[Humanist] 23.27 servants as automata

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed May 20 07:43:22 CEST 2009


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 27.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>                       (9)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.25 servants as automata?

  [2]   From:    DrWender at aol.com                                           (7)
        Subject: Re: 23.25 // king as automaton

  [3]   From:    ksearsmi <ksearsmi at ncsa.uiuc.edu>                          (9)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.25 servants as automata?

  [4]   From:    Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel at ualberta.ca>                  (46)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.25 servants as automata?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 07:49:34 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.25 servants as automata?
        In-Reply-To: <20090519072921.C8CDC5787 at woodward.joyent.us>

Willard -- If you're interested generally in how human beings were
seen as machines, there's quite a bit out there in the history of
science and in relationship to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  Golem
stories are part of this tradition as well.  But the more specific,
"servants as automata" -- that's interesting, and I'm not sure.  I
don't recall anything off hand.  I'll think it over a bit and if I
come up with anything I'll email you.

You don't have to post this to the list.

Jim



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 08:50:06 EDT
        From: DrWender at aol.com
        Subject: Re: 23.25 // king as automaton
        In-Reply-To: <20090519072921.C8CDC5787 at woodward.joyent.us>


In einer eMail vom 19.5.2009 09:29:42 Westeuropäische Sommerzeit schreibt
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk:

> I am interested particularly in how human beings
> were seen as machines

In the view of german philosophers at the beginning of the 19th century
monarchy was theorized in a way that the king were a signature machine in the
center of a totally technocratic administration...



--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 09:36:11 -0500
        From: ksearsmi <ksearsmi at ncsa.uiuc.edu>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.25 servants as automata?
        In-Reply-To: <20090519072921.C8CDC5787 at woodward.joyent.us>

In Jean Ingelow's Victorian fairy tale, Mopsa the Fairy, two women 
dressed in finery who serve horses that have been ill-treated in the 
mortal world turn out to be automata (full of gears).  Jack, the hero, 
learns that the horses intend to fix him up as a wind-up too, so that he 
may also serve.  Of course, he flees, as would any sensible boy.

Kelly Searsmith
Assistant Director, eDream
edream.illinois.edu
ksearsmi at ncsa.illinois.edu



--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 08:15:34 -0600
        From: Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel at ualberta.ca>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.25 servants as automata?
        In-Reply-To: <20090519072921.C8CDC5787 at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear Willard,

There is that amusing movie Sleeper with Woody Allen where he pretends  
to be one of the domestic servants to escape at one point.

Best,

Geoffrey R.

On May 19, 2009, at 1:29 AM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:

>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 25.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                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>
>        >
> 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.
>
> Yours,
> WM
> -- 
> 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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