Raising Spirits and Restoring Souls: Early Modern Medical Explanations for Music’s Effects

The consequences of increasing visual mastery for Western science and culture—Foucault’s totalizing power of the gaze—have been subjects of scholarly fascination at least since the time of Walter Ong’s writings

2014

Scholarcy highlights

  • The consequences of increasing visual mastery for Western science and culture—Foucault’s totalizing power of the gaze—have been subjects of scholarly fascination at least since the time of Walter Ong’s writings
  • It has become commonplace to assert that a decisive shift took place in the early modern “West” from a predominantly aural to a primarily visualist culture, a transformation that in the long term made it distinctively different from non-Western societies
  • Suggests that simple, linear models of a onceand- for-all shift away from hearing and toward vision as the principal way of knowing are inadequate, for understanding early modern European culture on its own terms and for comparative and cross-cultural research

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