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Types, indicated and initiated

15 June, 2018

Howell R.

First pub. in: British Journal of Aesthetics, Aprill 2002, Vol. 42, № 2, pp. 105–127.


I defend the conception of musical works as indicated temporally initiated types against Julian Dodd’s recent argument that all types are eternal and uncreated. In doing so, I develop a new account of both cultural and natural types. While types are in a certain sense determined by the properties that underlie them, not all properties determine types; and properties such as being indicated by Beethoven exist only once the temporally initiated entities that those properties essentially involve exist. A cultural type such as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is a sound pattern that has the essential property of being used in the way specified by Beethoven’s singling out of that pattern. (Natural types, such as bird songs or biological species, are patterns having places in actual causal chains in nature.) Given this framework, the Fifth Symphony is an indicated type that was, in a straightforward literal sense, created by Beethoven in 1804–1808.

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