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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, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Improvement for Profit: Calculating Machines and the Prehistory of Intellectual Property

Improvement for Profit: Calculating Machines and the Prehistory of Intellectual Property

Chapter:
(p.97) 3 Improvement for Profit: Calculating Machines and the Prehistory of Intellectual Property
Source:
Reckoning with Matter
Author(s):

Matthew L. Jones

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226411637.003.0006

Contributing to the history of intellectual property, this chapter studies the calculating machines of Pascal, Morland and Leibniz within early modern systems for protecting and encouraging manufactures and, indirectly, invention. Each of these inventors sought to make the most advanced, natural philosophical and artisanal knowledge of the day pay off in practical applications for state and market alike. The legal protections afforded “philosophical” machines were parasitic on legal devices tasked to support artisanal, not intellective, activities. The chapter documents how these makers obtained something like ownership in ideas before the development of intellectual property.

Keywords:   calculating machines, seventeenth century, Blaise Pascal, Samuel Morland, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, intellectual property, patents, innovation, government patronage

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