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The Significance of the Artifact

Yi-Fu Tuan
Geographical Review
Vol. 70, No. 4 (Oct., 1980), pp. 462-472
DOI: 10.2307/214079
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/214079
Page Count: 11
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The Significance of the Artifact
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Abstract

Artifacts, like other human efforts at creation, are attempts to order, to control, and to reclaim the elusive, fleeting, and chaotic experiences of external environment, of our own being, and of other people. Artifacts lend stability and value to human lives. A house, for example, not only can moderate the weather and keep out unruly strangers but also can provide a comprehensible image of the cosmos, and salvage such past experiences as adhere to things. Artifacts contribute to a sense of self. Increasingly, as we show greater interest in the past, artifacts become objects of appreciation and of thought.

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