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ALHACEN ON REFRACTION: A Critical Edition, with English Translation and Commentary, of Book 7 of Alhacen's "De Aspectibus," the Medieval Latin Version of Ibn al-Haytham's "Kitāb al-Manāzir." Volume Two. English Translation

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ALHACEN ON REFRACTION: A Critical Edition, with English Translation and Commentary, of Book 7 of Alhacen's "De Aspectibus," the Medieval Latin Version of Ibn al-Haytham's "Kitāb al-Manāzir." Volume Two. English Translation

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https://www.dykinson.com/libros/el-devenir-de-las-civilizaciones-interacciones-entre-el-entorno-humano-natural-y-cultural/9788413773247/ Visual perception is an almost essential phenomenon to fully comprehend our reality. But, can we really claim that we have a completely objective knowledge of what we perceive? In this paper we discuss the agents involved in the visual perception of space and the existent possibilities to determine its own degree of objectivity based on the analysis and critical-comparative studies of various written works by a wide range of philosophers, psychologists, scientists and historians, which show studies and theories about visual perception. Depth, one of the key concepts in this article, can be interpreted and inferred in various ways and it can also lead to visual illusions, given the high degree of ambiguity in it. Our contribution has the aim of analyzing and emphasizing the connection between the perception of an external reality to the own subject and the self-knowledge about themselves, that is at the same time determined by the spatial-temporal and socio-cultural context. This complexity is also reflected in numerous visual illusions, which began to be studied in ancient history and gained a lot of relevance during the 20th century in psychology studies with the introduction of the Gestalt psychology. We will finish the article referring to the existent possibilities and strategies to create visual illusions in the field of plastic arts, specifically in the alteration of the sensation of depth perceived by an observer.
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Kepler’s 1604 Optics (Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena) proposed among many other things a new way of locating the place of the image under reflection or refraction. He rejected the “perspectivist” method that had been used through antiquity and the Middle Ages, whereby the image was located on the perpendicular between the object and the mirror (the “cathetus”). Kepler faulted the method for requiring a metaphysical commitment to the action of final causes in optics: the notion that the image was at that place because it was best or appropriate for it to be there, and for no other discernible reason. Kepler’s new theory relied on binocular vision and depth perception to determine the location of the image. No final causes were required, and he showed that the image would in general not be found on the cathetus. According to modern scholarship, Kepler’s theory was part of his revolutionary transformation of the science of optics, and his abandonment of perspectivist optics; as a consequence, the theory of binocular vision is also thought to be original with him. This article demonstrates that the very same theory of binocular image location was set out by Giovanni Battista Benedetti some twenty years earlier, and his writings on this subject may have been Kepler’s unacknowledged source for his own theory. Furthermore, another mathematician, Simon Stevin, developed much the same theory at the same time as Kepler and, it seems, independently of either Benedetti or Kepler. The discovery of these other binocular theories, especially Benedetti’s, requires us to recognize that Kepler’s revolution (if it can be called that) emerged out of a wider dissatisfaction with the foundations of perspectivist optics, which other lesser-known opticians resolved in much the same way that Kepler did.
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Some time in the late 1590s, the Welsh amateur mathematician John Bulkeley wrote to Thomas Harriot asking his opinion about the properties of a truly gargantuan (but totally imaginary) plano-spherical convex lens, 48 feet in diameter. While Bulkeley’s original letter is lost, Harriot devoted several pages to the optical properties of “Mr Bulkeley his Glasse” in his optical papers (now in British Library MS Add. 6789), paying particular attention to the place of its burning point. Harriot’s calculational methods in these papers are almost unique in Harriot’s optical remains, in that he uses both the sine law of refraction and interpolation from Witelo’s refraction tables in order to analyze the passage of light through the glass. For this and other reasons, it is very likely that Harriot wrote his papers on Bulkeley’s glass very shortly after his discovery of the law and while still working closely with Witelo’s great Optics; the papers represent, perhaps, his very first application of the law. His and Bulkeley’s interest in this giant glass conform to a long English tradition of curiosity about the optical and burning properties of large glasses, which grew more intense in late sixteenth-century England. In particular, Thomas Digges’s bold and widely known assertions about his father’s glasses that could see things several miles distant and could burn objects a half-mile or further away may have attracted Harriot and Bulkeley’s skeptical attention; for Harriot’s analysis of the burning distance and the intensity of Bulkeley’s fantastic lens, it shows that Digges’s claims could never have been true about any real lens (and this, I propose, was what Bulkeley had asked about in his original letter to Harriot). There was also a deeper, mathematical relevance to the problem that may have caught Harriot’s attention. His most recent source on refraction—Giambattista della Porta’s De refractione of 1593—identified a mathematical flaw in Witelo’s cursory suggestion about the optics of a lens (the only place that lenses appear, however fleetingly, in the writings of the thirteenth-century Perspectivist authors). In his early notes on optics, in a copy of Witelo’s optics, Harriot highlighted Witelo’s remarks on the lens and della Porta’s criticism (which he found unsatisfactory). The most significant problem with Witelo’s theorem would disappear as the radius of curvature of the lens approached infinity. Bulkeley’s gigantic glass, then, may have provided Harriot an opportunity to test out Witelo’s claims about a plano-spherical glass, at a time when he was still intensely concerned with the problems and methods of the Perspectivist school.
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The article looks at the revolutionary shift of visual interpretation as it occurred in the works of one of the most prominent Arab scientists, Ibn al-Haytham. In his critique of the visual theories of Euclide and Ptolemy, Ibn al-Haytham developed a new conception of estimating distance. Distance is no longer calculated geometrically by the visual faculty, but by the interpretation of signs which are implicit in the visual field and of which an image is formed. This necessity to interpret signs gave Ibn al-Haytham's theory an intellectualist and distinct style and methodology.
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Inspection of surviving mirrors and related objects shows that they were too crude to offer the early Renaissance painter an optical short-cut to a naturalistic image of his subject. The craftsmanship of mirror makers was independent of and inferior to the quality of theories of image formation of the day.
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Notes and Discussions IBN AL-HAYTHAM'S CRITICISMS OF PTOLEMY'S Optics I PTOLEMY'S Optics has survived in a Latin translation made in the twelfth century from an Arabic version of the Greek text. 1 Both the Greek original and the Arabic translation have been lost. Of the five parts (maqaldt: sermones) which the Greek text originally comprised, the extant Latin version has preserved only parts II-IV and a fragment from the beginning of part V. There is no evidence that the first part ever existed in Arabic, and it may have been missing in the Greek text which formed the basis of the Arabic translation. In any case we know that this part was no longer available to Arabic scholars in the eleventh century. This we infer from the title of a work which the mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, Ibn al- Haytham, better known in the west as Alhazen (died ca. 1039), wrote before 417 H. (A.I). 1026). The fifth item in an autobibliography including mathematical works which Ibn al-Haytham had composed up to that date, reads as follows: "A book in which I summarized the science of optics (cilm al-manazir) from the two books of Euclid and Ptolemy, to which I added (wa-tammamtuhu) the matters of the first part (maqdla) that is missing from Ptolemy's book." ~ Unfortunately, this summary has not survived; nor has another work of Ibn al-Haytham's~ entitled "A treatise on optics according to Ptolemy's method." 3 We do possess, however, a piece of writing by Ibn al-Haytham which is directly concerned with Ptolemy's optical work. This is a brief discussion of Ptolemy's Optics which Ibn al-Haytham wrote some time after the composition of his great work, al-Mandzir? This discussion has not been edited or translated, and it is my aim here to present an English translation of it, based on the edition now being prepared by Mr. Nabil Shih~bi of Alexandria and myself. The discussion is contained in a work whose title suggests the critical vein in which it was written: al-Shukak cala Bat.lamyas (Doubts about Ptolemy). 5 This 1 The Latin translation of Ptolemy's Optics was first published by Gilberto Govi, L'Ottica di Claudio Tolomeo . . . (Turin: 1885); then by Albert Lejeune, L'Optique de Claude Ptolbm$e, dans la version latine d'apr~s l'arabe de l'~mir Eugene de Sicile. Texte critique et ex~g~tique (Louvain: 1956). References will be to Lejeune's edition. 2 Ibn Abi Usaybiea, "Uyan al-anbd' .... ed. A. Miiller, II (Cairo: 1882), 93-94; F. Woepeke, L'Alg~bre d'Omar al-Khayyam~ (Paris: 1851), pp. 73-74, n ***. A recent attempt to reconstruct the first part of Ptolemy's Optics from available material is to be found in A. Lejeune, Euclide et Ptol~m~e (Louvain: 1948), pp. 15 ft. For new light on the transmission of the fifth part, see note 16 below. 8 Ibn Abi U~aybiea, loc. cit., p. 98. The Latin translation of Kitdb al-mandz.ir, made probably at the beginning of the thirteenth century, was published by F. Risner in Opticae thesaurus: Alhazeni libri septem... (Basle: 1572). For Ibn al-Haytham's theory of vision expounded in al-Manazir, see E. Wiedemann, "Zur Geschiehte der Lehre vom Sehen," Annalen der Physik und Che'mie, Neue Folge, Band XXXIX (1890), 470 -- 474; H. Bauer, Die Psycholoqie Alhazens, auf Grund yon Alhazens Optik dargestellt (Mfinster: 1911). 5 Listed in Ibn Abi U~aybi~ loc. cir., p. 98, and by Ibn al-Qif~i, Ta'r~kh... , ed. MiiIler and Lippert (Leipzig: 1903), p. 168. For a report on the part of this work dealing with Ptolemy's astronomy, see S. Pines, "Ibn al-Haytham's Critique of Ptolemy," Acres du dixi~me congr~s internationale d'histoire des sciences (Ithaca: 1962), Paris: 1964, I, 547-550. [1451 146 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY work consists of a brief introduction explaining the author's aim (viz., to point out the errors which even as great a mathematician as Ptolemy has committed), fol- lowed by a criticism of some of Ptolemy's views expressed in...
Article
Leonardo's drawings of optical machinery have been used (by David Hockney and others) as evidence for the claim that Leonardo built machines to make concave mirrors with which he could project images. This paper argues that Leonardo's drawings cannot be used as evidence for this claim. It will be shown that Leonardo used the drawings to communicate with his patrons and craftsmen, to experiment on paper, to record trials with models, and to think about 'theoretical' problems in optics. At both the theoretical and the practical level, Leonardo was only concerned with the burning properties of concave mirrors, not with their imaging properties. The paper will conclude that the drawings of optical machinery allowed Leonardo to differentiate himself from the ordinary mirror-makers in his workshop. The same drawings, however, also forced him to remain within the conceptual framework of perspectivist optics.
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Written by the 11th-century Spanish Arab, Abū Abd Allāh Muhammad ibn Mucādh al-Jayyānī, “On Twilight and the Rising of Clouds” represents a unique attempt to determine the height of the atmosphere on the basis of the first tinging of its upper reaches by dawn light. In fact, Ibn Mucādh's value of around 52 miles remained standard until the 17th century, when it was revised sharply downward in consideration of atmospheric refraction and barometric studies. The treatise itself survives in a single Hebrew exemplar, 25 Latin exemplars, and an Italian exemplar derived from the Latin. At the heart of this present study is a critical text based on a fullscale comparative transcription of 22 of the Latin manuscripts, ranging in date from the 13th to the 17th century.RésuméComposé par Abū Abd Allāh Muhammad ibn Mucādh al-Jayyānī, auteur du XIe siècle de l'Espagne arabe, “Du crepuscule et de l'ascension des nuages” représente une tentative, unique en son genre, de déterminer la hauteur de l'atmosphère en considérant le premier éclairement de ses confins supérieurs par la lueur de l'aurore. De fait, la valeur d'environ 52 milles (82.5 km), calculée par Ibn Mucādh, demeura la valeur admise jusqu'au XVIIe siècle; elle fut révisée à cette époque, en prenant en compte la réfraction atmosphérique et les études barométriques. Le traité en question a survécu dans un manuscrit hébreu, dans 25 manuscrits latins et un manuscrit italien qui dérive du latin. Le noyau de la présente étude est une édition critique du texte, appuyée sur une transcription comparative complète de 22 manuscrits latins, allant du XIIIe au XVIIe siècle.
Article
Attempts in antiquity and the Middle Ages to determine the mathematical law of refraction are well known. In view of the movement toward the mathematization of physical laws, which has made great gains since the beginning of the seventeenth century, and of the efforts of Hariot, Kepler, Snell, and Descartes to determine the true mathematical ratio between the angles of incidence and refraction, it is understandable that historians of pre-seventeenth-century science should concentrate on the quantitative aspects of refraction. But to do so is to gain a distorted picture of early optical thought, for as much effort was actually devoted to understanding the cause of refraction as to finding the mathematical law of refraction.
Article
That the medieval Latin version of Ibn al-Haytham's Kitāb al-Manāzcombining dot belowir was translated into Italian in the fourteenth century has been known for well over a century. Recent studies have shown that this translation, which is contained in Vat. Lat. 4595, was instrumental in the composition of Lorenzo Ghiberti's Commentario terzo on art. Some eight years ago, the author of the present article tentatively identified the actual manuscript-source of that translation as MS Royal 12.G.7, which is currently held in the British Library. This study establishes beyond reasonable doubt that his tentative identification was correct: MS Royal 12.G.7 is indeed the Latin source for the Italian translation in Vat. Lat. 4595.
Article
R. Rashed, Géométrie et dioptrique au X e siècle, Ibn Sahl, al-Qūhī et Ibn al-Haytham (Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1993); OEuvres philosophiques et scientifiques d'al Kindī , vol. I: L'Optique et la catoptrique (Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1997); Les Catoptriciens grecs (Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2000).
Article
At first glance it seems remarkable that, despite significant theoretical and practical advances in optics during the Middle Ages, it was not until the publication of Kepler's Ad Vitellionem paraliponema of 1604 that a satisfactory account of lenses was developed. Even more remarkable, Kepler drew upon essentially the same analytic and technical resources as his medieval predecessors. Why, then, did his medieval predecessors fail so signally to make proper sense of lenses? The answer lies in certain key conceptual constraints posed by the Alhazenian model of vision to which they were committed. Especially problematic was the way in which they understood the eye - particularly the crystalline lense - to function in the visual process. Without a fundamental revision of that understanding (a revision amounting to a gestalt-shift) there was little or no chance of arriving at a coherent theory of lenses.
Article
Until fairly recently, Ptolemy's Optics has been regarded as an exercise in what would today be called physical optics, its focus purportedly upon ray-geometry. In terms of methodology, therefore, the Optics has generally been regarded as a model of applied mathematics. The purpose of this essay is to show that this textbook interpretation is not only excessively restrictive but fundamentally misguided. As will become clear in the course of this essay, in fact, Ptolemy's primary goal in the Optics was to frame a comprehensive and coherent account of visual perception, not to explain the physics of radiation. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Article
An influential tradition which holds that EUCLID'S Optics and linear perspective conflict has been established by ERWIN PANOFSKY and continued by John WHITE, MORRIS KLINE, NELSON GOODMAN and others) This is a surprising position because both systems attempt to develop a means of analyzing visual appearances in geometric terms, and to do this both make use of a cone of vision as the basis of the analysis while leaving aside psychological and physical aspects of vision. EUCLID'S Optics studies the apparent size, shape, and position of objects from a point of observation, while the central problem for linear perspective is determining the relative size, shape, and placement of objects in a scene as they appear at a picture plane. Thus these two systems take a similar approach to questions which are closely related. If the two systems conflict in their geometrical analysis, there might be reason to suppose that one or both are conventionally established geometries, that they
Article
Thomas S. Kuhn's classic book is now available with a new index. "A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably not claim his own theory to be true. But if causing a revolution is the hallmark of a superior paradigm, [this book] has been a resounding success." —Nicholas Wade, Science "Perhaps the best explanation of [the] process of discovery." —William Erwin Thompson, New York Times Book Review "Occasionally there emerges a book which has an influence far beyond its originally intended audience. . . . Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work." —Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement "Among the most influential academic books in this century." —Choice One of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War," Times Literary Supplement
Article
No one before Platter and Kepler proposed retinal reception of an inverted visual image. The dominant tradition in visual theory, especially that of Alhazen and his Western followers, subordinated the intra-ocular geometry of visual rays to the requirement for an upright image and to preconceptions about the precise nature of the visual spirit and its part in vision. Henry of Langenstein and an anonymous glossator in the late Middle Ages proposed alternatives to Alhazen, including the suggestion of double inversion of the image. Leonardo da Vinci was aware of both Alhazen's theory and Henry's contradiction, but perhaps not of the anonymous hypothesis of double inversion. Leonardo's visual ‘theory’ has more the character of a critique than of a theoretical alternative, and he did not transcend the medieval concept of visual spirit.
greater than, or less than angle THG. If it [i.e., NMG] is equal [to THG], then [angle] AMN = angle AHT, so angle BHA = angle BMA, which is impossible. If it [i.e., NMG] is greater [than THG]
  • However
  • Nmg
However, angle NMG will be equal to, greater than, or less than angle THG. If it [i.e., NMG] is equal [to THG], then [angle] AMN = angle AHT, so angle BHA = angle BMA, which is impossible. If it [i.e., NMG] is greater [than THG], then angle AMN > angle AHT, and so angle BMA < angle BHA, which is impossible.
But angle AHG -angle AMG = [angle] HAM -angle HGM, for the two angles at the intersection of lines AH and MG are equal
  • Thg Aht
  • Ahg And
  • Amg
If it [i.e., NMG] is less [than THG], then angle AMN < angle AHT, and so the entire angle AMG < the entire angle AHG. And [so] angle AHT -angle AMN < angle AHG -angle AMG. But angle AHG -angle AMG = [angle] HAM -angle HGM, for the two angles at the intersection of lines AH and MG are equal.128 Therefore, angle AHT -angle AMN < angle HAM-angle HGM.
which is impossible. If, however, it [i.e., THG] is greater
  • Hence
  • Nmg
  • Nma
Hence, if angle THG = angle NMG, then angle THA = angle NMA, and so angle BHA = angle BMA, which is impossible. If, however, it [i.e., THG] is greater [than NMG], then angle THA > angle NMA, and so angle BHA < angle BMA, which is impossible.
THG] is smaller But angle MGH is [equal to the angle] at the circumference that twice arc HM subtends, and angle HAM is [equal to the angle] at the circumference that arc HM -arc RQ subtends
  • Nmg Nma
  • Gma
  • Ham
If it [i.e., THG] is smaller [than NMG], though, then angle THA < angle NMA, and the entire angle GHA < the entire angle GMA, so angle HGM < angle HAM. But angle MGH is [equal to the angle] at the circumference that twice arc HM subtends, and angle HAM is [equal to the angle] at the circumference that arc HM -arc RQ subtends [by proposition 5, lemma 1]. Thus, 2 arc HM < arc HM -arc RQ, which is impossible.
then AK and AL will be unequal, so BG and KL will be oblique to line AD. Consequently, as we claimed [on the basis of the demonstration tied to] the second figure of this chapter
  • Accordingly
Accordingly, if BD and GD are unequal, then AK and AL will be unequal, so BG and KL will be oblique to line AD. Consequently, as we claimed [on the basis of the demonstration tied to] the second figure of this chapter [i.e., figure 7.7.61a, p. 199], KL will be [perceived as] larger than BG in the visual faculty.
IbnaZ-Hay?ham's On the Configuration of the World The Rainbow Bridge: Rainbows in Art, Myth, and Science Leff, Gordon. The Dissolution of the Medieval Outlook: An Essay on Intellectual and Spiritual Change in the Fourteenth Century
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Langermann, Y. Tzvi. IbnaZ-Hay?ham's On the Configuration of the World. New York: Garland, 1990. Lee, Raymond, and Alistair Fraser. The Rainbow Bridge: Rainbows in Art, Myth, and Science. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001. Leff, Gordon. The Dissolution of the Medieval Outlook: An Essay on Intellectual and Spiritual Change in the Fourteenth Century. New York: New York University Press, 1976. Lejeune, Albert. L'Optique de Claude Ptol?m?e. Leiden: Brill, 1989. Leonardo da Vinci. See Richter.
John Pecham and the Science of Optics
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Lindberg, David C, ed. and trans. John Pecham and the Science of Optics. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1970.
Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Theories of Vision from AI-Kindt to KeplerThe Transmission of Greek and Arabic Learning Science in the Middle AgesMedieval Latin Theories of the Speed of Light Roemer et la Vitesse de la Lumi?re, Ren? Taton
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Lindberg, David C. A Catalog of Medieval and Renaissance Optical Manuscripts. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1975. Lindberg, David C. Theories of Vision from AI-Kindt to Kepler. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976. Lindberg, David C, "The Transmission of Greek and Arabic Learning," Science in the Middle Ages, David C. Lindberg, ed., pp. 52-90. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1978. Lindberg, David C, "Medieval Latin Theories of the Speed of Light," Roemer et la Vitesse de la Lumi?re, Ren? Taton, ed. Paris: Vrin, 1978. This content downloaded from 188.72.127.77 on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 22:48:12 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions BIBLIOGRAPHY 525
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Lindberg, David C, ed. and trans. Roger Bacon's Philosophy of Nature: A Critical Edition, with English Translation, Introduction, and Notes, o/De multiplicatione specierum and De speculis comburentibus. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983. Lindberg, David C, 'Optics in Sixteenth-Century Italy," Novit? celesti e crisi del sapere, supplement to Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza 2 (1983): 131-148.
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Maurer, Armand. Medieval Philosophy. New York: Random House, 1962. Maurolyco, Francesco. Photismi de lumine et umbra ad perspectivam et radiorum incidentiam facientes. Naples, 1611. May, Margaret Talmadge, trans. Galen on the Usefulness of the Body. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1968. McMurrich, J. Playfair. Leonardo da Vinci, the Anatomist (1452-1519). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1930.