Does biology need teleology?


Book Section

© 2018 Taylor & Francis. To ask the function of short-term memory one might ask, “What is short-term memory for?" 1 Or, to ascribe a function to eyelashes one might say, “Eyelashes divert airflow to protect the eye.” 2 If a function of x is to z, it is for z-ing or is there to z. This manner of speaking has a teleological flavor, but do biologists really use a teleological notion of function in contemporary biology, and, if so, what (if any) scientific purpose is it serving?.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Neander, K

Published Date

  • January 1, 2017

Book Title

  • The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy

Start / End Page

  • 64 - 76

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781138789555

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4324/9781315764863

Citation Source

  • Scopus