The Powers of Fac Similes : a Turing Test on Science and Literature
In Intersections Essays on Richard Powers, edited by Stephen J. Burn & Peter Demsey, Dalkey Archive Press, Champaign, pp. 263-292, 2008
The shift from first to second empiricism, requires a new way of handling the empiricism of ‘things’ instead of the empiricism of ‘objects’. To acquire the proper litterary resources to do so, it’s useful to turn toward the great American Richard Powers and lift out of its novels some of the tool to present again the connections between characters and technical or scientific entities. But the task is even more interesting when those resources are then used to read again a classic of scientific litterature, in this case Alan Turing famous article from the 50s where he imagines his famous test. By comparing those two texts, one explicitely litterary and the other implicitly so, a common vocabulary might be emerging for realism.