Results for 'function'

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  1. 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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  2. Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
  3. 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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  4. 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.
  5. Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology.André Ariew, Robert Cummins & Mark Perlman (eds.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. Functions as Based on a Concept of General Design.Ulrich Krohs - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):69-89.
    Looking for an adequate explication of the concept of a biological function, several authors have proposed to link function to design. Unfortunately, known explications of biological design in turn refer to functions. The concept of general design I will introduce here breaks up this circle. I specify design with respect to its ontogenetic role. This allows function to be based on design without making reference to the history of the design, or to the phylogeny of an organism, (...)
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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14.  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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17.  26
    The Functional Organization of Posterior Parietal Association Cortex.James C. Lynch - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (4):485-499.
    Posterior parietal cortex has traditionally been considered to be a sensory association area in which higher-order processing and intermodal integration of incoming sensory information occurs. In this paper, evidence from clinical reports and from lesion and behavioral-electrophysiological experiments using monkeys is reviewed and discussed in relation to the overall functional organization of posterior parietal association cortex, and particularly with respect to a proposed posterior parietal mechanism concerned with the initiation and control of certain classes of eye and limb movements. Preliminary (...)
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  18.  56
    Function in Ecology: An Organizational Approach.Nei Nunes-Neto, Alvaro Moreno & Charbel N. El-Hani - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (1):123-141.
    Functional language is ubiquitous in ecology, mainly in the researches about biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, it has not been adequately investigated by ecologists or philosophers of ecology. In the contemporary philosophy of ecology we can recognize a kind of implicit consensus about this issue: while the etiological approaches cannot offer a good concept of function in ecology, Cummins’ systemic approach can. Here we propose to go beyond this implicit consensus, because we think these approaches are not adequate (...)
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  19. Form, Function and Feel.William G. Lycan - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (January):24-50.
  20. The Function of Folk Psychology: Mind Reading or Mind Shaping?Tadeusz W. Zawidzki - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (3):193 – 210.
    I argue for two claims. First I argue against the consensus view that accurate behavioral prediction based on accurate representation of cognitive states, i.e. mind reading , is the sustaining function of propositional attitude ascription. This practice cannot have been selected in evolution and cannot persist, in virtue of its predictive utility, because there are principled reasons why it is inadequate as a tool for behavioral prediction. Second I give reasons that favor an alternative account of the sustaining (...) of propositional attitude ascription. I argue that it serves a mind-shaping function. Roughly, propositional attitude ascription enables human beings to set up regulative ideals that function to mold behavior so as to make it easier to coordinate with. (shrink)
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  21.  87
    What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems.Peter McLaughlin - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    This 2001 book offers an examination of functional explanation as it is used in biology and the social sciences, and focuses on the kinds of philosophical presuppositions that such explanations carry with them. It tackles such questions as: why are some things explained functionally while others are not? What do the functional explanations tell us about how these objects are conceptualized? What do we commit ourselves to when we give and take functional explanations in the life sciences and the social (...)
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  22. The Function of Assertion and Social Norms.Peter Graham - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 727-748.
    A proper function of an entity is a beneficial effect that helps explain the persistence of the entity. Proper functions thereby arise through feedback mechanisms with beneficial effects as inputs and persistence as outputs. We continue to make assertions because they benefit speakers by benefiting speakers. Hearers benefit from true information. Speakers benefit by influencing hearer belief. If hearers do not benefit, they will not form beliefs in response to assertions. Speakers can then only maintain influence by providing true (...)
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  23. Integrating Psychology and Neuroscience: Functional Analyses as Mechanism Sketches.Gualtiero Piccinini & Carl Craver - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):283-311.
    We sketch a framework for building a unified science of cognition. This unification is achieved by showing how functional analyses of cognitive capacities can be integrated with the multilevel mechanistic explanations of neural systems. The core idea is that functional analyses are sketches of mechanisms , in which some structural aspects of a mechanistic explanation are omitted. Once the missing aspects are filled in, a functional analysis turns into a full-blown mechanistic explanation. By this process, functional analyses are seamlessly integrated (...)
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  24. Functional Homology and Homology of Function: Biological Concepts and Philosophical Consequences.Alan C. Love - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):691-708.
    “Functional homology” appears regularly in different areas of biological research and yet it is apparently a contradiction in terms—homology concerns identity of structure regardless of form and function. I argue that despite this conceptual tension there is a legitimate conception of ‘homology of function’, which can be recovered by utilizing a distinction from pre-Darwinian physiology (use versus activity) to identify an appropriate meaning of ‘function’. This account is directly applicable to molecular developmental biology and shares a connection (...)
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  25.  72
    Biological Function and Epistemic Normativity.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):94-110.
    I give a biological account of epistemic normativity. My account explains the sense in which it is true that belief is subject to a standard of correctness, and reduces epistemic norms to there being doxastic strategies which guide how best to meet that standard. Additionally, I give an explanation of the mistakes we make in our epistemic discourse, understood as either taking epistemic properties and norms to be sui generis and irreducible, and/or as failing to recognize the reductive base of (...)
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  26.  43
    Functional Explanation and the Function of Explanation.Tania Lombrozo & Susan Carey - 2006 - Cognition 99 (2):167-204.
    Teleological explanations (TEs) account for the existence or properties of an entity in terms of a function: we have hearts because they pump blood, and telephones for communication. While many teleological explanations seem appropriate, others are clearly not warranted-for example, that rain exists for plants to grow. Five experiments explore the theoretical commitments that underlie teleological explanations. With the analysis of [Wright, L. (1976). Teleological Explanations. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press] from philosophy as a point of departure, we (...)
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  27. Functional Analysis and the Species Design.Karen Neander - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    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 (...)
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  28. Function, Role and Disposition in Basic Formal Ontology.Robert Arp & Barry Smith - 2008 - Proceedings of Bio-Ontologies Workshop, Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), Toronto.
    Numerous research groups are now utilizing Basic Formal Ontology as an upper-level framework to assist in the organization and integration of biomedical information. This paper provides elucidation of the three existing BFO subcategories of realizable entity, namely function, role, and disposition. It proposes one further sub-category of tendency, and considers the merits of recognizing two sub-categories of function for domain ontologies, namely, artifactual and biological function. The motivation is to help advance the coherent ontological treatment of functions, (...)
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  29. 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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  30.  66
    Functions in Mind: A Theory of Intentional Content.Carolyn Price - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    In this adventurous contribution to the project of combining philosophy and biology to understand the mind, Carolyn Price investigates what it means to say that mental states--like thoughts, wishes, and perceptual experiences--are about things in the natural world. Her insight into this deep philosophical problem offers a novel teleological account of intentional content, grounded in and shaped by a carefully constructed theory of functions. Along the way she defends her view from recent objections to teleological theories and indicates how it (...)
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  31. Functional Beauty.Glenn Parsons - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
    Functional beauty in the aesthetic tradition -- Functional beauty in contemporary aesthetic theory -- Indeterminacy and the concept of function -- Function and form -- Nature and environment -- Architecture and the built environment -- Artefacts and everyday aesthetics -- The functions of art.
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  32. Functions: Consensus Without Unity.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1993 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):196-208.
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  33. Functions, Warrant, History.Peter J. Graham - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press. pp. 15-35.
    I hold that epistemic warrant consists in the normal functioning of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Evolution by natural selection is the central source of etiological functions. This leads many to think that on my view warrant requires a history of natural selection. What then about learning? What then about Swampman? Though functions require history, natural selection is not the only source. Self-repair and trial-and-error learning are both sources. Warrant (...)
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  34. The Function of Perception.Peter J. Graham - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Scientia: Bridges between Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Synthese Library. pp. 13-31.
    What is the biological function of perception? I hold perception, especially visual perception in humans, has the biological function of accurately representing the environment. Tyler Burge argues this cannot be so in Origins of Objectivity (Oxford, 2010), for accuracy is a semantical relationship and not, as such, a practical matter. Burge also provides a supporting example. I rebut the argument and the example. Accuracy is sometimes also a practical matter if accuracy partly explains how perception contributes to survival (...)
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  35.  16
    The Functional Approach: Scientific Progress as Increased Usefulness.Yafeng Shan - 2022 - 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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  36. A Function for Thought Experiments.T. Kuhn - 1964 - In The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change. University of Chicago Press. pp. 240-265.
     
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  37. Function and Teleology.Justin Garson - 2008 - In Anya Plutynski & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 525-549.
    This is a short overview of the biological functions debate in philosophy. While it was fairly comprehensive when it was written, my short book ​A Critical Overview of Biological Functions has largely supplanted it as a definitive and up-to-date overview of the debate, both because the book takes into account new developments since then, and because the length of the book allowed me to go into substantially more detail about existing views.
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  38. The Functional Composition of Sense.Bryan Pickel - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6917-6942.
    A central dispute in understanding Frege’s philosophy concerns how the sense of a complex expression relates to the senses of its component expressions. According to one reading, the sense of a complex expression is a whole built from the senses of the component expressions. On this interpretation, Frege is an early proponent of structured propositions. A rival reading says that senses compose by functional application: the sense of a complex expression is the value of the function denoted by its (...)
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  39.  73
    Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives.Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.) - 2009 - MIT Press.
    This volume takes on both issues and examines the relationship between organisms and artifacts from the perspective of functionality.
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  40. Biological Function, Adaptation, and Natural Design.Colin Allen & Marc Bekoff - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (4):609-622.
    Recently something close to a consensus about the best way to naturalize the notion of biological function appears to be emerging. Nonetheless, teleological notions in biology remain controversial. In this paper we provide a naturalistic analysis for the notion of natural design. Many authors assume that natural design should be assimilated directly to function. Others find the notion problematic because it suggests that evolution is a directed process. We argue that both of these views are mistaken. Our naturalistic (...)
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  41.  48
    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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  42.  84
    The Functions of Law.Kenneth M. Ehrenberg - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    What is the nature of law and what is the best way to discover it? This book argues that law is best understood in terms of the social functions it performs wherever it is found in human society. In order to support this claim, law is explained as a kind of institution and as a kind of artefact. To say that it is an institution is to say that it is designed for creating and conferring special statuses to people so (...)
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  43. Anticipatory Functions, Digital-Analog Forms and Biosemiotics: Integrating the Tools to Model Information and Normativity in Autonomous Biological Agents.Argyris Arnellos, Luis Emilio Bruni, Charbel Niño El-Hani & John Collier - 2012 - Biosemiotics 5 (3):331-367.
    We argue that living systems process information such that functionality emerges in them on a continuous basis. We then provide a framework that can explain and model the normativity of biological functionality. In addition we offer an explanation of the anticipatory nature of functionality within our overall approach. We adopt a Peircean approach to Biosemiotics, and a dynamical approach to Digital-Analog relations and to the interplay between different levels of functionality in autonomous systems, taking an integrative approach. We then apply (...)
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  44. Functions in Basic Formal Ontology.Andrew D. Spear, Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2016 - Applied ontology 11 (2):103-128.
    The notion of function is indispensable to our understanding of distinctions such as that between being broken and being in working order (for artifacts) and between being diseased and being healthy (for organisms). A clear account of the ontology of functions and functioning is thus an important desideratum for any top-level ontology intended for application to domains such as engineering or medicine. The benefit of using top-level ontologies in applied ontology can only be realized when each of the categories (...)
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  45. Function and Design.Philip Kitcher - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):379-397.
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  46. The Function of Pain.Laurenz C. Casser - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):364-378.
    Various prominent theories of pain assume that it is pain’s biological function to inform organisms about damage to their bodies. I argue that this is a mistake. First, there is no biological evidence to support the notion that pain was originally selected for its informative capacities, nor that it currently contributes to the fitness of organisms in this specific capacity. Second, neurological evidence indicates that modulating mechanisms in the nociceptive system systematically prevent pain from serving a primarily informative role. (...)
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  47.  42
    Function and Causal Relevance of Content.Marcin Miłkowski - 2016 - New Ideas in Psychology 40 (94-102).
    In this paper, I focus on a problem related to teleological theories of content namely, which notion of function makes content causally relevant? It has been claimed that some functional accounts of content make it causally irrelevant, or epiphenomenal; in which case, such notions of function could no longer act as the pillar of naturalized semantics. By looking closer at biological questions about behavior, I argue that past discussion has been oriented towards an ill-posed question. What I defend (...)
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  48.  71
    Functional Beauty, Pleasure, and Experience.Panos Paris - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):516-530.
    I offer a set of sufficient conditions for beauty, drawing on Parsons and Carlson’s account of ‘functional beauty’. First, I argue that their account is flawed, whilst falling short of...
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  49.  48
    Subrecursion: Functions and Hierarchies.H. E. Rose - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
  50. Maximality, Function, and the Many.Robert Francescotti - 2019 - Metaphysica 20 (2):175-193.
    In the region where some cat sits, there are many very cat-like items that are proper parts of the cat (or otherwise mereologically overlap the cat) , but which we are inclined to think are not themselves cats, e.g. all of Tibbles minus the tail. The question is, how can something be so cat-like without itself being a cat. Some have tried to answer this “Problem of the Many” (a problem that arises for many different kinds of things we regularly (...)
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