KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE END OF NATURE: A CRITICAL APPROACH TO ALLEN’S CONCEPT OF ARTEFACTUALITY
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Barry Allen’s criticism of the traditional definition of knowledge seems to share a radical tone with Stephan Vogel’s concerns about the customary representation of the causes that lie behind our current environmental problems. Both philosophers voice their complaints about the Cartesian picture of the world and dismiss the core idea behind the notorious duality embedded in that picture. What they propose instead is a monistic perspective positing an artefactual networking. In this paper, I will try to draw attention to certain weak aspects of Allen’s refreshing description of knowledge as “superlative artefactual performance” and offer a way to improve that characterization via Vogel’s notion “wildness”. More specifically, I will propose a solution to the problems pertaining to the distinction between good and bad artefacts with respect to the epistemic criteria proposed by Allen, and claim that the temporal gap standing in between the expectations of a designer and the qualities of her design may contribute to our understanding of the nature of an artefact. I maintain that each creative attempt to know a given artefact is to be appreciated by recognizing its different uses. In doing so, I will also try to show why and how certain bad artefacts get their undesirable status because of leading up to techno-cultural stagnation.
249 – 264
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