What’s Artificial?

Herbert Simon: Sciences of the Artificial

We have now identified four indicia that distinguish the artificial from the natural; hence we can set the boundaries for sciences of the artificial:

  1. Artificial things are synthesized (though not always or usually with full forethought) by human beings.
  2. Artificial things may imitate appearances in natural things while lacking, in one or many respects, the reality of the latter.
  3. Artificial things can be characterized in terms of functions, goals, adaptation.
  4. Artificial things are of ten discussed, particularly when they are being designed, in terms of imperatives as well as descriptives.

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