Measuring Shadows: Kepler's Optics of Invisibility by Raz Chen-MorrisMeasuring Shadows: Kepler's Optics of Invisibility by Raz Chen-Morris

Measuring Shadows: Kepler's Optics of Invisibility

byRaz Chen-Morris

Paperback | November 15, 2017

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In Measuring Shadows, Raz Chen-Morris demonstrates that a close study of Kepler’s Optics is essential to understanding his astronomical work and his scientific epistemology. He explores Kepler’s radical break from scientific and epistemological traditions and shows how the seventeenth-century astronomer posited new ways to view scientific truth and knowledge. Chen-Morris reveals how Kepler’s ideas about the formation of images on the retina and the geometrics of the camera obscura, as well as his astronomical observations, advanced the argument that physical reality could only be described through artificially produced shadows, reflections, and refractions.

Breaking from medieval and Renaissance traditions that insisted upon direct sensory perception, Kepler advocated for instruments as mediators between the eye and physical reality, and for mathematical language to describe motion. It was only through this kind of knowledge, he argued, that observation could produce certainty about the heavens. Not only was this conception of visibility crucial to advancing the early modern understanding of vision and the retina, but it affected how people during that period approached and understood the world around them.

Raz Chen-Morris is Senior Lecturer in History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.Raz Chen-Morris is Senior Lecturer in History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Title:Measuring Shadows: Kepler's Optics of InvisibilityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 8.9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:November 15, 2017Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271070994

ISBN - 13:9780271070995

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations



1 The New Optical Narrative: Light, Camera Obscura, and the Astronomer’s Wings

2 “Seeing with My Own Eyes”: Introducing the New Foundations of Scientific Knowledge

3 The Content of Kepler’s Visual Language: Abstraction, Representation, and Recognition

4 “Non tanquam Pictor, sed tanquam Mathematicus”: Kepler’s Pictures and the Art of Painting

5 Reading the Book of Nature: Allegories, Emblems, and Geometrical Diagrams

6 Nothing and the Ends of Renaissance Science





Editorial Reviews

“Presents a well-researched yet original interpretation of the relationship between science, philosophy, and the arts during several significant periods of extreme transition in an impressively aesthetic manner. It is recommended to readers particularly in the humanities, who may appreciate the author’s conceptual expression of scientific ideas, which will nevertheless not be lost on readers of a scientific background. Raz Chen-Morris’s work is both clear and, if I may say, imaginative, true to the transiting ethos of Kepler’s time.”—Cherly Kayahara-Bass, Sixteenth Century Journal