Philosophy

Articles

Descartes, La Mettrie, Language, And Machines

Keith Gundersona1

a1 University of California, Los Angeles

IN L'Homme machine La Mettrie at one point discusses the possibility of teaching an ape to speak, and later he suggests that just as the inventor Vaucanson had made a mechanical flute player and a mechanical duck, it might be possible some day for ‘another Prometheus’ to make a mechanical man which could talk.