Nebraska Academy of Sciences


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Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences- Volume VII, 1979. Copyright © 1979 Kraemer


One topic of interest to a number of philosophers of science is whether functional explanation can be reduced to some other kind of explanation, such as causal explanation. Some philosophers have tried to reduce talk of natural functions to talk of causes. I here examine some such attempts and try to provide, in addition to the traditional counter-examples, an argument as to why such reductions should fail. Certain parallels are drawn between attributions of natural functions to parts of organisms and attributions of propositional attitudes to persons.

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