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Grant number: FA-57881-14

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FA-57881-14

Gary C. Hatfield
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)

Early Modern Models of the Eye, Vision, and the Seeing Subject

This project challenges a widely accepted narrative according to which the recognition of subjectivity, binocularity, and embodiment in vision was distinctive of nineteenth-century sensory physiology. This narrative views early modern visual theory as dominated by a camera obscura model of vision as objective, geometrical, monocular, and disembodied. The project offers new interpretations of Descartes and Berkeley and delves into the early modern optical tradition and its transmission into artists' perspective manuals. It denies that theorists typically modeled visual experience itself on the camera obscura and seeks to show that theorists predominantly held depth and distance to be immediately experienced through embodied mechanisms. It is part of a larger historical and conceptual project that challenges standard descriptions of how depth and distance are experienced phenomenally by re-analyzing the relationship between perspective images and the experience of a world in depth.

Project fields:
History of Philosophy

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2015 – 12/31/2015