The functional bias of the dual nature of technical artefacts program


Authors
Krist Vaesen
Eindhoven University of Technology
Abstract
In 2006, in a special issue of this journal, several authors explored what they called the dual nature of artefacts. The core idea is simple, but attractive: to make sense of an artefact, one needs to consider both its physical nature—its being a material object—and its intentional nature—its being an entity designed to further human ends and needs. The authors construe the intentional component quite narrowly, though: it just refers to the artefact’s function, its being a means to realize a certain practical end. Although such strong focus on functions is quite natural , I argue in this paper that an artefact’s intentional nature is not exhausted by functional considerations. Many non-functional properties of artefacts—such as their marketability and ease of manufacture—testify to the intentions of their users/designers; and I show that if these sorts of considerations are included, one gets much more satisfactory explanations of artefacts, their design, and normativity.Keywords: Artefacts; Dual Nature program; Function; Intentionality; Normativity
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.11.001
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References found in this work BETA

The Ontology of Artifacts.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):99 – 111.
Mechanistic Artefact Explanation.Jeroen de Ridder - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.
Knowledge of Artefact Functions.Wybo Houkes - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):102-113.
The Dual Nature of Technical Artefacts.Peter Kroes & Anthonie Meijers - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):1-4.
The Normativity of Artefacts.Maarten Franssen - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):42-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Metaphysics of Cognitive Artifacts.Richard Heersmink - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (1):78-93.
The Metaphysics of Cognitive Artefacts.Richard Heersmink - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (1):78-93.
The Dual Nature of Tools and Their Makeover.Antonio Rizzo - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (4):239-240.

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