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  • Machines in the Garden

    Jessica Riskin

    Chapter from the book: Black C. & Álvarez M. 2019. Renaissance Futurities: Science, Art, Invention.


    Ideas are inseparable from things, and vice versa. Intellectual history and the history of material culture, accordingly, are not discrete endeavors; they are conjoined. This chapter, written by Jessica Riskin, demonstrates these propositions for what is arguably the hardest case, the idea most reputed to have detached modern philosophy from the objects of daily experience: Descartes’s philosophical revolution cleaving mental self from mechanical body. A particular kind of machine, proliferating across the landscape of late medieval and early modern Europe, closely informed this philosophical revolution. Moreover, to approach the revolutionary philosophy in terms of the devices that informed it is to arrive at a kind of instability, a fault-line running through its very core.

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    Riskin, J. 2019. Machines in the Garden. In: Black C. & Álvarez M (eds.), Renaissance Futurities. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.79.c

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    Published on Oct. 15, 2019