By Alhazen, A. Mark Smith

ISBN-10: 0871699141

ISBN-13: 9780871699145

Someday among 1028 and 1038, Ibn al-Haytham accomplished his enormous optical synthesis, Kitab al-Manazir ("Book of Optics"). by way of no later than 1200, and maybe just a little prior, this treatise seemed in Latin lower than the identify De aspectibus. In that shape it used to be attributed to a definite "Alhacen." those ameliorations in name and authorial designation are indicative of the profound variations among the 2 models, Arabic and Latin, of the treatise. in lots of methods, actually, they are often looked no longer easily as varied models of an identical paintings, yet as diversified works of their personal correct. as a result, the Arab writer, Ibn al-Haytham, and his Latin incarnation, Alhacen, symbolize detailed, occasionally even conflicting, interpretive voices. And an analogous holds for his or her respective texts. To complicate concerns, "Alhacen" doesn't signify a unmarried interpretive voice. there have been a minimum of translators at paintings at the Latin textual content, considered one of them adhering faithfully to the Arabic unique, the opposite content material with distilling, even paraphrasing, the Arabic unique. as a result, the Latin textual content offers no longer one, yet a minimum of faces to the reader. This two-volume severe version represents fourteen years of labor on Dr. Smith's half. presented the 2001 J. F. Lewis Award.

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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

108In order for this perceptual recognition to occur, the lens must be linked to the brain, which is the seat of percipience and reason, both xl ALHACEN'S DE ASPECTIBUS faculties under control of the ruling principle. 9 Upon reaching the back of the eye, this pneuma is diffused to the crystalline lens through the retina, which consists of a fine network of conduits. Upon reaching the lens itself, this continual charge of pneuma animates it and thereby gives it the capacity to sense the color-impressions it receives.

In the first case, the radiation is completely interrupted so that the flux rebounds from the surface. In the second case, the visual radiation is only partially interrupted so that the flux is diverted but not completely broken. In both cases, however, the results are similar: the object and its image occupy different locations and the image may be distorted in size or shape. Thus, things seen underwater appear closer and larger than they actually are, whereas things seen in convex mirrors appear more distant and smaller than they actually are.

Suppose that the visual power is generatedat points A, B, and G on the surfaceof the eye, whose center is D in figure 7. That power will propagate in all possible directionsfrom each point within the plane HLKto form arcal segments HIT (for point A), ELZ(for point B), and ITK (for point G). Clearly,then, these arcalsegments will overlap, and the closer to axial line BLthey get, the more of them will overlap. 152 z figure 7 With this demonstration,al-Kindi has brought three points to the fore. First, radiation should be understood as absolutely punctiform, each "luminous"point radiatingits "form"in a sphere of propagation, insofaras thatis possible,barringany impediment(as,for example,from the surface of the eye).

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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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