In this paper, an attempt is made to explicate the main point of E. Ilyenkov’s concept of ideality, according to which ideality is a form of human activities aiming at transforming nature. The argumentation is based upon Ilyenkov’s own idea that ideality is really “alive” in activities only, dying, as it were, in the finished products (if they are not involved in new activities). In the paper, this idea is specified by using an example of artificial (mechanical) motion. In mechanical motion two main aspects are singled out which do not manifest themselves in natural motion. These are a regular form of the trajectory and the possibility of the realization of a uniform motion. Such aspects did not belong to mechanical motion from the very outset but were gradually revealing themselves (being artificially created) in the course of technical development. To specify this thesis, the genesis of the lathe is taken into account. Besides that, a famous Aristotelian dictum “ars imitatio naturae” and its historical fate in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Times is analysed. It is shown that technique in its development from the 15th-16th centuries onwards, started to contradict this dictum which is due to the fact, that exactly at that time both ideal aspects of mechanical motion have finally become manifest.
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