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In philosophy, a biofact is a hybrid between an artefact and a living being.

In philosophy, sociology and the arts, a biofact is a hybrid between an artifact and living being, or between concepts of nature and technology. It was introduced as a neologism in 2001 by the German philosopher Nicole C. Karafyllis and fuses the words artifact and bios.[1]

The word biofact first appeared in a German article (entitled 'Biofakt und Artefakt') in 1943, written by the Austrian protozoologist Bruno M. Klein.[2] Addressing both microscopy and philosophy, Klein named a biofact something that is a visible dead product emerging from a living being while this being is still alive (e.g. a shell).


  1. ^ Nicole C. Karafyllis: Biologisch, natürlich, nachhaltig. Philosophische Aspekte des Naturzugangs im 21. Jahrhundert. Tuebingen: A. Francke Publisher; chap. 6
  2. ^ Bruno Maria Klein: Artefakt und Biofakt, in: Mikrokosmos 1943/44


  • Nicole C. Karafyllis (ed.): Biofakte - Versuch über den Menschen zwischen Artefakt und Lebewesen. Paderborn, Mentis 2003 (in German).
  • Nicole C. Karafyllis: Biofakte - Grundlagen, Probleme, Perspektiven. Discussion Unit in the journal Deliberation Knowledge Ethics / Erwaegen Wissen Ethik, Vol. 17, Nr. 4 (2006). (in German with English abstracts)
  • Nicole C. Karafyllis: Growth of Biofacts: the real thing or metaphor?. In: R. Heil, A. Kaminski, M. Stippack, A. Unger and M. Ziegler (Ed.): Tensions and Convergences. Technological and Aesthetic (Trans)Formations of Society. Bielefeld (2007). 141-152. (in English)
  • Nicole C. Karafyllis: Endogenous Design of Biofacts. Tissues and Networks in Bio Art and Life Science. In: sk-interfaces. Exploding borders - creating membranes in art, technology and society. Ed. by Jens Hauser. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press (European Ed.) (2008), 42-58. (in English)

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