By Jimena Canales
In the overdue 15th century, clocks got minute fingers. A century later, moment palms seemed. however it wasn’t until eventually the 1850s that tools may perhaps realize a 10th of a moment, and, after they did, the impression on smooth technology and society used to be profound. Revealing the background in the back of this infinitesimal period, A 10th of a Second sheds new mild on modernity and illuminates the paintings of vital thinkers of the final centuries.
Tracing debates concerning the nature of time, causality, and unfastened will, in addition to the creation of recent technologies—telegraphy, images, cinematography—Jimena Canales locates the reverberations of this “perceptual second” all through tradition. as soon as scientists linked the 10th of a moment with the rate of concept, they constructed response time experiments with lasting implications for experimental psychology, body structure, and optics. Astronomers and physicists struggled to regulate the profound effects of effects that have been a 10th of a moment off. And references to the period have been a part of a common inquiry into time, recognition, and sensory adventure that concerned rethinking the contributions of Descartes and Kant.
Considering its effect on for much longer time classes and that includes appearances by way of Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, and Albert Einstein, between others, A 10th of a Second is finally a tremendous contribution to background and a unique viewpoint on modernity.
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Extra info for A Tenth of a Second: A History
Helmholtz, “Ueber die Methoden, kleinste Zeittheile zu messen, und ihre Anwendung für physiologische Zwecke,” 325, and “On the Methods of Measuring Very Small Portions of Time, and Their Application to Physiological Purposes,” 189. 32. François Arago, “Note sur un moyen très-simple de s’affranchir des erreurs personnelles dans les observations des passages au méridien,” Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des sciences 36 (1853). 33. These errors were larger the closer observations were to the equator.
Baillière et fils, 1888), 2:801; A. Rémond, Recherches expérimentales sur la durée des actes psychiques les plus simples et sur la vitesse des courants nerveux à l’état normal et à l’état pathologique (Paris: Octave Doin, 1888), 11; Edmund C. Sanford, “Personal Equation,” American Journal of Psychology 2 (1889): 8; Joseph Jastrow, The Time-Relations of Mental Phenomena, Fact and Theory Papers (New York: N. D. C. Hodges, 1890), 21; Paul Fraisse, “The Evolution of Experimental Psychology,” in History and Method, ed.
François Gonnessiat, Recherches sur l’équation personnelle dans les observations astronomiques de passage, Annales de l’université de Lyon (Paris: G. Masson, 1892), 3:159. 48. Hervé Faye, “Sur les erreurs d’origine physiologique,” Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des sciences 59 (12 September 1864): 475. ”49 Because of the problems he noticed in astronomical practices, Faye was led to the conclusion that the human “spirit” was not infinitely fast: Imagine that the spirit is an eye in the center of the brain; an eye attentive to the changes that each sensation causes in the nerve cells that lead to it.
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