Types and taxonomies
in The extended self
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This chapter argues that sound evidence is readily apparent in the ubiquitous naming and use of 'types,' whether of buildings, familiar artifacts or other technically inscribed culture-forms. It begins with an examination of the cognitive basis and general significance of classification systems in human language and culture. The chapter then moves on to more detailed studies of the history and meaning of taxonomies in architecture, many of which have been influenced by biological analogies. It provides a summary of George Kubler's general theory of artifacts as 'linked problem solutions', a key source for understanding how artifacts evolve. The chapter concludes with Kubler's theory and John Minger's definition of an autopoietic system, based on inferring relatively stable features from not one but a series of exemplars.

The extended self

Architecture, memes and minds

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