A Pedagogy of Sight: Microscopic Vision in Robert Hooke’s Micrographia.
Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 95, No. 2, pp. 192-209, 2009
Posted: 20 Dec 2009
Date Written: 2009
Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (1665) holds an important place in the history of scientific visual rhetoric. Hooke’s accomplishment lies not only in a stunning array of engravings, but also in a ‘‘pedagogy of sight’’ a rhetorical framework that instructs readers how to view images in accordance with an ideological or epistemic program. Hooke not only taught his readers how to view a new kind of image, but recruited potential contributors to the program of natural philosophy. In particular, Hooke taught his readers to see microscopic specimens as mechanical bodies, as evidence of divine creation, and as pleasant entertainment.
Keywords: visual rhetoric, microscope, Robert Hooke, rhetoric of science, body
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