On the Custom of Naming Artefacts.

Abstract

Our attitudes to the material objects of everyday life vary as much as our attitudes to people. The comparison is intentional, because we treat some of these objects as we treat human beings: we give them proper names. All artefacts carry some sort of meaning: they are medium for technical information and for social messages, but also for personal attitudes. Named artefacts may shed light on the latter category of meaning. The naming may be simple convention, but it may also be contended that these objects are - or have been - invested with more meaning than most artefacts. This essay discusses the practice and meaning of naming, and argues for a conception of meaning that is based on experience, rather than on cognition.

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Rogan, B., (1989) “On the Custom of Naming Artefacts.”, Ethnologia Europaea 20(1), p.47-60. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1318

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Bjarne Rogan (University of Oslo)

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