Cover: The Veil of Isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature, from Harvard University PressCover: The Veil of Isis in PAPERBACK

The Veil of Isis

An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature

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Product Details


$28.00 • £22.95 • €25.00

ISBN 9780674030497

Publication Date: 09/15/2008

Academic Trade

432 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

18 halftones

Belknap Press


  • Preface
  • Prologue at Ephesus: An Enigmatic Saying
  • I. The Veil of Death
    • 1. Heraclitus’ Aphorism: “What Is Born Tends to Disappear”
  • II. The Veil of Nature
    • 2. From Phusis to Nature
    • 3. Secrets of the Gods and Secrets of Nature
  • III. “Nature Loves to Hide”
    • 4. Heraclitus’ Aphorism and Allegorical Exegesis
    • 5. “Nature Loves to Wrap Herself Up”: Mythical Forms and Corporeal Forms
    • 6. Calypso, or “Imagination with the Flowing Veil”
    • 7. The Genius of Paganism
    • 8. The “Gods of Greece”: Pagan Myths in a Christian World
  • IV. Unveiling Nature’s Secrets
    • 9. Prometheus and Orpheus
  • V. The Promethean Attitude: Unveiling Secrets through Technology
    • 10. Mechanics and Magic from Antiquity to the Renaissance
    • 11. Experimental Science and the Mechanization of Nature
    • 12. Criticism of the Promethean Attitude
  • VI. The Orphic Attitude: Unveiling Secrets through Discourse, Poetry, and Art
    • 13. Physics as a Conjectural Science
    • 14. Truth as the Daughter of Time
    • 15. The Study of Nature as a Spiritual Exercise
    • 16. Nature’s Behavior: Thrifty, Joyful, or Spendthrift?
    • 17. The Poetic Model
    • 18. Aesthetic Perception and the Genesis of Forms
  • VII. The Veil of Isis
    • 19. Artemis and Isis
  • VIII. From the Secret of Nature to the Mystery of Existence: Terror and Wonder
    • 20. Isis Has No Veils
    • 21. The Sacred Shudder
    • 22. Nature as Sphinx
    • 23. From the Secret of Nature to the Mystery of Being
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Index

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