This blog presents a research in the humanities, medieval intellectual history in a general sense, more precisely on the topic of medical and philosophical psychology, with as main sources diagrammatic visualizations.

This blog will be about my research of diagrams featuring the human processes of cognition. These diagrams were developed in the 14th century, installed in mainstream knowledge in 15th century, and still there in 16th and 17th century. These diagrams then were an important vehicle in transporting Aristotelian cognitive theories into the modern epoch. The objective of this research is to understand how something “marginal” as a diagram can become paradigm for research in the centuries to come.

The main scientific object of this blog will to publish my corpus of about 40 medieval diagrams, for which I received permission for web-publication. With this blog I intend to present ongoing research, presenting a corpus of not otherwise available manuscript material.

The resulting book-historical biased corpus of cognition diagrams provide in a basis for further research on the intersection of the history of ideas, of education, of universities and schools, of philosophical and medical psychologies, and of visual culture.

This corpus opens a way to study the circulation of the Parvulus philosophiae naturalis over Central-european towns, as a result of the Kuttenberg-decret. This corpus also gives the opportunity to study several concrete cases of diagrams in the Parvulus philosophiae naturalis-manuscripts, dated and signed by students or professors of an identified university, for its doctrinal position of its teaching, for the connection between manuscripts. These concrete cases provide in a unique documentation of fifteenth century university learning and teaching in general, on the one hand, and on the other, for Central-Europe in particular.

In a next phase, it would be of interest to study the relation between the diagrams in the corpus of natural philosophical manuals and the diagrams in the medical realm, pathology in particular, in manuscripts copies from, probably, the thirteenth century onwards. And also, to study alternative visualizations, like horizontal cuts of the head, and how they have disappeared.

In yet another phase, it would be of great interest to study how the philosophical diagram has been adapted to illustrate anatomical discourse in early sixteenth century printed texts, its technical differences, the aesthetic conception of the diagram between the growing number of naturalistic drawings.