In this paper we present an action-theoretic account of artefact using and designing and describe our ICE-theory of function ascriptions to technical artefacts. By means of this account and theory we analyse the thesis of the dual nature of technical artefacts according to which descriptions of technical artefacts draw on structural and intentional conceptualisations. We show that the ascription of technical functions to technical artefacts can connect the intentional and structural parts of descriptions of artefacts, but also separate these parts. Our conclusion is that the concept of technical functions forms a ‘conceptual drawbridge’ between the intentional and structural natures of technical artefacts.Keywords: Intentional and structural descriptions; Technical artefacts; Function theory; Action theory; Use; Design
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2005.12.002
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References found in this work BETA

Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
The Teleological Notion of 'Function'.Karen Neander - 1991 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (4):454 – 468.
Mechanistic Artefact Explanation.Jeroen de Ridder - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Metaphysics of Cognitive Artifacts.Richard Heersmink - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (1):78-93.
Function Essentialism About Artifacts.Tim Juvshik - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies (9):2943-2964.
Computers.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.

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