The Artificial Order

By Patricio De Stefani

Things and Objects

We have asserted that there is no clear-cut distinction between man and nature, and yet there is no harmonious unity either, for what always remains is an inherent contradiction derived from their structural discordance, which is only partially overcome through labour and its product. This contradiction is dialectical, not logical, which means that nature and man are two complementing opposites in an everlasting reciprocal and material exchange. If there were no opposition, there would be no need for man to labour in a particular way in order to survive.

Flying Machine, Leonardo da Vinci, 1490

Nature creates, while man produces. The product of our labour is not the outcome of a natural process, it is not done by instinct, and it produces artefacts: it is artificial. However, and if we stick to our initial conclusion about man and nature, the natural-artificial distinction is far from being self-evident. Let’s go back to the difference between nature and the natural, the former being the total environment (biosphere) and the latter a feature of things and processes created by nature –including human beings. We could assert for instance, that the split between external and internal nature gets reproduced within the concept of the natural. This would mean that some of the features of natural processes would somehow be present in human-made artefacts –a kind of internalisation of the natural. This distinction compels us to go beyond the mere appearance of things and address the internal order which structures them. The natural order would be that which is based on natural laws.[1] This means that human-made artefacts which are based on the laws of nature, such as airplanes, locomotives, bridges, and engineering works in general, belong to the natural order, even though they are obviously artificial –in the sense of man-made.[2] They would not be possible without the abstraction of natural laws in the physical laws of science. An airplane would be unthinkable without the principles of aerodynamics, in turn developed by studying the flight behaviour of birds, fluid mechanics, and so on. This means that all natural things are the de facto expression of the natural order, but not all artificial things belong to the artificial order. What is this order? What are its properties? Van der Laan sees it in fundamental discordance with the natural order, starting from the first architectonic construction:

The house will not have, therefore, a form determined by nature, as in the case of a bird’s nest. Wherever intelligence intervenes as a principle of form, it appears the break with the homogeneous world of natural forms (…) these new forms maybe the subject of a new order, an artificial order, which has its place in nature.[3]

How can we effectively distinguish between these two orders? Human intelligence seems to be one of the key elements. But what about airplanes or locomotives, are they not the product of the human intellect? To find a way out of this impasse we have to turn into a crucial distinction derived from the dual constitution of the human body: the difference between thing and object. I will first draw on the specific definitions given by Borchers and Uexküll, for then contrast them with some insights by Heidegger.

Natural forms and human forms

For Borchers, a thing is the sensory data we perceive using our external senses –the passive functions of the body, such as our sight, touch, smell, and the like. The passive body captures the various stimuli arising from the thing; the appropriate organ transforms the corresponding stimulus into a nervous excitation that goes into the brain which transforms it into a sensation. Take a jug for example, as a thing is for us something hard, brown, of a certain size, weight, smell, temperature, and so on. The passive body, constituted by our external organs, unifies all the separate sensations emitted by the brain into a unitary and coherent form which we then transfer out to our surrounding world, filling it with things of all sizes, colours, and shapes, and creating a perception out of them.

We stated in the previous chapter that there is an immanent relationship between our sensory apparatus and nature. Now we are able to explain the implications of this assertion. The given definition of thing implies something which is already there, outside of us, and that we ‘internalise’ through our senses to form a unitary perception of the world. However, the sensations that we perceive from things are not out there –properties of the thing itself– but rather created in our brain in a process which always starts from the thing, passes through the body-brain, and finishes again in the thing. Uexküll called this process sensory cycle.[4] This means that sensations, say like hearing sounds, do not exist in the world independent from us, but only the air vibration as a stimulus to our ear: the cycle closes when we transfer the sound sensation back to thing and make it appear as coming from it and not ourselves. When the cycle closes we are no longer able to ‘distinguishing between something initial and something final anymore, or otherwise, between an organism and an exterior world’.[5] Therefore, the distinction between external and phenomenal world is decisive and mirrors that between external and internal nature: the first is independent from our perception; the second comes about only when the cycles of perception are completed. Our phenomenal world, self-world, or Umwelt comes from our own constitution as subject and organism, from our experience-space as its encounters with the external world.

Something entirely different –although closely connected– happens when we react to the external world. This happens when the result of a stimulus goes beyond a mere sensation or perception, when our body reacts to certain stimuli coming from the thing and performs an action. If ‘our sense organs serve our perceptions’, then ‘our motor organs our actions’, affirms Uexküll.[6] Our Umwelt divides into two parts: a perceptual world of sensations, which comprises all things perceived; and an effector world of actions, which comprises objects produced and used by man. For Uexküll, our essential biological activity consists in perceiving and acting.[7]

I call briefly “objects” to all things which executes actions appropriate to the service of man (…) an object is thus a thing signalled by its ability for execution (…) The distinction between thing and object is not familiar to the naive observer. He considers all things as objects, because he only contemplates them in their relations with men.[8]

A tree can serve to give us shade but it is not an object, since it does not correspond to the structure of our actions which we carry in our memory.[9] On the contrary, if we pick and fill a jug with wine, and then we pour the wine into a glass, then the jug turns from thing into an object of use, it articulates with our actions. Now we can see more clearly that thing and object designate one and the same body in space, and that a jug as thing can be something relative as object if, for instance, we use it as a vase. Heidegger used this example in his seminal 1950 essay The Thing, in which he wanders about the essence of a thing, and why we have lost access to it in the modern world. However, for him a thing is what is essential to an object, whereas the latter is only the external appearance or ideal representation of the thing.[10] Heidegger claims that what makes the jug a thing, is it being a vessel, and what makes it a vessel, is the property of being a holding void, he argues that ‘the jug is not a vessel because it was made; rather, the jug had to be made because it is this holding vessel’.[11] According to our previous definition, for Heidegger the thing is the object, namely, things which ‘effect our purposes’.[12] Yet, objects are not simply useful things, but rather pre-existing schemes of action contained in our memory and the thing: objects are not actually material and visible. The object in a jug –or a bottle for that matter– is always the same, no matter the particular material in which it was made, nor its various shapes or designs: the object consist in the action of holding (taking and keeping) and then pouring out, as Heidegger rightly asserts. This sequence of actions can be performed in different ways, but the coordinated rules remain the same, thus an object is not even merely a series of actions, but rather the invariable scheme or set of rules which structures them. If we don’t know previously these rules for using the jug, this will remain only a thing sending various stimuli which our external perceptual organs will capture and turn into a perception, but it will not send any stimulus to our internal effector organs, and consequently, our body will not react with a corresponding unitary action.

Jug designs, Frank Brangwyn, c1930

Things carry an external and independent existence from man; accordingly we perceive them with our sensory organs, forming a unique human perception out of them. Whereas objects are dependant and internal to our organic constitution, hence we only grasp them with our internal organs –including memory– and then we react performing a unitary bodily action on the thing. We see now that things belong to the natural order when they don’t resonate with our willed actions; while objects pertain to the artificial order, not only because they are man-made but, more importantly, given that they emanate from our mental laws which effect our intentions and purposes into the outside world, changing it continuously.

Use and Exchange

The artificial order is produced in thought; its laws fundamentally contradict the laws of nature rather than mimic or make abstraction of them. The jug is a product of human labour, the reshaping of earth materials by the human hand. But as Heidegger asserts, the jug had to be realised because it existed previously in the human mind, not as the image of a specific jug design, but more fundamentally as the purpose of fulfilling a need: that of holding and pouring liquids. The coming into being of the jug depends on human action performed on nature, but this is not what makes it artificial. The jug is an artificial object since 1) it had to be previously conceived with a clear intention; 2) it had to be designed or constructed according to geometrical laws which do not exist in nature; and 3) once completed it had to be ‘activated’ by the human body, and thus ripped off from the realm of passive things, and turned into an active object.

It was this realm of objects at the service of man that Marx looked at in his enquiry on the nature of commodities. For him, commodities are first of all useful things that could be analysed either from its qualitative or quantative aspects.[13] The former refers to its utility or suitability to human needs, the latter to the quantity of it that can be traded for another thing. Yet, we have said that objects are not really material things, but a performance plan deposited into the thing by our will: a result of our previous actions that serves our subsequent actions. Did Marx foresee this immaterial dimension of the object? Well, he certainly recognised the fleeting nature of use, stating that a useful thing ‘is an assemblage of many properties, and may therefore be of use in various ways’.[14] Nonetheless, he also understood the dependency of the object on the actual concrete thing:

The utility of a thing makes it a use-value. But this utility is not a thing of air. Being limited by the physical properties of the commodity, it has no existence apart from that commodity (…) Use-values become a reality only by use or consumption: they also constitute the substance of all wealth, whatever may be the social form of that wealth.[15]

The concept of use-value comes close to that of the object. Its concreteness is defined in terms of its actual performance, its activation by the human body –when this is not the case, it returns to its state of natural thing, of passive perception. An object is at the same time abstract (the product of mental laws and purposes), and concrete (the product of material labour and performance). However, it is from the point of view of quantity that a commodity comes into being as such. We can trade a certain quantity of a given commodity for a certain quantity of another –for instance, we could trade two jugs for one book. But what enables this equivalence? How can we establish the right proportion at which each commodity is exchanged? Marx affirms that

Exchange-value, at first sight, presents itself as a quantitative relation, as the proportion in which values in use of one sort are exchanged for those of another sort, a relation constantly changing with time and place. Hence exchange-value appears to be something accidental and purely relative, and consequently an intrinsic value, i.e., an exchange-value that is inseparably connected with, inherent in commodities, seems a contradiction in terms.[16]

Exchange-value: the ratio at which commodities can be trade-off

Unlike exchange, the realm of use-values is completely heterogeneous: they are as diverse as human needs. This poses a problem, for if we want to exchange a use-value for another, we have to equate two entirely different uses –say holding liquids (jug), and reading (book). Can we actually say that a book is worth two jugs since it is more ‘valuable’ in use? No, we cannot equate two different values in use because the utility of a thing –its ability to satisfy our needs– rests on a subjective-qualitative realm. Marx pointed out that we fall in a similar delusion when we try to explain exchange-value solely on its quantitative determinants –the fact that two jugs equal one book– since these 2:1 ratio is just the expression of something internal to all commodities: ‘first: the valid exchange-values of a given commodity express something equal; secondly, exchange-value, generally, is only the mode of expression, the phenomenal form, of something contained in it’.[17] This mysterious element cannot be some material property of commodities either.

This common “something” cannot be either a geometrical, a chemical, or any other natural property of commodities. Such properties claim our attention only in so far as they affect the utility of those commodities (…) If then we leave out of consideration the use-value of commodities, they have only one common property left, that of being products of labour.[18]

In the previous chapter we followed Marx in that human labour is an ever-lasting necessity in which we engage in a continuous metabolic relation with nature. As a result of this, it is also the means by which things turn into objects of use. And lastly, labour is also the common substratum that allows commodities to be compared with one another. If each commodity requires a definite kind of labour to be produced, how do we measure this qualitative diversity? That was for Marx the first problem after he identified labour as the substance of the value of commodities. However, this new concept of (intrinsic) value as something embodied in commodities and yet different from their use and exchange values, must be clarified. The first thing to bear in mind is that value comes into being only as commodities are exchanged for one another. Taken in isolation, a commodity has value (in use) only for the person who produced it, thus no social validity. We saw also that commodities cannot be compared by their uses, since they differ qualitatively. On the contrary, ‘as exchange-values they are merely different quantities, and consequently do not contain an atom of use-value’.[19] More importantly, the different kinds of labour required for producing qualitatively different commodities, have no relevance in exchange either. What remains then is human labour as a general activity, since what happens in exchange is that

Along with the useful qualities of the products themselves, we put out of sight both the useful character of the various kinds of labour embodied in them, and the concrete forms of that labour; there is nothing left but what is common to them all; all are reduced to one and the same sort of labour, human labour in the abstract.[20]

Abstract labour: labour time expended in general

The concept of abstract human labour is crucial to understand Marx’s concept of value. The value of a commodity is the quantity of labour required for its production. Following Ricardo, Marx sets up the labour-time (hours, days, weeks, etc.) spent in the production of a commodity as the determinant of its value, but there is a central distinction that soon drove him away from this explanation. For if I decide to take a long time making a commodity doesn’t mean my commodity has more value: labour-time has to be viewed against the background of social relations and within society as a whole.[21] And if abstract labour refers to the expenditure of human labour-power in general –stripped from any concrete distinction– then, says Marx, there must be a social average of labour-power, of the ability to do useful work under a certain amount of time, conditions, and intensity. So far as human labour ‘requires for producing a commodity, no more time than is needed on an average, no more than is socially necessary’[22], then the value of commodities will remain constant. Therefore, socially necessary labour-time is the time ‘required to produce an article under the normal conditions of production, and with the average degree of skill and intensity prevalent at the time’.[23] This socially determined average time for the production of a commodity is what fixes its social value. A building takes for society, on an average, a long time and effort to produce, while a bed considerably less: the difference in their values is socially grounded. We are able to know these values only when we compare and trade commodities in the market, and not by themselves. Thus, we are able to determine how many jugs equal a book, how many books equal a bed, or how many beds equal a building.

There are also a number of similarities between Marx’s concept of value and that of the object. For example, both refer to something which is only accessible through some form of mediating action: I perceive the object of a chair only when I sit in it (whether actually or potentially), I know the value of a chair only when I exchange it for some other object. However, the critical connection lies in their internal relation to human labour, so let us look at it more closely.

The Architectural Object

Before we can move onto the relation between object and value, we have to utterly clarify the concept of object, and this means to draw attention to its difference with use. We have seen that many objects can exist within one and the same thing, so we can use a chair as bedside table or a bedroom as office, without any change in the material properties of the thing. But is this not a simple change in its use? So far, we have not drawn any explicit distinction between object and use, we have merely pointed out their similarities.

Although Heidegger defined things and objects in the exact inverse sense than Uexküll and Borchers did, it will be useful if we examine some of his earlier insights. For him, objects designate the way in which western metaphysics detached the abstract and ideal realm of pure forms from the mundane realm of concrete things, putting the latter as a mere imperfect reproduction of the former.[24] Following a phenomenological approach, Heidegger saw things as belonging to the world of everyday uses and experiences, but the distinction, within this realm, between the active and passive properties of things was not clarified. He addressed this issue back in 1927 with the concepts of present-at-hand and ready-to-hand.

No matter how sharply we just look at the ‘outward appearance’ of Things in whatever form this takes, we cannot discover anything ready-to-hand. If we look at Things just ‘theoretically’, we can get along without understanding readiness-to-hand. But when we deal with them by using them and manipulating them, this activity is not a blind one; it has its own kind of sight, by which our manipulation is guided and from which it acquires its specific Thingly character.[25]

A thing is present-at-hand when it is being perceived by the passive and detached attitude of the theorist or philosopher –merely contemplated and looked at as a material fact, at best as the ‘crystallisation’ of the pure idea. On the contrary, a thing is ready-to-hand when we actually engage with it and directly use it without ‘thinking’. From this we can presume that Heidegger was concerned with counteracting the primacy of the ideal and visible object (present-at-hand) over the thing (ready-to-hand) –accessible phenomenologically through daily use. We can assert, therefore, that Heidegger’s distinction roughly matches our earlier understanding of thing and object. Heidegger’s thing is pretty much our object, while his object is not quite our thing. To avoid misunderstandings, let us stick to our previous definition, while maintaining Heidegger’s critique of an abstract-idealist approach to the matter.

The object as an ordering scheme

If the object exists both as a mental scheme of action, and as a concrete phenomenal and useful thing, this leaves its status in a confused state, is it a purely abstract matter or a practical one? How can it be both at once? A bicycle is both an immaterial mental scheme which bears the rules for riding it and a concrete artefact made according to those rules. When we use something, we never do it in the same exact way; we cannot replicate the exact same movements and positions, why? Because use consists merely in the concrete actions required to consume something. These actions are performed according to rules of movement stored in our memory but they are not those rules, they are just their concrete and contingent manifestation. Neither are these rules purely ideal forms, but they are grounded in our bodily experiences. Yet, objects do have certain fixity derived from the body’s performance and capacities, but they are neither immutable nor transcendental. Therefore, the reality of objects is substantial or formal rather than contingent. Borchers argued that this property made objects the real substance of architecture:

A drop of water has the shape of a sphere; a knife of steel has an elongated shape and an edge: knife and drop are bodies, but water and steel are the substance of drop and knife. Objects form the substance of architecture (…) a table can be of wood, marble or other material; the material there does not constitute the object, it is as it where the incidental, neither this or that form: the object is the permanent, the enduring with independence of its configuration, which is changeable and shifting.[26]

Instead of an architecture merely grounded on its sensory appearance as thing, Borchers sought one based on what ultimately remains of it after all the rest has disappeared or changed: architectural objects. Similarly, for Marx values form the substance of commodities. Through time, they can change their use and exchange ratios, but what remains is their value – though in any absolute fashion.

Heretofore, it may seem that objects form part of an obscure and purely abstract realm, or else a subjective definition that has little empirical validity. However, Uexküll based his research on scientific experiments, and defined objects as a biological fact without which we would not be able to give shape and movement to the world around us.[27] If human use is what turns things into objects, then it is this activity what allows to overcome the initial contradiction between them, which is one the forms that the contradiction between natural and artificial takes. On the other hand, if objects are substantial, they form the underlying structure of both things and uses, which are always contingent and subject to specific conditions. As thing, a jug can be made of many different materials and it can have countless and diverse designs, this will depend on its time, location, and productive conditions. Also it can be used in many different ways as long as its material properties allow it. But it cannot change its size up to a certain point; it cannot change its basic constituents, such as being a vessel (holding), having at least one handle, and perhaps a neck or lip (pouring). These properties do not need to have a definite shape, but simply be able to be handled by the human hand in a suitable way. Yet, these formal qualities are just one side of the object –which we may call its ‘figure’ (or spatial skeleton)[28]– the other consisting in order sensations, such as our sense of location, direction, and moment, which are internal to our body and completely non-spatial. We shall review them in more detail in the next chapter. Suffice for now will be to signal their relation to our ‘bodily’ memory:

Our memory –which we constantly use to recognize objects– usually does not consist in images that we compare with objects to see if they match them (…) The object remains in our memory not as a complete image, but as a series of directive signs which like a melody, dwell in us.[29]

Giant dinner table

Let us return now to the concept of value. One thing to bear in mind is that for Marx, value is specific to the emergence of capitalism. But how can this be? Do not all human creations have value for them as long as they meet their needs? This is where we have to be careful not to confuse Marx’s specific definition of value with other meanings regarding ethics, culture, or even economics itself –i.e. subjective value theory.[30] Marx’s value has an entirely different meaning we should clarify to avoid misinterpretation. For him, the value of commodities is not a matter of subjective judgment, consumer preference, ethical principles, or any other kind of appreciation. On the contrary, the development of values signals the advent of a particular mode of production, one in which we don’t produce for our own human needs, but for exchange our products through the market: ‘to become a commodity a product must be transferred to another, whom it will serve as a use-value, by means of an exchange’.[31] Values arise when we compare the amount of average and socially necessary labour-time that went into the production of each commodity, and this can only be made through exchange. Consider how Marx reflects on value as what remains in commodities after they are abstracted from their qualitative and concrete aspects:

(…) it consists of the same unsubstantial reality [phantom-like objectivity][32] in each [commodity], a mere congelation of homogeneous human labour, of labour-power expended without regard to the mode of its expenditure. All that these things now tell us is, that human labour-power has been expended in their production, that human labour is embodied in them. When looked at as crystals of this social substance, common to them all, they are –Values.[33]

The threefold structure of the commodity-form is thus revealed: it has at once a use-value, an exchange-value, and a value. Likewise, an architectonic construction can be understood as a purely sensory thing, as something that is used, and finally as an object or ordering scheme. The only term that properly matches with the structure of the commodity is use. For things are neither abstract nor quantitative, but rather phenomenal and qualitative. And objects are not specific to capitalism, but inherent in our organism. But we are not interested here in philosophical comparisons, but with their actual relationship.

Representation of hammer, real hammer, definition of hammer

We cannot see or sensually perceive the object in a hammer, it is immaterial and non-spatial: it arises only when our internal senses react to the stimuli coming from it, and consequently our body executes a unitary action on it, hence ‘using/consuming’ it in one way or another –hammering, pull out a nail. Both Marx and Heidegger theorised about one particular kind of use: productive consumption. Heidegger argued that all things ‘ready-to-hand’ are essentially equipment which we use ‘in order to’ make or aiding to make other things in a continuous process.

(…) the work to be produced is not merely usable for something. The production itself is a using of something for something. In the work there is also a reference or assignment to ‘materiaIs’: the work is dependent on leather, thread, needles, and the like. Leather, moreover is produced from hides. These are taken from animals, which someone else has raised.[34]

Similarly, Marx points out, in his analysis of the labour-process, this double character of the products of labour, as they are not only results but also conditions for further production.

Though a use-value, in the form of a product, issues from the labour-process, yet other use-values, products of previous labour, enter into it as means of production. The same-use-value is both the product of a previous process, and a means of production in a later process. Products are therefore not only results, but also essential conditions of labour (…) labour consumes products in order to create products, or in other words, consumes one set of products by turning them into means of production for another set.[35]

We see then that in general, objects form part of a ceaseless process of creation of use-values out of other preceding use-values –including nature. All human activities form part of this process whether directly or indirectly. In this, objects coordinate and discipline human actions according to rules of movement which are both biologically and socially grounded –to the extent that both become indistinguishable from each other. Thus, objects are immaterial because they form the substratum of a permanent social practice: labour. And in particular, objects are also essential for the creation of values under capitalism. If, as we earlier stated, they are ‘a performance plan deposited into the thing by our will: a result of our previous actions that serves our subsequent actions’, then the temporal factor is decisive. The degree to which objects structure our actions and movements during labour depends heavily on the key factor which manages and controls the time of the production and exchange of commodities: the social average of labour-time. Who determines this average? Who sets what is ‘socially necessary’? In short, who or whom determines values in a capitalist society?[36] Value dictates not only the pace of production, but also its general organisation –including the movements of workers during production. The rules of movement for using/producing an object get transfigured into a new set of rules which will be embodied in the object produced. The rules for hammering nails into wood planks metamorphose into the rules for sitting in a wooden chair. Therefore, the key element which relates (architectural) objects to values is the time of labour, which broadly speaking, is the time of life itself.

[1] We refer here to the laws of nature as the ‘objective orders or regularities in the natural world, which are independent of human minds and discovered by scientific investigation’, not to be confused with the concept of natural law in ethics, nor with physical or scientific laws, see: Nicholas Bunnin and Jiyuan Yu, The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 380.

[2] Juan Borchers, Institución Arquitectónica (Santiago: Andres Bello, 1968), 33. Translated from Spanish to English for academic purposes by Patricio De Stefani, 2012.

[3] Hans Van der Laan, Le Nombre Plastique (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960), 5-6.

[4] Jakob von Uexküll, Cartas Biológicas a una Dama (Santiago: Zig-Zag, n. d.), published originally as “Biologische Briefe an eine Dame” (Belin: Verlag von Gebrüder Paetel, 1920), 29. Translated from Spanish to English for academic purposes by Patricio De Stefani, 2012.

[5] Juan Borchers, Institución Arquitectónica, 144.

[6] Jakob von Uexküll, “A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men: A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds”, in Instinctive Behaviour: The Development of a Modern Concept, ed. Claire H. Schiller (New York: International Universities Press, 1957), 6.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Uexküll, Cartas Biológicas a una Dama, 63-64.

[9] Ibid, 64

[10] Martin Heidegger, “The Thing”, in Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. Alfred Hofstadter (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), 164-165.

[11] Ibid, 166.

[12] Uexküll, “A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men”, 6.

[13] Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (Volume I), trans. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications Inc., 2011), 42.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid, 42-43.

[16] Ibid, 43.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid, 44.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid, 45.

[21] David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital (London: Verso, 2010) 18, 20.

[22] Karl Marx, Capital, 46.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Adam Sharr, Heidegger for Architects (Abingdon: Routledge, 2007), 29.

[25] Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), 98.

[26] Juan Borchers, Institución Arquitectónica, 31.

[27] Uexküll, “A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men”, 14, 16, 30, 37, 43.

[28] Uexküll, Cartas Biológicas a una Dama, 55.

[29] Ibid, 55-56.

[30] On the economic field, one of the key exponents of the subjective theory of value was the Austrian School of economics, in particular see: Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, The Positive Theory of Capital (New York: G. E. Stechert & Co), accessed December 13, 2011,

[31] Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (Volume I) (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1887), 29, accessed December 10, 2011,

[32] In other editions of Capital the German term ‘gespenstige gegenständlichkeit’ is translated as ‘phantom-like objectivity’ which perhaps describes more accurately the nature of the notion of value, see: Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (Volume I), trans. Ben Fowkes (London: Penguin Classics, 1990), 128.

[33] Karl Marx, Capital, 45.

[34] Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, 99-100.

[35] Karl Marx, Capital, 201, 204.

[36] David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital, 20.


About patriciodestefani

My main focus is on the role of architecture within capitalist society and the search for a radical alternative practice.
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One Response to The Artificial Order

  1. samijdatta says:

    Mind in the simplest virtual of the anti-optimism decollects the eventual horizon of the past tragedy to negate the form of the quantum-illusion against the structural-light of the vast-super-logic beneath the frame of external solubility for the limited return of the mimesis in the front-axis of the space building the time without the normalism of delta-data in local void-convergence.Reason is involuted in the audit of the brainless signature to trace the projection of the eye across the diametrical inertia of the vision as the eye bearing the fruit of hearing-ear in the mouth-paid momentum of the intelligence.Life is integrated by the power of consciousness in the zero of the order.

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