|Mohammed Ali Berawi||Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
Many studies have focused on modeling functions in the field of technological design as an important step toward product creation and innovation. Philosophical literature divides the concept of function into two main understandings: teleological theory and etiological theory. The teleological theory of function can explain the purpose and requisite actions of an object by citing expectations of collective intentionality, such as, our collective agreement that a hammer should be used to hit nails. The starting point is to differentiate the purpose of the artefact from the way it is used by articulating the designer’s intentionality. Thus, we can explain why and when an artefact (such as a chair) can be used in relation to its function; for example, whether a chair can be used to support the weight of a seated person, to hold open a door, as a step-stool, and so on. The etiological theory of function explains the prevalence and/or persistence of object types by citing the current presence of an object through causal contributions to its adaptation. Although unprotected steel can be used to form a roof in a wet climate, it will rust because of the etiological functions related to the causal account of oxidation. Thus, an etiological function of a technological artefact explains the causal relationship of why such an artefact exists by providing a historical account of its adapted/evolved form. Thus, we can see that the designers’ intentionality is constrained within etiological interactions.