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[ARCHIVE: 260BCE-F12] [STRATON OF STAGEIRA]

Whether it is true that Daedalus constructed the giant Talos, or as others say he was the creation of Hephaestus, what we may be certain of is that he was made of bronze, and had but one vein, within which flowed a liquid substance like blood, which some claim was quicksilver, and others assert was ichor such as flows in the veins of the gods. The loss of that liquid caused him to die, as a man dies when he loses his blood.

May we not then say that Talos, though created as a machine or a toy, had all the essential properties of a man? He moved of his own volition. He spoke and could be spoken to, had wishes and desires. Indeed in the tale of the Argonauts, that was the cause of his downfall. If, then, a machine may have all the properties of a man, and act as a man while driven only by the ingenious plan of its construction and the interaction of its materials according to the principles of nature, then does it not follow that man may also be seen as a machine? This contradicts all the schools of metaphysics, yet even the most faithful philosopher cannot live without his blood.

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