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

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$68.88
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $65.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 12%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $65.95   
  • New (2) from $73.11   
  • Used (3) from $65.95   

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Art in America
Exceptionally satisfying food for thought.

— Nancy Princethal

Nature
The strength of Genesis Redux lies in its scholarship and range of topics. Clockworks, mechanical toys and their influence on biological concepts are presented in fascinating detail.

— Greg Bear

British Journal for the History of Science
These eclectic essays will entertain and educate. . . . This volume can be recommended to anyone interested in the history of artificial-life research, and the history of the life sciences more broadly.

— Jacob Stegenga

Nature

"The strength of Genesis Redux lies in its scholarship and range of topics. Clockworks, mechanical toys and their influence on biological concepts are presented in fascinating detail."—Greg Bear, Nature

— Greg Bear

Art in America

"Exceptionally satisfying food for thought."—Nancy Princethal, Art in America

— Nancy Princethal

British Journal for the History of Science

"These eclectic essays will entertain and educate. . . . This volume can be recommended to anyone interested in the history of artificial-life research, and the history of the life sciences more broadly."

— Jacob Stegenga

Rodney Brooks

“Each of the essays in this volume ranges widely across technical and philosophical domains. They examine both familiar automatons from throughout history and delight us with yet more that will likely be unfamiliar to most readers. But the real treat of the essays is how they will make Artificial Life researchers squirm as they recognize their own intellectual sleights of hand exposed for all to see. Those researchers and the Genesis Redux contributors are all ultimately interested in what it is that truly distinguishes us beings from other lumps of matter.”
Art in America - Nancy Princethal

"Exceptionally satisfying food for thought."
Nature - Greg Bear

"The strength of Genesis Redux lies in its scholarship and range of topics. Clockworks, mechanical toys and their influence on biological concepts are presented in fascinating detail."
British Journal for the History of Science - Jacob Stegenga

"These eclectic essays will entertain and educate. . . . This volume can be recommended to anyone interested in the history of artificial-life research, and the history of the life sciences more broadly."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226720807
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Jessica Riskin is associate professor of history at Stanford University and author of Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and winner of the American Historical Association’s J. Russell Major Prize.
Riskin received her Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


List of Contributors     ix
List of Illustrations     xiii
Acknowledgments     xvii
Introduction: The Sistine Gap   Jessica Riskin     1
Connections
The Imitation of Life in Ancient Greek Philosophy   Sylvia Berryman     35
The Devil as Automaton: Giovanni Fontana and the Meanings of a Fifteenth-Century Machine   Anthony Grafton     46
Infinite Gesture: Automata and the Emotions in Descartes and Shakespeare   Scott Maisano     63
Abstracting from the Soul: The Mechanics of Locomotion   Dennis Des Chene     85
The Anatomy of Artificial Life: An Eighteenth-Century Perspective   Joan B. Landes     96
Emergence
The Homunculus and the Mandrake: Art Aiding Nature versus Art Faking Nature   William R. Newman     119
Sex Ratio Theory, Ancient and Modern: An Eighteenth-Century Debate about Intelligent Design and the Development of Models in Evolutionary Biology   Elliott Sober     131
The Gender of Automata in Victorian Britain   M. Norton Wise     163
Techno-Humanism: Requiem for the Cyborg   Timothy Lenoir     196
Nanobots and Nanotubes: Two Alternative Biomimetic Paradigms of Nanotechnology   Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent     221
CreatingInsight: Gestalt Theory and the Early Computer   David Bates     237
Interactions
Perpetual Devotion: A Sixteenth-Century Machine That Prays   Elizabeth King     263
Motions and Passions: Music-Playing Women Automata and the Culture of Affect in Late Eighteenth-Century Germany   Adelheid Voskuhl     293
An Archaeology of Artificial Life, Underwater   Stefan Helmreich     321
Booting Up Baby   Evelyn Fox Keller     334
Body Language: Lessons from the Near-Human   Justine Cassell     346
Index     375
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)