Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226680866 Will Publish April 2020
Cloth $120.00 ISBN: 9780226680729 Will Publish April 2020
An e-book edition will be published.

Aesthetic Science

Representing Nature in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720

Alexander Wragge-Morley

Aesthetic Science

Alexander Wragge-Morley

272 pages | 11 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226680866 Will Publish April 2020
Cloth $120.00 ISBN: 9780226680729 Will Publish April 2020
E-book $40.00 ISBN: 9780226681054 Will Publish April 2020
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. In Aesthetic Science, Alexander Wragge-Morley challenges this interpretation by arguing 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.

To show how early modern naturalists conceived of the interplay between sensory experience and the production of knowledge, Aesthetic Science explores natural-historical and anatomical works of the Royal Society through the lens of the aesthetic. By underscoring the importance of subjective experience to the communication of knowledge about nature, Wragge-Morley offers a groundbreaking reconsideration of scientific representation in the early modern period and brings to light the hitherto overlooked role of aesthetic experience in the history of the empirical sciences.
Contents
Introduction

1 Physico-Theology, Natural Philosophy, and Sensory Experience
2 An Empiricism of Imperceptible Entities
3 In Search of Lost Designs
4 Verbal Picturing
5 Natural Philosophy and the Cultivation of Taste

Conclusion: Embodied Aesthetics

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index
 
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