Abstract

Abstract:

In Arabic, the word al-makān means both 'place' and 'space.' This essay explores how al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham (b. 354 a.h./a.d. 965) contributed to the development of the scientific mindset. Until his time, philosophers and scientists—following Aristotle's 'topos'—had operated with the concept of al-makān as a notion that means 'place.' Ibn al-Haytham rejected this, criticizing his forebears and contemporaries. In his elaborated theory of al-makān he introduced the idea of al-ab'ād al-mutakhayyila, which means 'imaginary dimensions.' He thereby moved the concept to mean 'space,' which became fully adopted by the time of Newton.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 759-778
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-03
Open Access
No
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