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Algorithmic Modernity Mechanizing Thought and Action, 1500-2000


Algorithmic Modernity Mechanizing Thought and Action, 1500-2000

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 03/24/2023
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Algorithms have been transforming human society long before the advent of computing. Yet they continue to exist in relative invisibility despite their presence behind many of our modern social interactions. The rhetoric of algorithmic neutrality is more alive than ever, and algorithms are often depicted as obvious and unproblematic—without context and without history.

Algorithmic Modernity draws together the history of mathematics and intellectual history to convey the enduring global history of the algorithm as a computational tool, epistemic ideal, and rhetorical figure alongside the ascendance of modernity. Through historical reconstructions of relevant thinkers and cultural phenomena over the last five hundred years, this collection of essays reveals how algorithms became the standard method for solving problems from the early inclusion of algorithms in Newton's formation of calculus to their later influence in the New Deal economy. Together, these essays create an informed history for readers interested in the social and cultural implications of today's pervasive digital algorithm.

Featuring experts in mathematics, history, and computing, Algorithmic Modernity presents a multi-faceted exploration of the genealogy of algorithmic thinking in modern times.

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