Infinity and Perspective

ISBN-10: 026258218X
ISBN-13: 9780262582186
Edition: 2002
Authors: Karsten Harries
List price: $38.00
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Description: Much postmodern rhetoric, suggests Karsten Harries, can be understood as a symptom of our civilization's discontent, born of regret that we are no longer able to experience our world as a cosmos that assigns us our place. But dissatisfaction with  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 8/23/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.606
Language: English

Much postmodern rhetoric, suggests Karsten Harries, can be understood as a symptom of our civilization's discontent, born of regret that we are no longer able to experience our world as a cosmos that assigns us our place. But dissatisfaction with the modern world may also spring from a conviction that modernism has failed to confront the challenge of an inevitably open future. Such conviction has frequently led to a critique of modernity's founding heroes. Challenging that critique, Harries insists that modernity is supported by nothing other than human freedom. But more important to Harries is to show how modernist self-assertion is shadowed by nihilism and what it might mean to step out of that shadow. Looking at a small number of medieval and Renaissance texts, as well as some paintings, he uncovers the threshold that separates the modern from the premodern world. At the same time, he illuminates that other, more questionable threshold, between the modern and the postmodern. Two spirits preside over the book: Alberti, the Renaissance author on art and architecture, whose passionate interest in perspective and point of view offers a key to modernity; and Nicolaus Cusanus, the fifteenth-century cardinal, whose work shows that such interest cannot be divorced from speculations on the infinity of God. The title Infinity and Perspectiveconnects the two to each other and to the shape of modernity.

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction: The Problem of the Modern
Power and Poverty of Perspective
Perspective and the Infinity of the Universe
Learned Ignorance
Alberti and Perspective Construction
Curious Perspectives
The Thread of Ariadne
Infinity and Truth
Truth as the Property of God
The Infinity of Space and the Infinity of Man
The Infinity of Man and the Infinity of God
Homo Faber: The Rediscovery of Protagoras
The Dignity of Man
The Loss of the Earth
Copernican Anthropocentrism
The Crime of Bruno
Insight and Blindness of Galileo
The Reef of the Infinite
Copernican Revolutions
Epilogue: Astronautics and Astronoetics
Notes
Index

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