Saturday, July 21, 2012

Descartes Art

In his Discourse on Meteorology, Descartes includes this image of the mathematics of stargazing.  The Discourse can be read as a work in scientific aesthetics.  Descartes opens with the remark that people are naturally prone to wonder when looking upward at the heavens.  In his final book, Descartes would later say that wonder is the most fundamental emotion, and his analysis of wonder can be read as a precursor to Kantian aesthetics.  We are drawn to sensory experiences that defy easy comprehension.


  1. this idea about people being naturally prone to wonder when looking upward scares me. looks like a trance to me. overwhelming. and like a never ending question, no? I wonder...and it never ends.
    and why descartes argued that wonder is the most fundamental emotion? we all wonder? I think we wonder because we have no choice, not because we have a choice. we do not know everything, so we wonder...I think it is danferous, who knows what is out there, can not be all good, surely.

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