[Humanist] 23.25 servants as automata?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue May 19 09:29:21 CEST 2009

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 25.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 08:06:12 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: servants as automata?

I would be enormously grateful for any clues to the explicit 
characterization of human servants or slaves as automata or to 
attribution to them of characteristics proper to machines. Such would 
include passages in novels and depictions in drama as well as guidebooks 
to proper social behaviour. Scholarly opinions that this was the way 
servants were treated when people had them would also be welcome. It's 
clear that from the earliest times automata were made or imagined in the 
form of servants, but I am interested particularly in how human beings 
were seen as machines.

Many thanks.

Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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