Cavendish and causal models

[Cross posted from http://philosophymodsquad.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/cavendish-and-causal-models/.%5D I want to say a little bit about the way Margaret Cavendish thinks about causation.[1] A key aspect of that is an inversion, or set of inversions, of what other modern philosophers were up to. One prominent trend in modern philosophy was what is called mechanism. The central mechanist idea is …

Automata

[Cross-posted from philosophymodsquad.] In preparing to talk about Descartes on machines and animals and human beings the other day, I set out looking for information about seventeenth-century automata. One really interesting thing is Jessica Riskin’s article “Machines in the Garden” in Republics of Letters. This has a lot of information about “lifelike machines” of two sorts: …