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  • Author or Editor: Dominique Raynaud x
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In the Quattrocento and Cinquecento the rise of linear perspective caused many polemics which opposed the supporters of an artificial geometrisation of sight to those who were praising the qualities of the drawing according to nature, or were invoking some arguments on a physiological basis. These debates can be grouped according to the four alternatives that form their central concerns: restricted vs. broad field of vision; ocular immobility vs. mobility; curvilinear vs. planar picture; monocular vs. binocular vision. By retaining the first terms of these four alternatives, the history of perspective eliminated many heterodox constructions. From the viewpoint of mathematisation the interest of these debates is that they succeeded, rather than preceded, the adoption of a perspective system defined by the intersection of the visual pyramid. Thus the history of linear perspective constitutes a genuine case of a posteriori justification, or, put differently, it gives us a case of upside down mathematisation.

In: Early Science and Medicine
In: Nuncius

This article aims to test a new method of dating optico-astronomical manuscripts, using Ibn al-Haytham’s Epistle on the Shape of the Eclipse as the test case. This work is selected because of indications that its diagrams are based on reality. After clarifying the observation conditions, an astronomical ephemeris is applied to sift through the eclipses that occurred during Ibn al-Haytham’s life throughout the area he is believed to have sojourned. Next, the remaining eclipses are sorted by computing the image projection. The results show that Ibn al-Haytham’s Epistle is likely to have reported the partial solar eclipse of 28 Rajab AH380/21 October 990 in Baṣra. Because this exercise is primarily the test of a new method, this finding should be regarded as a tentative outcome, pending further information.

In: Nuncius