The paradoxes of the new science
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Ofer Gal and Raz Chen-Morris’s Baroque Science is a book dedicated to the investigation of what they call the inversions and the tensions that are associated with the process of knowledge shaping during the seventeenth century. From the introductory pages, Gal and Chen-Morris present the antithetical relations between the “old” and the “revised” knowledge through the analysis of two famous paintings by Johannes Vermeer: the Astronomer and the Geographer. By this analysis, they point to the understanding of the observed and the observer, the natural and the artificial, the immediate and the mediated that were being inverted, redefined and reassessed during the seventeenth century. The links between the different cultural movements of the period are dominant throughout the book, and specifically, the seventeenth-century art and the “scientific attitude” are the central pillars upon which the narrative is built.
The book is divided into three major parts that contribute to an analysis of...