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Reckoning with MatterCalculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking About Thinking from Pascal to Babbage$
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Matthew L. Jones

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226411460

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226411637.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 December 2021

Artisans and Their Philosophers: Leibniz and Hooke Coordinate Minds, Metal, and Wood

Artisans and Their Philosophers: Leibniz and Hooke Coordinate Minds, Metal, and Wood

Chapter:
(p.56) 2 Artisans and Their Philosophers: Leibniz and Hooke Coordinate Minds, Metal, and Wood
Source:
Reckoning with Matter
Author(s):

Matthew L. Jones

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226411637.003.0004

This chapter investigates Leibniz’s relationship to skilled labor in the conception and creation of his calculating machines. It shows Robert Hooke and Leibniz working to organize and coordinate the skills and knowledge of others. These cases reveal no stable, strict hierarchy between inventor and artisan, creator and implementer, between intellectual and manual labor. Despite a lifetime of effort and a small fortune, Leibniz never produced a machine deemed functional; the challenge of making machine inflected his philosophical reflections on the value of practical knowledge.

Keywords:   calculating machines, seventeenth century, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Robert Hooke, Ollivier, labor history, tacit knowledge, thinking matter

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