Download Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception (First Three Books of by Alhazen, A. Mark Smith PDF

By Alhazen, A. Mark Smith

Someday among 1028 and 1038, Ibn al-Haytham accomplished his huge optical synthesis, Kitab al-Manazir ("Book of Optics"). via no later than 1200, and maybe a little bit prior, this treatise seemed in Latin less than the name De aspectibus. In that shape it used to be attributed to a definite "Alhacen." those adjustments in identify and authorial designation are indicative of the profound variations among the 2 models, Arabic and Latin, of the treatise. in lots of methods, in truth, they are often looked no longer easily as various models of an identical paintings, yet as assorted works of their personal correct. for that reason, the Arab writer, Ibn al-Haytham, and his Latin incarnation, Alhacen, signify specified, occasionally even conflicting, interpretive voices. And a similar holds for his or her respective texts. To complicate concerns, "Alhacen" doesn't signify a unmarried interpretive voice. there have been not 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. hence, the Latin textual content offers now not one, yet not less than faces to the reader. This two-volume serious version represents fourteen years of labor on Dr. Smith's half. offered the 2001 J. F. Lewis Award.

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Read or Download 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) PDF

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Additional info 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

For another,both continually lose intensity as they radiate ever fartherfrom their source. For yet another,the intensity with which they illuminatephysicalbodies depends upon how directly they impinge upon those bodies: the more directthe impingement,the more intense the effect. '64 Under these conditions, the basic function of the eye is obvious enough: to be affectedby the forms of light and color that strike it. To Ivi ALHACEN'SDE ASPECTIBUS establish this point, Alhacen is at pains in the first five chaptersof book 1 in the Latintext to show by common experience how light and color affect sight in various ways depending upon ambient circumstances.

The depth of Ptolemy's concern with sight is reflectedin the depth of his concernwith visual illusions. , the threefold division into opticsproper,catoptrics,and dioptrics-bespeaks this concern. At bottom, of course, Ptolemy's analysis is based upon the visual cone, but Ptolemy (and Alhacen afterhim) conceives of the constituent visual rays as virtual, ratherthan real,entities. Using projectilemotion as an analogue, Ptolemy transformsthe ray into a virtual trajectory,the activity of the flux along it being thus reduced to kinetic and dynamic terms.

92 Distance- and size-perceptioncan also be determined in extrageometricalways. For instance, if two neighboringbodies of significantly differentbrightnessare seen under equal visual angles, and if their distances are indeterminate,the dimmerbody will be judged to lie farther away because it appears less distinct. "93Furthermore,being perceived to lie farther away, the dimmer body will also appear larger,since size-perception depends upon both perceived distance and visual angle. Takeconvexity or concavity, for example.

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