Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life

Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life

by Jessica Riskin
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226720802

ISBN-13: 9780226720807

Pub. Date: 08/01/2007

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Since antiquity, philosophers and engineers have tried to take life’s measure by reproducing it. Aiming to reenact Creation, at least in part, these experimenters have hoped to understand the links between body and spirit, matter and mind, mechanism and consciousness. Genesis Redux examines moments from this centuries-long experimental tradition:

Overview

Since antiquity, philosophers and engineers have tried to take life’s measure by reproducing it. Aiming to reenact Creation, at least in part, these experimenters have hoped to understand the links between body and spirit, matter and mind, mechanism and consciousness. Genesis Redux examines moments from this centuries-long experimental tradition: efforts to simulate life in machinery, to synthesize life out of material parts, and to understand living beings by comparison with inanimate mechanisms.

Jessica Riskin collects seventeen essays from distinguished scholars in several fields. These studies offer an unexpected and far-reaching result: attempts to create artificial life have rarely been driven by an impulse to reduce life and mind to machinery.  On the contrary, designers of synthetic creatures have generally assumed a role for something nonmechanical. The history of artificial life is thus also a history of theories of soul and intellect.

Taking a historical approach to a modern quandary, Genesis Redux is essential reading for historians and philosophers of science and technology, scientists and engineers working in artificial life and intelligence, and anyone engaged in evaluating these world-changing projects.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226720807
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
08/01/2007
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

1 Introduction: The Sistine Gap
Jessica Riskin
 
One Connections
2 The Imitation of Life in Ancient Greek Philosophy
Sylvia Berryman
3 The Devil as Automaton: Giovanni Fontana and the Meanings of a Fifteenth-Century Machine
Anthony Grafton
4 Infinite Gesture: Automata and the Emotions in Descartes and Shakespeare
Scott Maisano
5 Abstracting from the Soul: The Mechanics of Locomotion
Dennis des Chene
6 The Anatomy of Artificial Life: An Eighteenth-Century Perspective
Joan B. Landes
 
Two Emergence
7 The Homunculus and the Mandrake: Art Aiding Nature versus Art Faking Nature
William R. Newman
8 Sex Ratio Theory, Ancient and Modern: An Eighteenth-Century Debate about Intelligent Design and the Development of Models in Evolutionary Biology
Elliott Sober
9 The Gender of Automata in Victorian Britain
M. Norton Wise
10 Techno-Humanism: Requiem for the Cyborg
Timothy Lenoir
11 Nanobots and Nanotubes: Two Alternative Biomimetic Paradigms of Nanotechnology
Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
12 Creating Insight: Gestalt Theory and the Early Computer
David Bates
 
Three Interactions
13 Perpetual Devotion: A Sixteenth-Century Machine That Prays
Elizabeth King
14 Motions and Passions: Music-Playing Women Automata and the Culture of Affect in Late Eighteenth-Century Germany
Adelheid Voskuhl
15 An Archaeology of Artificial Life, Underwater
Stefan Helmreich
16 Booting Up Baby
Evelyn Fox Keller
17 Body Language: Lessons from the Near-Human
Justine Cassell
    
Index

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