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Theories of Vision from Al-kindi to Kepler

Kepler’s successful solution to the problem of vision early in the seventeenth century was a theoretical triumph as significant as many of the more celebrated developments of the scientific revolution. Yet the full import of Kepler’s arguments can be grasped only when they are viewed against the background of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance visual theory. David C. Lindberg provides this background, and in doing so he fills the gap in historical scholarship and constructs a model for tracing the development of scientific ideas.

David C. Lindberg is professor and chairman of the department of the history of science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

331 pages | 33 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1976

Chicago History of Science and Medicine

History of Science

Physical Sciences: History and Philosophy of Physical Sciences

Table of Contents

1: The Background: Ancient Theories of Vision
2: Al Kindi’s Critique of Euclid’s Theory of Vision
3: Galenists and Aristotelians in Islam
4: Alhazen and the New Intromission Theory of Vision
5: The Origins of Optics in the West
6: The Optical Synthesis of the Thirteenth Century
7: Visual Theory in the Later Middle Ages
8: Artists and Anatomists of the Renaissance
9: Johannes Kepler and the Theory of the Retinal Image
Appendix: The Translation of Optical Works from Greek and Arabic into Latin
Selected Bibliography

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