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There Are No Ahistorical Theories of Function

Garson, Justin (2018) There Are No Ahistorical Theories of Function. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Theories of function are conventionally divided up into historical and ahistorical ones. Proponents of ahistorical theories often cite the ahistoricity of their accounts as a major virtue. Here, I argue that none of the mainstream “ahistorical” accounts are actually ahistorical. All of them embed, implicitly or explicitly, an appeal to history. In Boorse’s goal-contribution account, history is latent in the idea of statistical-typicality. In the propensity theory, history is implicit in the idea of a species’ natural habitat. In the causal role theory, history is required for making sense of dysfunction. I elaborate some consequences for the functions debate.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Garson, Justinjgarson@hunter.cuny.edu0000-0002-0210-2989
Keywords: Philosophy of biology; biological function; selected effects; causal role; fitness contribution
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Depositing User: Dr. Justin Garson
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2019 17:07
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2019 17:07
Item ID: 15657
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Date: 3 July 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15657

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