Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Words, Lines, Diagrams, Images: Towards A History Of Scientific Imagery

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

This essay examines the problems encountered in contemporary attempts to establish a typology of medieval and early modern scientific images, and to associate apparent types with certain standard meanings. Five particular issues are addressed here: (i) the unclear boundary between words and images; (ii) the problem of morphologically similar images possessing incompatible meanings; (iii) the converse problem of comparable objects or processes being expressed by extremely dissimilar visual means; (iv) the impossibility of matching modern with historical iconographical terminologies; and (v) the fact that the meaning of a given image can only be grasped in the context of the epistemological, metaphysical and social assumptions within which it is embedded. The essay ends by concluding that no scientific image can ever be understood apart from its philosophical preconditions, and that these preconditions are often explained during disputes between the protagonists of different iconographical types.

Keywords: iconographical terminologies; scientific images; standard meanings; words



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Evidence and Interpretation in Studies on Early Science and Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation