Understanding early modern calculating machines, the introduction explains, demands combining histories of labor, of mechanical contrivances, of intellectual history, and of philosophical reflection on thinking itself. Through the optic of technical artifacts, this books peers into diverse forms of technical life—social arrangements of practitioners, legal conceptions of the ownership of work and of ideas, and philosophical conceptions of knowledge and of skill.
Keywords: calculating machines, eventeenth century, eighteenth century, nineteenth century, Blaise Pascal, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Charles Babbage, artisanal knowlwedge, tacit knowledge, intellectual property
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