Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception (First Three Books of - download pdf or read online

By Alhazen, A. Mark Smith

ISBN-10: 0871699141

ISBN-13: 9780871699145

Someday among 1028 and 1038, Ibn al-Haytham accomplished his huge optical synthesis, Kitab al-Manazir ("Book of Optics"). by means of no later than 1200, and maybe slightly past, this treatise seemed in Latin below the name De aspectibus. In that shape it was once attributed to a undeniable "Alhacen." those transformations in identify and authorial designation are indicative of the profound variations among the 2 types, Arabic and Latin, of the treatise. in lots of methods, in reality, they are often looked now not easily as assorted types of an identical paintings, yet as diversified works of their personal correct. therefore, the Arab writer, Ibn al-Haytham, and his Latin incarnation, Alhacen, symbolize distinctive, occasionally even conflicting, interpretive voices. And an analogous holds for his or her respective texts. To complicate concerns, "Alhacen" doesn't characterize a unmarried interpretive voice. there have been no less than translators at paintings at the Latin textual content, one in every of them adhering faithfully to the Arabic unique, the opposite content material with distilling, even paraphrasing, the Arabic unique. for that reason, the Latin textual content offers no longer one, yet no less than faces to the reader. This two-volume serious variation represents fourteen years of labor on Dr. Smith's half. presented the 2001 J. F. Lewis Award.

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Additional resources for Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception (First Three Books of Alhacen's De Aspectibus), Volume One - Introduction and Latin Text (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society)

Example text

Plato's Tim1aeus,Aristotle's De anima and Metaphysics), the majority deal with medical subjects. '1 In addition to these translations, Hunayn wrote a number of original pieces, many of them, as might be expected, focusing on medicine. l:' In the first three treatises of this compendium, Hunayn provides a complete description of the anatomy, physiology, and function of the eye. Almost all of what he has to say is a recapitulation of Galen's earlier account. Accordingly, Hunayn describes the same three humors (albuminous, crystalline, and vitreous in order from front to back) and the same succession of tunics from outside in, three toward the front of the xlviii ALHACEN'S DE ASPECTIBUS eye (conjunctiva,cornea, and uvea) and three toward the rear (sclera, choroid, and arachnoid-or retinal).

161 Transparency(diafonitas)is the obverse of opacity, the gauge of a body's ability not to block but to transmitlight. Likepure light, perfect transparencyseems to be a theoreticalabstractioninstead of a physical reality for Alhacen. Even such exquisitely transparentmedia as clear air and pure crystal are not perfectly diaphanous. They have at least a modicum of consistency (spissitudo)that enables them to trap some of the light radiatingthroughthem. Thus,for example,as light passes into a deep pool of clear water, the water impartsa bluish tinge to it.

Indeed, in certain ways they can be viewed as complementary. All three thinkers agree that color is the proper object of sight, the sole visible per se. All three agree, as well, that there must be a properly transparent medium between eye and object if vision is to occur. All three agree that the color-effect that induces vision is somehow conveyed back through this medium to the eye for perceptual delectation. All three agree that light is a necessary precondition for, but not, strictly speaking, a proper object of, sight.

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Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception (First Three Books of Alhacen's De Aspectibus), Volume One - Introduction and Latin Text (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society) by Alhazen, A. Mark Smith


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