Does biology need teleology?
© 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?.
- The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy
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International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)
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