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Function, Homology and Character Individuation

Griffiths, Paul E (2006) Function, Homology and Character Individuation. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    I defend the view that many biological categories are defined by homology against a series of arguments designed to show that all biological categories are defined, at least in part, by selection function. I show that categories of homology are 'abnormality inclusive' – something often alleged to be unique to selected function categories. I show that classifications by selected function are logically dependent on classifications by homology, but not vice-versa. Finally, I reject the view that biologists must use considerations of selected function to abstract away from variation and pathology to form a canonical description of a class of biological systems.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: This is a substantially revised version in response to referee's comments.
    Keywords: proper function etiological theory homology natural kinds
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
    Specific Sciences > Biology
    Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
    Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
    Depositing User: Paul Edmund Griffiths
    Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2006
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2672
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2672

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