Function, Selection, and Design

Front Cover
David J. Buller
SUNY Press, Jul 1, 1999 - Science - 325 pages
This authoritative book, written by the leading experts in the field of the philosophy of biology, brings together the defining literature in the debate concerning proper analysis of teleological concepts in biology. The introduction provides a clear and coherent overview to the philosophical progress regarding the nature of function in biology, and the book s chronological structure offers historical insight and perspective.

This anthology is well-planned, representative, and current in its orientation. All of the major positions and figures are represented, and the volume is framed by Buller s essays, an organization that serves to consolidate many themes introduced by the diverse slate of authors.

The scientific revolution ushered in a picture of the universe as governed solely by mechanical causation working forward in time, which appeared to leave no room in nature for teleological (or goal-directed) processes. But within the last decade a near-consensus has emerged among philosophers that the theory of evolution by natural selection provides the framework for a wholly naturalist analysis of the concept of function in biology, and thus solves the traditional philosophical problems regarding teleology. Function, Selection, and Design illustrates this growing consensus and the recent debate concerning the details of a fully adequate analysis of the concept of function.

[Contributors include Colin Allen, André Ariew, Marc Bekoff, John Bigelow, David J. Buller, Robert Cummins, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Richard Goode, Paul E. Griffiths, Philip Kitcher, Ruth Garrett Millikan, Karen Neander, Robert Pargetter, Denis Walsh, and Larry Wright.]
 

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Contents

I
II
III
1
IV
29
V
57
VI
85
VII
97
VIII
115
XII
185
XIII
199
XIV
221
XV
233
XVI
243
XVII
257
XVIII
281
XIX
307

IX
123
X
143
XI
159
XX
319
XXI
321
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About the author (1999)

David J. Buller is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University.

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