Some Issues in the Theory of Artifacts

The Monist 78 (2):119-135 (1995)
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I do not think that previous writing on artifacts has been satisfactory, for reasons that will become clear. This situation has only been slightly remedied, I believe, by works such as my Artifacts, Agency, and Art Works, Dipert, sometimes referred to here as “AAA.” At the same time, I believe that a general notion of artifact is crucial for philosophy: the concept of an artifact is a central piece of our conception of the world. One of the important projects in the theory of artifacts that is incomplete, or perhaps has not yet even been seriously undertaken, is a definition of artifacts. To give a definition of artifact, and to explore its difficulties and entanglements, is the central organizing goal of this essay.



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Randall Dipert
PhD: Indiana University, Bloomington; Last affiliation: University at Buffalo

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