The Vagueness Argument Against Abstract Artifacts

Philosophical Studies 167 (1):57-71 (2014)
Authors
Daniel Z. Korman
University of California at Santa Barbara
Abstract
Words, languages, symphonies, fictional characters, games, and recipes are plausibly abstract artifacts— entities that have no spatial location and that are deliberately brought into existence as a result of creative acts. Many accept that composition is unrestricted: for every plurality of material objects, there is a material object that is the sum of those objects. These two views may seem entirely unrelated. I will argue that the most influential argument against restricted composition—the vagueness argument—doubles as an argument that there can be no abstract artifacts. There is no way to resist the vagueness argument against abstract artifacts that does not also undermine the vagueness argument against restricted composition.
Keywords Vagueness  Mereology  Universalism  Fictional characters  Musical works
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0232-5
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References found in this work BETA

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
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New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Abstract Creationism and Authorial Intention.David Friedell - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):129-137.
Music and Vague Existence.David Friedell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):437-449.
Counting Experiments.Jonathan Livengood - 2017 - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
Counting Experiments.Jonathan Livengood - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):175-195.

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