1st Edition

Optics, Astronomy and Logic
Studies in Arabic Science and Philosophy



ISBN 9780860784357
Published April 14, 1994 by Routledge
337 Pages

USD $195.00

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Book Description

Running through the articles in this volume is the theme of the appropriation and subsequent naturalization of Greek science by scholars in the world of medieval Islam. The opening paper presents the historiography of this process, and the focus is then placed on Ibn al-Haytham, one of the most original and influential figures of the 11th century, and in particular in his contribution to the science of optics, both mathematical and experimental, and the psychology of vision. Professor Sabra then continues the analysis of how Greek thought was developed in the Islamic world with two studies of work based on Euclid’s geometry and two on critiques of Ptolemaic astronomy. The final articles turn specifically to questions in the history of logic - Aristotelian syllogism, and Avicenna’s views on the subject - matter of logic.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The appropriation and subsequent naturalization of Greek science in medieval Islam: a preliminary statement; Ibn al-Haytham; Explanation of optical reflection and refraction: Ibn al-Haytham, Descartes, Newton; Ibn al-Haytham’s criticisms of Ptolemy’s Optics; The authorship of the Liber de crepusculis: an 11th-century work on atmospheric refraction; The astronomical origin of Ibn al-Haytham’s concept of experiment; The physical and the mathematical in Ibn al-Haytham’s theory of light and vision; Ibn al-Haytham’s Lemmas for solving ’Alhazen’s problem’; Psychology versus mathematics: Ptolemy and Alhazen on the moon illusion; Sensation and inference in Alhazen’s theory of visual perception; Form in Ibn al-Haytham’s theory of vision; Thabit ibn Qurra on Euclid’s parallels postulate; Simplicius’s proof of Euclid’s parallels postulate; An 11th-century refutation of Ptolemy’s planetary theory; The Andalusian revolt against Ptolemaic astronomy: Averroes and al-Bitruji; A 12th-century defence of the fourth figure of the syllogism; Avicenna on the subject matter of logic; Index.

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