Re: virus: Technology (was manifest science)

Brett Robertson (
Sat, 5 Jun 1999 12:25:23 -0500 (EST)

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No, I mean a dead human's bones-- those which are found "just lying there" (and which are neither used FOR tools nor made BY "tools" in the generally accepted sense of the word... except that I would agree that something broken by the hands is formed by a "tool" in the broader sense of the word and/or that bones are similarly formed by such "tools" of nature). Yes, these bones are considered "artefacts". No, they do not follow the definition you suggest.

An (expanded) explanation of "artefact":

An *artifact* is an icon divested of its "living" significance (ex. human bones can be said to be "artifacts" of a "dead" civilization).

An icon is anything which, because of its prominence (within a culture, for example), is useful for interpreting ideas, ideals, and individuals to a common standard. In addition, however, the icon has *living significance* because it is embodied by an individual whose life becomes an example of what the icon represents (thus, the icon has a changing nature which suggests that the significance OF it is partly due to its contemporary application).

An artifact, on the other hand, is no longer embodied by a modern individual and so, while a useful standard for interpreting ideas and ideals related to "dead" cultures, an artifact is nonetheless seen as being divorced from the living significance with which it was once empowered.

Brett Lane Robertson
Indiana, USA
MindRecreation Metaphysical Assn.
BIO: ...........
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Subject: Re: virus: Technology (was manifest science) Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 12:22:05 -0400
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>RE: "Only the usage of a tool can produce an artifact"
>What about human bones found in burial sites? Artifacts? Produced by

Uh, what about 'em, indeed?

You must be talking about bones used as tools, yes, not just the fact that once a being is buried, what remains after a few decades, is, uh, just bones?

Yes, of course you must.

Well, yes, if you mean a bone that was fashioned and honed to a point to be used as a needle, then, yes, it was produced by tools.

If you mean just a bone that was found and then broken to make an edge, and then used as a knife, yes, that required a tool- a being's hand and arms to break it. The 'use' of the tool is what is in question here. A broken bone located in a burial cistern is not a tool until it is used. But a hammer is, just sitting there.

"Only the usage of a tool can produce an artifact" meets all the truth tests, and is tautological to boot, for what is the definition of 'artifact'?

  1. An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, a weapon, or an ornament of archaeological or historical interest.