Descartes Optics

Last Updated: 22 Dec 2022
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Descanter's theories of light and vision were central components of his natural philosophy, closely linked to his cosmology, physics, theory of matter, and theory of perception. Descartes replaced traditional explanations of natural phenomena with explanations hidden under terms of matter and motion. By eliminating these theories, Descartes needed to formulate new explanations of the qualities of bodies and our perception of them. In other words Descartes goes on to call into question one's ability to fully understand the things, which our eyes see.

His work on optics focused on these questions. In the discussion, Descartes draws a comparison between a blind man's abilities to understand the shape and sensations of objects, and our ability to understand an object's color with our sight. This raises the question of our senses' ability to interpret the world around us with accuracy. Highlights in the text Inventions, which serve to increase its power, are among the most useful. Color: various ways in which bodies receive light and reflect it in our eyes The differences a blind man notices between trees, rocks etc. Not seem any less to him than the differences between red, yellow etc. Thus: there is no need to suppose that something material passes from objects to our eyes to make us see colors and light, or even that there is something in the objects which resembles the ideas or sensations that we have of them. You must think of rays of light as nothing other than the lines along which this action tends. Thus, there is infinity of such rays, which come from all the points of the luminous body towards all the points of the bodies it illuminates.

There are bodies, which break up the light-rays that meet them and take away all their force (black). There are others, which cause rays to be reflected, some in the same order at which they receive them (bodies with highly polished surfaces). Some bodies cause the rays to be reflected without bringing about any other change in their action (white). Others bring about an additional change similar to that which the movement of a ball undergoes when we graze it (red, yellow, blue, etc. ). The soul has sensory awareness because of its presence in the brain, where it exercises the faculty called the ' common' sense.

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The perfection of an image often depends on its not resembling its object as it might (example: with a little bit of ink you can create a forest) Lemma Optics n. (Used with a sing. Verb)

  1. The branch of physics that deals with light and vision, chiefly the generation, propagation, and detection of electromagnetic radiation having wavelengths greater than x-rays and shorter than microwaves
  2. What something will look like to the outside world; the perception a public relations person would have on something. . The viewing lens of public perception.

How the media will play a story. Ad]. N. Comprehensive

  1. Marked by or showing extensive understanding: comprehensive knowledge.
  2. Having the ability to understand
  3. Having or marked by an extensive mental range or grasp: comprehensive understanding.
  • The act of taking to or upon oneself: assumption of an obligation.
  • The act of taking possession or asserting a claim: assumption of command.
  • The act of taking for granted: assumption of a false theory.
  • Something taken for granted or accepted s true without proof; a supposition: a valid assumption. . Presumption; arrogance.
  • Logic A minor premise.
  • Assumption a. Christianity The taking up of the Virgin Mary into heaven in body and soul after her death.

The rim or uppermost edge of a hollow container or natural basin.  A projecting rim or edge: the brim off hat. A border or an edge. See Synonyms at border.  Full capacity: "No sooner had the fighting started than the hotel filled to the brim with a most extraordinary collection of people" (George Orwell). Per;chive try.

Perceived, perceives 1 . To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing. 2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend. See Synonyms at sell . Perceiver n. Coarse ad]. Oars;ere, soars;est. 1 .

Of low, common, or inferior quality. A. Lacking in delicacy or refinement: coarse manners. B. Vulgar or indecent: coarse language. Consisting of large particles; not fine in texture: coarse sand. 4. Rough, especially to the touch: a coarse tweed. Coarsely DVD. Coarseness n. Liable ad] (postposition) 1 . (Law) legally obliged or responsible; answerable 2. Susceptible or exposed; subject 3. Probable, likely, or capable it's liable to happen soon [perhaps via Anglo-French, from Old French lire to bind, from Latin legre] liableness Usage: Usage.

The use of liable to to mean likely to was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable


  1. The act of deflecting or the condition of being deflected.
  2. Deviation or a specified amount of deviation.
  3. The deviation of an indicator of a measuring instrument from zero or from its normal position.
  4. The movement of a structure or structural part as a result of stress.

The turning or bending of any wave, such as a light or sound wave, when it passes from one medium into another of different optical density.  Astronomy The apparent change in position of celestial objects caused by the bending of light rays entering Earth's atmosphere. Medicine a. The ability of the eye to bend light so that an image is focused on the retina. B. Determination of the refractive characteristics of the eye. Refraction;al, refractive ad]. Refractive;lay DVD. Refractive;nesses, n A;do (-d) Bustle; fuss; trouble; bother. V. try.

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Descartes Optics. (2018, Aug 31). Retrieved from

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