Automata – Enlightenment


Simon Schaffer (HPS, University of Cambridge) retelling the story of how an article on the Turk –the chess-playing automata– was published in the Berlinische Monatschrift right after Immanuel Kant’s text ‘An answer to the question: What is Enlightenment’.

Things: Early Modern Material Cultures Seminar

Model Things

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

12:30 – 14:30


Berlinische Monatschrift 1784 , 2. Link to digital edition:

Link to Kant’s essay in English translation:

The Turk (Wikipedia):


Simon Schaffer, “Enlightened Automata.” In The Sciences in Enlightened Europe, edited by William Clark, Jan Golinski, and Simon Schaffer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999, 126–166.


About Jose Ramon Marcaida

I’m a historian of science interested in the history of early modern Iberian science and its connection with Renaissance and Baroque visual culture. More generally, I’m interested in the relation between texts, images and things across the Humanities.
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