David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):580–609 (2003)
It is often noted that institutional objects and artifacts depend on human beliefs and intentions and so fail to meet the realist paradigm of mind-independent objects. In this paper I draw out exactly in what ways the thesis of mind-independence fails, and show that it has some surprising consequences. For the specific forms of mind-dependence involved entail that we have certain forms of epistemic privilege with regard to our own institutional and artifactual kinds, protecting us from certain possibilities of ignorance and error; they also demonstrate that not all cases of reference to these kinds can proceed along a causal model. As a result, realist views in ontology, epistemology, and semantics that were developed with natural scientific kinds in mind cannot fully apply to the everyday world. In closing I consider some wider consequences of these results for social science and philosophy.
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References found in this work BETA
Hilary Putnam (1975). Mind, Language, and Reality. Cambridge University Press.
Saul A. Kripke (1980/1998). Naming and Necessity. Harvard University Press.
Ruth G. Millikan (1993). White Queen Psychology and Other Essays for Alice. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Bjørn Jespersen & Massimiliano Carrara (2011). Two Conceptions of Technical Malfunction. Theoria 77 (2):117-138.
Nikk Effingham (2010). The Metaphysics of Groups. Philosophical Studies 149 (2):251-267.
Raymond Turner (2014). Programming Languages as Technical Artifacts. Philosophy and Technology 27 (3):377-397.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2015). Three Kinds of Social Kinds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):96-112.
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