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AbysmalA Critique of Cartographic Reason$
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Gunnar Olsson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226629308

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226629322.001.0001

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(p.213) Kant
University of Chicago Press

How do we find our way in the unknown? The answer: By map and compass, picture and story. More precisely: How are we made so obedient and so predictable? How are they constructed, the invisible maps and internalized compasses that tell us both where we are and where we should go, not in the visible and material landscapes of earth and air, fire and water, but in the invisible universe of the socially taken-for-granted? Is madness the price we pay for the sins of penetrating the abyss between the five senses of the body and the sixth sense of culture? The answer is to produce a document which in the same gesture both shows and tells, a performance which is not merely about something but is that something itself. In short, a matter of rhetoric when it works, a challenge that Immanuel Kant took more seriously than most. In Kant's own words, “human reason is by nature architectonic.” It is this mode of thought-and-action that is known as “cartographical reason,” a term originally coined by Franco Farinelli.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, human reason, maps, rhetoric, cartographical reason, Franco Farinelli, five senses, culture

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