liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Artifacts and Artificial Science
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Informatik Göteborgs universitet.
2002 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

In the Spring of 1968, Herbert Simon gave a series of lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, introducing his idea of a science of the artificial. “The world we live in today is much more a man-made, or artificial, world than it is a natural world,” he began to say, but modern science is a science of nature. “Natural science is knowledge about natural objects and phenomena. We ask whether there cannot also be “artificial” science–knowledge about artificial objects and phenomena.” He then set out to sketch a program for a general science of the artificial, defining it as a science of design: While the natural sciences are interested in how things are, the sciences of the artificial are concerned with how things might be–with design.

The lectures were published in a book, The Sciences of the Artificial (MIT Press 1969), which became widely read, much admired and discussed. But readers were intrigued by the details, not by the general program. The idea of a science of the artificial simply never caught on. Simon made occasional attempts to revive it, but without the idea receiving any real attention.

In 1993 we decided to try to correct this and launched a small project, sponsored by the Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, to advance the idea of a science of the artificial, beyond Simon’s original program. This book is a first contribution in this direction. In three essays, we discuss the idea of an artificial science, the more general issue of the nature of artifacts and our artificial world, and finally, the particular example of history as an artificial science. Some of these ideas were presented already in December 1994, at a seminar in Stockholm organized by the Council. We are grateful to the Council for its support and to the participants at the seminar for comments, criticism, and ideas.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, , 2002. , 137 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-41276Local ID: 55430ISBN: 91-22-01936-7ISBN: 978-9-1220-1936-7OAI: diva2:262127

Publicerad i fulltext med vänligt tillstånd av Akademibokhandlen som numera äger upphovsrätten till publikationen.

Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2013-12-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Artifacts and Artificial Science(558 kB)333 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 558 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

find book at a swedish library/hitta boken i ett svenskt bibliotekfind book in another country/hitta boken i ett annat land

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Beckman, Svante
By organisation
Department of Culture StudiesFaculty of Arts and SciencesTechnology and Social Change
Social Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 333 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 400 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link