Human mimicry and Imitation: the case of Biomimetics

Andrea Borsari


Defining biomimetics (§ 1) as the imitation of models, systems and elements of nature for the purpose to solve human complex problems, the essay considers (§ 2) some examples of that activity, like display technologies, and nanoscientific innovations. According to the literature on the subject, the further section of the article (§ 3) examines the possibility of giving a conceptual framework for biomimetic processes, starting from the observation of its current insufficient development both on the logical level and on a wider philosophical one. The fourth section (§ 4) discusses the way through which an approach oriented to philosophical anthropology and recent perspectives on imitation can help us to understand this kind of phenomena at the intersection of human and (non-human) animal fields. In the final sections (§ 5), the text discusses the consequences of the biomimicry approach in the specific case of architecture and tries to draw some conclusions on the way an anthropology and an aesthetics of human mimicry and imitation can be re-shaped including biomimetics among their assumptions.


biomimetics; mimicry; imitation; bioinspired design and architecture; aesthetics and philosophical anthropology

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