Technology as an invention: The project Homo Creator

Dmitriy Yu. Shat­alov-Davy­dov
Lobachevsky State Uni­ver­si­ty of Nizh­ni Nov­gorod

Tech­nol­o­gy as an inven­tion: The project Homo Cre­ator

Abstract. The arti­cle high­lights the con­cept of Homo Cre­ator for­mu­lat­ed bas­ing on a fun­da­men­tal analy­sis of the exist­ing the­o­ries in the phi­los­o­phy of tech­nol­o­gy. Pos­er crit­i­cizes the func­tion­al approach towards the essence of tech­nol­o­gy and sug­gests chang­ing it into the neothomist under­stand­ing of tech­nol­o­gy as a choice of the most opti­mal solu­tion among an ini­tial­ly giv­en scope of pos­si­ble solu­tions. By doing so, he demon­strates his adher­ence to Dessauer’s inter­pre­ta­tion of tech­nol­o­gy. The mod­el seri­ous­ly evolves by engag­ing Hart-mann’s ontol­ogy of the four stages of word un-der­stand­ing and by defin­ing the place of tech­ni­cal arti­fact in it. He devel­ops the rel­e­vant sys­tem of cat­e­gories and rede­fines a rela­tion of human-tech­ni­cal object. This scheme is linked to the down­ward cau­sa­tion sug­gest­ed by Karl Pop­per and results in a mod­el of user–constructor–inventor (in dif­fer­ent roles). In this mod­el, an inventor’s idea, which has emerged from some cor-rela­tion between cat­e­gories of pos­si­bil­i­ty and need and is com­ing into exis­tence in a draft draw­ing, puts frame­works on a mate­r­i­al con­struc­tion of the tech­ni­cal arti­fact by a con­struc­tor. Such an approach demon­strates a uni­ver­sal char­ac­ter of the tech­ni­cal arti­fact. Bas­ing on Poser’s ontol­ogy, this arti­cle con­sid­ers the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using the notion of “non-Hum­boldt­ian trad­ing zone” for de-scrib­ing and under­stand­ing a con­tem­po­rary com­mu­ni­ca­tion between soft­ware devel­op­ers and users.

Key­words: tech­nol­o­gy, tech­ni­cal arti­fact, inven­tion, final­i­ty, inten­tion­al­i­ty, cau­sa­tion, func­tion, goal, instru­ment, trad­ing zone

DOI: 10.5840/dspl20192343

The report­ed study was fund­ed by RFBR accord­ing to the research project No. 18–011-00335.


  1. Bak­er, L.R. The Ontol­ogy of Arti­facts, Philo­soph­i­cal Explo­rations, 2004, vol. 7, no. 2. pp. 99–112.
  2. Collins, H., Evans, R., Gor­man, M. Trad­ing Zones and Inter­ac­tion­al Exper­tise, Stud­ies in His­to­ry and Phi­los­o­phy of Sci­ence, 2007, no. 38, pp. 657–666. DOI: 0.1016/j.shpsa.2007.09.003.
  3. Collins, Collins, H., Evans, R., Gor­man, M. Trad­ing Zones Revis­it­ed, 2009. Avail­able at: (accessed on August 16, 2019)
  4. Dessauer, F. K filosofii tekhni­ki. Chto est tekhni­ka? Ter­min i sushch­nost [Towards Phi­los­o­phy of Tech­nics. What is Tech­nics? Def­i­n­i­tion and Sense], Ontologi­ia proek­tirovani­ia [Ontol­ogy of Design­ing], 2016, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 390–406. (In Russ­ian)
  5. Dorozhkin, A.M. Prob­le­my postroeni­ia i tipologii zon obme­na [Prob­lems of Con­struc­tion and Typol­o­gy of Trad­ing Zones], Epis­te­mologiya i filosofiya nau­ki / Epis­te­mol­o­gy and Phi­los­o­phy of Sci­ence, 2017, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 20–29. DOI: 10.5840/eps201754462. (In Russ­ian)
  6. Gal­i­son, P. Trad­ing Zone. Coor­di­nat­ing Action and Belief, in: Bia­gi­oli, M. (ed.), The Sci­ence Stud­ies Read­er. New York: Rout­ledge, 1999, pp. 137–160.
  7. Gal­i­son, P. Trad­ing with the Ene­my, in: Gor­man, M. (ed.), Trad­ing Zones and Inter­ac­tion­al Exper­tise: Cre­at­ing New Kinds of Col­lab­o­ra­tion. Cam­bridge: The MIT Press, 2010, pp. 25–52. DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/ 9780262014724.003.0003.
  8. Gor­man, M. Lev­els of Exper­tise and Trad­ing Zones. A Frame­work for Mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary Col­lab­o­ra­tion, Social Stud­ies of Sci­ence, 2002, vol. 32, no. 5–6, pp. 933–938. DOI: 10.1177/ 030631270203200511.
  9. Hart­mann, N. Stara­ia i nova­ia ontologi­ia [Old and New Ontol­ogy], Istoriko-filosof­skii ezhe­god­nik [His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy Year­book] / transl. from Ger­man by D. Mirono­va. Moscow: Nau­ka Publ., 1988, pp. 320–324. (In Russ­ian)
  10. Law­son, C. Tech­nol­o­gy and Iso­la­tion. Cam­bridge: Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2017. 252 pp. DOI: 10.1017/9781316848319.
  11. Losch, A. Down­ward Cau­sa­tion – The Way How Mind and Mat­ter Inter­act? Open The­ol­o­gy, 2015, no 1, pp. 379–388. DOI: 10.1515/opth-2015–0021.
  12. Pop­per, K.R., Eccles, J.C. The Self and Its Brain. New York: Springer Inter­na­tion­al, 1977. 578 pp.
  13. Pos­er, H. Homo Cre­ator. Tech­nik als philosophis­che Her­aus­forderung [Homo Cre­ator: Tech­nics as a Philo­soph­i­cal Chal­lenge]. Wies­baden: Springer Fachme­di­en, 2016. 396 pp. [In Ger­man]
  14. Ropohl, G. Phi­los­o­phy of Socio-tech­ni­cal Sys­tems, Soci­ety of Phi­los­o­phy and Tech­nol­o­gy, 1999, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 59–71. Avail­able at: (accessed on August 16, 2019).
  15. Thomas­son, A. Arti­facts and Human Con­cepts, in: Mar­go­lis, E., Lau­rence, S. (eds.), Cre­ations of the Mind: The­o­ries of Arti­facts and Their Rep­re­sen­ta­tion. New York: Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2007, pp. 52–73.
  16. Schneek­luth, H., Bertram, V. Ship Design for Effi­cien­cy and Econ­o­my. Oxford; Boston: But­ter­worth, Heine­mann, 1998. 220 pp.

Comments are closed.