Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Unity in the concept of function - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


Steiner, Christian (2009). Unity in the concept of function. Conceptus, (94):91-106.

Abstract

This essay argues that neither the etiological nor the dispositional account of functions conforms to the actual practice by which functions are ascribed in biology. Philip Kitcher’s account, which unifies what is common to both accounts, is assessed against what biologists are actually doing when they ascribe functions. Two problems
of Kitcher’s account are identified: it is too liberal and it tends to circularity, insofar as it presupposes teleological notions. Finally, an alternative account of functions is provided by characterizing the system of sentences that report natural history.

Abstract

This essay argues that neither the etiological nor the dispositional account of functions conforms to the actual practice by which functions are ascribed in biology. Philip Kitcher’s account, which unifies what is common to both accounts, is assessed against what biologists are actually doing when they ascribe functions. Two problems
of Kitcher’s account are identified: it is too liberal and it tends to circularity, insofar as it presupposes teleological notions. Finally, an alternative account of functions is provided by characterizing the system of sentences that report natural history.

Statistics

Downloads

65 downloads since deposited on 22 May 2012
13 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords:biological function, teleology, living beings, philosophy of biology, etiological account, dispositions
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:22 May 2012 07:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:20
Publisher:Ontos Verlag
ISSN:0010-5155
Funders:Forschungskredit UZH
Related URLs:http://conceptus.at/

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 123kB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations