In this small book Raz D. Chen-Morris discusses the pictorial language that Kepler helped sweep through the early sixteenth century. Providing a new perspective to represent human knowledge to form a scientific language.
“Throughout the sixteenth century scholars and painters, alchemist and theoreticians of art challenged the Plinian –Aristotelian assertions. Their attempt was to reshuffle the new pictorial means (such as perspective) in order to form a scientific language, constituted from visible signs, that not only represent human knowledge and the physical world, but could also affect physical processes.
Since this attempt was made, however, still within the Aristotelian paradigm that a geometrical line is conceived only in connection with a concrete, corporeal line (a line drawn ever more finely), it preserved the unbridgeable dichotomy between concrete appearances and the realm of knowledge.
In his treatise on optics of 1604 Kepler contrived a new pictorial language that transcended this dichotomy inherent in the above stories between universal forms and concrete appearances. Kepler’s solution was formulated in direct response to such pictorial experimentation with emblem so popular at the turn of the 16th century.
The rich literature of emblems and especially the alchemical emblems offered fantastic pictures as the vehicle to transgress the boundaries of forbidden knowledge through a transmutation of the human gaze. Kepler, in contrast, transformed the visual depiction into an exact representation of the motions of the universe, allowing thus for a new and coherent picture of the world to emerge, while abandoning the claim for the creation of a virtual-magical reality…” – Raz D. Chen-Morris
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