In: KulturPoetik 2002, Heft 1


Gunnar Schmidt


Von Tropfen und Spiegeln. Medienlogik und Wissen im 17. und frühen 18. Jahrhundert




In the seventeenth century, mirrors and microscopes generated a new visuality which had an enormous impact on philosophical and poetic discourse. Optical media as prostheses for the eye effectuated an empirical widening of the world and at the same time caused a separation between the subject of cognition and the scientific object. This paradox sensitised poets and philosophers to the infinitesimal. As a consequence, Baroque philosophy counters empiricism with a speculative theory about the relation between macro- and microcosm. In this discourse, media become metaphors, and the hall of mirrors the architectonic allegory of the cosmos.