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It was during the Renaissance that images and pictures were first used by anatomists, microscopists, and astronomers as scientific tools. In that era, scientific images served as a kind of inventory of the known world. In the 19th century, the popularization of scientific ideas gave science a new vigor. Photographic images gave science a new reality, explaining and legitimizing scientific concepts--movement, for example--to a fascinated public. In our days, the scientific image is often a construction--helping us to represent objects and ideas that, like fractals or black holes, cannot be defined through actual observation. Monique Sicard is Projects Director at CNRS Images Média.
The general consensus is that art is impossible to define and that the evaluation of works of art is always subjective. Countering these affirmations, Alain Séguy-Duclot shows in this work that art can, in fact, be defined. Duchamp's readymades (industrial objects in series, snow shovels, wine racks, etc) constitute a point of departure for this reflection. He argues that, rather than showing that art was undefinable, the readymades proved that art was definable. It is this that Séguy-Duclot sets out to prove in this incisive and passionate work. Alain Séguy-Duclot is a philosopher, and a professor at the University of Tours.