Iconography becomes even more revealing when processes or concepts, rather than objects, must be depicted for the constraint of a definite “thing” cedes directly to the imagination. How can we draw “evolution” or “social organization,” not to mention the more mundane “digestion” or “self-interest,” without portraying more of a mental structure than a physical reality? If we wish to trace the history of ideas, iconography becomes a candid camera trained upon the scholar's mind.
The whole iconography of ancient science is simply the fruit of wishful thinking.george sarton
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