The Embeddedness of Seeing

in What Did the Romans Know?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226471143
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226471150 | DOI:
The Embeddedness of Seeing

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This chapter demonstrates that both Ptolemy and Galen adopt identical strategies for meeting the Sceptical challenge, where they both put together detailed physical explanations of how seeing happens in the world, explanations that for them close off any potential inroads for the Sceptics. For Ptolemy and Galen, there were epistemological considerations that are ultimately at the foundation of the very methodologies they are employing. Galen could certainly respond that his no-hasty-judgments rule would still allow him to exercise the difference between the painting and the man, just as Ptolemy recommended cross-referencing any sensory experience with other experiences to determine the truth. Both Ptolemy and Galen felt the need to work out in detail what they saw as a solid epistemological footing for experience in general, and for vision in particular, in order to ground each of their investigations.

Keywords: Ptolemy; Galen; Sceptics; truth; painting

Chapter.  12523 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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