Shapes and Figures—Geometry and Rhetoric in the Age of Evidence

Rüdiger Campe


The figuration of “evidentia” is a rather poorly documented and rarely debated branch of the rhetorical production of images although it is closely connected with the emergence of the notion of “Darstellung” in 18th-century aesthetics. Two features of this proto-aesthetical device will be discussed: The first characteristic is the diagrammatical nature of this figure—examples used are geometrical diagrams or statistical tables rather than pictorial images. The second characteristic is the inherent relation to media translation—the diagrammatic “image” is produced through and “instead of” words and sentences evoking that image. Both aspects underline the relation of the evidential image to language and writing. (RC)

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