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Function, Homology and Character Individuation

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

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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
Griffiths, Paul E
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: Professor Paul Edmund Griffiths
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:13
Item ID: 2672

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