Prof. Serghey Gherdjikov, DSc.
University of Sofia
Absract. In this paper I present a definition of artifact based on cases of philosophical and scientifical use: anthropogenic abiotic virtual or real object with meaning and/or function. This definition is proposed in a new dimension: real–virtual, which purports to replace the classical opposition material–ideal as a better way of defining what an artifact is. I consider as virtual here not only digital simulations, but all sign forms. I show that my definition works better in explaining artifacts. I follow empirical science as a technique of studying artifacts, and subscribe to the anthropological paradigm.
Keywords: artefact; biofact, meaning; function; real-virtual; culture; archeology