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Aesthetic Science – Representing Nature in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720 - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Aesthetic Science: Representing Nature in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720

Alexander Wragge-Morley


The scientists affiliated with the early Royal Society of London have long been regarded as forerunners of modern empiricism, rejecting the symbolic and moral goals of Renaissance natural history in favor of plainly representing the world as it really was. Aesthetic Science revises this interpretation, showing that key figures such as John Ray, Robert Boyle, Nehemiah Grew, Robert Hooke, and Thomas Willis saw the study of nature as an aesthetic project. Seeking to obtain knowledge of the natural world through their senses, they practiced a science that depended on harnessing the embodied pleasu ... More

Keywords: aesthetics, science, empiricism, Royal Society, representation, natural theology, religion, John Ray, Robert Hooke, sensory experience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226680729
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226681054.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexander Wragge-Morley, author
New York University