Optics, Astronomy and Logic: Studies in Arabic Science and by A.I. Sabra

By A.I. Sabra

Working throughout the articles during this quantity is the subject of the appropriation and next naturalization of Greek technological know-how through students on the planet of medieval Islam. the outlet paper provides the historiography of this technique, and the focal point is then put on Ibn al-Haytham, the most unique and influential figures of the eleventh century, and particularly in his contribution to the technology of optics, either mathematical and experimental, and the psychology of imaginative and prescient. Professor Sabra then keeps the research of ways Greek suggestion was once constructed within the Islamic global with stories of labor in keeping with Euclid’s geometry and on opinions of Ptolemaic astronomy. the ultimate articles flip in particular to questions within the historical past of good judgment - Aristotelian syllogism, and Avicenna’s perspectives at the topic - topic of common sense.

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Example text

Far from being naively optimistic, however, the Preface w'as couched in cautious, modest, and surprisingly sophisticated terms. Early investigators, he said, had spared no effort in their diligent inquiries into the manner of visual perception, but their views on the nature of vision had widely diverged. Many reasons were V ll V II THE PHYSICAL AND THE MATHEMAHCAL responsible for this. Some of these were general: tmth itself was obscure, human beings naturally suffered from a certain cloudiness of mind, methods of investigation varied, and the senses— our instruments for acquring knowledge—were not immune from error.

E xp licit liber A bh om ad y de crepusculis^^ MS V atican, 2975, 16th century, fols. 202'', 208'’. ) w ould seem to have been M a l-fa jr wa'l-shafaq (W hat is D aw n and T w iligh t? or O n the N ature of Dawn and T w ilig h t). )? ^® A year later, in 1877, F. ” A nother m odification im plied in both suggestions w ould be the replacem ent of the first a in M uham m ad by an o. T h e artificiality of these derivations is Vather obvious: and it is certain that L eclerc and W 'uestenfeld w ould n ot have suggested them if it had not been already taken for granted that Ibn al-H aytham was tlie author of the L dc.

M unk, C atalogues des m anuscrits hebreu x et sam aritains de la b ib lio th e q u e im p eria ie (Im prim erie Im periale, 1866), N o. 1036, p. 139; Steinschneider, D ie h e ­ braeischen V bersetzun gen , § 357, pp . 574-575. se w hich took place on "the last day of the year 47 in the hijra (3 July 1079),” Z otenberg and M unk, o p . , p. 189. T h e last two treatises are by oth er authors. See Steinschneider, D ie hebraeischen V bersetzun gen , p. 575; G eorge Sarton. In tro d u c tio n to th e H istory of Science /B a l­ tim ore: W illiam s i- W’ilkins, for the C arnegie In stitu tion of W’ashington, 1931), Vol.

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