Infinity and Perspective
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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 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.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 8/23/2002
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
|List of Illustrations|
|Introduction: The Problem of the Modern|
|Power and Poverty of Perspective|
|Perspective and the Infinity of the Universe|
|Alberti and Perspective Construction|
|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|
|The Crime of Bruno|
|Insight and Blindness of Galileo|
|The Reef of the Infinite|
|Epilogue: Astronautics and Astronoetics|