The Metaphysics of Malfunction
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Forthcoming in Techne, though presented at a conference (Artefacts in Philosophy) at the Delft University of Technology, Oct. 3-4, 2004.
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsBooks / Papers Citing this PaperNotes Citing this PaperColour-ConventionsDisclaimer


Author’s Abstract

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. The example of artefacts shows that what is in the world — what really exists — need not be “mind-independent” nor independent of our concepts.

Comment:

See Link.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



© Theo Todman, June 2007 - Nov 2018. Please address any comments on this page to theo@theotodman.com. File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page