Beginning in the seventeenth century, the greatest French writers and artists became embroiled in a debate that turned on the priority of painting or sculpture, touch or sight, color or design, ancients or moderns. Jacqueline Lichtenstein guides readers through these historic quarrels, decoding the key terms of the heated discussions and revealing how the players were influenced by the concurrent explosion of scientific discoveries concerning the senses of sight and touch. Drawing on the work of René Descartes, Roger de Piles, Denis Diderot, Charles Baudelaire, and Émile Zola, among others, The Blind Spot lets readers eavesdrop on an energetic and contentious conversation that preoccupied French intellectuals for three hundred years.
Jacqueline Lichtenstein is a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris-IV-Sorbonne specializing in the history and criticism of art and aesthetics. Chris Miller is a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and a widely published literary critic.