Vanities of the Eye: Vision in Early Modern European Culture

Vanities of the Eye: Vision in Early Modern European Culture

by Stuart Clark
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199541604

ISBN-13: 9780199541607

Pub. Date: 03/15/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Vanities of the Eye investigates the cultural history of the senses in early modern Europe, a time in which the nature and reliability of human vision was the focus of much debate. In medicine, art theory, science, religion, and philosophy, sight came to be characterized as uncertain or paradoxical—mental images no longer resembled the external world. Was

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Overview

Vanities of the Eye investigates the cultural history of the senses in early modern Europe, a time in which the nature and reliability of human vision was the focus of much debate. In medicine, art theory, science, religion, and philosophy, sight came to be characterized as uncertain or paradoxical—mental images no longer resembled the external world. Was seeing really believing?

Stuart Clark explores the controversial debates of the time—from the fantasies and hallucinations of melancholia, to the illusions of magic, art, demonic deceptions, and witchcraft. The truth and function of religious images and the authenticity of miracles and visions were also questioned with new vigor, affecting such contemporary works as Macbeth— a play deeply concerned with the dangers of visual illusion. Clark also contends that there was a close connection between these debates and the ways in which philosophers such as Descartes and Hobbes developed new theories on the relationship between the real and virtual.

Original, highly accessible, and a major contribution to our understanding of European culture, Vanities of the Eye will be of great interest to a wide range of historians and anyone interested in the true nature of seeing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199541607
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
428
Sales rank:
1,256,030
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1. Species: Vision and values
2. Fantasies: Seeing without what was within
3. Prestiges: Illusions in magic and art
4. Glamours: Demons and virtual worlds
5. Images: The reformation of the eyes
6. Apparitions: The discernment of spirits
7. Sights: King Saul and King Macbeth
8. Seemings: Philosophical scepticism
9. Dreams: The epistemology of sleep
10. Signs: Vision and the new philosophy
Bibliography

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