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In Defense of Proper Functions
Ruth Garrett Millikan
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 56, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 288-302
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/187875
Page Count: 15
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I defend the historical definition of "function" originally given in my Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories (1984a). The definition was not offered in the spirit of conceptual analysis but is more akin to a theoretical definition of "function". A major theme is that nonhistorical analyses of "function" fail to deal adequately with items that are not capable of performing their functions.
Philosophy of Science © 1989 The University of Chicago Press