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coveries and it is not a pure data-driven program: once it formulates a hypothesis (a theory) starting from data, it uses this theory to induce further theories. DALTON discoversstructures of objects, e.g. chemical compounds, based on given constraints and experimental data. The final part is a review of achievements and projection into the future. Topicsthat area legitimatepart of scientific discovery and yet not touched upon in the main body of the book are discussed here in some detail-the generation of research programs, the invention of instruments and the representation of scientific problems. Anyone with interests in epistemology and Artificial Intelligence will find this book fascinating. It shows how the new generation of computer programs can be used to test hypotheses that until very recently were in the domain of philosophical speculation without a chance to be proved or falsified. It provides to aspiring scientists a concise guide to the scientific method. It gives a plausible logical explanation for the most mysterious human capabilities, creativity and insight. It offers ideas for further research. Although it is not a definitive work on the subject of scientific discovery, it is a step in the right direction. THE LIGHT OF EARLY ITALIAN PAINTING by Paul Hills. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, U.S.A., 1987. 160 pp., illus. Cloth. ISBN: 0-300-03617-5. Reviewed by David Carrier, Dept. of Philosophy, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, U.S.A. The history of the birth, or rebirth, of perspective in early Italian painting has been often told; and there are various accounts of the iconography and the social background to the art of Giotto, Duccio and SimoneMartini. But what we lack, Hills explains in his introduction,is an adequate account of how light was represented in painting from Cavallini to Masaccio. The title of his book is thus meant literally. He is interested in how highlights evoke “divine associations of splendor”; in the contrast between the mystic’s fascination with dazzling light and the merchant, who “values the light that informs of measure and quantity”; and in how a painter like Taddeo Gaddi shows sudden illumination in an annunciation by appealing to his experience of lightning at night. Hills’ beautifully written book is itself luminously clear; anyone who has looked at these very well-known paintings, or who intends to, will find in it manyhighly original, extremelyusefulobservations. It is, quite simply, one of the most instructive and elegant art historical accounts that I have read in some time. The author has a gift forproviding abrief exposition of highly complex problems; and he is very good at condensing in one highly suggestive phrase complex thoughts, as when he writes that Simone Martini’s interweaving of luminary and local color gives his colors “a unity as natural and as strange as a tabby-cat’s coat”. That this book is relatively short increases its value, for by relegating a portion of the scholarly discussion to the extensive footnotes, Hills makes his own analysis more readily accessible.He both gives many novel insights into familiar paintings and makes somebroader claims that deserve further discussion. Along with the well-known books by Michael Baxandall, Samuel Edgerton and John White, which it complements, this is an essential book for anyone interested in early Renaissance art. The publishers have contributed as well, by providing excellent, extensive color and black-andwhite illustrations in a volume whose price is extraordinarily reasonable. Since Hills’ topic is of obvious importance, why has it been neglected? The representation of light, he notes, is harder to analyzethan perspective, whose success or failure is easier to measure objectively. And, while fading makes it difficult to reconstruct the intended original color effects, so long as the original outlines remain, it is possible to study the perspective. Furthermore, with light, unlike perspective,we cannot speak in a straightforward way of progress in representation. Giotto’s interest in the blending of directional light with the softer focus and firm modelling of sky light, a response to his experience of Florence, involvesdifferent concerns than does Masaccio’s use in a baptism of natural light, which plays on the Greek word for baptism, enlightenment. In general, the development...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
p. 213
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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