slide1 l.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
A Realist View of Biological Functions PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
A Realist View of Biological Functions

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 20

A Realist View of Biological Functions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 138 Views
  • Uploaded on

A Realist View of Biological Functions. Ingvar Johansson, Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science, Saarbrücken 2004-09-29. PART I. CONSTITUENT FUNCTIONS. Screwdriver Function (i). Purpose : The screwdriver is used in order to repair something.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'A Realist View of Biological Functions' - carolos


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
slide1

A Realist View of Biological Functions

Ingvar Johansson,

Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science, Saarbrücken

2004-09-29

part i

PART I

CONSTITUENT FUNCTIONS

screwdriver function i
Screwdriver Function (i)
  • Purpose: The screwdriver is used in order to repair something.
  • Causality: The movement of the screwdriver causes a screw to rotate.
screwdriver function ii
Screwdriver Function (ii)
  • Process Shape: In its functioning, a screwdriver creates a four-dimensional shape.
  • Prototypicality:Perfect screw-drivers create other shapes than bad screwdrivers do.
heart function i
Heart Function (i)
  • Purpose: The heart pumps in order to make the blood circulate.
  • Causality: The heart causes the blood to move.
heart function ii
Heart Function (ii)
  • Process Shape: In its functioning, a heart creates a four-dimensional shape.
  • Prototypicality:Good hearts create other shapes than sick hearts do.
the problem of functional purpose i
The Problem of Functional Purpose (i)
  • Only beings with consciousness can have purposes and intentions and be directed towards a distant future.
  • The purpose and function of the screwdriver is a projected (artificial) purpose and function.
  • The function of the screwdriver is not a monadic property that inheres in the screwdriver.
the problem of functional purpose ii
The Problem of Functional Purpose (ii)
  • Is also the function of the heart merely a projected function?
  • Can there be intrinsic (natural) functions of material entities, i.e., can a function be a non-mental monadic property of a material entity?
  • If not, can functions be reduced to: a) causality (mainstream view); b) causality + social projections (Searle);c) causality + social projections + process shapes?
the problem of functional purpose iii
The Problem of Functional Purpose (iii)
  • If any of these reduction theses is correct, then scientists in biology and medicine should no longer talk literally about functions.
  • But they do!
  • All the reduction theses are philosophical theses.
  • And so is the non-reduction thesis.
  • Ontology and science overlap.
the problem of functional purpose iv
The Problem of Functional Purpose (iv)
  • If the function of the heart is to pump blood, then it has this function during a time interval.
  • Functions: The functioning of something is extended in time.
  • Causes: The effect of a direct cause arises simultaneously with the cause or in the next moment.
  • Literal functionality is more than causality.
the problem of functional purpose v
The Problem of Functional Purpose (v)
  • Functions: The functioning of something is extended in time.
  • Purposes: The purpose of an action might lie in a distant future.
  • Process shapes are not purposes.
  • Not even prototypical process shapes are necessarily purposes.
  • Literal functionality is more than a matter of being a prototypical process shape.
the problem of functional purpose vi
The Problem of Functional Purpose (vi)
  • Is literal functionality then necessarily intrinsic functionality, i.e., a purpose that as a non-mental monadic property inheres in the function bearer?
  • No!
  • Everyday function talk does not distinguish between the concepts of intrinsic functions and constituent functions.
the solution to the problem constituent functions
The Solution to the Problem: Constituent Functions
  • A constituent function may also be called a part-to-functional-whole function.
  • A constituent function is irreducibly relational in character.
  • The constituent function of the heart (part) is to pump blood in the circulatory system (functional whole) who has the function of transporting substances between other bodily systems.
an embryonic taxonomic formula
An EmbryonicTaxonomic Formula

SNAP (a + b + c) and SPAN (d + e):

  • In the circulatory system (A),
  • one function of the heart (B) is,
  • to pump (V) blood (X) through the blood vessel system (Y);
  • this constituent function V has as temporal parts of its functioning
  • diastolic (P1) and systolic (P2)phases.
taxonomic formula for constituent functions
Taxonomic Formula for Constituent Functions

SNAP (a + b + c) and SPAN (d + e):

  • In the functional unit A,
  • one function of the spatial part and subunit B of A is,
  • to V in relation to X, Y, Z, ...;
  • this constituent function V has as temporal parts of its functioning
  • the phases P1 to Pn.
analogy
Rationality

Absolute rationality

Relationalrationality

Means-to-endrationality

Functionality

Intrinsic functionality

Constituentfunctionality

Part-to-wholefunctionality

Analogy
the new problem
The New Problem
  • A constituent function is a function only in relation to an encompassing functional whole.
  • What then about this functional whole? What kind of functionality does it have?
  • Available options: 1) constituent function;2) intrinsic function;3) projected function.
the new problem solved
The New Problem Solved
  • Constituent function; leads to an infinite regress.
  • Intrinsic function; contains an anthropomorphizing of nature;
  • projected function;contains an unscientific subjectivity.

Cutting the Gordian knot: We don’t have to choose between 1, 2, and 3!

earlier endings
Earlier Endings
  • No position on universals is completely free from problems, but immanent realism is by far the least problematic position.
  • If immanent realism accepts the existence of internal relations, it can give a realist account of orderings and quantities.
  • Immanent realism can accept the existence of process shapes, and it is compatible with the use of prototypical concepts.
today s end
Today’s End

4. (a) The existence of constituent functions suffices to explain the objectivity of biological functions and functionings. (b) Constituent functions can be accounted for within the framework of immanent realism.