Tabula Picta — Readings
By Jesús R. Velasco | Published on January 18, 2022
- Madero, "Tabula Picta" Introduction
- Sherman & Pottage, "On the Prehistory of Intellectual Property"
- Plisecka, "Tabula Picta"
- Leesen, "Topical Arguments"
“In Tabula Picta Marta Madero turns to the extensive glosses and commentaries that medieval jurists dedicated to the above questions when articulating a notion of intellectual and artistic property radically different from our own. The most important goal for these legal thinkers, Madero argues, was to situate things—whatever they might be—within a logical framework that would allow for their description, categorization, and placement within a proper hierarchical order. Only juridical reasoning, they claimed, was capable of sorting out the individual elements that nature or human art had brought together in a single unit; by establishing sets of distinctions and taxonomies worthy of Borges, legal discourse sought to demonstrate that behind the deceptive immediacy of things, lie the concepts and arguments of what one might call the artifices of the concrete.”
Along with Madero’s introduction, we will be reading texts regarding questions of property and use, right to possession, intellectual property, technical aspects of the tabula picta, and analytical / rhetorical reasoning regarding marginal writing about the tabula picta.