A Modern History Theory of Functions

@article{GodfreySmith1994AMH,
  title={A Modern History Theory of Functions},
  author={P. Godfrey-Smith},
  journal={No{\^u}s},
  year={1994},
  volume={28},
  pages={344}
}
  • P. Godfrey-Smith
  • Published 1994
  • Sociology
  • Noûs
  • Biological functions are dispositions or effects a trait has which explain the recent maintenance of the trait under natural selection. This is the "modem history" approach to functions. The approach is historical because to ascribe a function is to make a claim about the past, but the relevant past is the recent past; modem history rather than ancient. The modem history view is not new. It is a point upon which much of the functions literature has been converging for the best part of two… CONTINUE READING
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