Aristotle and Philoponus on Light by Jean De Groot

By Jean De Groot

Originally released in 1991. Philoponus’ lengthy observation on Aristotle’s definition of sunshine units up the main issues, either in optics and conception of sunshine, which are mentioned right here. gentle was once of specified curiosity in Neoplatonism due to its being anything incorporeal on the planet of average our bodies. mild consequently had a different function within the philosophical research of the interpenetration of our bodies and used to be additionally a paradigm for the soul-body challenge. The ebook comprises a lot in regards to the body structure of imaginative and prescient in addition to the propagation of sunshine. a number of chapters examine the philosophical concept in the back of what got here to be referred to as ‘multiplication of species’ in medieval mild concept. those concerns within the historical past of technological know-how are positioned inside of an research of Neoplatonic improvement of the excellence among Aristotle’s kinesis and energeia. The publication treats Philoponus’ philosophy of mathematical technology from the perspective of subject, volume, and three-dimensionality.

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And so on. The seventh claim is of a different kind than the other six, being primarily of a physiological character. I shall now examine the way Descartes justifies in his writings the first six claims. These claims, as we shall shortly see, are interdependent. The key one among them, in the sense that the others follow from it given some additional independent Cartesian assumptions, is the third, namely, that colour in seen things does not resemble the idea of colour in our mind. 19 The claim that bodies do not contain anything similar to the idea of colour in our mind follows from Descartes’ conception of body.

The idea of colour is caused by the colour in the things we see. The colour in seen things does not resemble the idea of colour in our mind. The colour in seen things is their disposition that causes the idea of colour. 18 This representation in the mind, even when it is adequate, does not resemble what it represents. The idea in the mind is determined by the brain’s state. I have formulated here the theory with respect to colour, but it can be formulated in the same way with respect to any sensory quality, as we saw Descartes doing in several places above.

We of course do not usually simply see a red object that fills our visual field; what we rather see are several objects that are different from each other in colour and whose colour is not uniform either. What Aristotle’s position should commit us to, then, is that different parts of the eye receive the different colours of the objects we see; and as we see their shapes as well, these should be received appropriately in our eye too. That is, we should have in our eye images of the things we see.

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