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The Curious Eye – Optics and Imaginative Literature in Seventeenth-Century England - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Curious Eye: Optics and Imaginative Literature in Seventeenth-Century England

Erin Webster


The Curious Eye explores early modern debates over two related questions: what are the limits of human vision, and to what extent can these limits be overcome by technological enhancement? Today, in our everyday lives we rely on optical technology to provide us with information about visually remote spaces even as we question the efficacy and ethics of such pursuits. But the debates surrounding the subject of technologically mediated vision have their roots in a much older literary tradition in which the ability to see beyond the limits of natural human vision is associated with philosophical ... More

Keywords: optics, vision, experimental philosophy, perspective, Francis Bacon, John Milton, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, Robert Hooke, Johannes Kepler

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198850199
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198850199.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Erin Webster, author
Assistant Professor of English, William & Mary