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Medieval Robots

Medieval Robots Author E. R. Truitt
ISBN-10 9780812291407
Release 2015-04-22
Pages 296
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A thousand years before Isaac Asimov set down his Three Laws of Robotics, real and imagined automata appeared in European courts, liturgies, and literary texts. Medieval robots took such forms as talking statues, mechanical animals, and silent metal guardians; some served to entertain or instruct while others performed disciplinary or surveillance functions. Variously ascribed to artisanal genius, inexplicable cosmic forces, or demonic powers, these marvelous fabrications raised fundamental questions about knowledge, nature, and divine purpose in the Middle Ages. Medieval Robots recovers the forgotten history of fantastical, aspirational, and terrifying machines that captivated Europe in imagination and reality between the ninth and fourteenth centuries. E. R. Truitt traces the different forms of self-moving or self-sustaining manufactured objects from their earliest appearances in the Latin West through centuries of mechanical and literary invention. Chronicled in romances and song as well as histories and encyclopedias, medieval automata were powerful cultural objects that probed the limits of natural philosophy, illuminated and challenged definitions of life and death, and epitomized the transformative and threatening potential of foreign knowledge and culture. This original and wide-ranging study reveals the convergence of science, technology, and imagination in medieval culture and demonstrates the striking similarities between medieval and modern robotic and cybernetic visions.



Sublime Dreams of Living Machines

Sublime Dreams of Living Machines Author Minsoo Kang
ISBN-10 9780674059412
Release 2011-02-14
Pages 368
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Kang’s central contention is that the automaton, a machine that can move by itself (better known today as the robot), is one of the essential ideas with which people in the West have pondered the very nature of humanity itself. In Kang’s telling, automata are mirrors of the ideas, fears, and anxieties of a given era, in that attitudes towards the machines have always been indicative of a moment’s zeitgeist. The book is historically sweeping, but not comprehensive; the focus is on what Kang takes to be key changes in the representations of and responses to automata. His main interest is on how Europeans in different periods of the past thought about the very notion of a self-moving machine that acted as if it were alive and how they used it for various symbolic and intellectual purposes.



Prophecy Alchemy and the End of Time

Prophecy  Alchemy  and the End of Time Author Leah DeVun
ISBN-10 9780231519342
Release 2012-06-19
Pages 272
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In the middle of the fourteenth century, the Franciscan friar John of Rupescissa sent a dramatic warning to his followers: the last days were coming; the apocalypse was near. Deemed insane by the Christian church, Rupescissa had spent more than a decade confined to prisons?in one case wrapped in chains and locked under a staircase?yet ill treatment could not silence the friar's apocalyptic message. Religious figures who preached the end times were hardly rare in the late Middle Ages, but Rupescissa's teachings were unique. He claimed that knowledge of the natural world, and alchemy in particular, could act as a defense against the plagues and wars of the last days. His melding of apocalyptic prophecy and quasi-scientific inquiry gave rise to a new genre of alchemical writing and a novel cosmology of heaven and earth. Most important, the friar's research represented a remarkable convergence between science and religion. In order to understand scientific knowledge today, Leah DeVun asks that we revisit Rupescissa's life and the critical events of his age?the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War, the Avignon Papacy?through his eyes. Rupescissa treated alchemy as medicine (his work was the conceptual forerunner of pharmacology) and represented the emerging technologies and views that sought to combat famine, plague, religious persecution, and war. The advances he pioneered, along with the exciting strides made by his contemporaries, shed critical light on later developments in medicine, pharmacology, and chemistry.



Magic and Magicians in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Time

Magic and Magicians in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Time Author Albrecht Classen
ISBN-10 9783110557725
Release 2017-10-23
Pages 767
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There are no clear demarcation lines between magic, astrology, necromancy, medicine, and even sciences in the pre-modern world. Under the umbrella term 'magic,' the contributors to this volume examine a wide range of texts, both literary and religious, both medical and philosophical, in which the topic is discussed from many different perspectives. The fundamental concerns address issue such as how people perceived magic, whether they accepted it and utilized it for their own purposes, and what impact magic might have had on the mental structures of that time. While some papers examine the specific appearance of magicians in literary texts, others analyze the practical application of magic in medical contexts. In addition, this volume includes studies that deal with the rise of the witch craze in the late fifteenth century and then also investigate whether the Weberian notion of disenchantment pertaining to the modern world can be maintained. Magic is, oddly but significantly, still around us and exerts its influence. Focusing on magic in the medieval world thus helps us to shed light on human culture at large.



Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth century Paris

Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth century Paris Author comtesse Cäleste Vänard de Chabrillan
ISBN-10 0803282737
Release 2001
Pages 325
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When Cäleste Mogador's memoirs were first published in 1854 and again in 1858, they were immediately seized and condemned as immoral and unsuitable for public consumption. For a reader in our more forgiving times, this extraordinary document offers not only a portrait of the early life of an intelligent, courageous, and infinitely intriguing Frenchwoman but also an exceedingly rare inside look at the world of the courtesans and prostitutes of nineteenth-century France. ø Writing to conciliate judges and creditors, Mogador (born Cäleste Venard in 1824) explains how with tenacity, wit, and audacity, she managed to escape a difficult childhood and subsequent life of prostitution to become, successively, a darling of the dance halls, a circus rider, and an actress, all the while attracting wealthy young men who vied for her favor. Although her account gives readers a peek into the rakish demimonde made famous by Verdi's opera La Traviata, its greatest value lies in its candid picture of a spunky, self-educated woman who doggedly transformed herself into an esteemed and prolific novelist and playwright, who fell in love with a count and married him, and who made her name synonymous with the bohemian life of the 1840s and 1850s in Paris.



Edison s Eve

Edison s Eve Author Gaby Wood
ISBN-10 UOM:39015055204815
Release 2002
Pages 304
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Describes the human fascination with creating life as it traces the scientific research, theories, hoaxes, and inventions that presaged the evolution of contemporary robotics and experiments with artificial intelligence. 20,000 first printing.



Androids in the Enlightenment

Androids in the Enlightenment Author Adelheid Voskuhl
ISBN-10 9780226034027
Release 2013-05-31
Pages 294
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The eighteenth century saw the creation of a number of remarkable mechanical androids: at least ten prominent automata were built between 1735 and 1810 by clockmakers, court mechanics, and other artisans from France, Switzerland, Austria, and the German lands. Designed to perform sophisticated activities such as writing, drawing, or music making, these “Enlightenment automata” have attracted continuous critical attention from the time they were made to the present, often as harbingers of the modern industrial age, an era during which human bodies and souls supposedly became mechanized. In Androids in the Enlightenment, Adelheid Voskuhl investigates two such automata—both depicting piano-playing women. These automata not only play music, but also move their heads, eyes, and torsos to mimic a sentimental body technique of the eighteenth century: musicians were expected to generate sentiments in themselves while playing, then communicate them to the audience through bodily motions. Voskuhl argues, contrary to much of the subsequent scholarly conversation, that these automata were unique masterpieces that illustrated the sentimental culture of a civil society rather than expressions of anxiety about the mechanization of humans by industrial technology. She demonstrates that only in a later age of industrial factory production did mechanical androids instill the fear that modern selves and societies had become indistinguishable from machines.



The Restless Clock

The Restless Clock Author Jessica Riskin
ISBN-10 9780226302928
Release 2016-03-10
Pages 548
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A core principle of modern science holds that a scientific explanation must not attribute will or agency to natural phenomena.The Restless Clock examines the origins and history of this, in particular as it applies to the science of living things. This is also the story of a tradition of radicals—dissenters who embraced the opposite view, that agency is an essential and ineradicable part of nature. Beginning with the church and courtly automata of early modern Europe, Jessica Riskin guides us through our thinking about the extent to which animals might be understood as mere machines. We encounter fantastic robots and cyborgs as well as a cast of scientific and philosophical luminaries, including Descartes and Leibnitz, Lamarck and Darwin, whose ideas gain new relevance in Riskin's hands. The book ends with a riveting discussion of how the dialectic continues in genetics, epigenetics, and evolutionary biology, where work continues to naturalize different forms of agency.The Restless Clock reveals the deeply buried roots of current debates in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology.



Reuse Value

Reuse Value Author Richard Brilliant
ISBN-10 9781317063797
Release 2016-04-08
Pages 284
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This book offers a range of views on spolia and appropriation in art and architecture from fourth-century Rome to the late twentieth century. Using case studies from different historical moments and cultures, contributors test the limits of spolia as a critical category and seek to define its specific character in relation to other forms of artistic appropriation. Several authors explore the ethical issues raised by spoliation and their implications for the evaluation and interpretation of new work made with spolia. The contemporary fascination with spolia is part of a larger cultural preoccupation with reuse, recycling, appropriation and re-presentation in the Western world. All of these practices speak to a desire to make use of pre-existing artifacts (objects, images, expressions) for contemporary purposes. Several essays in this volume focus on the distinction between spolia and other forms of reused objects. While some authors prefer to elide such distinctions, others insist that spolia entail some form of taking, often violent, and a diminution of the source from which they are removed. The book opens with an essay by the scholar most responsible for the popularity of spolia studies in the later twentieth century, Arnold Esch, whose seminal article 'Spolien' was published in 1969. Subsequent essays treat late Roman antiquity, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Middle Ages, medieval and modern attitudes to spolia in Southern Asia, the Italian Renaissance, the European Enlightenment, modern America, and contemporary architecture and visual culture.



The Bronze Object in the Middle Ages

The Bronze Object in the Middle Ages Author Ittai Weinryb
ISBN-10 9781316539026
Release 2016-04-18
Pages
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This book presents the first full length study in English of monumental bronzes in the Middle Ages. Taking as its point of departure the common medieval reception of bronze sculpture as living or animated, the study closely analyzes the practice of lost wax casting (cire perdue) in western Europe and explores the cultural responses to large scale bronzes in the Middle Ages. Starting with mining, smelting, and the production of alloys, and ending with automata, water clocks and fountains, the book uncovers networks of meaning around which bronze sculptures were produced and consumed. The book is a path-breaking contribution to the study of metalwork in the Middle Ages and to the re-evaluation of medieval art more broadly, presenting an understudied body of work to reconsider what the materials and techniques embodied in public monuments meant to the medieval spectator.



Wonder and Skepticism in the Middle Ages

Wonder and Skepticism in the Middle Ages Author Keagan Brewer
ISBN-10 9781317430353
Release 2016-01-29
Pages 236
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Wonder and Skepticism in the Middle Ages explores the response by medieval society to tales of marvels and the supernatural, which ranged from firm belief to outright rejection, and asks why the believers believed, and why the skeptical disbelieved. Despite living in a world whose structures more often than not supported belief, there were still a great many who disbelieved, most notably scholastic philosophers who began a polemical programme against belief in marvels. Keagan Brewer reevaluates the Middle Ages’ reputation as an era of credulity by considering the evidence for incidences of marvels, miracles and the supernatural and demonstrating the reasons people did and did not believe in such things. Using an array of contemporary sources, he shows that medieval responders sought evidence in the commonality of a report, similarity of one event to another, theological explanations and from people with status to show that those who believed in marvels and miracles did so only because the wonders had passed evidentiary testing. In particular, he examines both emotional and rational reactions to wondrous phenomena, and why some were readily accepted and others rejected. This book is an important contribution to the history of emotions and belief in the Middle Ages.



Genesis Redux

Genesis Redux Author Ed Rietman
ISBN-10 UOM:39015032940887
Release 1994
Pages 347
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Genesis Redux makes cutting-edge research into biotechnology, neural networks, artificial intelligence, robotics, ecosystems, and cellular biology accessible. Contains artificial life simulation for BASIC, C, and Pascal programmers. Interactive programs on disk allow programmers to create complex, dynamic organisms on their PCs.



Openness Secrecy Authorship

Openness  Secrecy  Authorship Author Pamela O. Long
ISBN-10 0801866065
Release 2001-07-13
Pages 364
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In today's world of intellectual property disputes, industrial espionage, and book signings by famous authors, one easily loses sight of the historical nature of the attribution and ownership of texts. In Openness, Secrecy, Authorship: Technical Arts and the Culture of Knowledge from Antiquity to the Renaissance, Pamela Long combines intellectual history with the history of science and technology to explore the culture of authorship. Using classical Greek as well as medieval and Renaissance European examples, Long traces the definitions, limitations, and traditions of intellectual and scientific creation and attribution. She examines these attitudes as they pertain to the technical and the practical. Although Long's study follows a chronological development, this is not merely a general work. Long is able to examine events and sources within their historical context and locale. By looking at Aristotelian ideas of Praxis, Techne, and Episteme. She explains the tension between craft and ideas, authors and producers. She discusses, with solid research and clear prose, the rise, wane, and resurgence of priority in the crediting and lionizing of authors. Long illuminates the creation and re-creation of ideas like "trade secrets," "plagiarism," "mechanical arts," and "scribal culture." Her historical study complicates prevailing assumptions while inviting a closer look at issues that define so much of our society and thought to this day. She argues that "a useful working definition of authorship permits a gradation of meaning between the poles of authority and originality," and guides us through the term's nuances with clarity rarely matched in a historical study.



The Art of Game Design

The Art of Game Design Author Jesse Schell
ISBN-10 9781498759564
Release 2015-09-15
Pages 600
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Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. Written by one of the world's top game designers, The Art of Game Design presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, puzzle design, and anthropology. This Second Edition of a Game Developer Front Line Award winner: Describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design Demonstrates how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in top-quality video games Contains valuable insight from Jesse Schell, the former chair of the International Game Developers Association and award-winning designer of Disney online games The Art of Game Design, Second Edition gives readers useful perspectives on how to make better game designs faster. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again.



Myth and Mystique Cleveland s Gothic Table Fountain

Myth and Mystique  Cleveland s Gothic Table Fountain Author Stephen N. Fliegel
ISBN-10 1907804943
Release 2016-10-11
Pages 232
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Focuses on one of the most remarkable examples of gothic art to have survived, a unique functioning table decoration.



Notebooks English Virtuosi and Early Modern Science

Notebooks  English Virtuosi  and Early Modern Science Author Richard Yeo
ISBN-10 9780226106731
Release 2014-03-01
Pages 384
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In Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science, Richard Yeo interprets a relatively unexplored set of primary archival sources: the notes and notebooks of some of the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution. Notebooks were important to several key members of the Royal Society of London, including Robert Boyle, John Evelyn, Robert Hooke, John Locke, and others, who drew on Renaissance humanist techniques of excerpting from texts to build storehouses of proverbs, maxims, quotations, and other material in personal notebooks, or commonplace books. Yeo shows that these men appreciated the value of their own notes both as powerful tools for personal recollection, and, following Francis Bacon, as a system of precise record keeping from which they could retrieve large quantities of detailed information for collaboration. The virtuosi of the seventeenth century were also able to reach beyond Bacon and the humanists, drawing inspiration from the ancient Hippocratic medical tradition and its emphasis on the gradual accumulation of information over time. By reflecting on the interaction of memory, notebooks, and other records, Yeo argues, the English virtuosi shaped an ethos of long-term empirical scientific inquiry.



The Medieval New

The Medieval New Author Patricia Clare Ingham
ISBN-10 9780812291230
Release 2015-04-07
Pages 288
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Despite the prodigious inventiveness of the Middle Ages, the era is often characterized as deeply suspicious of novelty. But if poets and philosophers urged caution about the new, Patricia Clare Ingham contends, their apprehension was less the result of a blind devotion to tradition than a response to radical expansions of possibility in diverse realms of art and science. Discovery and invention provoked moral questions in the Middle Ages, serving as a means to adjudicate the ethics of invention and opening thorny questions of creativity and desire. The Medieval New concentrates on the preoccupation with newness and novelty in literary, scientific, and religious discourses of the twelfth through sixteenth centuries. Examining a range of evidence, from the writings of Roger Bacon and Geoffrey Chaucer to the letters of Christopher Columbus, and attending to histories of children's toys, the man-made marvels of romance, the utopian aims of alchemists, and the definitional precision of the scholastics, Ingham analyzes the ethical ambivalence with which medieval thinkers approached the category of the new. With its broad reconsideration of what the "newfangled" meant in the Middle Ages, The Medieval New offers an alternative to histories that continue to associate the medieval era with conservation rather than with novelty, its benefits and liabilities. Calling into question present-day assumptions about newness, Ingham's study demonstrates the continued relevance of humanistic inquiry in the so-called traditional disciplines of contemporary scholarship.