Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reckoning with MatterCalculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking About Thinking from Pascal to Babbage$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

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

Babbage Confronts Prior Art

Babbage Confronts Prior Art

(p.157) 1111 Fourth Carry Babbage Confronts Prior Art
Reckoning with Matter

Matthew L. Jones

University of Chicago Press

Charles Babbage’s claims to the novelty of his Difference Engine were suspect from the very start, even to himself. His earliest manuscript “demonstrating” the possibility of the Difference Engine advanced a fairly humble attitude about the possibility of predecessors: “Commencing then with the first action which it will be necessary to execute, either it is one which is known and to be found in books or in machines, or it is novel in its kind; in the first case it is needless in the present instance to choose among the received methods of accomplishing it …; If on the other hand it is new in its kind we must … \contrive/some method of executing it or reserve it after consideration.”...

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.