, Volume 14, Issue 3–4, pp 300–313 | Cite as

The artificial between culture and nature



This paper aims to show that to think of the artificial means to think at the same time of man, nature, culture and society not as separate entities but as elements of one and the same system; since, in its field of action, the artificial articulates its component dimensions, which altogether are natural, human, cultural and social. Usually we call artificial both the procedure through which we project the realisation of something and the product of our project: the realisation of the artefact. The artefact incorporates, in the physical and inanimate dimensions of nature, those dimensions which are proper to the producer. When the artificial imitates and reproduces certain aspects of nature, its action is directed towards achieving an improvement in man's life. In this perspective, we think that the artificial cannot be viewed as a factor external to man and man's social life.


Anthropology Artefact Artificial Nature Technique 


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© Springer-Verlag Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Sociology and Political StudyUniversity of UrbinoItaly

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