This class provides an overview of the major changes and continuities of representation of the natural world in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

We seek to recover the Early Modern understanding that the study of nature is incomprehensible if isolated from new techniques and technologies and from the philosophical and artistic disciplines. Because developments in the study of nature in this period are relative to institutional place and national location, the principle elements of the social, economic, political and cultural contexts within which scientists and philosophers of nature worked will be considered. As well, the aesthetic representations of nature and its study will be a theme throughout the class.