Article/Publication Details

The Constitution Theory of Intention-Dependent Objects and the Problem of Ontological Relativism

Organon F, 2016, vol. 23, No 1, pp. 21-31.
Language: English
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According to Lynne Rudder Baker’s constitution theory, all artworks and artifacts are constituted intention-dependent (ID) objects which are irreducibly real and cannot be reduced to the collections of particles which make them up. The constitution theory of ID objects is based on Baker’s theory of practical realism according to which our everyday life-world is a resource for metaphysics. This paper will focus on the problem of ontological relativism entailed by the constitution theory of intention-dependent objects. I will argue, by way of an example, that the constitution theory of intention-dependent objects entails ontological relativism. That is because everyday life worlds vary from culture to culture. Finally, I examine if there is any possibility for the constitution theorist to avoid the problem of ontological relativism. I discuss Baker’s idea of a thin commonsense framework.


Constitution, everyday life-world, intention-dependent objects, ontological relativism, practical realism

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