History and Philosophy of Psychology

Destined for Distinguished Oblivion

The Scientific Vision of William Charles Wells (1757–1817)

Authors: Wade, Nicholas J.

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About this book

My fIrst encounter with the name of William Charles Wells, over twenty years ago, was an oblique reference to his Essay upon single vision that Wheatstone (1838) made in a classical article on binocular vision. The reference was enigmatic because it stated that few had paid attention to Wells' theory of visual direction, while doing little to infonn the reader of its novelty. I was fortunate in having the excellent facility of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department of the Library at the University of St. Andrews near at hand, so that I could cousult a copy of Wells' monograph. However, I was not aware of the full import of its contents until Hiroshi Ono visited Dundee from York University, Ontario, in 1980. Hiroshi had previously fonnalised the principles of binocular visual direction that Hering (1879) had proposed. He returned one day from St. Andrews, having read Wells' Essay upon single vision, amazed to have found that Wells had perfonned similar experiments and reached similar conclusions to Hering. Hiroshi Ono has done much to bring Wells' work on binocular single vision to the notice of visual scientists, although its reception has not been without opposition. As I read more of Wells' work on vision I became aware of its breadth as well as its depth. In addition to his essay on binocular single vision, he wrote about and conducted experiments on accommodation, visual acuity, visual persistence, and vertigo.

Reviews

"Wade's extensive knowledge [...] allows him to do a skillful job relating Well's contributions to earlier and later developments[...] The volume will interest serious scholars of visual perception and those interested in the history of this science[...] Highly recommended."
(Choice, 41:4 (December 2003)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • The Scientific Life of Wells

    Wade, Nicholas J.

    Pages 1-31

  • Visual Science in the Eighteenth Century

    Wade, Nicholas J.

    Pages 33-69

  • An Essay Upon Single Vision with Two Eyes

    Wade, Nicholas J.

    Pages 71-117

  • Wells and Visual Science

    Wade, Nicholas J.

    Pages 119-149

  • Wells and the Origins of Vestibular Research

    Wade, Nicholas J.

    Pages 151-180

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4615-0213-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-306-47385-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $119.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4613-4968-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Destined for Distinguished Oblivion
Book Subtitle
The Scientific Vision of William Charles Wells (1757–1817)
Authors
Series Title
History and Philosophy of Psychology
Copyright
2003
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright Holder
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4615-0213-5
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4615-0213-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-306-47385-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4613-4968-6
Series ISSN
1572-1914
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 310
Topics