Sites of Vision

The Discursive Construction of Sight in the History of Philosophy

In recent years scholars from many disciplines have become interested in the "construction" of the human senses—in how the human environment shapes both how and what we perceive. Taking a very different approach to the question of construction, Sites of Vision turns to language and explores the ways in which the rhetoric of philosophy has formed the nature of vision and how, in turn, the rhetoric of vision has helped to shape philosophical thought. The central role of vision in relation to philosophy is evident in the vocabulary of the discipline—in words such as "speculation," "observation," "insight," and "reflection"; in metaphors such as "mirroring," "perspective," and "point of view"; and in methodological concepts such as "reflective detachment" and "representation." Because the history of vision is so pervasively reflected in the history of philosophy, it is possible for both vision and thought to achieve a greater awareness of their genealogy through the history of philosophy.

The fourteen contributors to Sites of Vision explore the hypothesis that the nature of visual perception about which philosophers talk must be explicitly recognized as a discursive construction, indeed a historical construction, in philosophical discourse.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. From Acoustics to Optics: The Rise of the Metaphysical and Demise of the Melodic in Aristotle's

    P. Christopher Smith

  3. Aristotle and Specular Regimes: The Theater of Philosophical Discourse

    James I. Porter

  4. Discourses of Vision in Seventeenth-Century Metaphysics

    Catherine Wilson

  5. How to Write the History of Vision: Understanding the Relationship between Berkeley and Descartes

    Margaret Atherton

  6. Embodying the Eye of Humanism: Giambattista Vico and the Eye of Ingenium

    Sandra Rudnick Luft

  7. 6. "For Now We See Through a Glass Darkly": The Systematics of Hegel's Visual Imagery

    John Russon

  8. Sighting the Spirit: The Rhetorical Visions of in Hegel's

    John H. Smith

  9. Perspectives and Horizons: Husserl on Seeing the Truth

    Mary C. Rawlinson

  10. Ducks and Rabbits: Visuality in Wittgenstein

    William James Earle

  11. Dewey's Critique of Democratic Visual Culture and Its Political Implications

    Yaron Ezrahi

  12. Materialist Mutations of the
  13. Hannah Arendt: The Activity of the Spectator

    Peg Birmingham

  14. Keeping Foucault and Derrida in Sight: Panopticism and the Politics of Subversion

    David Michael Levin

  15. Difference and the Ruin of Representation in Gilles Deleuze

    Dorothea Olkowski

  16. Contributors
  17. Index