Library of the History of Psychological Theories

Perception and Illusion

Historical Perspectives

Authors: Wade, N.J.

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About this book

The understanding of perception is central to our knowledge of the mind. Yet paradoxically, this understanding was born of centuries of fascination with errors of human perception. Perception and Illusion: Historical Perspectives elegantly retraces this scientific journey, not only in terms of its trials and errors but in its complex relationships with painting and medicine, philosophy and physics.

In this accessible volume, Nicholas Wade surveys over two millennia of scientific inquiry and research, describing the evolution of theories of light, sight, and illusion from early naturalistic observation to our sophisticated present-day experiments. Optics, physiology, and ophthalmology are seen emerging from beneath the burden of tradition and dogma. So, too, do doctors and thinkers studying the senses become practitioners devoted to specialized domains.

    • The Greek foundations of perception: Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy
    • Art and perception before and after the Renaissance: color mixing and linear 
    perspective
    • The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: ocular anatomy meets optical science; the 
    separation of sight from light
    • Perception and behavior: illusions and the roots of psychology in the nineteenth
    century; the fragmentation of the senses; harnessing space and time
    • Perceptual innovations in the twentieth century: from infant vision through visual
    physiology to virtual reality.

Perception and Illusion: Historical Perspectives is illuminating reading for students of the history of psychology, optics, and medicine, and provides insights into the history and progress of science. In addition to charting these visual milestones, Wade reminds the reader in an articulate manner of perceptual controversies—including some of the most basic ones—that have yet to be resolved.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"Wade has published numerous books and articles on perception, many of which deal with the history of research in this area. The present volume continues this trend … . Wade carries the historical account up to the present and concerns himself almost exclusively with vision, emphasizing the associations among art, illusion, and the scientific study of perception. … Highly recommended." (R. H. Cormack, Choice, Vol. 42 (10), 2005)

"Nicholas Wade is an active empirical visual scientist who has also become a leading historian for our subject. ... He has now presented an overall view of the history of perception, with an emphasis on visual perception. … The book is clearly written in an engaging style and provides the only broad but concise review of the history of the main topics in perception." (Prof. Ian P. Howard, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 41 (4), 2005)

"Nicholas Wade of Dundee University is characteristic of the breed of scientist-historian: he is respected for his own experimental work on visual perception, but he has also established himself as one of the foremost historians of visual science. … Perception and Illusion begins in the time of Euclid and Aristotle … . He ends with the late 20th-century view of the human observer as an information-processing system … . Despite this vast territory, Wade has a firm and accurate grasp of his material." (John Mollon, The Times Higher Educational Supplement, October, 2005)


Table of contents (2 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-22723-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-22722-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-3557-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Perception and Illusion
Book Subtitle
Historical Perspectives
Authors
Series Title
Library of the History of Psychological Theories
Copyright
2005
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag US
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-22723-8
DOI
10.1007/b99587
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-22722-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-3557-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 250
Topics