Seminar: Aristotle and the Duplicity of Nature. Proposals for an Ontological Turn of Art History

Date: 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: 

Gould Hall, I Tatti

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Speaker: Patricia Falguières (I Tatti / EHESS) 

Please note: This seminar will now take place on Wednesday, October 9. The seminar will be held in Italian. 

It is a question of reviving an outdated topos of art history, the syntagm “ars et natura”: what happens if “nature” is not one, but double? If we take seriously the cosmological fracture that, for the Philosopher, pits the sublunar world against the supra-caelestial world? And if we are faithful to the ontological priority that Aristotle gives to movement in its different expressions? Then we will be able to put back in motion the astonishing conceptual machinery that is the Mimesis - which Moderns have reduced to the poor game of resemblance... Today, when the distinction between the cosmological order and the anthropological regime is no longer valid, as the incommensurability between nature and culture that we have held to be assured since the advent of modern science is collapsing, and as geology is becoming a “moral science”, we can approach at new costs the Aristotelian Mimesis and the very unique place it assigned to the Arts. To propose to art historians this ontological turn that anthropologists have undertaken before them is our horizon here.

Si tratta di far rivivere un topos asaurito della storia dell'arte, il sintagma"ars et natura": cosa succede se la "natura" non è una, ma doppia? Se prendiamo sul serio la frattura cosmologica che, per il Filosofo, contrappone il mondo sublunare al mondo soprannaturale? E se siamo fedeli alla priorità ontologica che Aristotele dà al movimento nelle sue diverse espressioni? Allora potremo rimettere in moto lo stupefacente macchinario concettuale che è la Mimesi - che, noi Moderni, abbiamo ridotto al povero gioco della somiglianza..... Oggi, quando la distinzione tra ordine cosmologico e regime antropologico non è più valida, che l'incommensurabilità tra natura e cultura garantita dall'avvento della scienza moderna sta crollando, e mentre la geologia sta diventando una "scienza morale", possiamo avvicinarci a nuovi costi alla Mimesiaristotelica e al posto unico che ha assegnato alle Arti. Proporre alla Storia dell'arte questa Volta Ontologica che l’antropologi ha intrapreso prima  è, qui, il nostro orizzonte.

Speaker: Patricia Falguières (Francesco De Dombrowski Visiting Professor at I Tatti) is Professor at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris. She has published numerous essays on Renaissance philosophy and art, classifications, indexes and the birth of the museum in modern Europe (Les Chambres des merveilles, Paris, 2003), and mannerism (Le Maniérisme: Une avant-garde au XVIᵉ siècle, Paris, 2004). She has published the French Edition of Ernst Kris, Le style rustique (Paris, 2005), and Julius von Schlosser's classic, Les cabinets d'art et de merveilles de la renaissance tardive (Paris, 2012). Her current research focuses on Renaissance technè, the inclusion of artistic practices in the Aristotelian order of knowing and making, and architectural theory.