (iii) necessity/sufficiency. The first dimension, target, clarifies each theory in terms of the kind (...)
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  27. Etiological Theories of Function: A Geographical Survey.David J. Buller - 1998 - Biology and Philosophy 13 (4):505-527.
    Formulations of the essential commitment of the etiological theory of functions have varied significantly, with some individual authors' formulations even varying from one place to another. The logical geography of these various formulations is different from what is standardly assumed; for they are not stylistic variants of the same essential commitment, but stylistic variants of two non-equivalent versions of the etiological theory. I distinguish these “strong” and “weak” versions of the etiological theory (which differ with respect to the role of (...)
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  28. Assertion: A Function First Account.Christoph9 Kelp - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):411-442.
    This paper aims to develop a novel account of the normativity of assertion. Its core thesis is that assertion has an etiological epistemic function, viz. to generate knowledge in hearers. In conjunction with a general account of etiological functions and their normative import, it is argued that an assertion is epistemically good if and only if it has the disposition to generate knowledge in hearers. In addition, reason is provided to believe that it makes sense to regulate the practice (...)
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  29. Functional Analysis and Proper Functions.Paul E. Griffiths - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.
    The etiological approach to ‘proper functions’ in biology can be strengthened by relating it to Robert Cummins' general treatment of function ascription. The proper functions of a biological trait are the functions it is assigned in a Cummins-style functional explanation of the fitness of ancestors. These functions figure in selective explanations of the trait. It is also argued that some recent etiological theories include inaccurate accounts of selective explanation in biology. Finally, a generalization of the notion of selective explanation (...)
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  30. Process and Emergence: Normative Function and Representation.Mark H. Bickhard - 2004 - Axiomathes - An International Journal in Ontology and Cognitive Systems 14:135-169.
    Emergence seems necessary for any naturalistic account of the world — none of our familiar world existed at the time of the Big Bang, and it does now — and normative emergence is necessary for any naturalistic account of biology and mind — mental phenomena, such as representation, learning, rationality, and so on, are normative. But Jaegwon Kim’s argument appears to render causally efficacious emergence impossible, and Hume’s argument appears to render normative emergence impossible, and, in its general form, it (...)
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  31. Accuracy Conditions, Functions, Perceptual Discrimination.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):739-754.
    I am deeply indebted to Alex Byrne, Jonathan Cohen and Matthew McGrath for their careful, constructive, and penetrating comments on The Unity of Perception and I am grateful for the opportunity to clarify my view further.
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  32. The Functions of the Board of Directors in Corporate Philanthropy: An Empirical Study From China.Qi Pan & Zhangjie Huang - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    As an important way for enterprises to fulfill social responsibility, corporate philanthropy has attracted much attention from the academic community. But there are still few well-targeted theoretical and empirical studies on what functions the board of directors should perform to better fulfill philanthropic responsibilities. Taking this deficiency as a breakthrough, this study focuses on Chinese state-owned and private enterprises to analyze and test the functions performed by the BOD in CP. Based on the sample of Chinese A-share listed companies from (...)
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  33.  18
    Spacetime: Function and Approximation.Sam Baron - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Several approaches to quantum gravity signal the loss of spacetime at some level. According to spacetime functionalism, spacetime is functionally realised by a more fundamental structure. According to one version of spacetime functionalism, the spacetime role is specified by Ramsifying general relativity. In some approaches to QG, however, there does not appear to be anything that exactly realises the functional role defined by a Ramsey sentence for GR. The spacetime role is approximately realised. It is open to the spacetime functionalist (...)
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  34.  11
    Functional Identification of Perceptual and Response Biases in Choice Reaction Time.David LaBerge, Ross Legrand & Russell K. Hobbie - 1969 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 79 (2p1):295.
  35.  60
    Conventions and Status Functions.Marija Jankovic & Kirk Ludwig - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (2):89-111.
    We argue that there is a variety of convention, effective coordinating agreement, that has not been adequately identified in the literature. Its distinctive feature is that it is a structure of conditional we-intentions of parties, unlike more familiar varieties of convention, which are structures of expectations and preferences or obligations. We argue that status functions constitutively involve this variety of convention, and that what is special about it explains, and gives precise content to, the central feature of status functions, namely, (...)
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  36. Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology.André Ariew, Robert Cummins & Mark Perlman (eds.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
  37. Functions Must Be Performed at Appropriate Rates in Appropriate Situations.G. Piccinini & Justin Garson - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):1-20.
    We sketch a novel and improved version of Boorse’s biostatistical theory of functions. Roughly, our theory maintains that (i) functions are non-negligible contributions to survival or inclusive fitness (when a trait contributes to survival or inclusive fitness); (ii) situations appropriate for the performance of a function are typical situations in which a trait contributes to survival or inclusive fitness; (iii) appropriate rates of functioning are rates that make adequate contributions to survival or inclusive fitness (in situations appropriate for the (...)
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  38. Function Essentialism About Artifacts.Tim Juvshik - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies (9):2943-2964.
    Much recent discussion has focused on the nature of artifacts, particularly on whether artifacts have essences. While the general consensus is that artifacts are at least intention-dependent, an equally common view is function essentialism about artifacts, the view that artifacts are essentially functional objects and that membership in an artifact kind is determined by a particular, shared function. This paper argues that function essentialism about artifacts is false. First, the two component conditions of function essentialism are (...)
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  39. The Functional Sense of Mechanism.Justin Garson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (3):317-333.
    This article presents a distinct sense of ‘mechanism’, which I call the functional sense of mechanism. According to this sense, mechanisms serve functions, and this fact places substantive restrictions on the kinds of system activities ‘for which’ there can be a mechanism. On this view, there are no mechanisms for pathology; pathologies result from disrupting mechanisms for functions. Second, on this sense, natural selection is probably not a mechanism for evolution because it does not serve a function. After distinguishing (...)
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  40. Function Without Purpose.Ron Amundson & George V. Lauder - 1994 - Biology and Philosophy 9 (4):443-469.
    Philosophers of evolutionary biology favor the so-called etiological concept of function according to which the function of a trait is its evolutionary purpose, defined as the effect for which that trait was favored by natural selection. We term this the selected effect (SE) analysis of function. An alternative account of function was introduced by Robert Cummins in a non-evolutionary and non-purposive context. Cummins''s account has received attention but little support from philosophers of biology. This paper will (...)
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  41. Biological Functions and Perceptual Content.Mohan Matthen - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (January):5-27.
    Perceptions "present" objects as red, as round, etc.-- in general as possessing some property. This is the "perceptual content" of the title, And the article attempts to answer the following question: what is a materialistically adequate basis for assigning content to what are, after all, neurophysiological states of biological organisms? The thesis is that a state is a perception that presents its object as "F" if the "biological function" of the state is to detect the presence of objects that (...)
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  42. Brain Functional Alterations in Prepubertal Boys With Autism Spectrum Disorders.Xipeng Yue, Ge Zhang, Xiaochen Li, Yu Shen, Wei Wei, Yan Bai, Yu Luo, Huanhuan Wei, Ziqiang Li, Xianchang Zhang & Meiyun Wang - 2022 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 16.
    ObjectivesAbnormal brain function in ASD patients changes dynamically across developmental stages. However, no one has studied the brain function of prepubertal children with ASD. Prepuberty is an important stage for children’s socialization. This study aimed to investigate alterations in local spontaneous brain activity in prepubertal boys with ASD.Materials and MethodsMeasures of the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations and regional homogeneity acquired from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging database, including 34 boys with ASD and 49 typically developing boys aged 7 (...)
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  43. Rational Belief Change, Popper Functions and Counterfactuals.William L. Harper - 1975 - Synthese 30 (1-2):221 - 262.
    This paper uses Popper's treatment of probability and an epistemic constraint on probability assignments to conditionals to extend the Bayesian representation of rational belief so that revision of previously accepted evidence is allowed for. Results of this extension include an epistemic semantics for Lewis' theory of counterfactual conditionals and a representation for one kind of conceptual change.
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  44. Role Functions, Mechanisms, and Hierarchy.Carl F. Craver - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):53-74.
    Many areas of science develop by discovering mechanisms and role functions. Cummins' (1975) analysis of role functions-according to which an item's role function is a capacity of that item that appears in an analytic explanation of the capacity of some containing system-captures one important sense of "function" in the biological sciences and elsewhere. Here I synthesize Cummins' account with recent work on mechanisms and causal/mechanical explanation. The synthesis produces an analysis of specifically mechanistic role functions, one that uses (...)
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  45.  55
    Functional Information: A Graded Taxonomy of Difference Makers.Nir Fresco, Simona Ginsburg & Eva Jablonka - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3):547-567.
    There are many different notions of information in logic, epistemology, psychology, biology and cognitive science, which are employed differently in each discipline, often with little overlap. Since our interest here is in biological processes and organisms, we develop a taxonomy of functional information that extends the standard cue/signal distinction. Three general, main claims are advanced here. This new taxonomy can be useful in describing learning and communication. It avoids some problems that the natural/non-natural information distinction faces. Functional information is​ ​produced (...)
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  46. Function, Selection, and Construction in the Brain.Justin Garson - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):451-481.
    A common misunderstanding of the selected effects theory of function is that natural selection operating over an evolutionary time scale is the only functionbestowing process in the natural world. This construal of the selected effects theory conflicts with the existence and ubiquity of neurobiological functions that are evolutionary novel, such as structures underlying reading ability. This conflict has suggested to some that, while the selected effects theory may be relevant to some areas of evolutionary biology, its relevance to neuroscience (...)
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  47. ANDRETTA, A., Large Cardinals and Iteration Trees of Height o ARAI, T., A Slow Growing Analogue to Buchholz'proof BAUMGARTNER, JE, On the Size of Closed Unbounded Sets BIANCONI, R., Model Completeness Results for Elliptic and Abelian Functions. [REVIEW]B. Zivaljevic & Every Bore Function is Monotone Bore - 1991 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 54:293.
  48.  53
    Mental Imagery: Functional Mechanisms and Clinical Applications.Joel Pearson, Thomas Naselaris, Emily A. Holmes & Stephen M. Kosslyn - 2015 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (10):590-602.
  49. Functional Integration and the Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2007 - Synthese 159 (3):315-328.
    Different cognitive functions recruit a number of different, often overlapping, areas of the brain. Theories in cognitive and computational neuroscience are beginning to take this kind of functional integration into account. The contributions to this special issue consider what functional integration tells us about various aspects of the mind such as perception, language, volition, agency, and reward. Here, I consider how and why functional integration may matter for the mind; I discuss a general theoretical framework, based on generative models, that (...)
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  50. A Functional Alternative to Radical Capacities.Catherine A. Nolan - 2022 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):355-379.
    Among those who adopt Aristotle’s definition of the human person as a rational animal, Patrick Lee and Germain Grisez argue that whole brain death is the death of the human person. Even if a living organism remains, it is no longer a human person. They argue this because they define natural kinds by their radical capacities. A human person is therefore a being with a capacity for rational acts, and an individual having suffered whole brain death no longer has any (...)
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