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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Arguing against the current paradigm of computationalism, the article revisits Alexandre Koyré’s history of European techno-rationality and 17th-century figures like Descartes and Galileo. Here, one finds the machine emerging at precisely the time and place in history where the gap between mathematical-geometrical idealization and the reality of bodies and experiments first appeared. Historically, the machine is rooted in theatrical mechanics of simulation, illusion, fiction, and deception. Structurally, it appears in between subject and object, the ‘thinking’ and the ‘mechanical’ substances. With the machine, mathematical science becomes possible because it creates an outside or model to the theoretical inside of European science.