SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

How to Create an Abstract Artifact Collectively Over Time. On Successively Collective Authorship
(Metaphysics and Ontology, )

A There are many abstract artifacts in art and design, science and technology which are authored collectively. While some of these artifacts are authored by agent collectives simultaneously, others seem to be authored successively, e.g. a novel or scientific theory that was left fragmentary by one agent (perhaps due to her death) and completed by another. As a mode of collective acting, however, collective authoring presupposes the collective authors to interact which appears to be impossible, though, if the agents act successively. So, is it actually possible for an abstract artifact to be successively authored by an agent collective and, if so, how? In my talk I will argue that an abstract artifact can be successively collectively authored, namely iff a first agent determines some of the abstract artifact's essential properties herself and designates the remaining essential properties to be determined by a second agent who actually determines the remaining essential properties coherently. First, I will define collective authorship as the causal relation between an agent collective and an abstract artifact which the agent collec-tive has brought into existence by determining the artifact's essential properties. Second, I will argue that agents interact in successively authoring an abstract artifact in that a first agent has to allow for a second agent to determine some of the abstract artifact's essential properties and the second agent has to observe those of the abstract artifact's essential properties already deter-mined by the first agent. Third, I conclude that neither concretizing, i.e. determining some accidental properties of a given abstract artifact (e.g. a play) by authoring another abstract artifact (e.g. a production of the play), nor instantiating, i.e. making a concrete artifact token (e.g. a per-formance of the play) of the abstract artifact(-type) given, is successively collective authoring, because both modes of action do not involve the determination of an abstract artifact's essential properties. Also, an agent continuing an abstract artifact fragment by another agent is not successively collective authoring since the agent who left the abstract artifact fragmentary intended it to be either completed by herself or left fragmentary.

Chair: Blazej Mzyk
Time: 16:50-17:20, 09 September 2021 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.003
Remark: (Online Talk)

Nicolas Kleinschmidt 
(Aachen University, )



Testability and Meaning deco