The set of man made artefacts and systems have been frequently observed in an evolutionary perspective. Natural sciences offer an uncommonly rich apparatus as a source for analogies to be applied to the domains of the artificial. The literature on the evolutionary analogy is rich. The genealogical perspective is recurrent. According to this perspective the evolution of the artificial is mainly the evolution of artefacts (or objects, or products). As a unit of evolution, the artefact may represent the unit of analysis of genealogies, whose variations (or mutations) may trace the pathways of morphological and functional developments. The population perspective - on its part - may be outlined as the perspective on competition and selection dynamics applied to technical systems at the large scale. The population (or ecological) perspective opens a systemic horizon that is absent in genealogical visions. While revisiting the notions of genetics of the industrial object, technical species, demography of objects, this paper outlines some more recent systemic perspectives. It will be assumed that no strict similarity has to be theorised between living organisms and artefacts, between natural and technical systems. Rather, it is more a matter of assuming that at the base of structurally similar systems that proceed by different rules, there may be general principles. The possible unity of thinking may not reside in wrong applications of evident rules (such as natural selection) to singular contexts (such as technological change), but rather in the search for more general rules of structure and change. The paper concludes that comparison of some phenomenological characteristics of natural systems with those of man made artefacts and systems might serve as a heuristics.

Darwinian Metaphors. Objects and Technical Systems in Evolutionary Perspectives.

PIZZOCARO, SILVIA LUISA
2005-01-01

Abstract

The set of man made artefacts and systems have been frequently observed in an evolutionary perspective. Natural sciences offer an uncommonly rich apparatus as a source for analogies to be applied to the domains of the artificial. The literature on the evolutionary analogy is rich. The genealogical perspective is recurrent. According to this perspective the evolution of the artificial is mainly the evolution of artefacts (or objects, or products). As a unit of evolution, the artefact may represent the unit of analysis of genealogies, whose variations (or mutations) may trace the pathways of morphological and functional developments. The population perspective - on its part - may be outlined as the perspective on competition and selection dynamics applied to technical systems at the large scale. The population (or ecological) perspective opens a systemic horizon that is absent in genealogical visions. While revisiting the notions of genetics of the industrial object, technical species, demography of objects, this paper outlines some more recent systemic perspectives. It will be assumed that no strict similarity has to be theorised between living organisms and artefacts, between natural and technical systems. Rather, it is more a matter of assuming that at the base of structurally similar systems that proceed by different rules, there may be general principles. The possible unity of thinking may not reside in wrong applications of evident rules (such as natural selection) to singular contexts (such as technological change), but rather in the search for more general rules of structure and change. The paper concludes that comparison of some phenomenological characteristics of natural systems with those of man made artefacts and systems might serve as a heuristics.
9783897572904
Evolution of artefacts
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/263079
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