Fields of Research


The research field of the unit encompasses all objects that owe their existence to a certain kind of intentional human action. Objects of the cultural world are therefore artifacts, in most cases human works.

The category of artifacts includes all kinds of art works, but also, for example, scientific works, objects of fashion and lifestyle, technical inventions, games, languages, religions, institutions, laws, rules, actions, pictures, texts and other signs and series of signs, perhaps also values and norms.

We investigate fundamental questions concerning the entire field of the cultural world, questions which belong to ontology, epistemology, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. Central to this are the concepts of intentionality, including collective intentionality, meaning and interpretation. We analyse, for example, the ontological status of artifacts, their relations to "natural" objects on the one hand and to intentional acts on the other, the nature of those intentional acts that play a role in the constitution of cultural objects, the question of the existence of objective meanings and the possibility of the truth of interpretations.


Reicher, Maria E. 2013. Wie aus Gedanken Dinge werden. Eine Philosophie der Artefakte. In Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie (61), 219–232.