(urth) Hethor, Descartes and the "paracoita"
jfmachin at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 21 08:19:46 PST 2006
I'm a new poster, so please ignore if I'm covering old, old ground. I've
searched the archives but can't find any previous reference to this...
I recently came across a passage in a book I'm reading (a biography of Kant)
about Descartes personal "automaton". The following excerpt from an article
in the Daily Telegraph gives a good summation of the story:
The great philosopher went on a sea voyage to Sweden, telling people he was
travelling with his daughter Francine. As the journey went on, the girl
never appeared, and curious sailors finally entered Descartes cabin. They
found only a mechanical doll, which horrified them so much that they threw
Of course, this scenario of the mechanical doll stowed in a cabin instantly
reminded me of Hethor's lost "paracoita". Presumably, this is intentional on
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