ability to interpret the surrounding environment using light in the visible spectrum
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This page is about the ability to see things. For, the religious experience see Visions.

Vision (or visual perception) is the ability to interpret visible light information reaching the eyes which is then made available for planning and action. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, or simply sight (adjectival form: visual, optical, or ocular). The various components involved in vision are known as the visual system. Many expressions refer to vision as an indication of shared perceptions or conceptions, especially in the context of the future and strategic planning; such use of the word also usually refers to discernment of long term views and consequence of many things, rather than such aspects and appearances as are immediately apparent and obvious to most people.


Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. ~ Proverbs
Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. ~ Jonathan Swift
  • There's nothing you can know that isn't known
    Nothing you can see that isn't shown
    There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
    It's easy.hello hello hello
  • I wanted to see, because I didn't believe what I'd been hearing.
  • You’re actually socially isolating yourself with your phone. I feel like it’s kind of emasculating. This Google Glass really takes away that excuse.… It really opened my eyes to how much of my life I spent secluded away in email or social posts.
    My vision when we started Google 15 years ago was that eventually you wouldn’t have to have a search query at all — the information would just come to you as you needed it. This is the first form factor that can deliver that vision.
  • The Greeks elaborated several theories of vision. According to the Pythagoreans, Democritus, and others vision is caused by the projection of particles from the object seen, into the pupil of the eye. On the other hand Empedocles, the Platonists, and Euclid held the strange doctrine of ocular beams, according to which the eye itself sends out something which causes sight as soon as it meets something else emanated by the object.
  • Not so many years ago this was a mistake that brain scientists actually made: they succumbed all too often to the temptation to treat vision as if it were television — as if it were simply a matter of getting "the picture" from the eyes to the screen somewhere in the middle where it could be handsomely reproduced so that the phenomena of appreciation and analysis could then get underway. Today we realize that the analysis — the whatever you want to call it that composes, in the end, all the visual understandingbegins right away, on the retina; if you postpone consideration of it, you misdescribe how vision works.
  • Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
    • Ed Rowell, The Foreign Service Journal - August 1996 p.5 (AFSA News section)
    • It is commonly claimed to be a "Japanese proverb" or attributed to Soichiro Honda.
  • In Nietzsche’s view nihilism is not a Weltanschauung that occurs at some time and place or another; it is rather the basic character of what happens in Occidental history.
  • Then purg'd with euphrasy and rue
    The visual nerve, for he had much to see.
  • The "prevalence of the gaze," or the privileging of the visual, as the primary means to knowledge in Western scientific and philosophical traditions has been the subject of a feminist inquiry by Evelyn Fox Keller and Christine R. Grontkowski. In their analysis, stretching from Plato to Bacon and Descartes, this emphasis on the visual has had a paradoxical function. For sight, in contrast to the other senses, has as its peculiar property the capacity for detachment, for objectifying the thing visualized by creating distance between knower and known. (In modern optics, the eye becomes a passive recorder, a camera obscura.) In this way, the elevation of the visual in a hierarchy of senses actually has the effect of debasing sensory experience, and relatedness, as modes of knowing:" Vision connects us to truth as it distances us from the corporeal."
  • Some feminist cultural theorists in France, Britain, and the United States have argued that visualization and objectification as privileged ways of knowing are specifically masculine (man the viewer, woman the spectacle). Without falling into such essentialism, we may suppose that the language, perceptions, and uses of visual information may be different for women, as pregnant subjects, than they are for men (or women) as physicians, researchers, or reporters.
  • Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
    • Book of Proverbs, 29:18 (KJV)
    • Variant translation: Without a vision, the people perish.
  • Vision is the Art of seeing Things invisible.
    • Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on various subjects (Further thoughts on various subjects), 1745
  • For any man with half an eye,
    What stands before him may espy;
    But optics sharp it needs I ween,
    To see what is not to be seen.
  • In the Middle Ages society was far more static and was essentially hierarchical in nature. As a result the causal or genetic attitude was far less important in medieval thought that it is in ours and the concept of evolution had little influence compared with the role of symbolism in the general world-view... Moreover, even the concept of time itself was of less significance to historians... For St Augustine the date of an event was of far less importance than its theological significance. His tendency to see everything in a theological rather than in a historical perspective was a powerful influence in the Middle Ages... It was not until the nineteenth century that the fundamental significance of the historical perspective came to be generally recognized. This was several hundred years after the theory and practice of perspective had been developed by painters and others. In each case a new way of looking at the world resulted.
  • Vision without implementation is hallucination.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 707.
  • And finds with keen, discriminating sight,
    Black's not so black—nor white so very white.
  • And for to se, and eek for to be seye.
  • The rarer sene, the lesse in mynde,
    The lesse in mynde, the lesser payne.
  • And every eye
    Gaz'd as before some brother of the sky.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book VIII, line 17. Pope's translation.
  • For sight is woman-like and shuns the old.
    (Ah! he can see enough, when years are told,
    Who backwards looks).
  • Two men look out through the same bars:
    One sees the mud, and one the stars.
  • He that had neither beene kithe nor kin,
    Might have seene a full fayre sight.
    • Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne.
  • Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.
    • A monster frightful, formless, immense, with sight removed.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), III. 658.
  • Are they shadows that we see?
      And can shadows pleasure give?
    Pleasures only shadows be,
      Cast by bodies we conceive,
    And are made the things we deem
    In those figures which they seem.
    But these pleasures vanish fast
      Which by shadows are expressed:
    Pleasures are not, if they last,
      In their passing, is their best:
    Glory is most bright and gay
    In a flash, and so away.
    Feed apace then, greedy eyes,
      On the wonder you behold;
    Take it sudden as it flies,
      Though you take it not to hold:
    When your eyes have done their part,
    Thought must length it in the heart.

See also

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