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Speaker: Alexander Wragge-Morley

Verbal and Visual Regimes of Aesthetic Experience in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720

Research Seminar
During the second half of the 17th century, the natural philosophers associated with the Royal Society of London increasingly embraced empiricism, identifying sensory experience as the foundation for knowledge of nature. They did not, however, make this choice in the naive belief that the senses give us reliable insights into the world around us, or even that nature contains meanings to which the human mind has access. Like recent theorists of the relationship between humans and nature, therefore, the scientists of 17th-century England were alive to the possibility that our perceptions of nature might not bear much of a resemblance to nature as it exists for itself. [more]
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