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The Eye and the Mirror: Analogy in Bovelles' Works from 1511 to 1515

Thu, March 22, 11:00am to 12:30pm, Hilton Riverside, 3rd Level - Ascot Room

Abstract

Writing about Bovelles' De sapiente, Ernst Cassirer deplored its medieval tendency to "spin a thick web of analogies over the entire cosmos" (The Individual and the Cosmos, 1963, p. 88). Medieval or not, Bovelles' use of analogy was anything but an unreflective habit. This paper examines Bovelles' changing use of one particular analogy — an eye gazing at itself in a mirror — through four different texts from the period 1511–15. The recycling of this analogy to explore relations between unity and plurality, I will argue, was one of the several ways in which Bovelles used images as tools for thought.

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