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Democritus' Perspectival Theory of Vision

Rudolph, Kelli (2011) Democritus' Perspectival Theory of Vision. Journal of Hellenic Studies, 131 . pp. 67-83. ISSN 0075-4269. (doi:10.1017/S007542691100005X) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:41736)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S007542691100005X

Abstract

Democritus' theory of vision combines the notions of images (??????) streaming from objects and air imprints, which gives him the resources to account for the perception of the relative size and distance of objects, not just their characteristics. This perspectival explanation of the visual theory accommodates important but overlooked evidence from Vitruvius. By comparing Democritus' theory with ancient developments in visual representation, my analysis provides a new approach to the evidence of atomist vision. I begin with the process of vision before turning to the Peripatetic objections, showing how a unified theory of vision takes into account all of the ancient testimony and provides possible atomist responses to the criticisms raised against it. I also identify the importance of vision via air imprints as an important metaphor for the conventionality of sensible qualities. Understanding these fundamental issues puts us in a better position to assess Democritus' place in the development of ancient optics and of atomist approaches to sense perception.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S007542691100005X
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Shane Weller
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 15:19 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:46 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/41736 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Rudolph, Kelli: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0008-7818
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