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Bibliography: Artifacts in Metaphysics
  1. Literary Artifact (2001). Hayden White. In Geoffrey Roberts (ed.), The History and Narrative Reader. Routledge. 221.score: 30.0
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  2. Jeroen de Ridder (2006). Mechanistic Artefact Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.score: 18.0
    One thing about technical artefacts that needs to be explained is how their physical make-up, or structure, enables them to fulfil the behaviour associated with their function, or, more colloquially, how they work. In this paper I develop an account of such explanations based on the familiar notion of mechanistic explanation. To accomplish this, I (1) outline two explanatory strategies that provide two different types of insight into an artefact’s functioning, and (2) show how human action inevi- tably plays a (...)
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  3. Jesse Hughes (2009). An Artifact is to Use: An Introduction to Instrumental Functions. [REVIEW] Synthese 168 (1):179 - 199.score: 15.0
    Because much of the recent philosophical interest in functions has been motivated by their application in biology and other sciences, most of the ensuing discussions have focused on functional explanations to the neglect of the practical role of functional knowledge. This practical role is essential for understanding how users form plans involving artifacts. We introduce the concept of instrumental function which is intended to capture the features of functional claims that are relevant to practical—in particular, instrumental—reasoning. We discuss the four (...)
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  4. Maarit Mäkelä (2007). Knowing Through Making: The Role of the Artefact in Practice-Led Research. Knowledge, Technology and Policy 20 (3):157-163.score: 15.0
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  5. Nurbay Irmak (2012). Software is an Abstract Artifact. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86 (1):55-72.score: 12.0
    Software is a ubiquitous artifact, yet not much has been done to understand its ontological nature. There are a few accounts offered so far about the nature of software. I argue that none of those accounts give a plausible picture of the nature of software. I draw attention to the striking similarities between software and musical works. These similarities motivate to look more closely on the discussions regarding the nature of the musical works. With the lessons drawn from the (...)
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  6. Alexandre Korolev, The Norton-Type Lipschitz-Indeterministic Systems and Elastic Phenomena: Indeterminism as an Artefact of Infinite Idealizations.score: 12.0
    The singularity arising from the violation of the Lipschitz condition in the simple Newtonian system proposed recently by Norton (2003) is so fragile as to be completely and irreparably destroyed by slightly relaxing certain (infinite) idealizations pertaining to elastic phenomena in this model. I demonstrate that this is also true for several other Lipschitz-indeterministic systems, which, unlike Norton's example, have no surface curvature singularities. As a result, indeterminism in these systems should rather be viewed as an artefact of certain infinite (...)
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  7. Alasdair Richmond (2010). Time Travel, Parahistory and the Past Artefact Dilemma. Philosophy 85 (3):369-373.score: 12.0
    In 1987, Roy Sorensen coined the term 'parahistory' to denote the study of genuinely anachronistic artefacts delivered by time travel.¹ 'Parahistory' would thus stand to history rather as parapsychology is claimed to stand to psychology, i.e. the parahistorian would study historical data that were obtained through channels that orthodox science does not recognise. How might one establish credentials as a time traveller? What sort of evidence could a time-traveller point to in support of claims that would presumably command a great (...)
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  8. Ulrich Krohs (2009). Structure and Coherence of Two-Model-Descriptions of Technical Artefacts. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13 (2):150-161.score: 12.0
    A technical artefact is often described in two ways: by means of a physicalistic model of its structure and dynamics, and by a functional account of the contributions of the components of the artefact to its capacities. These models do not compete, as different models of the same phenomenon in physics usually do; they supplement each other and cohere. Coherence is shown to be the result of a mapping of role-contributions on physicalistic relations that is brought about by the concept (...)
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  9. Tarja Knuuttila & Atro Voutilainen (2003). A Parser as an Epistemic Artifact: A Material View on Models. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1484-1495.score: 12.0
    The purpose of this paper is to suggest that models in scientific practice can be conceived of as epistemic artifacts. Approaching models this way accommodates many such things that working scientists themselves call models but that the semantic conception of models does not duly recognize as such. That models are epistemic artifacts implies, firstly, that they cannot be understood apart from purposeful human activity; secondly, that they are somehow materialized inhabitants of the intersubjective field of that activity; and thirdly, that (...)
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  10. Massimiliano Carrara & Daria Mingardo (2013). Artifact Categorization. Trends and Problems. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):351-373.score: 12.0
    The general question (G) How do we categorize artifacts? can be subject to three different readings: an ontological, an epistemic and a semantic one. According to the ontological reading, asking (G) is equivalent to asking in virtue of what properties, if any, a certain artifact is an instance of some artifact kind: (O) What is it for an artifact a to belong to kind K? According to the epistemic reading, when we ask (G) we are investigating what (...)
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  11. Massimiliano Carrara & Marzia Soavi (2008). Ontology for Information Systems: Artefacts as a Case Study. [REVIEW] Mind and Society 7 (2):143-156.score: 12.0
    The goal of the paper is to analyse some specific features of a very central concept for top-level ontologies for information systems: i.e. the concept of artefact. Specifically, we analyse the relation to be a copy of that is strongly linked to the notion of artefact and—as we will demonstrate—could be useful to distinguish artefacts from objects of other kinds. Firstly, we outline some intuitive and commonsensical reasons for the need of a clarification of the notion of artefact in ontologies (...)
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  12. Marzia Soavi (2009). Antirealism and Artefact Kinds. Techné 13 (2):93-107.score: 12.0
    Many realists on kinds deem it highly controversial to consider artefact kinds real kinds on a par with natural ones. There is a built-in tendency in realism to conceive of artefact kinds as merely a conventional classification used for practical purposes. One can individuate three main different approaches characterizing real kinds and accordingly three different types of arguments against viewing artefact kinds as real kinds: the metaphysical, the epistemological and the semantic arguments. The aim of this contribution is to undermine (...)
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  13. Christoph Baumberger & Georg Brun (2012). Identities of Artefacts. Theoria 78 (1):47-74.score: 12.0
    In non-philosophical discourse, “identity” is often used when the specific character of artefacts is described or evaluated. We argue that this usage of “identity” can be explicated as referring to the symbol properties of artefacts as they are conceptualized in the symbol theory of Goodman and Elgin. This explication is backed by an analysis of various uses of “identity”. The explicandum clearly differs from the concepts of numerical identity, qualitative identity and essence, but it has a range of similarities with (...)
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  14. Michael Wheeler, Continuity in Question: An Afterword to 'Is Language the Ultimate Artefact?'.score: 12.0
    Is Language the Ultimate Artefact? (henceforth ILUA) was originally published alongside a paper by Andy Clark called Is Language Special? Some remarks on control, coding, and co-ordination (Clark 2004). One concern (among others) of the latter paper was to resist the argument of the former. In this short afterword, I shall attempt a counterresponse to Clark’s resistance. In so doing I hope to reveal, in a new and perhaps clearer way, what the most important issues really are in this (still (...)
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  15. Andrés Vaccari (2013). Artifact Dualism, Materiality, and the Hard Problem of Ontology: Some Critical Remarks on the Dual Nature of Technical Artifacts Program. Philosophy and Technology 26 (1):7-29.score: 12.0
    This paper critically examines the forays into metaphysics of The Dual Nature of Technical Artifacts Program (henceforth, DNP). I argue that the work of DNP is a valuable contribution to the epistemology of certain aspects of artifact design and use, but that it fails to advance a persuasive metaphysic. A central problem is that DNP approaches ontology from within a functionalist framework that is mainly concerned with ascriptions and justified beliefs. Thus, the materiality of artifacts emerges only as the (...)
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  16. Krist Vaesen & Melissa van Amerongen (2008). Optimality Vs. Intent: Limitations of Dennett's Artifact Hermeneutics. Philosophical Psychology 21 (6):779 – 797.score: 12.0
    Dennett has argued that when people interpret artifacts and other designed objects ( such as biological items ) they rely on optimality considerations , rather than on designer's intentions. On his view , we infer an item's function by finding out what it is best at; and such functional attribution is more reliable than when we depend on the intention it was developed with. This paper examines research in cognitive psychology and archaeology , and argues that Dennett's account is implausible. (...)
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  17. Pawel Garbacz (2009). What is an Artefact Design? Techné 13 (2):137-149.score: 12.0
    The paper contains a first order formal theory pertaining to artefact designs, designs which are construed as the results of designing activities. The theory is based on a minimal ontology of states of affairs and it is inspired by the ideas of the Polish philosopher Roman Ingarden. After differentiating the philosophical notion of design from the engineering notion of design specifications, I then go on to argue that the philosophical category of artefact designs may be compared with Ingarden’s category of (...)
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  18. Zsófia Zvolenszky, Abstract Artifact Theory About Fictional Characters Defended — Why Sainsbury’s Category-Mistake Objection is Mistaken. Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics Vol. 5/2013.score: 12.0
    In this paper, I explore a line of argument against one form of realism about fictional characters: abstract artifact theory (‘artifactualism’, for short), the view according to which fictional characters like Harry Potter are part of our reality, but (unlike concrete entities like the Big Ben and J. K. Rowling), they are abstract objects created by humans, akin to the institution of marriage and the game of soccer. I will defend artifactualism against an objection that Mark Sainsbury (2010) considers (...)
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  19. Sara Dellantonio, Claudio Mulatti & Remo Job (2013). Artifact and Tool Categorization. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):407-418.score: 12.0
    This study addresses the issue of artifact kinds from a psychological and cognitive perspective. The primary interest of the investigation lies in understanding how artifacts are categorized and what are the properties people rely on for their identification. According to a classical philosophical definition artifacts form an autonomous class of instances including all and only those objects that do not exist in nature, but are artificial, in the sense that they are made by an artĭfex. This definition suggests that (...)
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  20. M. Wheeler (2004). Is Language the Ultimate Artifact? Language Sciences 26 (6):688-710.score: 12.0
    Andy Clark has argued that language is “in many ways the ultimate artifact” (Clark 1997, p.218). Fuelling this conclusion is a view according to which the human brain is essentially no more than a patterncompleting device, while language is an external resource which is adaptively fitted to the human brain in such a way that it enables that brain to exceed its unaided (pattern-completing) cognitive capacities, in much the same way as a pair of scissors enables us to “exploit (...)
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  21. Wybo Houkes & Pieter E. Vermaas (2013). Pluralism on Artefact Categories: A Philosophical Defence. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):543-557.score: 12.0
    In this paper we use our work in the philosophy of technology to formulate a pluralist view on artefact categories and categorisation principles, as studied in cognitive science. We argue, on the basis of classifications derived by philosophical reconstruction, that artefacts can be clustered in more than one way, and that each clustering may be taken as defining psychological artefact categories. We contrast this pluralism with essentialism and super-minimalism on artefact categories and we argue that pluralism is coherent with experimental (...)
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  22. Bence Nanay (2013). Artifact Categorization and the Modal Theory of Artifact Function. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):515-526.score: 12.0
    Philosophers and psychologists widely hold that artifact categories – just like biological categories – are individuated by their function. But recent empirical findings in psychology question this assumption. My proposal is to suggest a way of squaring these findings with the central role function should play in individuating artifact categories. But in order to do so, we need to give up on the standard account of artifact function, according to which function is fixed by design, and replace (...)
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  23. Stefano Borgo, Noemi Spagnoletti, Laure Vieu & Elisabetta Visalberghi (2013). Artifact and Artifact Categorization: Comparing Humans and Capuchin Monkeys. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):375-389.score: 12.0
    We aim to show that far-related primates like humans and the capuchin monkeys show interesting correspondences in terms of artifact characterization and categorization. We investigate this issue by using a philosophically-inspired definition of physical artifact which, developed for human artifacts, turns out to be applicable for cross-species comparison. In this approach an artifact is created when an entity is intentionally selected and some capacities attributed to it (often characterizing a purpose). Behavioral studies suggest that this notion of (...)
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  24. Corrado Roversi, Anna M. Borghi & Luca Tummolini (2013). A Marriage is an Artefact and Not a Walk That We Take Together: An Experimental Study on the Categorization of Artefacts. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):527-542.score: 12.0
    Artefacts are usually understood in contrast with natural kinds and conceived as a unitary kind. Here we propose that there is in fact a variety of artefacts: from the more concrete to the more abstract ones. Moreover, not every artefact is able to fulfil its function thanks to its physical properties: Some artefacts, particularly what we call “institutional” artefacts, are symbolic in nature and require a system of rules to exist and to fulfil their function. Adopting a standard method to (...)
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  25. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Igel Lau (2005). Is the Evidence for Hyperbolic Discounting in Humans Just an Experimental Artefact? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):657-657.score: 12.0
    We question the behavioral premise underlying Ainslie's claims about hyperbolic discounting theory. The alleged evidence for humans can be easily explained as an artefact of experimental procedures that do not control for the credibility of payment over different time horizons. In appropriately controlled and financially motivated settings, human behavior is consistent with conventional exponential preferences.
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  26. Christian Rummel, Rajeev Kumar Verma, Veronika Schöpf, Martinus Hauf, Eugenio Abela, Jose Fernando Zapata Berruecos & Roland Wiest (2013). Time Course Based Artifact Identification for Independent Components of Resting-State fMRI. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7.score: 12.0
    In functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) coherent oscillations of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal can be detected. These arise when brain regions respond to external stimuli or are activated by tasks. The same networks have been characterized during wakeful rest when functional connectivity of the human brain is organized in generic resting state networks (RSN). Alterations of RSN emerge as neurobiological markers of pathological conditions such as altered mental state. In single-subject fMRI data the coherent components can be (...)
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  27. James Putnam (2001). Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium. Thames & Hudson.score: 12.0
    Open the box -- The museum effect -- Art or artifact -- Public inquiry -- Framing the frame -- Curator/creator -- On the inside -- Without walls.
     
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  28. Martin Peterson (2011). Can Technological Artefacts Be Moral Agents? Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (3):411-424.score: 10.0
    In this paper we discuss the hypothesis that, ‘moral agency is distributed over both humans and technological artefacts’, recently proposed by Peter-Paul Verbeek. We present some arguments for thinking that Verbeek is mistaken. We argue that artefacts such as bridges, word processors, or bombs can never be (part of) moral agents. After having discussed some possible responses, as well as a moderate view proposed by Illies and Meijers, we conclude that technological artefacts are neutral tools that are at most bearers (...)
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  29. Marcel Scheele (2006). Social Norms in Artefact Use. Techné 10 (1):53-65.score: 10.0
    The use of artefacts by human agents is subject to human standards or norms of conduct. Many of those norms are provided by the social context in which artefacts are used. Others are provided by the proper functions of the artefacts. This article argues for a general framework in which norms that are provided by proper functions are related to norms provided by the (more general) social context of use. Departing from the concept, developed by Joseph Raz, of “exclusionary reasons” (...)
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  30. Daniel C. Dennett (1990). The Interpretation of Texts, People and Other Artifacts. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (Supplement) 50:177-194.score: 9.0
    I want to explore four different exercises of interpretation: (1) the interpretation of texts (or hermeneutics), (2) the interpretation of people (otherwise known as "attribution" psychology, or cognitive or intentional psychology), (3) the interpretation of other artifacts (which I shall call artifact hermeneutics), (4) the interpretation of organism design in evolutionary biology--the controversial interpretive activity known as adaptationism.
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  31. Brandon Warmke (2010). Artifact and Essence. Philosophia 38 (3):595-614.score: 9.0
    An essential property is a property that an object possesses in every possible world in which that object exists. An individual essence is a property (or set of properties) that an object possesses in every world in which that object exists, and that no other object possesses in any possible world. Call the claim that some artifacts possess an individual essence ‘artifactual essentialism’. I will argue that artifactual essentialism is true.
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  32. David Kirsh (2006). Explaining Artifact Evolution. Cognitive Life of Things.score: 9.0
    Much of a culture’s history – its knowledge, capacity, style, and mode of material engagement – is encoded and transmitted in its artifacts. Artifacts crystallize practice; they are a type of meme reservoir that people interpret though interaction. So, in a sense, artifacts transmit cognition; they help to transmit practice across generations, shaping the ways people engage and encounter their world. So runs one argument.
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  33. Alan Cowey (2004). The 30th Sir Frederick Bartlett Lecture: Fact, Artefact, and Myth About Blindsight. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 57 (4):577-609.score: 9.0
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  34. M. Scheele (2002). Never Mind the Gap: The Explanatory Gap as an Artifact of Naive Philosophical Argument. Philosophical Psychology 15 (3):333-342.score: 9.0
    It is argued that the explanatory gap argument, according to which it is fundamentally impossible to explain qualitative mental states in a physicalist theory of mind, is unsound. The main argument in favour of the explanatory gap is presented, which argues that an identity statement of mind and brain has no explanatory force, in contrast to "normal" scientific identity statements. Then it is shown that "normal" scientific identity statements also do not conform to the demands set by the proponent of (...)
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  35. Paul Bloom (1996). Intention, History, and Artifact Concepts. Cognition 60 (1):1-29.score: 9.0
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  36. Risto Hilpinen, Artifact. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.score: 9.0
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  37. Elizabeth Fricker (1998). Self-Knowledge: Special Access Vs. Artefact of Grammar -- A Dichotomy Rejected. In C. Wright, B. Smith, C. Macdonald & 1998 Self-knowledge: Special access vs. artefact of grammar -- A dichotomy rejected. (eds.), Knowing Our Own Minds. Oxford University Press. 155--206.score: 9.0
  38. Elliott Sober & Richard C. Lewontin (1982). Artifact, Cause and Genic Selection. Philosophy of Science 49 (2):157-180.score: 9.0
    Several evolutionary biologists have used a parsimony argument to argue that the single gene is the unit of selection. Since all evolution by natural selection can be represented in terms of selection coefficients attaching to single genes, it is, they say, "more parsimonious" to think that all selection is selection for or against single genes. We examine the limitations of this genic point of view, and then relate our criticisms to a broader view of the role of causal concepts and (...)
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  39. Stan Franklin (2003). Ida: A Conscious Artifact? Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4):47-66.score: 9.0
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  40. Tim Lewens (2002). Adaptationism and Engineering. Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):1-31.score: 9.0
    The rights and wrongs of adaptationism areoften discussed by appeal to what I call theartefact model. Anti-adaptationistscomplain that the use of optimality modelling,reverse engineering and other techniques areindicative of a mistaken and outmoded beliefthat organisms are like well-designedartefacts. Adaptationists (e.g. Dennett 1995)respond with the assertion that viewingorganisms as though they were well designed isa fruitful, perhaps necessary research strategyin evolutionary biology. Anti-adaptationistsare right when they say that techniques likereverse engineering are liable to mislead. This fact does not undermine the artefact (...)
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  41. Massimiliano Carrara & Pieter E. Vermaas (2009). The Fine-Grained Metaphysics of Artifactual and Biological Functional Kinds. Synthese 169 (1):125 - 143.score: 9.0
    In this paper we consider the emerging position in metaphysics that artifact functions characterize real kinds of artifacts. We analyze how it can circumvent an objection by David Wiggins (Sameness and substance renewed, 2001, 87) and then argue that this position, in comparison to expert judgments, amounts to an interesting fine-grained metaphysics: taking artifact functions as (part of the) essences of artifacts leads to distinctions between principles of activity of artifacts that experts in technology have not yet made. (...)
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  42. K. Shutts, L. Markson, E. S. Spelke, B. Hood & L. Santos (2009). The Developmental Origins of Animal and Artifact Concepts. In Bruce M. Hood & Laurie Santos (eds.), The Origins of Object Knowledge. Oxford University Press.score: 9.0
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  43. Deborah G. Johnson (2006). Computer Systems: Moral Entities but Not Moral Agents. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):195-204.score: 9.0
    After discussing the distinction between artifacts and natural entities, and the distinction between artifacts and technology, the conditions of the traditional account of moral agency are identified. While computer system behavior meets four of the five conditions, it does not and cannot meet a key condition. Computer systems do not have mental states, and even if they could be construed as having mental states, they do not have intendings to act, which arise from an agent’s freedom. On the other hand, (...)
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  44. Giorgio Strano (2011). The Zodiac of Paris: How an Improbable Controversy Over an Ancient Egyptian Artifact Provoked a Modern Debate Between Religion and Science. Early Science and Medicine 16 (3):272-273.score: 9.0
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  45. Michael Rota (2004). Substance and Artifact in Thomas Aquinas. History of Philosophy Quarterly 21 (3):241 - 259.score: 9.0
  46. Gary Iseminger (1973). The Work of Art as Artifact. British Journal of Aesthetics 13 (1):3-16.score: 9.0
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  47. T. Lewens (2000). Function Talk and the Artefact Model. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 31 (1):95-111.score: 9.0
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  48. Pablo Schyfter (2009). The Bootstrapped Artefact: A Collectivist Account of Technological Ontology, Functions, and Normativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (1):102-111.score: 9.0
  49. Denis Dutton (1993). Tribal Art and Artifact. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51 (1):13-21.score: 9.0
    Europeans seeking to understand tribal arts face obvious problems of comprehending the histories, values, and ideas of vastly remote cultures. In this respect the issues faced in understanding tribal art (or folk art, primitive art, traditional art, third or fourth-world art — none of these designations is ideal) are not much different from those encountered in trying to comprehend the distant art of “our own” culture, for instance, the art of medieval Europe. But in the case of tribal or so-called (...)
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  50. Wybo Houkes (2006). Knowledge of Artefact Functions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.score: 9.0
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