Currently, there is not yet a full-fledged philosophical sub-discipline devoted to artifacts. In order to establish such a general philosophical discourse on artifacts, two topics are of special importance: artifact functionality and artifact categorization. Both are central to the question of what artifacts are in general and in particular. This introduction first presents the current state of the art in the debates on functions, both in general and in the domain of artifacts in particular. It then unfolds the three debates (...) relevant for artifact kinds, namely the ontological, epistemological and semantic debates on artifact categorization, and presents the most important theory options currently under scrutiny in these fields. It proceeds by introducing the contributions in this special issue on the functions and kinds of art works and other artifacts, and discusses possible perspectives for a general philosophy of artifacts. (shrink)
In philosophy – especially in philosophy of technology and philosophy of art –, several specific accounts of artifact functionality have been developed. These accounts usually have a restricted scope: they are clearly limited to either technical artifacts or entities of art. In this paper, a contrasting account will be developed, which aims at covering both functions of technical artifacts and functions of art works as well as their instances. The paper is in two parts: In the first part, the method (...) of specifying desiderata that Houkes and Vermaas have introduced to develop their theory of technical functions is adopted. Drawing on exemplary function ascriptions referring to items of art and technology, four desiderata are presented, all of which an account has to meet to provide a convincing analysis of both function ascriptions to technical artifacts and function ascriptions to art works and their instances. In the second part, an account that meets these desiderata is developed. (shrink)
This volume provides the reader with exclusive insights into Ernest Sosa’s latest ideas as well as main aspects of his philosophical work of the last 50 years. Ernest Sosa, one of the most distinguished contemporary philosophers, is best known for his ground-breaking work in epistemology, and has also contributed greatly to metaphysics, metaphilosophy and philosophy of language.
Copies of artefacts are ubiquitous in our lifeworld and have gained influence on several domains such as economy, culture and science. This development has induced wide-ranging public debates about how to evaluate copying processes regarding their legitimacy, which up to the present day have not reached consensus. This situation calls for an ethics of copying. However, such an ethics has not been elaborated in detail up to the present day. This paper aims at creating foundations of an artefact-related ethics of (...) copying by giving a sketch of an answer to the question of what it means to illegitimately copy an artefact. In order to achieve this, I firstly define “artefact copy” to limit the subject area of such an ethics. Secondly, I answer the question of where to draw the line between legitimate and illegitimate processes of copying. (shrink)