Functional analysis and the species design


Journal Article

© 2015, The Author(s). This paper argues that a minimal notion of function and a notion of normal-proper function are used in explaining how bodies and brains operate. Neither is Cummins’ (1975) notion, as originally defined, and yet his is often taken to be the clearly relevant notion for such an explanatory context. This paper also explains how adverting to normal-proper functions, even if these are selected functions, can play a significant scientific role in the operational explanations of complex systems that physiologists and neurophysiologists provide, despite a lack of relevant causal efficacy on the part of such functions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Neander, K

Published Date

  • April 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 194 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1147 - 1168

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-0964

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0039-7857

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11229-015-0940-9

Citation Source

  • Scopus