This is a history based on scientific atlases, ‘those select collections of images that identify a discipline’s most significant objects of inquiry’ (p. 17). The story revealed by the images in these atlases is one of successive appearance of epistemic virtues: first, in the eighteenth century, ‘truth-to-nature’, the control of nature’s variability through expression of ideal forms and exemplary individuals; next, in the nineteenth century, ‘mechanical objectivity’, the restraint of human interventions and interpretations through mechanization and regulation of the production of images, so as to allow nature to ‘speak for itself’; then, in the twentieth century, ‘trained judgement’, deploying the tacit capacities of experts to recognize patterns and structures. ‘Nature’s types plumbed, nature’s appearances registered, nature’s patterns intuited’: these are all...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this article.