The Epistemic Roles of Automata from Cybernetics to Contemporary Robotics

Edoardo Datteri


Automata, or robots, have often played a crucial role in the reflection on, and discovery of, the mechanisms underlying the behaviour of living systems. During the first decades of the XX century, automata were invoked to support mechanistic theories about animal behaviour. More recently, robotic models of living systems have been used for predictive and explanatory purposes. This article explores these epistemic uses of robots with historical and contemporary examples.

Parole chiave

automata, cybernetics, biorobotics, robotic models of biological behaviours, simulations;automi; cibernetica; biorobotica; modelli robotici di comportamenti biologici; simulazioni

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