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A generalized selected effects theory of function.

Garson, Justin (2016) A generalized selected effects theory of function. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I present and defend the generalized selected effects theory (GSE) of function.
According to GSE, the function of a trait consists in the activity that contributed to its bearer’s differential reproduction, or differential retention, within a population. Unlike the traditional selected effects (SE) theory, it does not require that the functional trait helped its bearer reproduce; differential retention is enough. Although the core theory has been presented previously, I go significantly beyond those presentations by providing a new argument for GSE and defending it from a recent objection. I also sketch its implications for teleosemantics and philosophy of medicine.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Garson, Justin
Additional Information: Forthcoming, Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Philosophy of biology; biological functions; selected effects; teleosemantics; philosophy of medicine.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
Depositing User: Dr. Justin Garson
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2016 22:58
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 22:58
Item ID: 12493
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
Date: 19 October 2016
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12493

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