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Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms

Winning, Jason (2020) Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms. Biology & Philosophy. ISSN 1572-8404

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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical nor anthropomorphic: I do not mean to imply that such systems thereby must possess agency, cognition, intentions, concepts, or mental or psychological states. Instead, such systems provide the grounding for norms of performance when they internally enforce their own standard of (i.e., their own perspective on) what constitutes proper functioning or malfunctioning. By operating with a fixed, determinate level of generality, such systems provide the basis for an account of proper function that is immune to generality problems.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Winning, Jasonjason.winning@gmail.com0000-0002-9871-2684
Keywords: Generality Problem; Natural Norm; Perspectivalism; Perspectivism; Proper Function; Teleology
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Depositing User: Jason Winning
Date Deposited: 02 May 2020 04:09
Last Modified: 02 May 2020 04:09
Item ID: 17137
Journal or Publication Title: Biology & Philosophy
Publisher: Springer
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Date: 2020
ISSN: 1572-8404
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17137

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