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Morelli, Freud and Sherlock Holmes: Clues and Scientific Method Author(s): Carlo Ginzburg and Anna Davin

Morelli, Freud and Sherlock Holmes: Clues and Scientific Method Author(s): Carlo Ginzburg and Anna Davin Source: History Workshop, No. 9 (Spring, 1980), pp. 5-36

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Morelli, Freudand SherlockHolmes:

Clues and Scientific Method*

by CarloGinzburg

INTRODUCTION by Anna Davin

This article by an Italian comrade and historian is very different from anything we have included in History Workshop Journal before. It unselfconsciously draws on

philosophy, quotes Latin, and rangesacross societies andperiods in a way which is ex-

traordinary- even shocking - to the English reader. (How can anyone feel confident

to discuss not only the disparateareassuggested by the title, but also neolithic hunters, Babylonian diviners, renaissancescientific thought, the origins offingerprints and so

on?) In Italy, though still impressive, the range might seem less startling. There,

familiarity with the literatureand history of ancient Greece and Rome - 'theclassical

tradition'- along withphilosophy

remainsmore largelypart of basic academicgroun-

ding, taught (as in France) even to schoolchildren. It is not, as here, associated chiefly

with the educational institutions andpolitical power ofa privileged elite, the irrelevant preserve of the English gentleman, the specialism of the few in their ivory tower. Philosophlythere is still centrallypart of political theory (as it wasfor Marx and other nineteenth-century thinkers), and the Italian historian can make political interven- tions withinphilosophy and the classical tradition. Thelarger, longer perspective this brings also perhaps gives greater confidence for generalising,for theorising, and for speculation. This aspect of the continental marxist tradition is something which still seems quite strange to many English marxists, inspite of attempts (for instance by New Left Review) to introduce and integrate it here. In this article as in his other work (mostly not translated), Ginzburg is centrally concerned with how people see the world, how knowledge is acquired and organised,

the frameworks

social structure which contains, influences and is influenced by these aspects of knowledge. He examines the relationship between 'formal'and 'informal' knowledge, 'high'and 'low', lore and science. His concern, in short, is historical epistemology -

the history and theory of the construction of knowledge. In spite of the wide range of time covered here, the key point is the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the period during which the word 'science' lost its general sense, of knowledge, and acquired the

narrower meaning we give it now. In an earlier article ('High and Low: the

forbidden knowledge in the late 16th and 17th centuries', Past and Present 73, Nov. 1976) Ginzburgsuggested thatfor many centuries the opposition between 'high'and 'low' - one of the basic polarities around which human beings organise their percep- tions of the world, like 'light and dark', or 'hot and cold'- was used to classify

knowledge, and in particular to define forbidden knowledge, cosmic, religious and

*This translation is by Anna Davin; the first sections, however, owe a great deal to Susanna Graham-Jones's translation of an earlier, shorter version of the article, which she kindly made available.

into which they fit information, beliefs, or observations, and the

theme of

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political mysteries which ordinary people must not aspire to understand, let alone challenge. This of course 'tended to maintain the existing social and political hier-

to reinforce the power of the Church'. The discussion in the present

articlepartly relates to that: here he is looking at 'low'knowledge, the kind 'whichex- ists everywherein the world, without geographic, historical, ethnic, gender or class ex- ception', but whichnevertheless ispeculiarly the-propertyof those who withina given society are not in a position of power. It is informal knowledge, orally transmitted, based on everyday experience (often including the accumulated experience of forebears and elders) and careful observation, which allows the observer to under- stand much more than can be directly seen. He characterises it as 'conjectural' or 'divinatory' knowledge. Sometimes such knowledge is devalued - dismissed as trivial or unscientiJic- by the definitions of the elite, who at the same time may use its association with the

powerless to devalue both them and their knowledge ('womanly intuition' is an ob- vious example). Sometimes on the other hand the knowledge is expropriated, as he suggests happened in a number offields in the 18thcentury, withthe writingdown and codification offolk traditionsandpractice in,for instance, the use of herbs, or the care of animals. Byfollowing (andpresenting) clues, he shows us how in the late 19th cen- tury the conjectural approach itself acquired a new academic respectability (and usefulness to the ruling classes and the capitaliststate), after long subordination to the methods of experimental science as developed by Galileo and others in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, which demanded that every piece of evidence be directly observable and repeatable. But he also casts muchfurther back, and looks at knowledge in relation topower - the emergence of groups controlling particular kinds of knowledge: Mesopotamian diviners holding the secret of writtencommunication, lawyers with their command of case-law andprecedent, and doctors able through theirfamiliarity withsymptoms and the behaviour of disease to make diagnosis and prognosis. These werelaterjoined by academics and experts of many kinds, and by those exercising state power, like the British official in India who expropriated the idea of usingfingerprintsfor identifica- tion and turnedit to the advantage of the colonialstate. Herein liessome of the interest of his discussion of the rise of 'disciplines'-specialisations of knowledge like medicine or law or philology (the stud)' of language), or palaeology (the study of an- cient writing)and connoisseurship (expertise in the attribution of paintings). These disciplines are also discussed in terms of the different paradigms of know- ledge which he sets up, the different approaches, conjectural on the one hand, and rigorouslyscientific on the other. Thisis of particular interest to historians,for often,

as he suggests, 'the historian 's knowledge

evidence, conjectural';yet there is always the urge to achieve recognition as scientific. The contradiction between the qualitative and the quantitative nags: the demandfor more statistics, moreproof, and less speculation or conjecture or indeed imagination, is one familiar to us all. So Ginzburg's forays into the theory and history of knowledge -in any case fascinating - are also political, and they relate to issues of special significancefor the historian. In oursociety the status of science is higher than that of conjecture. Without abandoning or denigrating the scientific approach, Ginzburg shows that there is an alternative, with its own history and validity, deeply rooted inpopular experienceeven if sometimes misappropriated, complementing and extending the knowledge obtained through science.

archy

and

is indirect, based on signs and scraps of

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Cluesand ScientificMethod

7

EarsandhandsbyBotticelli,fromMorelli'sItalianpainters(1892).

The borderline between natural sciences and human sciences (or as it is sometimes seen, between science and everything else - social sciences, arts, humanities) has long been a difficult area, and is likely to remain so. The following pages attempt a fresh approach to the problem. In particular we shall discuss a theoretical model, or para- digm, for the construction of knowledge, which quietly emerged towards the end of the 19thcentury in the sphere of social sciences, and which has still not received the attention it deserves. Examining this paradigm, which came into use without ever being spelled out as a theory, can perhaps help us go beyond the sterile contrasting of

'rational'

CLUES

and 'irrational'.

Clues: the art historian

Between 1874 and 1876 a series of articles on Italian painting was published in the Germanart history journal Zeitschriftfiir bildende Kunst. They bore the signatureof an unknown Russian scholar, Ivan Lermolieff, and the German translator was also unknown, one Johannes Schwarze. The articles proposed a new method for the correctattribution of old masters, which provoked much discussion and controversy among art historians. Several years later the author revealed himself as Giovanni Morelli, an Italian (both pseudonyms were adapted from his own name). The 'Morelli method' is still referred to by art historians.' Let us take a look at the method itself. Museums, Morelli said, are full of wrongly- attributed paintings -indeed assigning them correctly is often very difficult, since often they are unsigned, or painted over, or in poor repair. So distinguishing copies from originals (though essential) is very hard. To do it, said Morelli, one should abandon the convention of concentrating on the most obvious characteristicsof the paintings, for these could most easily be imitated - Perugino's central figures with eyes characteristicallyraised to heaven, or the smile of Leonardo's women, to take a couple of examples. Instead one should concentrate on minor details, especially those least significant in the style typical of the painter's own school: earlobes, fingernails, shapesof fingers and toes. So Morelli identified the ear (or whatever) peculiar to such mastersas Botticelli and Cosme Tura, such as would be found in originals but not in copies. Then, using this method, he made dozens of new attributions in some of the principalgalleries of Europe. Some of them were sensational: the gallery in Dresden held a painting of a recumbent Venus believed to be a copy by Sassoferrato of a lost work by Titian, but Morelli identified it as one of the very few works definitely attributableto Giorgione.

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Despitetheseachievements- andperhapsbecauseof hisalmostarrogantassurance

when presentingthem-Morelli's methodwas very much criticised.It was called mechanical,or crudelypositivistic,and fell into disfavour. (Thoughit seemslikely

thatmanywho spokedisparaginglyof it wenton quietlyusingit in theirown attri- butions.)Weowethe recentrevivalof interestin his workto thearthistorianEdgar Wind,who suggestsit is an exampleof a moremodernapproachto worksof art, tendingtowardsan appreciationof detailaswellas of the whole.If we areto believe Wind,Morellihadbecomeexasperatedwiththeunthinkingcultof geniussocurrentin romanticcirclesin the Berlinof hisyouth.3Butthisis unconvincing.Morelliwasnot tacklingproblemsatthelevelof aesthetics(indeedthiswasheldagainsthim),butata morebasiclevel,closerto philology.Theimplicationsof his methodlay elsewhere, and weremuchricher,thoughWinddid, as we shallsee, come closeto perceiving them.

Clues:thedetective

Morelli'sbooks[writesWind]lookdifferentfromthoseof anyotherwriteronart. Theyare sprinkledwith illustrationsof fingersand ears,carefulrecordsof the characteristictriflesby whichan artistgiveshimselfaway,as a criminalmightbe

anyartgallerystudiedbyMorellibeginsto resemblea

spottedby a fingerprint rogue'sgallery

4

This comparisonwas brilliantlydevelopedby an Italian art historian, Enrico Castelnuovo,who drewa parallelbetweenMorelli'smethodsof classificationand thoseattributedbyArthurConanDoyleonlya fewyearslaterto hisfictionalcreation,

SherlockHolmes.5

Theartconnoisseurandthedetectivemaywellbecompared,eachdiscovering,from cluesunnoticedbyothers,theauthorinonecaseof a crime,intheotherof a painting. Examplesof SherlockHolmes'sskillatinterpretingfootprints,cigaretteashandsoon arecountlessandwell-known.Butlet us look at 'TheCardboardBox' (1892)for an illustrationof Castelnuovo'spoint:hereHolmesis as it were'morellising'.Thecase startswiththearrivalof twoseveredearsina parcelsentto aninnocentoldlady.Here is theexpertat work:

[Holmes]was staringwithsingularintentnessat the lady'sprofile.Surpriseand satisfactionwereboth foraninstantto bereaduponhiseagerface,thoughwhen sheglancedroundto findoutthecauseof hissilencehehadbecomeasdemureas ever.I [Watson]staredhardmyselfatherflatgrizzledhair,hertrimcap,herlittle giltear-rings,herplacidfeatures,butI couldseenothingwhichwouldaccountfor mycompanion'sevidentexcitement.

Lateron Holmesexplainsto Watson(andto the reader)the lightningcourseof his thoughts:

Asa medicalman,youareaware,Watson,thatthereisno partof thehumanbody whichvariesso muchasthehumanear.Eachearis as a rulequitedistinctive,and differsfromallotherones.Inlastyear'sAnthropologicalJournalyouwillfindtwo shortmonographsfrommypen uponthesubject.I had,therefore,examinedthe earsintheboxwiththeeyesof anexpert,andhadcarefullynotedtheiranatomical peculiarities.Imaginemysurprisethen,when,on lookingat MissCushing,I per- ceivedthat her ear correspondedexactlywith the femaleear whichI had just inspected.The matterwas entirelybeyond coincidence.Therewas the same

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Cluesand ScientificMet hod

9

shortening of the pinna, the same broad curve of the upper lobe, the same convolution of the inner cartilage. In all essentials it was the same ear. Of course, I at once saw the enormous importance of the observation. It was evident that the victim was a blood relation, and probably a very close one

6

FRA FILIPPO

FILIPPINO

SIGNORELLI

BRAMANTINO

IMANTEGNA GIOVANNIBELLINI BONIFAZIO

BOTTICELLI

Typicalears,fromItalianpainters.

Clues: thepsychoanalyst

We shall shortly see the implications of this parallel.7Meanwhile we may profit from another of Wind's helpful observations.

To some of Morelli's critics it has seemed odd 'that personality should be found where personal effort is weakest'. But on this point modern psychology would certainly support Morelli: our inadvertent little gestures reveal our character far more authentically than any formal posture that we may carefully prepare.8

'Our inadvertent little gestures' - we can here without hesitation replace the general term 'modern psychology' with the name of Sigmund Freud. Wind's comments on Morellihave indeed drawn the attention of scholars9to a neglected passage in Freud's famous essay, 'The Moses of Michelangelo' (1914). At the beginning of the second section Freudwrites:

Long before I had any opportunity of hearing about psychoanalysis, I learnt that a Russianart-connoisseur, Ivan Lermolieff had caused a revolution in the artgaller- ies of Europe by questioning the authorship of many pictures, showing how to distinguish copies from originals with certainty, and constructing hypothetical artists for those works of art whose former authorship had been discredited. He

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achievedthis by insistingthat attentionshould be divertedfrom the general impressionandmainfeaturesof a picture,andbylayingstresson thesignificance of minordetails,of thingslikethedrawingof thefingernails,of thelobeof anear, of halosandsuchunconsideredtrifleswhichthecopyistneglectsto imitateandyet which every artist executesin his own characteristicway. I was then greatly interestedto learnthattheRussianpseudonymconcealedtheidentityof anItalian physiciancalledMorelli,who died in 1891.It seemsto me that his methodof inquiryis closelyrelatedto thetechniqueof psychoanalysis.It,too, is accustomed to divinesecretandconcealedthingsfromdespisedorunnoticedfeatures,fromthe rubbish-heap,asit were,of ourobservations.'0

'TheMosesof Michelangelo'wasfirstpublishedanonymously:Freudacknowledged it onlywhenhe includedit in hiscollectedworks.SomehavesupposedthatMorelli's tasteforconcealinghisauthorshipbehindpseudonymssomehowalsoaffectedFreud; andseveralmoreorlessplausibleattemptshavebeenmadeto explainthecoincidence. Thereis in any case no doubtthat underthe cloak of anonymityFreuddeclared, explicitlybut also in a sensecovertly,the considerableinfluencethat Morellihad exercisedonhimlongbeforehisdiscoveryof psychoanalysis.Toconfinethisinfluence to 'TheMosesof Michelangelo'essayalo'ne,as somehavedone, or evenjustto the essaysconnectedwitharthistory,improperlyreducesthesignificanceof Freud'sown comment,'Itseemsto methathismethodof enquiryiscloselyrelatedto thetechnique of psychoanalysis'.In fact, the passagequotedaboveassuresGiovanniMorelliof a specialplaceinthehistoryof psychoanalysis.Wearedealingherewitha documented connection,notmerelya conjecturedoneasinmanyof theclaimsof 'antecedents'or 'precursors'of Freud;moreover,as we have shown, FreudcameacrossMorelli's writingsbefore his work on psychoanalysis.Here we have an element which contributeddirectlyto the crystallisationof psychoanalysis,and not (as with the passageon the dreamof J. Popper'Lynkeus'whichwasinsertedin latereditionsof The Interpretationof Dreams) just a coincidencenoticed later on, after his

discoveries.

FreudandMorelli

Beforewetryto understandwhatFreudtook fromhisreadingsof Morelli,weshould

clarifythe precisetimingof the encounter- or rather,fromFreud'saccount,of the twoencounters,'LongbeforeIhadanyopportunityof hearingaboutpsychoanalysisI

learnt that a Russianart-connoisseur,Ivan Lermolieff

interestedto learnthat the Russianpseudonymconcealedthe identityof an Italian physiciancalledMorelli The firstof thesecan onlybe datedveryroughly.It musthavebeenbefore1895, (whenFreudand BreuerpublishedtheirStudieson Hysteria);or 1896(whenFreud

firstusedthetermpsychoanalysis);"andafter1883,whenFreud(inDecember)wrote

his fianceea long letterabout his 'discoveryof art' duringa visit to the Dresden Gallery.Beforethathehadhadno interestinpainting;now,hewrote,'Ihavethrown off myphilistinismandbegunto admireit'.'2Itishardto imaginethatbeforethisdate Freudcouldhavebeenattractedbythewritingsof anunknownarthistorian;butit is perfectlyplausiblethatheshouldstartreadingthemafterthisletter- especiallyasthe firstcollectededitionof Morelli'sessays(Leipzig1880)containedthosewhichdealt withthe Italianold mastersin thegalleriesof Munich,Dresden,andBerlin.'3

'I was then greatly

';

'

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CluesandScientificMethod

11

Freud's second encounter with Morelli's writings can be dated with more confidence,thoughstillpresumptively.IvanLermolieff'srealnamewasmadepublic for the firsttimeon the title-pageof the Englishtranslationof thecollection,which cameoutin 1883;latereditionsandtranslations,from1891whenMorellidied,carried bothnameandpseudonym.A copyof oneof thesevolumescouldpossiblyhavebeen seenby Freudearlieror later,butit wasmostlikelyin September1898,browsingin a Milanbookshop,that he cameupon Lermolieff'srealidentity.In Freud'slibrary, whichis preservedin London,thereis a copyof GiovanniMorelli(IvanLermolieff)'s book, Della pittura italiana:studii storico critici-Le gallerieBorghesee Doria Pamphiliin Roma (Criticalhistoricalstudiesin Italianpainting:the Borgheseand DoriaPamphiliGalleriesin Rome),publishedin Milanin 1897.A note in the front recordsits acquisition:Milan14September.'4Freud'sonlyvisitto Milanwasin the autumnof 1898.At that time, moreover,Morelli'sbook would have a particular interest for Freud. He had been working for several months on lapses of memory- shortlybeforethis,inDalmatia,hehadhadtheexperience(lateranalysedin ThePsychopathologyof EverydayLife) of beingunableto recallthe nameof the painterof the Orvietofrescoes. Both that painter,Signorelli,and Botticelliand Botraffio,whosenameskept substitutingthemselves,werementionedin Morelli's

book.'5

ButwhatsignificancedidMorelli'sessayshaveforFreud,stillayoungman,stillfar frompsychoanalysis?Freudhimselftellsus:theproposalof aninterpretativemethod based on taking marginaland irrelevantdetails as revealingclues. Here details generallyconsideredtrivialandunimportant,'beneathnotice',furnishthe keyto the highestachievementsof humangenius.Theironyin thispassagefromMorellimust havedelightedFreud:

Myadversariesarepleasedto callme someonewhohasno understandingof the spiritualcontentof a workof art,andwhothereforegivesparticularimportanceto externaldetailssuchas the formof the hands,the ear, andeven, horribiledictu [howshocking],to suchrudethingsas fingernails.'6

Morellicouldhavemadegooduseof theVirgiliantagso dearto Freud,whichhechose as the epigraphfor The Interpretationof Dreams, 'Flecteresi nequeo Superos, Acherontamovebo'('Andif HeavenI cannotbend,thenHellshallbe unleashed'). Furthermore,thesemarginaldetailswererevealing,inMorelli'sview,becauseinthem theartist'ssubordinationto culturaltraditionsgavewayto a purelyindividualstreak, detailsbeingrepeatedina certainway'byforceof habit,almostunconsciously'.Even morethanthe referenceto the unconscious- not exceptionalin thisperiod - whatis strikinghereis the waythatthe innermostcoreof the artist'sindividualityis linked withelementsbeyondconsciouscontrol.

TheTripleAnalogy:diagnosisthroughclues

We have outlinedan analogybetweenthe methodsof Morelli,of Holmes,and of Freud.We have mentionedthe connectionbetweenMorelliand Holmes,and that betweenMorelliandFreud.Thepeculiarsimilaritiesbetweentheactivitiesof Holmes and Freudhave been discussedby StevenMarcus.'7In all threecasestiny details providethekeyto adeeperreality,inaccessiblebyothermethods.Thesedetailsmaybe symptoms,for Freud,or clues,for Holmes,or featuresof paintings,for Morelli.'8

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How do we explain the triple analogy? There is an obvious answer. Freud was a doctor; Morelli had a degree in medicine; Conan Doyle had been a doctor before settling down to write. In all three cases we can invoke the model of medicalsemiotics, or symptomatology -the discipline which permits diagnosis, though the disease cannot be directly observed, on the basis of superficial symptoms or signs, often irrelevantto the eye of the layman, or even of Dr Watson. (Incidentally, the Holmes- Watson pair, the sharp-eyeddetective and the obtuse doctor, representsthe splitting of a single character, one of the youthful Conan Doyle's professors, famous for his diag- nostic ability.)'9 But it is not simply a matter of biographical coincidences. Towards the end of the 19th century (more precisely, in the decade 1870-80), this 'semiotic' approach, a paradigm or model based on the interpretation of clues, had become increasingly influential in the field of human sciences. Its roots, however, were far more ancient.

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Typicalhands,from Italian painters.

ROOTS OF THE CONJECTURAL MODEL

Hunters and diviners

For thousands of years mankind lived by hunting. In the course of endless pursuits hunters learned to construct the appearance and movements of an unseen quarry

droppings, snagged hairs or

feathers, smells, puddles, threads of saliva. They learnt to sniff, to observe, to give

meaning and context to the slightest trace. They learntto make complex calculations in an instant, in shadowy wood or treacherous clearing.

through its tracks - prints in soft ground, snapped twigs,

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CluesandScientificMethod

13

Successivegenerationsof huntersenrichedandpassedonthisinheritanceof know- ledge.Wehaveno verbalevidenceto setbesidetheirrockpaintingsandartefacts,but wecanturnperhapsto the folktale,whichsometimescarriesanecho- faintanddis- torted-of whatthose far-offhuntersknew.Threebrothers(runsa storyfromthe

middleeasttoldamongKhirgiz,Tartars,Jews,Turksandsoon)20meeta manwhohas losta camel(orsometimesit is a horse).Atoncetheydescribeitto him:it'swhite,and blindinoneeye;underthesaddleitcarriestwoskins,onefullof oil, theotherof wine. Theymusthave seenit? No, they haven'tseenit. So they'reaccusedof theft and broughtto be judged.Therefollowsthe triumphof the brothers:theyimmediately showhow fromthe baresttracestheywereableto reconstructthe appearanceof an animalthey'dneverseteyeson. Thethreebrothers,evenif theyarenotdescribedashunters,areclearlycarriersof the hunters'kind of knowledge,their lore. Its characteristicfeaturewas that it permittedtheleapfromapparentlyinsignificantfacts,whichcouldbeobserved,to a complexrealitywhich- directlyatleast- couldnot. Andthesefactswouldbeordered by the observerin such a way as to providea narrativesequence-at its simplest, 'someonepassedthisway'.Perhapsindeedtheideaof a narrative,asopposedto spell or exorcismor invocation,originatedin a huntingsociety,fromthe experienceof interpretingtracks.Obviouslythisisspeculation,butitmightbereinforcedbytheway thatevennowtermsusedin thegrammaticaldecipheringof speechdrawon hunters'

methods- the partfor the whole,the causefor the effect- relatingto the narrative

poleof metonymy(asdefinedina well-knownessaybyJakobson)2Iandexcludingthe alternativepole of metaphor.The huntercould havebeenthe first 'to tell a story' becauseonlyhuntersknewhowto reada coherentsequenceof eventsfromthesilent (thoughnot imperceptible)signsleft by theirprey. This 'deciphering'and 'reading'of the animals'tracksis metaphorical.Butit is worthtryingto understandit literally,astheverbaldistillationof a historicalprocess leading,thoughacrossa verylongtime-span,towardsthe inventionof writing.The sameconnectionis suggestedin a Chinesetraditionexplainingtheoriginsof writing,

accordingto whichit wasinventedbya highofficialwhohadremarkedthefootprints of deerin a sandyriverbank.22Orabandoningthe realmsof mythandhypothesisfor that of documentedhistory,thereare undoubtedlystrikinganalogiesbetweenthe modelwe havebeendevelopingfor hunters,and the modelimplicitin the textsof Mesopotamiandivination,whichdate fromat least3,000yearsBC.23Bothrequire minuteexaminationof thereal,howevertrivial,to uncoverthetracesof eventswhich theobservercannotdirectlyexperience.Droppings,footprints,hairs,feathers,inthe onecase;animals'innards,dropsof oilinwater,stars,involuntarymovements,inthe

other.Itis truethatthesecondgroup,unlikethefirst,couldbeextendedindefinitely, sincetheMesopotamiandivinersreadsignsof thefutureinmoreorlessanything.But to oureyesanotherdifferencemattersmore:thefactthatdivinationpointedtowards the future,whilethehunters'decipheringwasof whathadactuallyhappened,evenif veryrecently.Yet in termsof understanding,the approachin eachcase was much

alike;theintellectualstages- analysis,comparison,classification- identical,at least

in theory.But only of coursein theory:the socialcontextswerequitedifferent.In

particular,it has beenobservedthatthe inventionof writingmusthavehada great effecton Mesopotamiandivination.24Itgavethegods(besidesdivinityandtheirother advantages)the power of communicationwith their subjects through written messages - on stars,humanbodies,everywhere - whichthe divinershadthe taskof deciphering.(Thiswasanideawhichinturnoverthousandsof yearswouldflowinto

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the imageof 'the book of nature'.)And the identificationof prophecywith the decipheringof charactersdivinelyinscribedwasreinforcedin reallife by the picto- graphiccharacterof thisearlywriting,'cuneiform';it too, likedivination,conveyed

onethingthroughanother.25

Thefootprintrepresentsarealanimalwhichhasgonepast.Bycomparisonwiththe actualityof thefootprint,thepictogramisalreadyahugeadvancetowardsintellectual abstraction.Butthecapacityfor abstractth,oughtimpliedby theintroductionof the pictogramisinitsturnsmallindeedbesidethatrequiredforthetransitionto aphonetic script. In fact pictographicand phoneticelementssurvivedtogetherin cuneiform writing,justas in theliteratureof the Mesopotamiandivinersgradualintensification of thetendencyto generalisefromtheirbasicfactsdidnotcancelouttheirtendencyto infer cause from effect.26This also explainswhy the languageof Mesopotamian divinationwasinfiltratedbytechnicaltermsfromthelawcodes,andalsothepresence in theirtextsof fragmentsrelatingto the studyof physiognomy(judgingcharacter fromappearance)andof medicalsymptoms(medicalsemiotics).27 So aftera long detourwe come backto the questionsof symptoms,to medical

semiotics- diagnosisfromsignsor symptoms.Wefindit in a wholeconstellationof

disciplines(ananachronistictermsof course)witha commoncharacter.It mightbe

temptingto distinguishbetween'pseudo-sciences'likedivinationandphysiognomy, and 'sciences'like law and medicine,and to explaintheirdifferencesby the great

distancein

wouldbe a superficialexplanation.Therewasa realcommongroundamongstthese Mesopotamianformsof knowledge(if weomitdivinationthroughinspiration,which wasbasedonecstaticpossession):28anapproachinvolvinganalysisof particularcases,

constructedonly throughtraces,symptoms,hints. Again,the Mesopotamianlegal textsdonotjustlistlawsandordinances,butdiscussa bodyof actualcases.29Inshort, therewasa basicmodelforexplanationordivinationwhichcouldbeorientedtowards pastorpresentor future,dependingon the formof knowledgecalledupon.Towards

future- thatwasdivinationproper;towardspast,presentandfuture - thatwasthe

medicalscienceof symptoms,withits doublecharacter,diagnostic,explainingpast andpresent,andprognostic,suggestingthelikelyfuture;andtowardspast- thatwas

jurisprudence,or legalknowledge.Butlurkingbehindthismodelforexplanationor prophecyoneglimpsessomethingasoldasthehumanrace:thehuntercrouchedinthe mud,examininga quarry'stracks.

spaceand time fromthe societywhichwe havebeen discussing.Butit

Thegrowthof disciplinesbasedon readingtheevidence

Whatwe havesaidso farshouldexplainwhya Mesopotamiandivinationtextmight includehow to diagnosean earlierheadwoundfroma bilateralsquint;30or more generally,thewayin whichthereemergedhistoricallya groupof disciplineswhichall dependedon the decipheringof variouskindsof signs,fromsymptomsto writing. Passingon to the civilisationsof ancientGreece,we find this groupof disciplines changesconsiderably,withnewlinesof studydeveloping,likehistoryandphilology, and withthe newlyacquiredindependence(in termsboth of socialcontextand of theoreticalapproach)of olderdisciplineslikemedicine.Thebody,speechandhistory wereallforthefirsttimesubjectedto dispassionateinvestigationwhichfromthestart excludedthepossibilityof divineintervention.Thisdecisivechangecharacterisedthe cultureof theGreekcity-states,of whichweof coursearetheheirs.It is lessobvious thatan importantpartof this changewasplayedby a modelwhichmaybe seenas

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basedon symptomsandsigns.31Thisis clearestin thecaseof Hippocraticmedicine, whichbaseditsmethodsonthecentralconceptof thesymptom.(TheGreekwordwas semeion, whence our semiotics.)Followersof Hippocratesarguedthat just by carefullyobservingandregisteringeverysymptomit waspossibleto establishprecise historiesof eachdisease,eventhoughthediseaseasanentitywouldremainintangible. Theirinsistenceon theevidentialnatureof medicinealmostcertainlystemmedfrom the distinction(expoundedby the Pythagoreandoctor, Alcmeon) between the

certaintyof divineknowledge,and the provisional,conjecturalnatureof human knowledge.If realitywas not necessarilyclear,then by implicationit was rightto proceedbybuildingup knowledgeof thewholefromtheparts,usingtheconjectural paradigmwhichwehavebeendescribing,andthiswasin facttheusualapproachin a numberof spheresof activity:physicians,historians,politicans,potters,joiners,

mariners,hunters,fishermen,andwomeningeneral- wereheld,amongothers,to be

adeptin the vastareasof conjecturalknowledge.32Suchterritory(significantlythe domainof thegoddessMetis,firstwifeof Jove,whorepresenteddivinationbymeans of water)wasmarkedoff withwordslike 'conjecture','judgeby thesigns'(tekmor, tekmairesthai- Greekwordswhosemeaningshiftsinterestinglybetweenboundary, sign, pledge, conjecture).But this evidentialapproach,this semioticparadigm,

continuedto bemerelyimplicit-

knowledge,whichheldswayin moreinfluentialcirclesandhadmoreprestige.33

itwascompletelyovershadowedbyPlato'stheoryof

Galileoandthenewscientificwriting

Partsof the Hippocraticwritingshavea surprisinglydefensivetone, suggestingthat eveninthe5thcenturyBCthefallibilityof doctorswasalreadyunderattack.Thatthis battle is not over is presumablybecauserelationsbetweendoctor and patient (especiallytheinabilityof thelatterto checkorcontroltheskillsof theformer)havein somerespectsnot changedsincethetimeof Hippocrates.Butwhathaschangedover these2,500yearsis howthedebateis conducted,alongwithchangesin conceptslike 'rigour'and'science'.Hereof coursethedecisiveshiftistheemergenceof anewscien- tific paradigm,basedon (butoutliving)Galileianphysics.Evenif modernphysics finds it hardto define Galileian(whilenot rejectingGalileo),the significanceof Galileo(1564-1642)for sciencein general,both in termsof theoryof knowledge (epistemology)and as a symbol, remainsundiminished.34Now it is clear that

none - not even medicine -

evidential,conjectural,basedon the readingof signs, would meet the criteriaof scientificinferenceessentialto theGalileianapproach.Theywereaboveallconcerned withthequalitative,theindividualcaseorsituationordocumentinitself,whichmeant

therewas alwaysan elementof chancein theirresults:one needonly thinkof the importanceof conjecture(awordwhoseLatinoriginliesin divination)35in medicine

or philology,let alonein propheticdivination.Galileiansciencewasaltogetherdif-

ferent- it couldhavetakenoverthescholasticsaying'individuumestineffabile'('we

can say nothingabout the individual').Using mathematicsand the experimental method involved the need to measureand to repeat phenomena,whereasan individualisingapproachmadethe latterimpossibleandallowedthe formeronlyin part.Allof whichexplainswhyhistorianshavenevermanagedto workouta Galileian method.Inthe 17thcentury,on thecontrary,thenewgrowthof antiquarianmethods amonghistoriansindicatedindirectlytheremoteandlong-hiddenoriginsof historyin theconjecturalmodel.Thisfactaboutitssourcecannotbehidden,inspiteof theever- closerbondslinkingitto thesocialsciences.Historyalwaysremainsa scienceof a very

of the disciplineswhich we have been describingas

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particularkind,irremediablybasedintheconcrete.Historianscannothelpsometimes referringback(explicitlyor by implication)to comparableseriesof phenomena;but theirstrategyforfindingthingsout,likethevolumesinwhichtheypresenttheirwork, isbasicallyaboutparticularcases,whetherconcerningindividuals,orsocialgroups,or

wholesocieties.Inthiswayhistoryis likemedicine,whichusesdiseaseclassifications to analysethe specificillnessof a particularpatient.Andthehistorian'sknowledge, likethedoctor's,is indirect,basedon signsandscrapsof evidence,conjectural.36 Butthe contrastI havesuggestedis an over-simplification.Amongthe 'conjec-

tural'disciplinesone- philology,andparticularlytextualcriticism- grewupto be, in

some ways at least, atypical.Its objects were definedin the courseof a drastic curtailingof whatwasseento be relevant.Thischangewithinthe disciplineresulted fromtwosignificantturningpoints:theinventionfirstof writingandthenof printing. We knowthat textualcriticismevolvedafterthe first,withthe writingdownof the Homericpoems, and developedfurtherafter the second, whenhumanistscholars improvedon thefirsthastyprintededitionsof theclassics.37 Firsttheelementsrelated to voice andgesturewerediscardedas redundant;laterthe characteristicsof hand- writingweresimilarlysetaside.Theresulthasbeenaprogressivedematerialisation,or refinement,of texts,a processinwhichtheappealof theoriginalto ourvarioussenses, hasbeenpurgedaway.A textneedsto existinphysicalforminorderto survive;butits identityis not uniquelyboundupin thatphysicalform,norin anyonecopy.Allthis seemsself-evidentto ustoday,butit is notatall.Takeforexamplethedecisiveroleof the voicein oralliterature,or of calligraphyin Chinesepoetry,andit becomesclear thatthisverynotionof a 'text'isitselftheresultof aculturalchoicewhosesignificance is incalculable.Andtheexampleof Chinashowsthatthechoicewasnotaninevitable consequenceof printingreplacinghandwriting,sincetheretheinventionof thepress didnot severthetiesbetweenliterarytextandcalligraphy.(Weshallseeshortlythat historicaldiscussionof pictorial'texts'raisesquitedifferentproblems.) Thisthoroughlyabstractnotionof atextexplainswhytextualcriticism,evenwhile remainingto alargedegreedivinatory,could(andduringthe 19thcenturydid)emerge as rigorouslyscientific.38Theradicaldecisionto excludeall butthe reproducible(in writing,or, afterGutenberg,in print)featuresof a textmadeit possible,evenwhile dealingwithindividualexamples,to avoidthe qualitative,thatprimehazardof the humanities.It is surelysignificantthat Galileo, while layingthe foundationsof modernnaturalsciencebya similarlydrasticconceptualreduction,himselfturnedto philology.Thetraditionalmediaevalcomparisonbetweenworldandbook assumed that both lay open readyto be read.Galileoemphasised,however,that 'wecannot hopeto understandthephilosophywritteninthisgreatbookstandingopenbeforeour eyes(andbythisI meantheuniverse)unlesswelearnfirstto understanditslanguage and to know the characterswrittenthere', that is, 'triangles,circles, and other geometricfigures'.39Forthenaturalphilosopher,as forthephilologist,thetextis an entity,deepandinvisible,to bereconstructedthroughandbeyondtheavailablesense data: 'figures,numbersand movements,but not smellsor tastesor sounds,which cannotbe separatedfromthelivinganimalexceptasmerewords'.40 Galileoheresetthenaturalsciencesfirmlyonapaththeyneverleft,whichledaway from anthropocentrismand anthropomorphism(from an approachexplaining everythingin relationto humanbeings),andcontinuedto widenthegapbetweenthe fieldsof knowledge.Certainlytherecould be no greatercontrastthanbetweenthe Galileianphysicist,professionallydeafto soundsandforbiddento tasteorsmell,and thephysicianof thesameperiod,whoventuredhisdiagnosisafterlisteningto awheezy chest,or sniffingfaeces,or tastingurine.

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A seventeenth-centuryconnoisseurandphysician;problemsof identity

One suchphysicianwas GiulioMancini,from Siena,chiefmedicalmanto Urbano VIII(Popefrom1623to 1644).ItdoesnotseemthatheknewGalileowell,butthetwo

didprobablymeet,sincetheymovedinthesamecirclesinRome,fromthePapalCourt

to the LinceiAcademy,*andhadcommonfriends,fromFedericoCesito Giovanni

Ciampolito GiovanniFaber.A vividsketchof Manciniby NicioEritreo,aliasGian VittorioRossi, describeshis atheism,his extraordinarydiagnosticskill (detailedin wordsstraightout of the divinatorytexts),andhis interestin meetinganyonewitha reputationforgreatintelligence.4'Manciniwrotea bookcalledAlcuneconsiderazioni

appartenentialla pitturacome di diletto di un gentilhuomonobile e come intro- duttionea quelloche si deve dire (Someconsiderationsconcerningpaintingas an amusementfora noblegentleman,andintroducingwhatneedsto besaid),whichhad

a widecirculationin manuscript.42As its titlesays, it wasaimedat nobleamateurs

ratherthanatpainters- atthosedilettantiwhoinevergreaternumbersflockedto the

Pantheonfor the annualexhibitionof paintingsold and new.43Certainlythe most originalpart of Mancini'sConsiderazioniis that devotedto 'the recognitionof paintings',whichsetsout a methodfor identifyingfakes, for tellingoriginalsfrom copies,andsoon." Thiswouldneverhavebeenwrittenbefore.Sothisfirstattemptto establishconnoisseurship,asit wasto becalleda centurylater,wasmadebya doctor famousforhisbrilliantdiagnoses,whoon visitinga patient'coulddivine'(divinabat)

with one rapid glance the seat of the disease.45We may surely see more than coincidencein this double skill, in his combinationof the doctor's and the

connoisseur's perceptions.

ButbeforeexaminingMancini'sviewsmoreclosely,weshouldgo intoanassump- tionsharedbyhim,thegentlemenhewrotefor, andourselves.Itisanassumptionnot declared,since (wrongly)it is takento be obvious:it is that betweena canvasby

Raphaeland any copy of it

(painted,engraved,or todayphotographed)thereis an

ineradicabledifference.Theimplicationsof thisforthemarket- thata paintingis by definitionunique,impossibleto repeat46- areplain,andtheyareconnectedwiththe emergenceof theconnoisseur.Buttheassumptionarisesfroma culturalchoicewhich mustnotpassunremarked,especiallyasadifferentonewasmadeinthecaseof written texts.(Thepresumedeternalworthof thepaintingsorwritingsisnotpartof thisargu- ment.) We have alreadyseen how historicaldevelopmentsgraduallystrippedthe writtentextof featuresnotconsideredrelevant.Inthecaseof paintingsthisdenuding has not takenplace(so far at least).Thisis whywe thinkthat whilemanuscriptor printedcopiesof OrlandoFuriosocanexactlyreproducethetextAriostointended,a copyof a Raphaelportraitnevercan.47 Thedifferingstatusof thecopyin paintingandinliteratureexplainswhyMancini couldnotmakeuseof thetechniquesof criticismwhendevelopingthemethodsof the connoisseur,though he was basicallyestablishingan analogybetweenthe act of paintingandtheactof writing.Butbecausehestartedwiththisanalogy,hehadto turn for helpto otherdisciplines,whichwerestilltakingshape. Mancini'sfirstproblemconcernedthedatingof paintings.Todothis,hesaid,you hadto acquire'acertainexperiencein recognisingthepaintingof particularperiods, just as antiquariansand librarianshave for scripts, so that they can tell when somethingwaswritten.'Theallusionto recognisingscriptsalmostcertainlyrefersto

*TheLinceiAcademy,foundedbyFedericoCesiin 1603,wasthecentreof athrivingintellectual groupat thistimein Rome.

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themethodsworkedoutinthesesameyearsbyLeoneAllacci,librarianattheVatican for datingGreekand Latinmanuscripts-methods whichweretakenup againand developedhalfa centurylaterbyMabillon,thefounderof palaeography(asthestudy of ancientwritingcameto becalled).48But'besidesthecommoncharacteristicsof the

time',continuesMancini,'therearethecharacteristicspeculiarto theindividual',just as 'weseeamonghandwritingsthattheyhavetheirdistinctivecharacteristics'.So the analogybetweenwritingandpaintingismadefirstatthegenerallevel(theperiod),and thenrenewedat the otherendof the scale(theindividual).Forthisrangethe proto- palaeographicmethodsof anAllacciwouldnotwork.Buttherewasintheseyearsone solitaryattemptto apply analysisto individualhandwritingfor a new purpose. Mancini,inhiscapacityasphysician,quotingHippocrates,saidthatanimpressionof character(the 'spirit')couldbe drawnfromwhatit produced(its 'works'),allbeing rooted in the 'characteristics'of the individualbody. 'For this reasonsome fine intellectsof ouragehavewrittenarguingthatitispossibleto revealaperson'sintellect andmindthroughthatperson'swayof writingandthroughtheirhandwriting.'Oneof these'fineintellects'wasinallprobabilityCamilloBaldi,a doctorfromBologna,who includedin his Trattatocomeda unaletteramissivasi conoscanola naturae qualita delloscritture(Treatiseon howto tellfroma letterthenatureof itswriter),a chapter which is probablythe first Europeantext on graphology.'Whatmeanings'-the

chapterheadingruns- 'mayone readin the shapingof the letters?'(nellafiguradel

carattere).The wordusedherefor 'letter'is 'character',meaningthe shapeof the letteras it is drawnwiththe pen on the paper.49Butin spiteof the wordsof praise quotedabove,Manciniwasnotinterestedintheclaimsof thisburgeoninggraphology to reconstructwriters'personalitiesby establishingtheir'characters'(inthe psycho- logicalsense)fromtheir'characters'(theshapesof theirletters).(Yetagaintheorigins of the double meaningmay be traced back to an originallyshareddisciplinary context.)Hewasstruck,however,byonepropositioninthenewdiscipline,thatis, the varietyof differenthandwritingsandtheimpossibilitythereforeof imitatingthem.By identifyingtheelementsinpaintingwhichwereequallyimpossibleto imitate,hewould achievehisaimof tellingoriginalsfromfakes,thehandof themasterfromthatof the copyistor the follower.Hencehis adviceto checkwitheachpainting:

whetherthe handof the mastercan be detected,especiallywhereit wouldtake mucheffortto sustaintheimitation,asin hair,beardsoreyes.Curlsandwavesof hair,if theyareto bereproducedexactly,areverylaboriousto do;thiswillshowin thepainting,andif thecopyistfailsto getthemrighttheywilllacktheperfectionof themaster'sversion.Andthesepartsof a paintingarelikestrokesof thepenand flourishesin handwriting,whichneedthe master'ssureandresolutetouch. The samecareshouldbetakento look forparticularlyboldor brilliantstrokes,which themasterthrowsoff withanassurancethatcannotbematched;forinstanceinthe folds and glintsof drapes,whichmay have moreto do withthe master'sbold imaginationthanwiththetruthof howtheyactuallyhung.50

So theparallelbetweenpaintingandwriting,whichMancinihasalreadymadein variouscontexts,is heregivena newtwist,andone whichpreviouslyhadonlybeen hintedat, in a workbythearchitectFilarete(seebelow),whichMancinimaynothave known.51Theanalogyis reinforcedby the useof technicaltermscurrentin contem- porarytreatiseson writing,like'boldness','strokes','flourishes'.52Eventhedwelling on speedhasthesameorigin:withnewbureaucraticdevelopmentsanelegantcursive

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legal hand neededalso to be fast if it wereto succeedin the copyists'market.In general, the stress Manciniplaced on decorativefeaturesis evidenceof careful attentionto thecharacteristicsof handwritingmodelsprevalentin Italyinthelate16th andearly17thcenturies.53Studyinghowletterswereformedledhimto concludethat themaster'stouchcouldmostconfidentlybeidentifiedin partsof thepaintingwhich (i)wereswiftlyexecuted,and(ii)tendednotto becloserepresentationsof therealthing (detailsof hair, draperieswhose folds had 'more to do with the master'sbold imaginationthanwiththetruthof howtheyactuallyhung').Weshallcomebackto the richimplicationsof thesetwopoints,whichManciniandhiscontemporarieswerenot yet in a positionto develop.

Characterandindividuality

'Characters'(caratteri).Thewordmoreorlessasweuseitgoesbackto about1620.It occursin thewritingsof thefounderof modernphysics,on theone hand,andon the

other,of the originatorsrespectivelyof palaeography,graphologyandconnoisseur- ship. Of course, it is only a metaphoricalrelationshipthat links the insubstantial 'characters'whichGalileowiththeeyesof theintellectsawinthebookof nature,and those whichAllacci,Baldior Mancinidecipheredon actualpaperor parchmentor canvas.Buttheuseof identicaltermsmakesit allthemorestrikingthatthedisciplines we have assembledshouldbe so diverse.How scientificallythey wereused (in the

Galileiansense) varies too, decliningswiftly from the

geometry,throughthe literaryfeaturesconstitutingthe 'commoncharacterof a period',to the individual'character'of a styleof paintingor evenwriting. This decreasinglevelof scientificcontentreinforcesthe argumentthat the real difficultyin applyingthe Galileianmodellayin the degreeto whicha disciplinewas concernedwith the individual.The more centralwere featuresto do with the individual,themoreimpossibleit becameto constructa bodyof rigorouslyscientific knowledge.Of coursethe decisionto ignoreindividualfeatureswouldnot of itself guaranteethatthemethodsof mathematicsandphysicsindispensableto adoptingthe Galileianmodelwereactuallygoingto beapplied,buton theotherhandit wouldnot excludethemaltogether.

universal'characters'of

Scientificgeneralisationversustheparticular

At thispoint,then,thereweretwopossibleapproaches:to sacrificeunderstandingof the individualelementin orderto achievea moreor lessrigorousandmoreor less mathematicalstandardof generalisation;orto tryto develop,howevertentatively,an alternativemodelbasedon an understandingof theindividualwhichwould(insome way yet to be workedout) be scientific.The firstapproachwas that takenby the naturalsciences,andonlymuchlateron bytheso-calledhumanorsocialsciences.The reasonis obvious.Thelikelihoodof obliteratingindividualfeaturesrelatesdirectlyto the emotional distance of the observer. Filarete,in a page of his Trattatodi architettura(Treatiseon Architecture),afterarguingthatit is impossibleto buildtwo completelyidenticalbuildings,sincewhateverthefirstimpressiontherewouldalways be differencesof detail(justas 'Tartarsnoutsalllookthesame,or Ethiopianonesall black,butwhenyoulookmorecarefullytheyarealldifferentaswellasalike'),goeson to admitthatthereare'somecreatureswhichareso alike,as withflies,ants,worms, frogs,andmanyfish,thattheycannotbe told apart'.54So for a Europeanarchitect, the slight differencesbetweentwo (European)buildingswere important,those betweenTartarorEthiopianfaceswerenot, andthosebetweentwowormsortwoants

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simplydidn'texist.A Tartararchitect,an Ethiopianunversedin architecture,or an

antwouldrankthingsdifferently.Knowledgebasedonmakingindividualisingdistinc-

tions is alwaysanthropocentric,ethnocentric,and liableto otherspecificbias. Of course even animalsor mineralsor plants can be examinedfor their individual properties,forinstanceinthecontextof divination;55especiallywithcaseswhichshow abnormalities.Butinthefirstdecadesof the 17thcenturytheinfluenceof theGalileian model(evenwherenot direct)wouldleadtowardsstudyof thetypicalratherthanthe exceptional,towardsa generalunderstandingof the workingsof natureratherthan

particularistic,conjecturalknowledge.InApril1625a calf withtwo headswasborn nearRome. The naturalistsfromthe LinceiAcademytook an interest.It was the subjectof a discussionamongsta groupintheVaticanBelvedereGardens:it included GiovanniFaber,the Academy'ssecretary,andGiovanniCiampoli(both,as wehave noted,friendsof Galileo),Mancini,CardinalAgostinoVegio,andPopeUrbanoVIII. Theirfirstquestionwaswhetherthetwo-headedcalfshouldcountasoneanimaloras two. Forthe physicians,the featuredistinguishingthe individualwasthe brain;for followersof Aristotle,theheart.56As Manciniwastheonlyphysicianpresent,wemay assumethatFaber'sreportof thephysicians'standpointbringsustheechoof hiscon- tribution.Inspiteof hisastrologicalinterests57heconsideredthespecificcharacterof themonster-birthwiththeobjectnotof revealingthefuture,butof arrivingata more accuratedefinitionof whatwasnormal- andthereforerepeatable- fortheindividual of the species.Manciniwillhaveexaminedthe anatomyof the two-headedcalfwith thesamecloseattentionhecustomarilygaveto paintings.Butthatiswheretheanalogy withthe connoisseurmuststop. To someextenta figurelikeMancinirepresentsthe pointof contactbetweenthedivinatoryapproach(inhisactivitiesasdiagnosticianand connoisseur),andthe generalisingmodel(as anatomistand naturalist).Buthe also encapsulatesthe differencesbetweenthem. Contraryto what it might seem, the dissectionof thecalfsopreciselydescribedbyFaber,withthetinyincisionsmadesoas to revealtheinternalorgansof thecreature,58wasdonewiththeaimof establishingnot the'character'peculiarto thatparticularanimal,but'thecommoncharacter'(turning fromhistoryto naturalhistory)of the speciesas a whole. It wasa continuationand refinementof the tradition of natural history- founded by Aristotle. Sight, symbolisedby the sharpeye of the lynxesin the crest of FedericoCesi's Lincei

Academy,wasthecentralorganinthesedisciplines,whichwerenotallowedtheextra-

sensoryeyeof mathematics.59

Thehumansciences- anchoredin thequalitative

Theseincluded- apparentlyatleast- thehumanorsocialsciences(aswewoulddefine

them today). This mightbe

anthropocentrism,whichwe havealreadyillustratedin the graphicquotationfrom Filarete.Buttherewereattemptsto applythemathematicalmethodevento thestudy

of humanphenomena.60Itis not surprisingthatthefirstandmostsuccessfulof these concernedpoliticalarithmetic,andtook asitssubjectthemostpre-determined- bio-

logicallyspeaking- of humanactivities:birth,procreationanddeath.Thisdrastically

exclusivefocus permittedrigorousinvestigation;and at the sametime satisfiedthe militaryor fiscalpurposesof absolutestates,whoseinterest,giventhelimitsof their operations,wasentirelyin numbers.Butif the patronsof the newscience,statistics, werenotinterestedinqualitativeasopposedto quantitativefactors,thisdidnotmean thatit wastotallycutoff fromtheworldof whatwehavebeencallingtheconjectural

expected,perhaps,if only becauseof their stubborn

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(or divinatory)disciplines.Calculationsconcerningprobability(as in the title of Bernoulli'sclassicTheArtof Conjecture(ArsConjectandi,1713,posthumous)),tried to give rigorousmathematicalformulationto the sameproblemsas-in a totally differentway- hadbeentackledbyconjectureanddivination.6'

Still, the group of

human sciences remained firmly anchored in

the

qualitative-though not without misgiving,especiallyin the case of medicine. Althoughprogresshad been made, its methodsstill seemeduncertain,its results unpredictable.Sucha text as TheCertitudeof Medicine,by the Frenchideologue Cabanis,whichappearedattheendof the 18thcentury,62admittedthislackof rigour, whileatthesametimeinsistingthatmedicinewasneverthelessscientificinitsownway. Thereseemto havebeentwobasicreasonsformedicine'slackof certainty.Inthefirst place, descriptionsof particulardiseaseswhichwereadequatefor theirtheoretical classificationwerenot necessarilyadequatein practice,sincea diseasecouldpresent itselfdifferentlyin eachpatient.In the secondplace,knowledgeof a diseasealways remainedindirectand conjectural:the secretsof the livingbody werealways,by definition,out of reach.Oncedeadof courseit couldbe dissected,buthowdidone maketheleapfromthecorpse,irreversablychangedbydeath,to thecharacteristicsof

thelivingindividual?63Recognisingthisdoubledifficultyinevitablymeantadmitting

thateventheefficacyof medicalprocedurescouldnot beproved.Finally,theproper rigourof the naturalsciencescould neverbe achievedby medicine,becauseof its inabilityto quantify(exceptin somepurelyauxiliaryaspects);theinabilityto quantify stemmedfromtheimpossibilityof eliminatingthequalitative,theindividual;andthe impossibilityof eliminatingtheindividualresultedfromthefactthatthehumaneyeis moresensitiveto evenslightdifferencesbetweenhumanbeingsthanitisto differences betweenrocksorleaves.Thediscussionsontheuncertaintyof medicineprovidedearly formulationsof whatwereto be the centralepistemologicalproblemsin the human

sciences.

Theexpropriationof commonknowledge

Betweenthelinesof Cabanis'sbookthereshinesthroughanimpatiencewhichis not

hardto understand.In spiteof the moreor lessjustifiedobjectionsto its methods whichcould be made, medicinefor all that remaineda sciencewhichreceivedfull socialrecognition.Butnot all theconjecturaldisciplinesfaredso wellin thisperiod. Some,likeconnoisseurship,of fairlyrecentorigin,heldanambiguouspositiononthe bordersof the acknowledgeddisciplines.Others,moreembeddedin dailypractice, werekept well outside.The abilityto tell an unhealthyhorsefromthe stateof its hooves,a stormcomingupfroma shiftinthewind,orunfriendlyintentionsfromthe shadowin someone'sexpression,wouldcertainlynot be learntfromtreatiseson the care of horses, or on weather,or on psychology.In each case these kinds of

knowledge- of lore- werericherthananywrittenauthorityon thesubject;theyhad

been learntnot from books but from listening,from doing, fromwatching;their subtletiescouldscarcelybegivenformalexpression - theymightnotevenbereducible to words;theymightbea particularheritage,ortheymightbelongto menandwomen of anyclass.A finecommonthreadconnectedthem:theywereallbornof experience,

of theconcreteandindividual.Thatconcretequalitywasboththestrengthof thiskind

of

abstraction.64

Fromtimeto timeattemptswouldbe madeto writedownsomepartof thislore, locally-rootedbutwithoutknownoriginor recordor history,65to fit it into a strait-

knowledge,anditslimit - itcouldnotmakeuseof thepowerfulandterribletoolof

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jacketof terminologicalprecision.Thisusuallyconstrictedandimpoverishedit. One needonlythinkof thegulfseparatingtherigidandschematictreatisesof physiognomy (judgingcharacteror mood from the appearance)from its perceptiveand flexible practiceby a lover or a horse-dealeror a card-player.It was perhapsonly with medicinethatthecodifyingandrecordingof conjecturalloreproduceda realenrich- ment;butthestoryof therelationbetweenofficialandpopularmedicinehasstillto be written.Inthecourseof the 18thcenturythingschanged.Ina realculturaloffensive the bourgeoisieappropriatedmoreand moreof the traditionalloreof artisansand peasants,someof it conjectural,somenot;theyorganisedandrecordedit, andatthe same time intensifiedthe massiveprocessof culturalinvasionwhichhad already

begun,thoughtakingdifferentformsandwithdifferentcontent,duringthecounter-

reformation.The symboland crucialinstrumentof this offensivewas the French Encyclopedie.Butonewouldalsohaveto analysesuchsmallbutrevealingincidentsas

whenWinckelmann(the18thcenturyarchaeologist)learntfromanunnamedRoman

masonthatthe mysteriousunidentifiedlittlestoneconcealedin thehandof a statue discoveredat Portod'Anziowas 'thestopperor corkof a littlebottle'. The systematiccollectingof such 'littleinsights',as Winckelmanncalledthem elsewhere,66wasthebasisof freshformulationsof ancientknowledgeduringthe 18th and 19thcenturies,from cookeryto waterresourcesto veterinaryscience.As the numberof readersgrew,so accessto specificexperiencewasincreasinglyhadthrough the pages of books. The novel providedthe bourgeoisiewith a substitute,on a differentlevel,forinitiationrites,thatisforaccessto realexperiencealtogether.67And indeedit wasthanksto suchworksof imaginationthatthe 'conjecturalmodel'inthis periodhada newandunexpectedsuccess.

Hunterto detective

Inconnectionwiththehypotheticaloriginof theconjecturalmodelamonglong-ago hunters,we havealreadytold the storyof the threebrotherswho by interpretinga seriesof tracesreconstructthe appearanceof an animaltheyhaveneverseen. This storymadeits Europeandebutin a collectionby Sercambi.68It subsequentlyreap- pearedas theopeningto a muchlargercollectionof stories,presentedastranslations into Italianfrom Persianby an ArmeniancalledChristopher,whichcameout in

Veniceinthemid-I6thcenturyunderthetitlePeregrinaggioditregiovanifigliuolidel

re di Serendippo(Travelsof the threeyoungsonsof the kingof Serendippo).This book wentthrougha numberof editionsandtranslations- firstinto German,then, duringthe eighteenth-centuryfashionfor thingsoriental,into the mainEuropean languages.69Thesuccessof thisstoryof thesonsof the kingof Serendippowaswhat led HoraceWalpolein 1745to cointhe word'serendipity',for the makingof happy

andunexpecteddiscoveries'byaccidentsandsagacity'.70Someyearsbefore,Voltaire,

inthethirdchapterof Zadig,reworkedthefirstvolumeof Travels,whichhehadread intheFrenchtranslation.Inhisversionthecamelof theoriginalbecomesabitchanda horse,whichZadigis ableto describeindetailbydecipheringtheirtracks.Accusedof theftandtakenat oncebeforethejudges,Zadigproveshisinnocenceby recounting thementalprocesswhichhadenabledhimto describetheanimalshe hadneverseen:

Isawinthesandthetracksof ananimal,andIjudgedwithoutdifficultythatitwas a smalldog. Longshallowfurrowsacrossmoundsin the sand,betweenthepaw- prints,toldmethatit wasa femalewithsaggingteats,whohadthereforerecently

given birth

71

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In theselinesandin thosewhichfollowliesthe embryoof the detectivestory.They inspiredPoe andGaboriaudirectly,andperhapsindirectlyConanDoyle.72 Theextraordinarysuccessof thedetectivestoryis well-known;we shallreturnto someof thereasonsforit. Butforthemomentitisworthremarkingthatitisbasedona cognitivemodelwhichisatonceveryancientandverynew.Wehavealreadydiscussed itsancientroots.ForitsmodernelementsweshallquoteCuvier'spraisein 1834forthe methodsandsuccessesof the newscienceof palaeontology:

Today,someonewhoseestheprintof a clovenhoof canconcludethattheanimal whichleft the printwasa ruminativeone, andthisconclusionis as certainas any thatcanbe madein physicsor moralphilosophy.Thissingletrackthereforetells theobserveraboutthekindof teeth,thekindof jaws,thehaunches,theshoulder, andthepelvisof the animalwhichhaspassed:it is morecertainevidencethanall

Zadig'sclues.73

Morecertainperhaps,butof a verycomparablekind.Thenameof Zadigcameto stand for so much that in 1880ThomasHuxley, in a seriesof lecturesaimedat publicisingthe discoveriesof Darwin,definedas 'Zadig'smethod'the procedure commonto history,archaeology,geology, physicalastronomyand palaeontology:

that is, the makingof retrospectivepredictions.These disciplines,being deeply concernedwith historicaldevelopment,could scarcelyavoid falling back on the conjecturalor divinatorymodel(Huxleyindeedmadeexplicitreferenceto prophecy directedtowardsthe past),74and abandoningthe Galileianmodel. When causes cannotbe repeated,thereis no alternativebutto inferthemfromtheireffects.

USESOFTHECONJECTURALMODEL

Its complex character

Thisinquirymaybecomparedto followingthethreadsina pieceof weaving.Wehave now reachedthe pointwheretheycanbe seento makea compositewhole,a homo- geneousandcloselywovencloth.Tocheckthecoherenceof thepatternwecastaneye

along differentlines. Vertically,this gives us the sequenceSerendippo - Zadig -

Poe-Gaboriau-Conan

the 18thcenturyby Dubos, the literarycritic,in orderof increasingreliability,of medicine, connoisseurship, and identification through handwriting.75Last,

diagonally- passingfromonehistoricalcontextto another:likeGaboriau'sdetective

hero,MonsieurLecocq,whofelthewascrossing'anunknownterritory,coveredwith snow', markedwiththe tracksof the criminal,like 'a vastwhitepageon whichthe peoplewearesearchingforhaveleftnotonlyfootprintsandtracesof movementsbut also the printsof theirinnermostthoughts,the hopesand fearsby whichthey are. stirred',76 here we see filing past us the authors of treatiseson physiognomy, Babylonianseersintenton readingthe messageswrittenin heavenand earth,and neolithichunters. The cloth is the paradigmwhichwe havesummonedup fromwayback, out of variouscontexts - hunting,divining,conjectural,orsemiotic.Theseareobviouslynot synonyms,but alternativedescriptions,whichneverthelessreferbackto a common epistemologicalmodel, workedout for a numberof disciplines,themselvesoften linkedby borrowedmethodsor key words. Now betweenthe 18thand the 19th

Doyle. Horizontally:thejuxtapositionat the beginningof

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Iistory WorkshopJournal

century,withtheemergenceof the 'humansciences',theconstellationof conjectural

disciplineschangedprofoundly:newstarswereborn,which(likephrenology)77were

soon to fall, or which(likepaleontology)wouldachievegreatthings,butaboveallit wasmedicinewhichconfirmedits highstatus,bothsociallyandin thestandingof its

theory. It becamethe referencepoint, explicitor by implication,of all the human sciences.But what areaof medicine?Aroundthe middleof the 18thcenturytwo alternativesbecamevisible:theanatomicalmodel,andthesemiotic.Themetaphorof 'theanatomyof thestate',usedinacriticalpassagebyMarx,78expressestheaspiration for a system of knowledge, at a time when the last great system of

philosophy- Hegelianism- wasalreadycrumbling.Butinspiteof thegreatsuccessof

Marxism,the human sciencesended up by more and more accepting(with an importantexceptionwhichwe shallcometo) theconjecturalparadigmof semiotics. Andherewe returnto the Morelli-Freud-ConanDoyletriadwherewe began.

Fromnatureto culture

So farwehavebeenusingthetermconjecturalparadigm.(anditsvariants)broadly.It istimeto takeit to pieces.Itis onethingto analysefootprints,stars,faeces(animalor human),colds, corneas,pulses,snow-coveredfieldsor droppedcigaretteash; and anotherto analysewritingor paintingor speech.The distinctionbetweennature (inanimateor living)and cultureis fundamental-certainly muchmoreimportant thanthe far moresuperficialandchangeabledistinctionsbetweendisciplines.Now Morelli'sidea was to trace out within a culturallydeterminedsign-systemthe conventionsof painting, signs which like symptoms(and like most clues) were producedinvoluntarily.Notjustthat:intheseinvoluntarysigns,inthe'tinydetails - a calligrapherwould call them flourishes'suchas the 'favouritewordsand phrases' which'mostpeople,whethertalkingor writing,makeuseof withoutmeaningto and withoutnoticingthat they do so', Morellilocatedthe most certainclue to artistic identity.79ThusMorelliinherited(evenif indirectly)80and developedthe methodo- logicalprinciplesformulatedso longbeforebyhispredecessor,GiulioMancini.The timeatwhichtheseprinciplescameaftersolongto fruitionwasperhapsnotaltogether random.It coincidedwiththe emergenceof an increasinglycleartendencyfor state powerto imposea close-meshednetof controlon society,andonceagainthemethod used,as weshallsee, involvedattributingidentitythroughcharacteristicswhichwere trivialandbeyondconsciouscontrol.

Identificationof theindividualinsociety

Everysocietyneedsto distinguishitsmembers,butthewaysof meetingthisneedvary withp;laceandtime.81Thereis, firstof all,thename;butthemorecomplexthesociety, thelesssatisfactorilya namecanrepresenttheindividual'sidentitywithoutconfusion. InEgyptduringtheGraeco-Romanperiod,forinstance,a manwhocameto a notary wantingto get marriedor to carryout somefinancialtransactionwouldhaveto set downnotonlyhisnamebutalsobriefdetailsof hisappearance,includinganyscarsor other particularmarks.82But even so the chancesof mistakeor of fraudulent impersonationremainedhigh.Bycomparison,a signatureatthebottomof a contract wasmuchbetter:at the end of the 18thcenturythe abbotLanzi,in a passageof his Storiapittorica(Historyof Painting)whichdiscussedthemethodsof theconnoisseur, maintainedthattheimpossibilityof imitatinghandwritingwasintendedbynaturefor the 'security'of 'civilsociety'(thatis to say bourgeoissociety).83Evensignatures

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could of course be faked; and above all, they provided no check on the illiterate. But in spite of these shortcomings, European societies over centuries felt no need for rwore reliable or practical means of identification -not even when large-scale industrial development, the social and geographical mobility which it produced, and the rapid growth of vast urban concentrations had completely changed the fundamentals of the problem. But in this kind of society it was child's play to cover one's tracks and reappearwith a new identity - and not only in London or Paris. Yet it was only in the

last decades of the 19th century that new systems of

each other - began to be put forward. This followed on contemporary developments in class struggle:the setting up of an international workers' association, the repression of working-class opposition after the Paris Commune, and refinements in the definition of crime. In England from about 1720onwards,84in the rest of Europe (with the Napoleonic

code) a centuryor so later, the emergence of capitalist relations of production led to a transformation of the law, bringing it into line with new bourgeois concepts of property, and introducing a greaternumber of punishable offences and punishment of more severity. Class struggle was increasingly brought within the range of criminality, and at the same time as a new prison system was built up, longer sentences were imposed.85But prison produces criminals. In France the number of further offences was risingsteadily from 1870, and towards the end of the century was about half of all cases brought to trial.86 The problem of identifying previous offenders, which developed in these years, was the bridgehead of a more or less conscious project of keeping a complete and general check on the whole of society. For this identification of previous offenders it was necessary to show (i) that a personhad previously been convicted, and (ii) that the person in question was the same as the one previously convicted.87The first problem was resolved by the setting up of police files. The second was more difficult. The ancient punishments which had involved marking or mutilating an offender for life had been abolished. The lily branded on Milady's shoulder had allowed D'Artagnan (in Dumas's The Three Musketeers, set in the 17th century) to recognise her as a poisoner already in the past punished for her misdeeds - whereas in his The Count of Montecristo, or in Hugo's Les Mis&ables, the escaped prisoners Edmond Dantes and Jean Valjean were able to reappear on the social scene respectable in false identities. These examples should convey the hold which the old off&nder had on the 19th century imagination.88 Bourgeois respectabilityrequired some identifying sign which would be as indelible as those imposed under the Ancien Regime, but less bloodthirsty and humiliating.

identification - competing with

an immense photographic archive was at first rejected because it posed

such huge difficulties of classification: how could separate components be isolated in

the continuum of images?89 The path of quantification seemed easier

rigorous. From 1879 onwards an employee at the prefecture of Paris, Alphonse Bertillon, developed an anthropometric method (which he set out in various writings)90based on careful measuring of physical details, which were then combined on each person's card. Obviously a miscarriage of justice could result (theoretically) from a mistake of a few millimetres; but there was a still more serious defect in Bertillon'santhropometric system, the fact that it was purelynegative. It permittedthe elimination of those whose details on examination did not match up, but it could not prove that two sets of identical details both referredto the same person.91The elusive quality of individuality could not be shut out - chased out through the door by quan- tification, it came back through the window. So Bertillon proposed combining the

and more

The idea of

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anthropometricmethod with what he called a word-portrait,that is, a verbal descriptionanalysingparticulardetails(nose,eyes,earsandso on) whichaltogether was supposedto reconstitutethe image of the whole person, and so to allow identification.The pages of ears presentedby Bertillon92irresistablyrecall the illustrationswhichin the sameyearsaccompaniedMorelli'swritings.Theremaynot havebeena directconnection,yetit is strikinghowBertillon,alsoanexperton hand- writing,tookassureindicesof forgerytheidiosyncraticdetailswhichtheforgercould not reproduce,howeverclosehe got to the original. As will be obvious, Bertillon'smethod was incrediblycomplicated.We have alreadynotedthedifficultiesposedbymeasurement.The'word-portrait'madethings stillworse.Whatwasthedifferencebetweenaprotuberanthookednoseanda hooked protuberantnose?Howdidyouclassifytheexactshadeof blue-greeneyes?93 Buta methodof identificationwhichmadeboththecollectionandtheclassifica- tion of datamucheasierwasputforwardin 1888by Galton,in a memoirwhichwas laterrevisedand expanded.94This, as is well-known,wasbasedon fingerprints.As Galtonhimselfquiteproperlyadmitted,he wasnot the firstto suggestit. Thescientificanalysisof fingerprintsbeganin 1823witha workby Purkyne,the founderof histology[thestudyof organictissues],calledCommentatiode examine physiologicoorganivisuset systematiscutanei(Commentaryon the physiological examinationof the organsof sight and the skin system).95He distinguishedand describedninebasictypesof linein theskin,butarguedthatno two individualsever had identicalcombinationsin theirfingerprints.The practicalimplicationsof this wereignored,thoughnot the philosophical,whichweretakenup in a chaptercalled 'Decognitioneorganismiindividualisin genere'('Onthegeneralrecognitionof indi- vidualorganisms').Knowledgeof the individualwascentralto medicalpractice,he said, starting from diagnosis- symptoms took different forms in different individuals,andthereforeequallyrequireddifferenttreatmentfor theircure.Some modernwriters,hesaid(withoutnamingthem),haddefinedpracticalmedicineas 'the artof individualising'(dieKunstdesIndividualisierens).96Butit wasthephysiologyof the individualthatwasreallyfundamentalto thisart.HerePurkyne,whoas a youth had studiedphilosophyat Prague,echoed the most centralthemesof Leibniz's thought. The individual, 'the being in every way determined(ens omnimodo determinatum)',has an identitywhichcan be recognisedin his everycharacteristic, eventhemostimperceptibleandslightest.Neithercircumstancenoroutsideinfluence areenoughto explainit. Ithasto besupposedthatthereis aninternalnormor 'typus' whichmaintainsthe varietyof eachspecieswithinits limits:knowledgeof thisnorm (as Purkynepropheticallyaffirmed)'would revealthe hidden understandingof individualnature'. The mistakeof physiognomyhad been to subjectindividual variationto preconceptionsandhastyconjectures:thishadmadeitimpossibletillthen to establisha scientificdescriptivestudyof faces.Abandoningthe studyof palmsto the 'uselessscience'of chiromancy,Purkynefocusseshisownattentionon something muchlessobvious:it wasthelineson thumbandfingertipswhichprovidedhimwith thehiddenproofof individuality. Let us leave Europefor the momentand look at Asia. UnliketheirEuropean counterparts,and quiteindependently,Chineseand Japanesedivinershadtakenan interestin thesescarcelyvisiblelineswhichcriss-crossthe skinof the hand. Andin Bengal,as wellas in China,therewasa customof imprintinglettersanddocuments witha fingertipdippedin inkor tar:97thiswasprobablya consequenceof knowledge derivedfromdivinatorypractice.Anyonewho was usedto decipheringmysterious

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messagesin theveinsof stone or wood, in thetracesleft by birds,or in the shellof a tortoise,98wouldfindit easyto seea kindof messagein theprintof a dirtyfinger.In 1860SirWilliamHerschel,DistrictCommissionerof Hooghlyin Bengal,cameacross thisusage,commonamonglocalpeople,sawitsusefulness,andthoughtto profitbyit to improvethe functioningof the Britishadministration.(Thetheoreticalaspectsof thematterwereQfnointerest;hehadneverheardof Purkyne'sLatindiscourse,which hadalreadylainunreadforhalfa century.)Butreally,asGaltonwasto observe,there wasa greatneed for somesuchmeansof identification:in Indiaas in otherBritish coloniesthe nativeswereilliterate,disputatious,wily,deceitful,andto the eyesof a Europeanall lookedthe same. In 1880Herschelannouncedin Naturethatafter 17 yearsof tests, fingerprintshadbeenofficiallyintroducedin the districtof Hooghly, and sincethen had been used for threeyearswith the best possibleresults.99The imperialadministratorshad taken over the Bengalis'conjecturalknowledge,and turnedit againstthem. Herschel'sarticleservedGaltonasstarting-pointfora systematicreorganisationof his thought on the whole subject. His researchhad been made possible by the convergenceof threeseparateelements:the discoveriesof a purescientist,Purkyne; the concreteknowledge,tiedin witheverydaypractice,of the Bengalipopulace;and the politicalandadministrativeacumenof SirWilliamHerschel,faithfulservantof HerBritannicMajesty.Galtonacknowledgedthe firstandthethirdof these.He also triedto traceracialcharacteristicsin fingerprints,but did not succeed.He hoped, however,to pursuehis researchamongsomeIndiantribes,expectingto findamong them'amoremonkey-likepattern'.'?? Galtonnotonlymadeacrucialcontributionto theanalysisof fingerprints,healso, as we havesaid, sawthe practicalimplications.Ina veryshorttimethe newmethod wasintroducedin England,andthencegraduallyto the restof the world(oneof the lastcountriesto givein to it wasFrance).Thuseveryhumanbeing - as Galtonboast- fullyobserved,takingfor himselfthe praisewhichhad beenbestowedon his rival, Bertillon,bya colleaguein theFrenchMinistryof the Interior - acquiredanidentity,

wasonceandforallandbeyondalldoubtconstitutedanindividual.'0'

In this way whatto the Britishadministratorshad seemedan indistinguishable mass of Bengalifaces (or 'snouts', to recallFilarete'scontemptuouswords)now becamea seriesof individualseachonemarkedbya biologicalspecificity.Thisextra- ordinaryextensionof thenotionof individualityhappenedbecauseof therelationship betweenthestateanditsadministrativeandpoliceforces.Everylastinhabitantof the meanesthamletof Europeor Asiathusbecame,thanksto fingerprints,possibleto identifyandcheck.

Understandingsocietythroughclues

Butthatsameconjecturalparadigm,in thiscaseusedto developstillmoresophisti- catedcontrolsovertheindividualinsociety,alsoholdsthepotentialforunderstanding society. In a social structureof ever-increasingcomplexitylike that of advanced capitalism,befoggedbyideologicalmurk,anyclaimto systematicknowledgeappears asa flightof foolishfancy.Toacknowledgethisisnotto abandontheideaof totality. On the contrary;the existenceof a deep connectionwhich explainssuperficial phenomenacanbeconfirmedwhenitisacknowledgedthatdirectknowledgeof sucha