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Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 13, Issue 2, Spring 2009

Artefacts in Analytic Metaphysics

Ulrich Krohs
Pages 150-161

Structure and Coherence of Two-Model-Descriptions of Technical Artefacts

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 of function. It results a sandwich-like structure of the two models, which can be reconstructed as a two-sorted theory element.

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