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More than Machines

Steven Shapin: Man or Machine?, 1 December 2016

The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick 
by Jessica Riskin.
Chicago, 544 pp., £30, March 2016, 978 0 226 30292 8
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... of her as stupid, just as having an agenda of her own.) These things have a deep history, and Jessica Riskin’s wide-ranging, witty and astonishingly learned book aims to recover it. People in the past thought in radically different ways from the way we do now about what it is to be a human being and a machine, and none of these past sensibilities ...

Its Rolling Furious Eyes

James Vincent: Automata, 22 February 2024

Miracles and Machines: A 16th-Century Automaton and Its Legend 
by Elizabeth King and W. David Todd.
Getty, 245 pp., £39.99, August 2023, 978 1 60606 839 7
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... the creation of all automata: ‘a motionless thing that comes to life’.The historian of science Jessica Riskin has noted that the Church was the greatest sponsor of proto-robots in the late Middle Ages in Europe. Cathedrals and monasteries not only possessed the material wealth necessary to create mechanical spectacles but nurtured technical ...

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