Inducing visibilities: an attempt at Santiago Ramón y Cajal's aesthetic epistemology

Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2011 Dec;42(4):391-4. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2011.07.008. Epub 2011 Aug 19.


In this paper, I consider Santiago Ramón y Cajal's strategy of histological observation and imaging in terms of what I call "induction of visibility" (Fiorentini, 2011). Cajal's strategy of visibility induction drew upon both rational and aesthetic visual sensibility, and considered this interplay to be a constitutive element of knowledge production. I propose to describe Cajal's fundamental attitude towards visually inferred knowledge in terms of an "aesthetic epistemology".

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Art / history*
  • Esthetics / history*
  • Histology / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Knowledge*
  • Visual Perception*

Personal name as subject

  • Santiago Ramón y Cajal