Unity in Multiplicity
Baroque and Universality
As arguably the last period in European history when a transcendent understanding of space could be assumed, the Baroque was also a period in which the cosmos was conceived in mechanical terms. In this altered world-view, the traditional closed universe of the Middle Ages – and its subsequent humanist revisions in the Renaissance – were replaced by a more systematic and rational view of order. Expressed in the philosophies of René Descartes and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, this world-view was supported by what was construed as the “self-evident” nature of mental reasoning: the circumspection of inner rational thought (as opposed to the perceived equivocations of outward dialogue redolent ...