Omar Nasim (Regensburg): The Ornamental Mind

Art, Optical Illusions and 19th-Century Psychology

06.07.2017 um 16:00 Uhr

wann: Donnerstag, 6. Juli 2017, 16-18 Uhr

wo: Historicum, Schellingstr. 12, Raum K202

Vortrag im Rahmen des Oberseminars "Perspektiven der Wissenschaftsgeschichte"

Optical illusions began to be used in the psychological sciences in the last part of the nineteenth century. However, few historians of science have looked into why there is this sudden emergence of this practice. Why was it that these Mind Sciences began to employ black and white optical illusions on flat paper surfaces as access points to the perception, the mind, and their operations? In this presentation I attempt to show that one of the places we must look, in order to answer these kinds of questions, is a number of studies, from earlier in the nineteenth century, on the ornamental arts. In particular, we must look to works by early art historians, archeologists, and design theorists for what might have motivated the use of optical illusions in the Mind Sciences, later in the same century. 

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