Between Figure and Line: Visual Transformations of Cartesian Physics, 1620-1690
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CitationLo, Melissa Ming-Hwei. 2014. Between Figure and Line: Visual Transformations of Cartesian Physics, 1620-1690. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractBetween Figure and Line: Visual Transformations of Cartesian Physics, 1620-1690 is the first sustained examination of the diagrams and illustrations that constituted the seventeenth century's new physics. When René Descartes introduced natural philosophy to the graphic techniques of geometry, mixed mathematics, cartography, and master engravers, subsequent interpreters of the new science were encouraged to respond in kind. But none of their pictures - neither the outlines of barometric tubes employed by Parisian salon impresario Jacques Rohault, nor the still lifes and landscapes into which Leiden university professor Wolferd Senguerd etched Cartesian matter, and certainly not the copies of Descartes's figures with which Jesuit priest Gabriel Daniel refuted the new philosophy - agreed on a single visual idiom for revealing nature's laws. Such pictorial diversity, I argue, marked the natural philosophical figure as a critical, and contested, apparatus for grasping at truth amidst the slow disintegration of Aristotelian certainty.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12274350
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