Techné is the Greek word which is rendered in English as either 'art' or 'that which is built.'

Etymologically, it is the root of many English words, such as 'technology,' 'technique,' 'technical' or 'technician.' Similarly, 'art' is the root of such similar-in-meaning words as 'artificial,' 'artifice,' or 'artful.' Architect has roots in both.

'Techné' is the opposite of the Greek 'physica', root of physical, which is usually translated as 'that which is found, or grown' - the natural world, essentially.

I find this etymology fascinating, because it provides insight into some seeming contradictions.

In the most general sense, life is art, AKA, techné. The structures which we call organisms are all built. Teeth, nails, tendrils, vascular systems, rhibosomes, mitochondria, enzymes and other proteins, chloroplasts, even DNA are all just integrated tools used in concert to collect and sort energy. Words like texture give away the similarity.

Techné and physica aren't opposites at all, but the Greeks just didn't have the tools (or arts) to recognize that the difference is only one of scale.

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