Louis Renard’s Superb Illustrations of The East Indies Marine Life He Never Saw

Louis Renard (c.1678-1746), a publisher and spy for the British crown, never left his native Netherlands. He never saw a live tropical fish, let alone one swimming about the East Indies. So how did he know what a tropical fish looked like? Well, the aforementioned Moore can help us in his thoughts on reality.

English philosopher George Edward Moore had a question: can you explain to someone who does not already know it what red is, without pointing to something that has the property of redness – such as “This is a red hat”, “This is a red dot”, “blood is red” and so on? And in more direct reference to this post on Louis Renard’s superb illustrations of East Indies marine life for his book Histoire naturelle des plus rares curiositez de la mer des Indes (1754), can you know what a tropical fish looks like without ever seeing one?

h/t: flashbak

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