Introduction: The Sistine Gap

Jessica Riskin

in Genesis Redux

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780226720807
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226720838 | DOI:
Introduction: The Sistine Gap

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • History of Science and Technology


Show Summary Details


This book is about a long tradition of attempts to sound the Sistine gap. It discusses the efforts to simulate life in machinery, to synthesize life out of material parts, and to measure living beings against inanimate mechanisms. A historical approach to artificial life is also presented. The chapter then contributes to the current conventions regarding the nature of animal life, sentience, and human cognition. Moreover, the book is divided into three parts. Part 1 explores the efforts to connect intellect with matter, souls with mechanisms, magic with engineering. Part 2 emphasizes the importance of interactions within living beings, among the distributed parts of the complex systems that comprise them. Part 3 concentrates on the exchanges between creatures and the outside world, and on attempts to understand life in terms of these exchanges. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords: artificial life; Sistine gap; animal life; sentience; human cognition; living beings; souls

Chapter.  13659 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.