Thursday, March 3, 2011

Babbage located Intelligence in the Mind not the attentive crafting body. Discuss with reference to articles by Schaffer and Zimmerman.

Charles Babbage is an English mathematician, pseudo philosopher (analytic philosopher), inventor (mind) of the First mechanical computer which eventually led into complex designs.

Babbage gave importance to the result rather than the process by which it is done. The end result was identical if it was a machine or a human who does the work. He equalized the machine and the power needed to the skilled labor. This made the skilled labor to be seen as an equivalent to the machine handled by an unskilled labor (to be given less wage)
Babbage supports division of labor; he thinks that process of division of labor decreases the cost and increases the productivity. By this he gives priority to the machine (mind who invented the machine) rather than the crafting body.
For Babbage the intelligence is limited to the mind of the inventor.
Babbage says about his work,Difference Engine as -
'My right to dispose, as I will, of such inventions cannot be contested; it is more sacred in its nature than any hereditary or acquired property, for they are the absolute creations of my own mind'

The design of Analytical Engine is a very complex one, it requires a large amount of skill as Schaffer in his article quotes-
'in all those parts of the Machine where the nicest precision is required, the wheelwork only brings them by a first approximation (though a very nice one), to
their destined places: they are then settled into accurate adjustment by peculiar contrivances, which admit of no shake or latitude of any kind'

This problem of the geography of intelligence depended on the fetishisation of machines and the reification of the labour power exerted around them.

"It should be borne in mind that the inventor of a machine and the maker of it have two distinct ends to obtain. The object of the first is to make the machine as
complete as possible. The object of the second-and we have no right to expect he will be influenced by any other feeling-is to gain as much as possible by making
the machine,and it is in his interest to make it as complicated as possible."

Thus ,certainly when speaking of two different persons, the location of Intelligence is confined to mind but not to the crafting body.


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