Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology / Edition 1

Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology / Edition 1

by Colin Allen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262510979

ISBN-13: 9780262510974

Pub. Date: 04/03/1998

Publisher: MIT Press

Within the natural sciences, only biologists take seriously teleological statements about design, purpose, and adaptive function. Some biologists claim that to understand the complex morphological and behavioral traits of organisms we must say what they are for, which is to give a teleological explanation of why organisms have them. Others argue that the theory of

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Overview

Within the natural sciences, only biologists take seriously teleological statements about design, purpose, and adaptive function. Some biologists claim that to understand the complex morphological and behavioral traits of organisms we must say what they are for, which is to give a teleological explanation of why organisms have them. Others argue that the theory of natural selection, in providing statistical explanations for the same phenomena, obviates any need for teleological thinking. If teleology cannot be eliminated from biology, it raises fundamental questions about the nature of biological explanation and about the relationship of biology to the rest of science.To account for "Nature's purposes" is arguably the most important basic issue in the philosophy of biology. This volume provides a guide to the discussion among biologists and philosophers about the role of concepts such as function and design in an evolutionary understanding of life. All of the contributors examine biological teleology from a naturalistic perspective. Most of them maintain that teleological claims in biology both describe and explain something—but opinions vary as to exactly what is explained and how.Contributors : Fred Adams, Colin Allen, Ron Amundson, Francisco J. Ayala, Mark Bedau, Marc Bekoff,John Bigelow, Walter J. Bock, Robert N. Brandon, Robert Cummins, Berent Enç, Carl Gans, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Stephen Jay Gould, Paul E. Griffiths, R. A. Hinde, Philip Kitcher, George V. Lauder, Ruth Garrett Millikan, S. D. Mitchell, Ernest Nagel,Karen Neander, Robert Pargetter, M. J. S. Rudwick, Gerd von Wahlert, Elisabeth S.

Vrba, Larry Wright.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262510974
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
04/03/1998
Series:
Bradford Books Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
603
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction
I Looking Backwards: Teleology as Etiology
1 Teleological EXplanations in Evolutionary Biology
Francisco J. Ayala
2 Functions
Larry Wright
3 Biological Teleology: Questions and EXplanations
Robert N. Brandon
II Don't Look Back: Nonhistorical Approaches to Biological
Teleology
4 The Inference of Function from Structure in Fossils
M. J. S. Rudwick
5 Adaptation and the FormFunction CompleX
Walter J. Bock and Gerd von Wahlert
6 Functional Analysis
Robert Cummins
7 Teleology Revisited
Ernest Nagel
8 Functions
John Bigelow and Robert Pargetter
9 Where's the Good in Teleology?
Mark Bedau
III Critical Developments
10 In Defense of Proper Functions
Ruth Garrett Millikan
11 Functions as Selected Effects: The Conceptual
Analyst's Defense
Karen Neander
12 Function without Purpose: The Uses of Causal Role
Function in Evolutionary Biology
Ron Amundson and George V. Lauder
13 Functions and Goal Directedness
Berent Enç and Fred Adams
14 Function, Fitness, and Disposition
Sandra D. Mitchell
IV Synthesis or Pluralism
15 The Concept of Function
R. A. Hinde
16 Functional Analysis and Proper Functions
Paul E. Griffiths
17 A Modern History Theory of Functions
Peter GodfreySmith
18 Function and Design
Philip Kitcher
V Design
19 Historical Biology and the Problem of Design
George V. Lauder
20 EXaptation A Missing Term in the Science of
Form
Stephen Jay Gould and Elisabeth S. Vrba
21 Adaptation and the FormFunction Relation
Carl Gans
22 Biological Function, Adaptation, and Natural
Design
Colin Allen and Marc Bekoff
IndeX

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