O'Reilly logo

A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 36

Imaging Technologies

DON IHDE

A major group of technologies in the contemporary world is unquestionably that of the imaging technologies, so important for artistic, scientific, communication and entertainment activities. The production of images by humans can be traced at least back to the Ice Ages – excellent images of animal life 34,000 BP were found in Chauvet, France. And, since, in this entry, both visual and auditory image technologies will be featured, a bear-bone flute associated with a Neanderthal site has been dated back to 45,000 BP. These visualizations and acoustic sounds were “hand produced” with minimalist technologies such as pigments and brushes and the bear-bone musical instrument.

More complex imaging processes arise in antiquity, and the best-known of these imaging processes – at least in the West – is probably the shadow theater imagined by Plato and known as the “allegory of the cave.” Here a light source (fire) casts the shadows of cut-out objects upon the cave wall (screen) somewhat like an Indonesian puppet shadow theater. And, although it is unknown whether Plato knew of the camera obscura, Aristotle and Euclid did (2350 BP); and Mo-Tzu, a Chinese mathematician, knew of it and described it approximately a century earlier (2450 BP), although its complete description and the science of its optics was described later by the Arab philosopher Al Hazen (1070 BP).

The camera obscura and its variants stand at the beginnings of a very long and complex ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required