functions in biological and artificial worlds

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Functions In Biological And Artificial Worlds

Author : Ulrich Krohs
ISBN : 9780262113212
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 45. 30 MB
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Investigations into the relationship between organism and artifacts from the perspective of functionality. The notion of function is an integral part of thinking in both biology and technology; biological organisms and technical artifacts are both ascribed functionality. Yet the concept of function is notoriously obscure (with problematic issues regarding the normative and the descriptive nature of functions, for example) and demands philosophical clarification. So too the relationship between biological organisms and technical artifacts: although entities of one kind are often described in terms of the other--as in the machine analogy for biological organism or the evolutionary account of technological development--the parallels between the two break down at certain points. This volume takes on both issues and examines the relationship between organisms and artifacts from the perspective of functionality. Believing that the concept of function is the root of an accurate understanding of biological organisms, technical artifacts, and the relation between the two, the contributors take an integrative approach, offering philosophical analyses that embrace both biological and technical fields of function ascription. They aim at a better understanding not only of the concept of function but also of the similarities and differences between organisms and artifacts as they relate to functionality. Their ontological, epistemological, and phenomenological comparisons will clarify problems that are central to the philosophies of both biology and technology. Contributors Paul Sheldon Davies, Maarten Franssen, Wybo Houkes, Yoshinobu Kitamura, Peter Kroes, Ulrich Krohs, Tim Lewens, Andrew Light, Françoise Longy, Peter McLaughlin, Riichiro Mizoguchi, Mark Perlman, Beth Preston, Giacomo Romano, Marzia Soavi, Pieter E. Vermaas

What Biological Functions Are And Why They Matter

Author : Justin Garson
ISBN : 9781108694476
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 26 MB
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The biological functions debate is a perennial topic in the philosophy of science. In the first full-length account of the nature and importance of biological functions for many years, Justin Garson presents an innovative new theory, the 'generalized selected effects theory of function', which seamlessly integrates evolutionary and developmental perspectives on biological functions. He develops the implications of the theory for contemporary debates in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of medicine and psychiatry, the philosophy of biology, and biology itself, addressing issues ranging from the nature of mental representation to our understanding of the function of the human genome. Clear, jargon-free, and engagingly written, with accessible examples and explanatory diagrams to illustrate the discussion, his book will be highly valuable for readers across philosophical and scientific disciplines.

New Directions In The Philosophy Of Science

Author : Maria Carla Galavotti
ISBN : 9783319043821
Genre : Science
File Size : 89. 37 MB
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This volume sheds light on still unexplored issues and raises new questions in the main areas addressed by the philosophy of science. Bringing together selected papers from three main events, the book presents the most advanced scientific results in the field and suggests innovative lines for further investigation. It explores how discussions on several notions of the philosophy of science can help different scientific disciplines in learning from each other. Finally, it focuses on the relationship between Cambridge and Vienna in twentieth century philosophy of science. The areas examined in the book are: formal methods, the philosophy of the natural and life sciences, the cultural and social sciences, the physical sciences and the history of the philosophy of science.

Formal Ontology In Information Systems

Author : Antony Galton
ISBN : 9781607505341
Genre : Computers
File Size : 57. 73 MB
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Ontology began life in ancient times as a fundamental part of philosophical enquiry concerned with the analysis and categorisation of what exists. In recent years, the subject has taken a practical turn with the advent of complex computerised information systems which are reliant on robust and coherent representations of their subject matter. The systematisation and elaboration of such representations and their associated reasoning techniques constitute the modern discipline of formal ontology, which is now being applied to such diverse domains as artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, bioinformatics, GIS, knowledge engineering, information retrieval and the Semantic Web. Researchers in all these areas are becoming increasingly aware of the need for serious engagement with ontology, understood as a general theory of the types of entities and relations making up their respective domains of enquiry, to provide a solid foundation for their work. The conference series Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS) provides a meeting point for researchers from these and other disciplines with an interest in formal ontology, where both theoretical issues and concrete applications can be explored in a spirit of genuine interdisciplinarity. This volume contains the proceedings of the sixth FOIS conference, held in Toronto, Canada, during 11-14 May 2010, including invited talks by Francis Jeffry Pelletier, John Bateman, and Alan Rector and the 28 peer-reviewed submissions selected for presentation at the conference, ranging from foundational issues to more application-oriented topics.

Functions Selection And Mechanisms

Author : Philippe Huneman
ISBN : 9789400753044
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 31. 74 MB
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This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’ papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ‘etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’ ‘systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ‘etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its counterpart became ever more sophisticated, as researchers discovered fresh applications for it. Relying on a firm knowledge of the original positions and debates, this volume presents cutting-edge research evincing the complexities that today pertain in function theory in various sciences. Alongside original papers from authors central to the controversy, work by emerging researchers taking novel perspectives will add to the potential avenues to be followed in the future. Not only does the book adopt no a priori assumptions about the scope of functional explanations, it also incorporates material from several very different scientific domains, e.g. neurosciences, ecology, or technology. In general, functions are implemented in mechanisms; and functional explanations in biology have often an essential relation with natural selection. These two basic claims set the stage for this book’s coverage of investigations concerning both ‘functional’ explanations, and the ‘metaphysics’ of functions. It casts new light on these claims, by testing them through their confrontation with scientific developments in biology, psychology, and recent developments concerning the metaphysics of realization. Rather than debating a single theory of functions, this book presents the richness of philosophical issues raised by functional discourse throughout the various sciences.​

Artefact Kinds

Author : Maarten Franssen
ISBN : 9783319008011
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 62. 55 MB
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This book is concerned with two intimately related topics of metaphysics: the identity of entities and the foundations of classification. What it adds to previous discussions of these topics is that it addresses them with respect to human-made entities, that is, artefacts. As the chapters in the book show, questions of identity and classification require other treatments and lead to other answers for artefacts than for natural entities. These answers are of interest to philosophers not only for their clarification of artefacts as a category of things but also for the new light they may shed on these issue with respect to to natural entities. This volume is structured in three parts. The contributions in Part I address basic ontological and metaphysical questions in relation to artefact kinds: How should we conceive of artefact kinds? Are they real kinds? How are identity conditions for artefacts and artefact kinds related? The contributions in Part II address meta-ontological questions: What, exactly, should an ontological account of artefact kinds provide us with? What scope can it aim for? Which ways of approaching the ontology of artefact kinds are there, how promising are they, and how should we assess this? In Part III, the essays offer engineering practice rather than theoretical philosophy as a point of reference. The issues addressed here include: How do engineers classify technical artefacts and on what grounds? What makes specific classes of technical artefacts candidates for ontologically real kinds, and by which criteria?​

Technical Artefacts Creations Of Mind And Matter

Author : Peter Kroes
ISBN : 9789400739406
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 60. 90 MB
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This book presents an attempt to understand the nature of technical artefacts and the way they come into being. Its primary focus is the kind of technical artefacts designed and produced by modern engineering. In spite of their pervasive influence on human thinking and doing, and therefore on the modern human condition, a philosophical analysis of technical artefacts and engineering design is lacking. Among the questions addressed are: How do technical artefacts fit into the furniture of the universe? In what sense are they different from objects from the natural world, or from the social world? What kind of activity is engineering design and what does it mean to say that technical artefacts are the embodiment of a design? Does it make sense to consider technical artefacts to be morally good or bad by themselves because of the way they influence human life? The book advances the thesis that technical artefacts, conceived of as physical constructions with a technical function, have a dual nature; they are hybrid objects combining physical and intentional features. It proposes a theory of technical functions and technical artefact kinds that does justice to this dual nature, analyses engineering design from the dual nature point of view, and argues that technical artefacts, because of their dual nature, have inherent moral significance.

Investigations Into Living Systems Artificial Life And Real World Solutions

Author : George D. Magoulas
ISBN : 9781466638914
Genre : Computers
File Size : 36. 23 MB
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"This book provides original research on the theoretical and applied aspects of artificial life, as well as addresses scientific, psychological, and social issues of synthetic life-like behavior and abilities"--Provided by publisher.

Advancing Artificial Intelligence Through Biological Process Applications

Author : Porto Pazos, Ana B.
ISBN : 9781599049977
Genre : Education
File Size : 52. 35 MB
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As science continues to advance, researchers are continually gaining new insights into the way living beings behave and function, and into the composition of the smallest molecules. Most of these biological processes have been imitated by many scientific disciplines with the purpose of trying to solve different problems, one of which is artificial intelligence. Advancing Artificial Intelligence through Biological Process Applications presents recent advances in the study of certain biological processes related to information processing that are applied to artificial intelligence. Describing the benefits of recently discovered and existing techniques to adaptive artificial intelligence and biology, this book will be a highly valued addition to libraries in the neuroscience, molecular biology, and behavioral science spheres.

An Introduction To Biological And Artificial Neural Networks For Pattern Recognition

Author : Steven K. Rogers
ISBN : 0819405345
Genre : Computers
File Size : 75. 65 MB
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