The Reality of the Artificial

Nature, Technology and Naturoids

  • Massimo Negrotti

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 3-7
    3. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 9-12
    4. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 13-16
  3. Part II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 19-22
    3. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 23-26
    4. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 27-29
    5. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 31-36
  4. Part III

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 37-37
    2. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 47-51
    3. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 53-59
  5. Part IV

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
    2. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 63-67
    3. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 69-73
    4. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 83-85
    5. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 87-92
  6. Part V

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 95-97
    3. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 99-107
    4. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 109-113
    5. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 115-120
    6. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 121-124
    7. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 125-129
    8. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 131-133
    9. Massimo Negrotti
      Pages 135-138
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 139-160

About this book


The human ambition to reproduce and improve natural objects and processes has a long history, and ranges from dreams to actual design, from Icarus’s wings to modern robotics and bioengineering. This imperative seems to be linked not only to practical utility but also to our deepest psychology. Nevertheless, reproducing something natural is not an easy enterprise, and the actual replication of a natural object or process by means of some technology is impossible. In this book the author uses the term naturoid to designate any real artifact arising from our attempts to reproduce natural instances. He concentrates on activities that involve the reproduction of something existing in nature, and whose reproduction, through construction strategies which differ from natural ones, we consider to be useful, appealing or interesting.

The development of naturoids may be viewed as a distinct class of technological activity, and the concept should be useful for methodological research into establishing the common rules, potentialities and constraints that characterize the human effort to reproduce natural objects. The author shows that a naturoid is always the result of a reduction of the complexity of natural objects, due to an unavoidable multiple selection strategy. Nevertheless, the reproduction process implies that naturoids take on their own new complexity, resulting in a transfiguration of the natural exemplars and their performances, and leading to a true innovation explosion. While the core performances of contemporary naturoids improve, paradoxically the more a naturoid develops the further it moves away from its natural counterpart. Therefore, naturoids will more and more affect our relationships with advanced technologies and with nature, but in ways quite beyond our predictive capabilities.

The book will be of interest to design scholars and researchers of technology, cultural studies, anthropology and the sociology of science and technology.


anthropology artificial intelligence artificial life bioengineering bionics cognition robotics sociology of science and technology

Authors and affiliations

  • Massimo Negrotti
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Metodologico Economico, Statistico (IMES)Università di Urbino 'Carlo Bo'UrbinoItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Computer Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-29678-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-29679-6
  • Series Print ISSN 2192-6255
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-6263
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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