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Defining Vision: What Homology Thinking Contributes

Matthen, Mohan (2007) Defining Vision: What Homology Thinking Contributes. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

The specialization of visual function within biological function is reason for introducing “homology thinking” into explanations of the visual system. It is argued that such specialization arises by organisms evolving by differentiation from their predecessors. Thus, it is essentially historical, and visual function should be regarded as a lineage property. The colour vision of birds and mammals do not function the same way as one another, on this account, because each is an adaptation to special needs of the visual functions of predecessors – very different kinds of predecessors in each case. Thus, history underlies function. We also see how homology thinking figures in the hierarchical classification of visual systems, and how it supports the explanation of visual function by functional role analysis.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
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Matthen, Mohan
Additional Information: Presented as part of the symposium ‘The Importance of Homology for Biology and Philosophy’ at ISHPSSB 2007 (July 25-29, Exeter). To appear together with the other symposium papers in a special issue of Biology and Philosophy (2007, volume 22, issue 5, guest-editors: I. Brigandt and P.E. Griffiths).
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Depositing User: Ingo Brigandt
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3513
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3513

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