The Copernican Question

Author: Robert Westman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520948165
Size: 62.90 MB
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In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus publicly defended his hypothesis that the earth is a planet and the sun a body resting near the center of a finite universe. But why did Copernicus make this bold proposal? And why did it matter? The Copernican Question reframes this pivotal moment in the history of science, centering the story on a conflict over the credibility of astrology that erupted in Italy just as Copernicus arrived in 1496. Copernicus engendered enormous resistance when he sought to protect astrology by reconstituting its astronomical foundations. Robert S. Westman shows that efforts to answer the astrological skeptics became a crucial unifying theme of the early modern scientific movement. His interpretation of this "long sixteenth century," from the 1490s to the 1610s, offers a new framework for understanding the great transformations in natural philosophy in the century that followed.

The Copernican Question

Author: Robert S. Westman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520254813
Size: 48.18 MB
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"Westman's profound understanding of his subject informs every page of this magisterial book. The Copernican Question provides a new road map to one of the central episodes in the history of science, in all its cultural, social, and philosophical complexity." —Peter Dear, author of Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and Its Ambitions, 1500-1700 “The Copernican Question is a truly astonishing work. Westman writes with the authority of someone who has really done his homework; he tells a fascinating story and tells it exceedingly well." —Ernan McMullin, editor of The Church and Galileo “Robert Westman’s engrossing book—the fruit of many years’ research—offers the best answer given so far to the question of Copernicus. The Polish astronomer was an enigma to his contemporaries and to many who later struggled to understand his ideas. Westman shows that astrological prediction provides the missing key to his work and to its interpretation by astronomers in the subsequent decades. He sets the Copernican tradition against a backdrop of tumultuous religious conflict, apocalyptic prophecies, and the explosive growth of printed publications. This book is a magnificent scholarly achievement. Everyone who is seriously interested in the science and culture of early-modern Europe will want to read it.” —Jan Golinski, author of British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment "Robert Westman's The Copernican Question is a magnificent achievement. It is a comprehensive, nuanced, and fascinating reinterpretation of the Copernican century and the transformation of astronomy. This book will be of interest to anyone who wants a new understanding of the history of the heliocentric hypothesis and the complex problems facing Copernicus and his contemporaries and followers." —Carolyn Merchant, author of The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution “The Copernican Question is a richly detailed, extensively researched, and engagingly written book that radically recontextualizes major figures in the “science of the stars” from Copernicus to Galileo, revealing new connections and motivations for their work and ideas. It will be required reading for historians and philosophers of science and for anyone interested in how and why we came to know what we do about the heavens.” —Lawrence M. Principe, author of The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

Occult Paris

Author: Tobias Churton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1620555468
Size: 74.92 MB
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How fin-de-siècle Paris became the locus for the most intense revival of magical practices and doctrines since the Renaissance • Examines the remarkable lives of occult practitioners Joséphin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaïta, Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, Jules Doinel, and others • Reveals how occult activity deeply influenced many well-known cultural movements, such as Symbolism, the Decadents, modern music, and the “psychedelic 60s” During Paris’s Belle Époque (1871-1914), many cultural movements and artistic styles flourished--Symbolism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, the Decadents--all of which profoundly shaped modern culture. Inseparable from this cultural advancement was the explosion of occult activity taking place in the City of Light at the same time. Exploring the magical, artistic, and intellectual world of the Belle Époque, Tobias Churton shows how a wide variety of Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Martinists, Freemasons, Gnostics, and neo-Cathars called fin-de-siècle Paris home. He examines the precise interplay of occultists Joséphin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaïta, and founder of the modern Gnostic Church Jules Doinel, along with lesser known figures such as Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, Paul Sédir, Charles Barlet, Edmond Bailly, Albert Jounet, Abbé Lacuria, and Lady Caithness. He reveals how the work of many masters of modern culture such as composers Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, writers Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire, and painters Georges Seurat and Alphonse Osbert bear signs of immersion in the esoteric circles that were thriving in Paris at the time. The author demonstrates how the creative hermetic ferment that animated the City of Light in the decades leading up to World War I remains an enduring presence and powerful influence today. Where, he asks, would Aleister Crowley and all the magicians of today be without the Parisian source of so much creativity in this field? Conveying the living energy of Paris in this richly artistic period of history, Churton brings into full perspective the characters, personalities, and forces that made Paris a global magnet and which allowed later cultural movements, such as the “psychedelic 60s,” to rise from the ashes of post-war Europe.

Celestial Revolutionary

Author: John Freely
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 0857734903
Size: 51.27 MB
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In the spring of 1500, at the apex of the Renaissance, a papal secretary to the Borgia Pope, Alexander VI, wrote that "All the world is in Rome." Though no one knew it at the time, this included a young scholar by the name of Nicolaus Copernicus who would one day change the world. One of the greatest polymaths of his or any age - linguist, lawyer, doctor, diplomat, politician, mathematician, scientist, astronomer, artist, cleric - Copernicus gave the world arguably the most important scientific discovery of the modern era: that earth and the planets revolve around the sun and that the earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours. His heliocentric theory and the discoveries that would follow ushered in the age of modern astronomy, often called the Copernican Age, and change the way we look at the universe forever. This brilliant and controversial belief - born of a fusion of the theories of the great scholars of antiquity and the knowledge of the medieval Islamic world - was immortalised in Copernicus' epic "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium", a book whose very first printed copy was placed into his hands at the moment of his death in 1543. Here, for the first time, is a biography of Copernicus that not only describes his theories but the life of the man himself and the epic, thrilling times in which he lived.

A More Perfect Heaven

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802778933
Size: 48.77 MB
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By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand-copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory-in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun, not the earth, at the center of our universe, and set the earth spinning among the other planets. Over the next two decades, Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of observations, while compiling in secret a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. For fear of ridicule, he refused to publish. In 1539, a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus. Two years later, the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)-the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universe. In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution. At the heart of the book is her play And the Sun Stood Still, imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day. As she achieved with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel expands the bounds of narration, giving us an unforgettable portrait of scientific achievement, and of the ever-present tensions between science and faith.

Setting Aside All Authority

Author: Christopher M. Graney
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 0268080771
Size: 15.67 MB
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Setting Aside All Authority is an important account and analysis of seventeenth-century scientific arguments against the Copernican system. Christopher M. Graney challenges the long-standing ideas that opponents of the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus and Galileo were primarily motivated by religion or devotion to an outdated intellectual tradition, and that they were in continual retreat in the face of telescopic discoveries. Graney calls on newly translated works by anti-Copernican writers of the time to demonstrate that science, not religion, played an important, and arguably predominant, role in the opposition to the Copernican system. Anti-Copernicans, building on the work of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, were in fact able to build an increasingly strong scientific case against the heliocentric system at least through the middle of the seventeenth century, several decades after the advent of the telescope. The scientific case reached its apogee, Graney argues, in the 1651 New Almagest of the Italian Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli, who used detailed telescopic observations of stars to construct a powerful scientific argument against Copernicus. Setting Aside All Authority includes the first English translation of Monsignor Francesco Ingoli’s essay to Galileo (disputing the Copernican system on the eve of the Inquisition’s condemnation of it in 1616) and excerpts from Riccioli's reports regarding his experiments with falling bodies.

New Heavens And A New Earth

Author: Jeremy Brown
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199754799
Size: 16.43 MB
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Jeremy Brown offers the first major study of the Jewish reception of the Copernican revolution, examining four hundred years of Jewish writings on the Copernican model. Brown shows the ways in which Jews ignored, rejected, or accepted the Copernican model, and the theological and societal underpinnings of their choices.

Superstition And Magic In Early Modern Europe A Reader

Author:
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441100326
Size: 58.18 MB
Format: PDF
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Superstition and Magic in Early Modern Europe brings together a rich selection of essays which represent the most important historical research on religion, magic and superstition in early modern Europe. Each essay makes a significant contribution to the history of magic and religion in its own right, while together they demonstrate how debates over the topic have evolved over time, providing invaluable intellectual, historical, and socio-political context for readers approaching the subject for the first time. The essays are organised around five key themes and areas of controversy. Part One tackles superstition; Part Two, the tension between miracles and magic; Part Three, ghosts and apparitions; Part Four, witchcraft and witch trials; and Part Five, the gradual disintegration of the 'magical universe' in the face of scientific, religious and practical opposition. Each part is prefaced by an introduction that provides an outline of the historiography and engages with recent scholarship and debate, setting the context for the essays that follow and providing a foundation for further study. This collection is an invaluable toolkit for students of early modern Europe, providing both a focused overview and a springboard for broader thinking about the underlying continuities and discontinuities that make the study of magic and superstition a perennially fascinating topic.

Reappraisals Of The Scientific Revolution

Author: David C. Lindberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521348041
Size: 31.61 MB
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A compendium offering broad reflections on the Scientific Revolution from a spectrum of scholars engaged in the study of 16th and 17th century science. Many accepted views and interpretations of the scientific revolution are challenged.

Retrying Galileo 1633 1992

Author: Maurice A. Finocchiaro
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520941373
Size: 36.28 MB
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In 1633, at the end of one of the most famous trials in history, the Inquisition condemned Galileo for contending that the Earth moves and that the Bible is not a scientific authority. Galileo's condemnation set off a controversy that has acquired a fascinating life of its own and that continues to this day. This absorbing book is the first to examine the entire span of the Galileo affair from his condemnation to his alleged rehabilitation by the Pope in 1992. Filled with primary sources, many translated into English for the first time, Retrying Galileo will acquaint readers with the historical facts of the trial, its aftermath and repercussions, the rich variety of reflections on it throughout history, and the main issues it raises.