Artefact and family resemblance

The aim of this project was to develop a notion of artefacts based on L. Wittgenstein's idea of family resemblance. In accordance with the standard interpretation of this idea the concept in question should specify a list of properties and relationships that disjunctively describe this domain. Consequently, an object is classified as an artefact if it has any of these qualities and/or is involved in at least one of these relationships. In the case of artefact the list in question contains the main processes/events in the life-cycle of artefacts:

  1. design
  2. production
  3. use
  4. service
  5. disposal

Each of those phases is categorised as a process with a set of input and a set of output properties. Then these processes are interpreted as frame attributes in the sense of L. Barsalou's theory of frames.

The main deliverable of the project is the paper Artefacts and family resemblance published in Review of Philosophy and Psychology.

Another result of the project is an OWL ontology of artefacts - it is available as a OWL file here. Also you might browse through it there.

The project was funded by the NCN grant 2011/01/B/HS1/01927.