Cartesian functional analysis

Brown, Deborah J. (2012) Cartesian functional analysis. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 90 1: 75-92. doi:10.1080/00048402.2011.566274

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Author Brown, Deborah J.
Title Cartesian functional analysis
Journal name Australasian Journal of Philosophy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8402
Publication date 2012-05
Year available 2011
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2011.566274
Open Access Status
Volume 90
Issue 1
Start page 75
End page 92
Total pages 18
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, U.K.
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Despite eschewing the utility of ends or purposes in natural philosophy, Descartes frequently engages in functional explanation, which many have assumed is an essentially teleological form of explanation. This article considers the consistency of Descartes's appeal to natural functions, advancing the idea that he is utilizing a non-normative, non-teleological form of functional explanation. It will be argued that Cartesian functional analysis resembles modern causal functional analysis, and yet, by emphasizing the interdependency of parts of biological systems, is able to avoid many of the problems attendant upon modern causal theories. It is for this reason, if no other, that the study of Descartes's natural philosophy should be of interest to contemporary theorists of functional analysis.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes iFirst article. Available online: 03 May 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 13 Oct 2011, 16:08:28 EST by Dr Deborah Brown on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry