I. Work seeks to subdue nature
A. Homo faber
It is in man’s nature to work. This is what Benjamin Franklin meant when he stated that man is a ” toolmaking animal “: ” Man is a toolmaking animal “.
The notion of Homo faber is used to describe this man devoted to work, to the making of tools.
Henri Bergson in The Creative Evolution (1907) maintains in chapter II:
“Ultimately, intelligence, considered in what appears to be the original approach, is the faculty of making artificial objects, in particular tools to make tools, and to vary indefinitely the manufacture of them”
Henri Bergson, The Creative Evolution, 1907
Throughout his evolution, man has succeeded in appropriating nature through his work.
Homo habilis created the first simple tools 2.5 million years ago. His habitat began to be organized 750 000 years ago, and he finally mastered fire 300 000 years later. Cave art developed 20,000 years ago. During the Mesolithic period, the hunting and gathering economy gave way to agricultural production.
This evolution of man’s skills, using nature to serve him, has continued until today, with an increasingly violent relationship with nature. If the mill only took from nature, the steam engine constrains matter, and now nuclear fission releases an enormous quantity of energy, in the heart of the infinitesimal matter.
This is how man has been able to extend his hold on nature.