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

By A. Mark Smith

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 a little previous, this treatise seemed in Latin below the identify De aspectibus. In that shape it was once attributed to a definite "Alhacen." those variations in name and authorial designation are indicative of the profound variations among the 2 types, Arabic and Latin, of the treatise. in lots of methods, in truth, they are often looked now not easily as assorted types of an analogous paintings, yet as diversified works of their personal correct. therefore, the Arab writer, Ibn al-Haytham, and his Latin incarnation, Alhacen, characterize particular, occasionally even conflicting, interpretive voices. And an analogous holds for his or her respective texts. To complicate issues, "Alhacen" doesn't signify a unmarried interpretive voice. there have been at the very least 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 provides no longer one, yet a minimum of faces to the reader. quantity This two-volume serious version represents fourteen years of labor on Dr. Smith's half. offered the 2001 J. F. Lewis Award. quantity Two--English Translation

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Additional info for Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception (First Three Books of Alhacen's De Aspectibus), Volume Two - English Translation (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society)

Example text

83 It is obvious, moreover,that a transparentbody is distinguished from one that is not transparentin no way other than the aforementioned one. This being the case, as we have said, and since it has been shown that the form of the light and color in a visible objectreachesthe eye when it faces the eye, then what comes to the eye from the visible objectto provide the means by which it perceives the light and color in the visible object,no matterthe circumstance,is this very form [and this form] alone, whether [visual] rays issue [fromthe eye] or not.

But in that section we shall not avail ourselves of the discussion of matters that we have demonstrated in this book concerning such TRANSLATION:BOOKONE 367 phenomena. 37]Therefore,when the forms of two points on one side of a visible objectarriveobliquely at a single point on the surfaceof the eye, they will intersect [and continue] along two lines whose [relative]position with respect to the visible objectfrom the perspective of the viewer will be opposite to the [relative]position of the two lines along which the two forms originally reached the surface of the eye.

Hence, the form of its color arrivesat the eye along with the secondary form reachingit from the form of the color that shines upon it, but the form of the color of this body that reachesthe eye in this situation is a primary form. The eye, moreover,perceives what it perceives only along specific [radial]lines, and the specific [radial]line between it and the opaque body along which it perceives the form of the color of that opaque body is the same as the [radial]line along which it perceives the secondary form coming [to it] from the form of color shining upon that body, for that form [too] lies on the surfaceof that body.

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