“That small and unsensible shape”: Visual Representations of the Euclidean Point in Sixteenth-Century Print

Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):148-159 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper probes the foundations and limits of visual representation in the sciences through a close reading of the diagrams that accompanied definitions of the geometric point in the first century of printed editions of Euclid’s Elements. I begin with the modal form for such diagrams of Euclid’s “small and unsensible shape,” showing how it incorporates a broad spectrum of conventions and practices related to the point’s philosophical and practical roles in the surrounding Euclidean geometry. I then explore the form’s several variations in order to consider the role of “mere representation” in geometric exegesis, and conclude by characterizing the curious relationship between things and their images and that relationship’s implications for understanding scientific knowledge and practice



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,953

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

To Prove the Evident: On the Inferential Role of Euclidean Diagrams.Davide Crippa - 2009 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 31 (2):101-112.
Geometry and Spatial Intuition: A Genetic Approach.Rene Jagnow - 2003 - Dissertation, Mcgill University (Canada)
Visual foundations of Euclidean Geometry.Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica & Elizabeth Spelke - 2022 - Cognitive Psychology 136 (August):101494.


Added to PP

22 (#731,954)

6 months
5 (#710,905)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History.Reviel Netz - 1999 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Greek Mathematical Diagrams: Their Use and Their Meaning’.R. Netz - 1998 - For the Learning of Mathematics 18:33-39.

Add more references