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The Butterfly Effect. Embodied Cognition And Perceptual Knowledge In Maria Sibylla Merian's Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns the work of historians and philosophers of science and cognition for some useful conceptual tools for apprehending the particular perceptual way in which the Dutch trading companies worked as knowledge networks. Through analysis of Maria Sibylla Merian's patient observations of caterpillar and chrysalis, the author can make her way toward articulating some of the principles that govern this complex process under her own minute investigation, the embodied acquisition of perceptual knowledge, so as to better apprehend its implications. The crucial role of sprawling networks in the advancement of European knowledge has been recognized in recent scholarship. The theory of embodied cognition is the most important development in the cognitive sciences in recent decades, fundamentally reconceptualizing the way one can understand human mental processing.

Keywords: Dutch trading companies; embodied cognition; Maria Sibylla Merian



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