Another turn of the screw on Dennett and artifactual hermeneutics: tensions and aporias


  • Diego Lawler Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas de la Sociedad Argentina de Análisis Filosófico (SADAF)
  • Diego Parente Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata


Hermeneutics, Technical Artifacts, Dennett, Normativity, Technical function.


This work focuses on the application to technical artefact of the philosophical approach proposed by Daniel Dennett to elucidate the field of artificial things. In particular, it suggests two things. Firstly, that this application does not allow us to fully understand the normative dimension that covers the practical sphere of our production and use of technical artefact. Secondly, that this application promotes a very liberal approach on attribution of functions to technical artefact that makes unrecognisable the very idea of technical function. This paper is composed of three sections. The first one characterizes the artifactual hermeneutics promoted by Dennett’s approach. It analyses the stance of reverse engineering, the physical one and the design and intentional stance respectively. The second part discusses the analogy between texts and artefact and reconstructs the strategy embedded in this analogy. The last part presents a critical assessment of Dennett’s proposal regarding its application to the field of technical artefact.

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Author Biographies

Diego Lawler, Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas de la Sociedad Argentina de Análisis Filosófico (SADAF)

Consejo de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas CONICET
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Diego Parente, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata

Consejo de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas CONICET
Departamento de Filosofía
Facultad de Humanidades
Mar del Plata, Argentina


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How to Cite

Lawler, D., & Parente, D. (2013). Another turn of the screw on Dennett and artifactual hermeneutics: tensions and aporias. Estudios De Filosofía, (47), 83–106. Retrieved from



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