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The Emergence of the Fourth DimensionHigher Spatial Thinking in the Fin de Siècle$
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Mark Blacklock

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755487

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198755487.001.0001

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Hintonian Higher Space and its Thinking Subject

(p.103) 4 Cubes
The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension

Mark Blacklock

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 focuses on the work of Charles Howard Hinton, author of the first Scientific Romances and the least well-known yet most influential theorist of higher space of the late nineteenth century. ‘Hinton was an important mediating figure,’ writes Steven Connor, ‘because, like some of the physical scientists who investigated Spiritualism, his grasp of scientific principles was extensive and subtle.’ Indeed, his work fed into the literature of occult groupings, avant-garde art, Modernist poetry and fiction, and also back into geometry and orthodox science. ‘Cubes’ give a detailed account of Hinton’s work, highlighting his acknowledged and implied sources, Kepler, Kant, and his father, before focusing on his invention of a system of cubes for training the subject in the visualization of higher space. This set of cubes are read as ‘quasi-objects’, things that make fluid the distinction between thinking thing and thing thought on, between mind and material object.

Keywords:   Charles Howard Hinton, cubes, Scientific Romance, fourth dimension, quasi-object

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