Natural History of Seeing

Natural History of Seeing

by Simon Ings


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The science, history, philosophy, and mythology of how and why we see the way we do.

We spend about one-tenth of our waking hours completely blind. Only one percent of what we see is in focus at any one time. There is no direct fossil evidence for the evolution of the eye. In graceful, accessible prose, novelist and science writer Simon Ings sets out to solve these and other mysteries of seeing.A Natural History of Seeing delves into both the evolution of sight and the evolution of our understanding of sight. It gives us the natural science—the physics of light and the biology of animals and humans alike—while also addressing Leonardo's theories of perception in painting and Homer's confused and strangely limited sense of color. Panoramic in every sense, it reaches back to the first seers (and to ancient beliefs that vision is the product of mysterious optic rays) and forward to the promise of modern experiments in making robots that see.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393067194
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/13/2008
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,238,907
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Simon Ings's most recent novel is The Weight of Numbers. His science features and interviews have appeared in magazines as diverse as New Scientist, Wired, and Dazed and Confused. Ings lives in London.

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