Transmitting Knowledge: Words, Images, and Instruments in Early Modern Europe

Hardcover | June 20, 2006

EditorSachiko Kusukawa, Ian Maclean

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The period between the fifteenth and the middle of the seventeenth centuries saw a great many changes and innovations in scientific thinking. These were communicated to various publics in diverse ways; not only through discursive prose and formal notations, but also in the form of instrumentsand images accompanying texts. The collected essays of this volume examine the modes of transmission of this knowledge in a variety of contexts. The schematic representation of instruments is examined in the case of the 'navicula' (a versatile version of a sundial) and the 'squadro' (a surveyinginstrument); the new forms of illustration of plants and the human body are investigated through the work of Fuchs and Vesalius; theories of optics and of matter are discussed in relation to the illustrations which accompany the texts of Ausonio and Descartes. The different diagrammatic strategiesadopted to explain the complex medical theory of the latitude of health are charted through the work of medieval and sixteenth-century physicians; Kepler's use of illustration in his handbook of cosmology is placed in the context of book production and Copernican propaganda. The conception ofastronomical instruments as either calculating devices or as cosmological models is examined in the case of Tycho Brahe and others. A study is devoted to the multiple functions of frontispieces and to the various readerships for which they were conceived. The papers in the volume are all based onnew research, and they constitute together a coherent and convergent set of case studies which demonstrate the vitality and inventiveness of early modern natural philosophers, and their awareness of the media available to them for transmitting knowledge.

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The period between the fifteenth and the middle of the seventeenth centuries saw a great many changes and innovations in scientific thinking. These were communicated to various publics in diverse ways; not only through discursive prose and formal notations, but also in the form of instrumentsand images accompanying texts. The collecte...

Ian Maclean is a graduate of Oxford, where he also did his doctorate; he was for twenty-four years a Fellow and Praelector in French at Queen's College Oxford, and Lecturer then Reader in Modern Languages in the University of Oxford. He became a titular professor in Renaissance Studies in the University, before moving to All Souls as ...

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Hardcover|Jun 28 2010

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.92 inPublished:June 20, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019928878X

ISBN - 13:9780199288786

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Table of Contents

Richard Scholar: Introduction1. Sven Dupre: Visualization in Renaissance Optics: The Function of Geometrical Diagrams and Pictures in the Transmission of Practical Knowledge2. Catherine Eagleton: Medieval Sundials and Manuscript Sources: The Transmission of Information about the Navicula and the organum ptolomei in Fifteenth-Century Europe3. Sachiko Kusukawa: The Uses of Pictures in the Formation of Learned Knowledge: The Cases of Leonhard Fuchs and Andreas Vesalius4. Christopher Luthy: Where Logical Necessity Becomes Visual Persuasion: Descartes's Clear and Distinct Illustrations5. Ian Maclean: Diagrams in the Defence of Galen: Medical Uses of Tables, Squares, Dichotomies, Wheels, and Latitudes, 1480-15746. Alexander Marr: The Production and Distribution of Mutio Oddi's Dello squadro (1625)7. Adam Mosley: Objects of Knowledge: Mathematics and Models in Sixteenth-Century Cosmology and Astronomy8. Isabelle Pantin: Kepler's Epitome: New Images for an Innovative Book9. Volker R. Remmert: 'Docet parva pictura, quod multae scripturae non dicunt.' Frontispieces, their Functions, and their Audiences in Seventeenth-Century Mathematical SciencesIndex