By Gunnar Olsson
Humans depend on cause to consider and navigate the summary international of human family members in a lot an identical means they depend upon maps to review and traverse the actual global. ranging from that straightforward statement, well known geographer Gunnar Olsson deals in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of ways human concept and motion became deeply immersed within the rhetoric of cartography and the way this cartographic reasoning permits the strong to map out different people’s lives.A spectacular analyzing of Western philosophy, faith, and mythology that attracts on early maps and atlases, Plato, Kant, and Wittgenstein, Thomas Pynchon, Gilgamesh, and Marcel Duchamp, Abysmal is itself a minimalist advisor to the terrain of Western tradition. Olsson roams largely yet continually returns to the issues inherent in cause, to question the superseded assumptions and glued rules that pondering cartographically includes. a piece of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will entice an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but additionally to someone drawn to the historical past of principles, tradition, and paintings. (20061024)
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Additional info for Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason
Heeding Aristotle’s advice, the best we can do is to do as well as we can, choosing our approaches accordingly. 33 It differs from regional cartography in that regional cartography, as an independent discipline, sets out the individual localities, each one independently and by itself, registering practically everything down to the last thing therein (for example, harbors, towns, districts, branches of principal rivers, and so on), while the essence of world cartography is to show the known world as a single and continuous entity, its nature and how it is situated, [taking account] only of the things that are associated with it in its broader, general outlines (such as gulfs, great cities, the more notable peoples and rivers, and the more noteworthy things of each kind).
It is ironic that even though Philoponus entered the debate with the hope of adding some logical clarity, he left it in such disarray that a century later he himself was placed under formal anathema. The discussion reaches to the heart of Christology and in a later chapter (“Nicaea”) it will resurface again. For the moment it suffices to note that the controversy was temporarily resolved by the Council of Chalcedon in 451. However, as none of the factions was willing to accept the proposed compromise, the fight went on, seemingly without end.
Altitude, being the Price we pay for this great Exemption, is consider’d as an in-house Expense, to be absorb’d in an inner term of lengthy Expression describing Location, Course, and Speed. ”35 In a not too different sense the maps that eventually came out of Ptolemy’s hands (it remains uncertain whether it was he or someone else who actually drew them) were based on information about altitude, albeit strangely furnished primarily by Marinus of Tyre (active in the years around 100 CE) and Strabo (64/63 BCE–23 CE), these compilers in turn updating older accounts provided by Hipparchus (active at least from 162 to 126 BCE), Eratosthenes and Pytheas.
Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason by Gunnar Olsson