Fall 2021 Colloquium - Andre Wakefield
Title: "Toxic Anachronism in the History of Science and Technology: The Case of Leibniz"
Abstract: The history of science and technology has long been especially prone to Whiggish anachronism. You might say it’s built into the marrow of our discipline. While the complete elimination of anachronism from our histories may be a fool’s errand, certain forms of anachronism, instantiated in what I have elsewhere called “Disney History,” constitute a problem worth discussing. I will use the case of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and his experiments with mining machines in the Harz Mountains, to demonstrate what I mean.