Visual Representation and Science Visual Figures of the Universe between Antiquity and the Early Thirteenth Century
Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):15-23 (2012)
The paper raises the question of the function of visual representations in medieval cosmographical texts. It proposes to view diverse functions of figures in relation to changing discursive environments, including differing philosophical positions and changing social and intellectual contexts. It further suggests a distinction between figures that were elaborated within the highly specialized disciplines of mathematics and philosophy of nature in Greek Antiquity and figures that were instrumental in transmitting accepted world models, thus avoiding the opposition between scientific and unscientific types of verbal and pictorial documents. Simplifying changes, when figures are abstracted form their geometrical context and accompany doxographical, descriptive accounts, are characterized in terms of schematization. Concomitantly, mathematical and philosophical demonstrations tend to give way to proofs of a predominantly rhetorical nature: images are verbally construed and, in order to enhance these, actual visual figures— mostly linear, diagrammatic constructs—are added. With regard to the Middle Ages, the paper distinguishes two principal periods: the period from the seventh to the eleventh century and the period of the so-called twelfth-century Renaissance. First, the verbal and pictorial cosmological corpus of Roman origin gave rise to explanations and variations but not to consequential theoretical developments and cosmological diagrams tended to fuse with summarizing tables at this time. Then, during the twelfth century, mathematical and philosophical documents of a specialized kind that were translated from the Arabic and also from the Greek became available in the Latin West. In mathematics, specialized types of study remained, however, sparse. Continuous elaborations of the assimilated material set in later only, within the thirteenth-century university context. Nevertheless, twelfth-century authors of cosmographical accounts became increasingly aware that their expositions and visual figures were ultimately derived from geometrical models of the universe. More diversified types of demonstration and corresponding visual figures were being used, as exemplified by William of Conches’ Dragmaticon philosophiae
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Varieties of Visual Representation.John Dilworth - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):183-206.
Expert Perceivers and Perceptual Learning.Paul T. Sowden - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):396-397.
Visual Perception is Too Fast to Be Impenetrable to Cognition.Jean Bullier - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):370-370.
Competition for Consciousness Among Visual Events: The Psychophysics of Reentrant Visual Processes.V. di Lollo, James T. Enns & R. Rensink - 2000 - Journal Of Experimental Psychology-General 129 (4):481-507.
Egocentric Spatial Representation in Action and Perception.Robert Briscoe - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):423-460.
The Geometry of Visual Space and the Nature of Visual Experience.Farid Masrour - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1813-1832.
Comment on Competition for Consciousness Among Visual Events: The Psychophysics of Reentrant Visual Processes (di Lollo, Enns & Rensink, 2000).Gregory Francis & Frouke Hermens - 2002 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 131 (4):590-593.
Strength of Early Visual Adaptation Depends on Visual Awareness.Randolph Blake, Duje Tadin, Kenith V. Sobel, Tony A. Raissian & Sang Chul Chong - 2006 - Pnas Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103 (12):4783-4788.
The Visual Categories for Letters and Words Reside Outside Any Informationally Encapsulated Perceptual System.Jeffrey S. Bowers - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):368-369.
Consciousness Absent and Present: A Neurophysiological Exploration of Masking.Edmund T. Rolls - 2006 - In Haluk Ögmen & Bruno G. Breitmeyer (eds.), The First Half Second: The Microgenesis and Temporal Dynamics of Unconscious and Conscious Visual Processes. MIT Press. pp. 89-108.
Defining Vision: What Homology Thinking Contributes.Mohan Matthen - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):675-689.
Visual Perception and Subjective Visual Awareness.Antti Revonsuo - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):769-770.
What and Where in the Human Visual System: Two Hierarchies of Visual Modules.L. M. Vaina - 1990 - Synthese 83 (1):49-91.
Added to index2012-10-04
Total downloads10 ( #427,312 of 2,158,458 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #354,692 of 2,158,458 )
How can I increase my downloads?