This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to introduce visual counterparts to the textual strategies of selection, encapsulation, and recombination employed by Aristotelian and anti-Aristotelian scholars and students in the early modern period. Many early modern philosophical images were the products of a particular moment in European history, when a method of transmitting knowledge aimed at optimizing efficiency through the clear presentation of information began to flourish. This study demonstrates that these images, rather than merely simplifying preexisting philosophical concepts, enrich theoretical knowledge by bringing it into visual form both in combination with words and independently of texts. The remainder of the chapter describes documents that are the subject of this study followed by an overview of the subsequent chapters.
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