At Balisage 2009 and 2010 Renear and Wickett discussed problems in reconciling the view that documents are abstract objects with the fact that they can undergo change. In this paper we present an account of documents which we believe is quite common, but which was not discussed by Renear and Wickett. According to this account documents are indeed abstract objects, but this is easily reconciled with the fact that they are created and can undergo change. We then point to a similarity between this account and the notion of so-called space-time slices. We argue that the proposed account of documents as abstract objects may be subject to the same kind of criticism that has been raised against the notion of space-time slices. We believe that our account fairs no worse than the other accounts given of documents as abstract objects. But it still fails, and we remain agnostic about the ontological status of documents and their relation to abstract objects, as well as about the nature of abstract objects. We conclude that either documents are not (or not related to) abstract objects, or they are (or are related to) abstract objects of a kind which does not correspond to the standard definition of what an abstract object is.

Documents as timed abstract objects

VITALI, FABIO;PERONI, SILVIO
2012

Abstract

At Balisage 2009 and 2010 Renear and Wickett discussed problems in reconciling the view that documents are abstract objects with the fact that they can undergo change. In this paper we present an account of documents which we believe is quite common, but which was not discussed by Renear and Wickett. According to this account documents are indeed abstract objects, but this is easily reconciled with the fact that they are created and can undergo change. We then point to a similarity between this account and the notion of so-called space-time slices. We argue that the proposed account of documents as abstract objects may be subject to the same kind of criticism that has been raised against the notion of space-time slices. We believe that our account fairs no worse than the other accounts given of documents as abstract objects. But it still fails, and we remain agnostic about the ontological status of documents and their relation to abstract objects, as well as about the nature of abstract objects. We conclude that either documents are not (or not related to) abstract objects, or they are (or are related to) abstract objects of a kind which does not correspond to the standard definition of what an abstract object is.
Proceedings of Balisage 2012
1
10
Huitfeldt C.; Vitali F.; Peroni S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/123101
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