9547 - A survey of the Scientific Literatures and their Illustrations - This course rests on the following assumptions:
- Humanities students are seldom exposed to texts pertaining to the scientific world. This is true also with students of scientific disciplines who, even more rarely, read classical, recent or contemporary scientific texts.
- The literary qualities, styles and aesthetics of many classical scientific texts have been recognized as comparable to the literary texts which are still the main objects of study in comparative literature and theory.
- The widespread use of English as the main linguistic tool for exchanging and announcing scientific discoveries and/or technical implementations has resulted in a reduction in scientific communications written in other languages.
- A student unaware of the plurality of the different original texts written in a large variety of languages may loose contact with the inner fabric of the scientific thought itself.
The graphic illustrations of ideas, discoveries, instruments of the scientific and technological communities represent a text on their own.
Topics to be covered: The architectural drawing; the text and the visual in pre-Homeric times; the Homeric and post-Homeric worlds; measurement and number; the graphical discovery of life; the geometry of cities; the light, its nature, speed and density; the quest for atoms and natural and artificial lives; theory and comparative aspects of scientific literature.
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