Descartes’ Optics


McDonough, Jeffrey K. “Descartes’ Optics.” In The Cambridge Descartes Lexicon, edited by Lawrence Nolan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
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Descartes’ work on optics spanned his entire career and represents a fascinating area of inquiry from both the perspectives of the history of science and his systematic natural philosophy. This entry offers an overview of Descartes’ understanding of light, his derivations of the two central laws of geometrical optics, and a sampling of the optical phenomena he sought to explain.

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Last updated on 02/20/2019