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Science’s Disappearing Observer

Science’s Disappearing Observer

Baroque Optics and the Enlightenment of Vision

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter One Science’s Disappearing Observer
Source:
Baroque Science
Author(s):
Ofer GalRaz Chen-Morris
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226923994.003.0002

This chapter examines the history of the development of baroque optics, the enlightenment of human vision, and the disappearance of the scientific observer. It explains that the naturalization of vision led to the estrangement of nature, and the confidence in images observed from the very far away cast fundamental doubt on our sense of the immediate. It also discusses the optical paradox which was created by Johannes Kepler’s “enlightenment” of optics and which was articulated by Rene Descartes as the fundamental epistemological conundrum of the baroque.

Keywords:   baroque optics, human vision, scientific observation, naturalization of vision, johannes kepler, rene descartes

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