Key Pages:

13 Things 2009

13 Things 2008

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology

Search Brown



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

The strong correlation of the magnifying glass's structure to its function allowed it to serve as a symbol, in spite of the microscope's victory in the scientific realm:

"The aesthetics sense is based on judging nuances. It orients our choice toward a conformism as strict as that of technics, but a conformism of a different order because it is produced by an opposition between values to which the individual’s integration in society offers the solution. The use of an ax does not involve judgment. The ax is necessary or it disappears, replaced by the mechanical saw. But the aesthetic halo surrounding the efficient shape and movement of the ax is created by every individual who judges goodness and beauty, not as an absolute, but within the safety of the aesthetics of his or her group and the imaginary freedom of his or her choice”

--Leroi-Gourhan, Gesture and Speech (pg. 279)

Back to The Microscope versus the Magnifying Glass.