Rethinking Mechanical Automata in Early Modern Europe

Rethinking Mechanical Automata in Early Modern Europe Stefano GULIZIA This collection of essays addresses the questions of whether, and how, automata and artificial instruments were able to articulate key issues of their period, particularly ideas about social hierarchy, economics, and philosophy of technology. The purpose of this short introduction is not to exhaust the relevance […]

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Reformation England and the Performance of Wonder: Automata Technology and the Transfer of Power from Church to State

Reformation England and the Performance of Wonder: Automata Technology and the Transfer of Power from Church to State Lily FILSON Abstract. When Henry VIII split England from the Church of Rome, a dramatic aspect of the broad campaign of reform and iconoclasm was the exposure of fraudulent religious imagery, revealing to the public that the […]

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Living Machines in the Early Stuart Court

Living Machines in the Early Stuart Court Vera KELLER* Abstract. This short paper is in response to Lily Filson‟s essay in this collection. It engages with the insertion of automata into a higher environmental sphere, with a distinct view on their embodiment and „macrocosmic‟ features. Such an approach emphasizes the relation between pneumatic technology and […]

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Christiaan Huygens’s Cosmotheoros: Anthropological Theology and the Mechanization of Nature

Christiaan Huygens’s Cosmotheoros: Anthropological Theology and the Mechanization of Nature Miguel PALOMO   Abstract. While it is known that a mechanized universe was adopted among scientists and philosophers during the seventeenth century and that it provided a new understanding of nature, we can see that for many scientists the universe was not entirely empirical. Rather, […]

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Talismans as Automata. Hebrew Philology and the Mechanisation of Nature in Jacques Gaffarel’s Curiositez

Talismans as Automata. Hebrew Philology and the Mechanisation of Nature in Jacques Gaffarel’s Curiositez Vittoria FEOLA   Abstract. This essay aims to contribute to our reflections about automata in the early modern worlds by demonstrating that, first, a debate took place in seventeenth-century France about the nature of talismans, as to whether they should be […]

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An Ink–and–Paper Automaton: The Conceptual Mechanization of Cognition and the Practical Automation of Reasoning in Leibniz’s De Affectibus (1679)

An Ink–and–Paper Automaton: The Conceptual Mechanization of Cognition and the Practical Automation of Reasoning in Leibniz’s De Affectibus (1679) Simon DUMAS PRIMBAULT*   Abstract. On ten loose handwritten folios dating back from April 1679, Leibniz gradually devised, in the course of three days, a full-blown theory of thought that nonetheless remained unpublished and still has […]

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Selected Bibliography

Selected Bibliography Sean Winkler   Primary Literature2 English Letters from Boris Hessen to J.G. Crowther, 5 April 1934 – 26 June 1936. In Special Collections: The J.G. Crowther Archive; SxMs29/1/3/2/6/11, SxMs29/1/3/4/1/14. Sussex: University of Sussex Library, 1934–1936. “The Social and Economic Roots of Newton‟s „Principia‟.” In Science at the Crossroads: Papers Presented to the International […]

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Translation of Boris Hessen’s “Preface to Articles by A. Einstein and J.J. Thomson”

Translation of Boris Hessen’s “Preface to Articles by A. Einstein and J.J. Thomson” Sean Winkler   Abstract. The following is a translation of Boris Hessen‟s «Предисловие к статьям А. Эйнштейна и Дж. Дж. Томсона», which was published in the Soviet Journal, Под знаменем марксизма.1 The paper was an introduction to the Russian translations of Albert […]

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Boris Hessen and Newton’s God

Boris Hessen and Newton’s God Ioannis Trisokkas   Abstract. A significant thread in Boris Hessen‟s iconic essay, The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s Principia (1931), is his critique of Newton‟s involving God in his physics. Contra Newton, Hessen believes that nature does not need God in order to function properly. Hessen gives two, quite […]

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Boris Hessen at the Crossroads of Science and Ideology. From International Circulation to the Soviet Context

Boris Hessen at the Crossroads of Science and Ideology. From International Circulation to the Soviet Context Gerardo Ienna Giulia Rispoli   Abstract. This article is based on a joint endeavor. The first part introduces Hessen‘s theses and reconstructs their reception from the 1930s to the most contemporary research in Science and Technology Studies in an […]

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