- Any artefact — a hammer, a telescope, an artificial hip — may malfunction. Conceptually speaking, artefacts have an inherent normative aspect. I argue that the normativity of artefacts should be understood as part of reality, and not just “in our concepts.”
- I first set out Deflationary Views of artefacts, according to which there are no artefactual properties, just artefactual concepts. According to my contrasting view — the Constitution View1 — there are artefactual properties that things in the world really have. For example, there is a property of being a telephone per se; we apply our concept telephone to things that have that property. Things that have the property of being a telephone are constituted by, but not identical to, aggregates of particles. To be an artefact, an object must have an intended function, among other things. Telephones — in virtue of being the kind of objects that they are — are always subject to malfunction. And malfunctions, when they occur, are just as much part of the world as telephones are.
- The example of artefacts shows that what is in the world — what really exists — need not be “mind-independent” nor independent of our concepts.
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