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What Functions Explain


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Part I. Functions and Intentions: 1. Introduction; 2. The problem of teleology; 3. Intentions and the functions of artifacts; Part II. The Analysis of Functional Explanation: 4. Basic positions in philosophy of science: Hempel and Nagel; 5. The etiological view; 6. The dispositional view; Part III. Self-Reproducing Systems: 7. Artifacts and organisms; 8. Feedback mechanisms and their beneficiaries; 9. Having a good; 10. What functions explain; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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This 2001 book provides a sophisticated and detailed Aristotelian analysis of our concept of natural functions.


'McLaughlin has given us an original and daring account of functional explanation ... [his] fascinating account of organisms as self-maintaining systems is important ...' Acta Biotheoretica

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