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

Optics

By A. Mark Smith

Someday among 1028 and 1038, Ibn al-Haytham accomplished his enormous optical synthesis, Kitab al-Manazir ("Book of Optics"). through no later than 1200, and maybe a little previous, this treatise seemed in Latin less than the identify De aspectibus. In that shape it was once attributed to a definite "Alhacen." those alterations in name and authorial designation are indicative of the profound transformations 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 models of an analogous paintings, yet as varied works of their personal correct. consequently, the Arab writer, Ibn al-Haytham, and his Latin incarnation, Alhacen, symbolize certain, occasionally even conflicting, interpretive voices. And an identical holds for his or her respective texts. To complicate issues, "Alhacen" doesn't signify a unmarried interpretive voice. there have been at the 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. as a result, the Latin textual content provides now not one, yet a minimum of faces to the reader. quantity This two-volume severe variation 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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Extra 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)

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75And if it is not possible for the glacialis to perceive refractedforms of visible objectsalong lines that have different[relative]positions, it is not possible for it to perceivethe forms of visible objectsalong lines that areperpendicular to the surfaceof the eye unless those lines are perpendicularto its surface and unless their [relative]position on its surfaceis constant. But these lines will only be perpendicularto the surfaceof the glacialisif the centerof its surfaceis the same point as the centerof the surfaceof the eye.

And this is what, earlierin our discussion of the shape of the eye, we promised to show in this chapter,and this has now been demonstrated: i. 56] Now that this has been demonstrated,it remains for us to consider the opinion of the proponents of [visual] rays and to show what is false and what is true about that opinion. Accordingly,we should say that if vision results from something passing from the eye to the visible object, then that thing is either corporealor not. 87 Therefore,vision cannot be due to the extramissionof some physical substanceby the eye to the visible object.

These two forms thus pass fromthe two eyes and meet where the two nerves join. 76]And clearevidence thatthe formsof visible objectsextend through the hollow of the nerve to reachthe final sensor and that vision is achieved [only] after [their]arrivalthere is that, when there is some obstructionin this nerve, vision is destroyed,but when the obstructionis removed, vision is restored. 77] Now the reason that the two forms sometimes join and sometimes do not is that, when the two eyes are in their naturalposition, they will be similarlyorientedwith respectto the single visible object,and thus the form of the single objectwill reach two places [on the surfaces of the two eyes] that are similarlyoriented.

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