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Baroque Science$
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Ofer Gal and Raz Chen-Morris

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226923987

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226923994.001.0001

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Science’s Disappearing Observer

Science’s Disappearing Observer

Baroque Optics and the Enlightenment of Vision

(p.15) Chapter One Science’s Disappearing Observer
Baroque Science

Ofer Gal

Raz Chen-Morris

University of Chicago Press

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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