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Kepler's Philosophy and the New Astronomy - Rhonda Martens

Kepler's Philosophy and the New Astronomy

Hardcover Published: 29th October 2000
ISBN: 9780691050690
Number Of Pages: 216

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Johannes Kepler contributed importantly to every field he addressed. He changed the face of astronomy by abandoning principles that had been in place for two millennia, made important discoveries in optics and mathematics, and was an uncommonly good philosopher. Generally, however, Kepler's philosophical ideas have been dismissed as irrelevant and even detrimental to his legacy of scientific accomplishment. Here, Rhonda Martens offers the first extended study of Kepler's philosophical views and shows how those views helped him construct and justify the new astronomy.

Martens notes that since Kepler became a Copernican before any empirical evidence supported Copernicus over the entrenched Ptolemaic system, his initial reasons for preferring Copernicanism were not telescope observations but rather methodological and metaphysical commitments. Further, she shows that Kepler's metaphysics supported the strikingly modern view of astronomical method that led him to discover the three laws of planetary motion and to wed physics and astronomy--a key development in the scientific revolution.

By tracing the evolution of Kepler's thought in his astronomical, metaphysical, and epistemological works, Martens explores the complex interplay between changes in his philosophical views and the status of his astronomical discoveries. She shows how Kepler's philosophy paved the way for the discovery of elliptical orbits and provided a defense of physical astronomy's methodological soundness. In doing so, Martens demonstrates how an empirical discipline was inspired and profoundly shaped by philosophical assumptions.

"Rhonda Martens shows in this historically informed tome that Kepler grappled constantly, and advantageously with philosophical problems throughout his career... The truly original contribution of [this book] is the tracing of Kepler's philosophical ideas as they weave through and strengthen his science."--Bruce Stephenson, Astronomy "This little book makes a big contribution not only to Kepler studies but to our understanding of early modern philosophy in general... Martens has effectively shown that to understand Kepler, to understand how he influenced his times, and to understand how his times grappled with the issues he and other innovators were dealing with, it is necessary to look closely at his philosophy."--Sheila J. Rabin, Isis "A valuable contribution to our understanding of Kepler... More broadly, Kepler's Philosophy increases our understanding of the significant role that philosophical questions played in the scientific debates of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."--Kathryn Morris, Philosophy in Review

Figures and Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviations of Works Frequently Citedp. xiii
Introductionp. 3
Kepler's Life and Timesp. 10
Select Biographyp. 10
Kepler's Astronomical Inheritancep. 18
Kepler's Philosopbical Inheritancep. 32
TheMysterium cosmographicumand Kepler's Early Approach to Natural Philosophyp. 39
The Content of theMysterium cosmographicump. 39
Kepler's Cosmologyp. 48
Kepler's Approach to Natural Philosophyp. 49
Kepler'sApologia: An Early Modern Treatise on Realismp. 57
Extra-Astronomical Considerationsp. 58
The Nature of Astronomical Hypothesesp. 60
The Testing of Astronomucal Hypothesesp. 63
Kepler's Improved Notion of Testabilityp. 64
Concluding Remarks: The Archetypesp. 67
Kepler's Archetypes and theAstronomia novap. 69
The Status of Hypotheses in Physical Astronomyp. 70
The Replacement of the Mean by the True Sunp. 71
The Vicarious Hypothesisp. 76
The New Physicsp. 79
Kepler's Second Lawp. 84
Oval Orbitsp. 87
Physical and Geometrical Models of Liberationp. 91
The Ellipse of Chapter 59p. 95
Concluding Remarks: Archetypes in the Astronomiap. 97
The Aristotelian Keplerp. 99
The Aristotelian Challenge 9O Physical Astronomy as a Mixed Disciplinep. 103
The Mathematical and the Physicalp. 106
Concluding Remarksp. 111
TheHarmonice mundip. 112
Kepler and Ptolemyp. 112
The Essence of Archetypal Mathematicsp. 118
Synopsis of Book Vp. 120
The Influence of Kepler's Haramonies on His Cosmologyp. 136
TheEpitome astronomiae Copernicanae: Kepler's Mature Physical Astronomyp. 142
The Nature of Astronomy and Observationp. 144
Archetypes as a Prerequisite for Physicsp. 146
Book IV and the Archetypesp. 147
Book V 163 Concluding Remarksp. 167
Conclusion: The Fate of Kepler's Philosophical Thoughtp. 169
The Threat to the Perfectibility of Astronomyp. 169
Kepler's Philosophical Legacy 172
Notesp. 177
Bibliographyp. 191
Indexp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691050690
ISBN-10: 0691050694
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 29th October 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.5