Fact and Function in Architectural Criticism

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Abstract
Assessing the success or failure of a work of architecture typically requires determining its function. However, architectural criticism often founders on apparently intractable disputes concerning the 'true' function of particular works. In this essay, I propose that the proper function of an architectural work is a matter of empirical fact, and can be determined by examining the history of the relevant architectural type. I develop this claim by appeal to the so-called 'etiological theory of function'.
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