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April 14, 1923


JAMA. 1923;80(15):1088-1089. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640420050026

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Modern Theories of Color Vision  Professor von Hess, the ophthalmologist, of Munich, has been devoting himself of late years to the problem of color vision. Especially his researches on the color vision of insects have awakened general interest. An interesting article on the history of the various theories of color vision since Newton's time, written by Wilhelm Ostwald, formerly professor of chemistry in Leipzig, was published in the Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, Sept. 15, 1922. He distinguishes two periods of development since Newton: (1) the qualitative, and (2) the quantitative. In the first period, not only physicists and mathematicians made a special study of color vision, but also such men as Goethe and Schopenhauer manifested considerable zeal for the subject. But owing to their lack of knowledge of physics, they were unable to get a clear conception of anything more than the psychologic aspects of the problem. It was only with

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