The antecedence of functionalism in linguistics should not be sought primarily in the work of linguists, but rather in the work of antropologists, psycologists, and biologists. And long before them, in the work of philosophers. […] however, the best point of departure for functionalism is to be found in biology, the mother-discipline that has been profoundly functionalist for over two thousand years. Functionalism in biology traces back to Aristotle, who more or less singlehandedly dislodged the two structuralist schools that had dominated Greek biological thought up to his time. Both schools sought to understand live organisms componentially, the way they did inorganic matter. Thus Empedocles proposed to explain organisms by their component elements. While Democritus opted for understanding organisms through their component parts, or structure. In his De Partibus Animalium, Aristotle first argues against Empedocles’ elemental approach, pointing out the relevance of histological and anatomical structure. Aristotle next notes the inadequacy of Democritan structuralism. […] Ever since Aristotle, structuralism – the idea that structure is autonomous and arbitrary and thus requires no explanation or worse, somehow explains itself – has been a dead issue in biology, a discipline where common-sense functionalism is taken for granted like mother’s milk. […]In the early 20th Century, structuralism re-surfaced in the nascent social sciences. To the infant disciplines of psychology, anthropology and linguistics, two towering exponents of logical positivist philosophy of science, Bertrand Russell and Rudolph Carnap sold the deceptive analogy of physics.