Compiled by

Jorn K. Bramann


    Frostburg State University

Image of a logical impossibility: This fork could not possibly exist--not even in the wildest science fiction novel. As little as a married bachelor. It can exist on this Web site, however ....

Friedrich Nietzsche: Born 1844, died 1900, lost his mind 1889.
Author of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Basil Baroda: "Self-Portrait As Young Nietzsche"

Cf also Baroda Art


Another logical impossibility

Don Quijote was an idealist. In this Calavera version by Jose Guadalupe Posada he is shown to be traveling very light.

The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David.
Here Socrates (469-399 BC) is shown posing as a preacher of virtue that is hard to take seriously in the 20th century. The scene painted by David is reminiscent of a 19th century opera production. Is it surprising that people can hardly refrain from sneering when they mention Truth, Goodness, and Beauty?

"The image in the age of its mechanical reproducibility."
(The original is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York)


Ancient Greek portrait bust of Socrates (produced some years after his execution). During his life Socrates was well known for his lack of physical beauty--his protruding eyes, his snub nose, his pot belly, etc. His students found him very attractive, however. Socrates taught that the inner life was incomparably more important than the external life, physical life. Socratic thought seriously undermined the classical Greek culture of physical strength and perfect bodies.

Could this be a picture of God? Could Michelangelo's figure descending in some sort of cloud--as painted in the Sistine Chapel--be a picture of God? Could there be any picture at all of a non-physical being?

Amazone forest before the Industrial Revolution

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) argued for the radical separation of body and mind. Nature became mere raw material, on which the mind superimposed its rational designs.


17th century garden architects superimposed mathematical designs on nature. It was their "Will to Power." They meant to replace chaos with the clarity of mind, but in the end they may have gotten entangled in their own creations (cf. "Last Year at Marienbad").


Continued at Gallery of Philosphical Images 2

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