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Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology

Out of Print

Edited By: Colin Allen, Marc Bekoff and George Lauder

597 pages, Tabs

MIT Press

Paperback | Jun 1998 | #75866 | ISBN: 0262510979
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Dec 1998 | #75867 | ISBN: 0262011689
Out of Print Details

About this book

Overview of one of the most wide-ranging and critical debates in the philosophy of modern biology. Discussing such issues as function and design in an evolutionary understanding of life, all of the contributors examine biological teleology from a naturalistic perspective.


Part 1 Looking backwards - teleology as etiology: teleological explanations in evolutionary biology, Francisco J. Ayala; functions, Larry Wright; biological teleology -questions and explanations, Robert N. Brandon. Part 2 Don't look back - nonhistorical approaches to biological teleology; the inference of function from structure in fossils, M.J.S. Rudwick; adaptation and the form-function complex, Walter J. Bock and Gerd von Wahlert; functional analysis, Robert Cummins; teleology revisited, Ernest Nagel; functions, John Bigelow and Robert Pargetter; where's the good in teleology?, Mark Bedau. Part 3 Critical developments: in defense of proper functions, Ruth Garrett Millikan; functions as selected effects - the conceptual analyst's defense, Karen Neander; function without purpose - the uses of casual role function in evloutionary biology, Ron Amundson and George V. Lauder; functions and goal directedness, Berent Enc and fred Adams; function, fitness and disposition, Sandra D. Mitchell. Part 4 Synthesis or pluralism?: the concept of function, R.A.; functional analysis and proper functions, Paul E. Griffiths; a modern history theory and proper functions, Peter Godfrey-Smith; function and design, Philip Kitcher. Part 5 Design: historical biology and the problems of design, George V. Lauder; exaptation - a missing term in the science of form, Stephen Jay Gould and Elizabeth S. Vrba; adaptation and the form-function relation, Carl Gans; biological function, adaptation, and natural design, Colin Allen and Marc Bekoff.

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