In A Short History of Shadow, Victor Stoichita (1997) traces both the origin of the artistic representation and the origin of cognitive representation to the image of shadow. He refers the former to a famous passage from Pliny's Natural History, according to which painting was triggered by the desire to hold the human shadow, and the latter to the celebrated allegory of the cave in Plato's Republic. Here the shadows have taken on a negative connotation as phantasmata under the guise of real things. By contrast, in Aristotle's On the Heavens, the argument for a round Earth rests on the outline of its shadow on the moon in eclipses. What makes this argument sound? Can one take a shadow as a reliable source of knowledge? Interestingly, in the Renaissance the `shadow profiles' drew by painting and the `reality show' envisaged by science face each other through perspective drawing. Entangled with light and matter, shadows are visible and changeable, like natural things, as well as immaterial and effective, like ideas. But these are also typical features of information. This paper pursues a deeper understanding of the nature of information, going deeper into the rationale of shadows.

In the Light of Shadows: Tracing an Information Profile

Rossella Lupacchini
2019

Abstract

In A Short History of Shadow, Victor Stoichita (1997) traces both the origin of the artistic representation and the origin of cognitive representation to the image of shadow. He refers the former to a famous passage from Pliny's Natural History, according to which painting was triggered by the desire to hold the human shadow, and the latter to the celebrated allegory of the cave in Plato's Republic. Here the shadows have taken on a negative connotation as phantasmata under the guise of real things. By contrast, in Aristotle's On the Heavens, the argument for a round Earth rests on the outline of its shadow on the moon in eclipses. What makes this argument sound? Can one take a shadow as a reliable source of knowledge? Interestingly, in the Renaissance the `shadow profiles' drew by painting and the `reality show' envisaged by science face each other through perspective drawing. Entangled with light and matter, shadows are visible and changeable, like natural things, as well as immaterial and effective, like ideas. But these are also typical features of information. This paper pursues a deeper understanding of the nature of information, going deeper into the rationale of shadows.
Philosophy and Methodology of Information
121
145
Rossella Lupacchini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/686132
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