Tag Archives: Automata

1732: The Morals of Chess

Although Benjamin Franklin likely composed his essay “The Morals of Chess” as early as 1732, it was first published in 1786, during the height of interest surrounding Wolfgang von Kempelen’s mechanical chess-playing Turk; Franklin himself had lost to the machine … Continue reading

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1649: Descartes’s Wooden Daughter

When Descartes resided in Holland, with great labour and industry he made a female Automaton—which occasioned some wicked wits to publish that he had an illegitimate daughter, named Franchine—to prove demonstratively that beasts have no souls, and that they are … Continue reading

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