Christoph Rothmann's Discourse on the Comet of 1585

An Edition and Translation with Accompanying Essays

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Miguel A. Granada, Adam Mosley and Nicholas Jardine

Christoph Rothmann wrote a treatise on the comet of 1585 shortly after it disappeared. Though it was not printed until 1619, Rothman sent a copy of his treatise in 1586 to Tycho Brahe, decisively influencing the latter's rejection of solid celestial spheres two years later. In his treatise, Rothmann joined the elimination of the solid celestial spheres to his concept of air as the substance filling the cosmos. He based his argument on the absence of refraction and the celestial location of the comet. The treatise also contained clear statements reflecting Rothmann’s adoption of Copernicanism. This first critical edition of the treatise is accompanied by an English translation and a thorough commentary. Some appendices with archival documents illustrate the genesis of Rothmann’s treatise.

Copernicus in the Cultural Debates of the Renaissance

Reception, Legacy, Transformation

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Pietro Daniel Omodeo

In Copernicus in the Cultural Debates of the Renaissance, Pietro Daniel Omodeo presents a general overview of the reception of Copernicus’s astronomical proposal from the years immediately preceding the publication of De revolutionibus (1543) to the Roman prohibition of heliocentric hypotheses in 1616. Relying on a detailed investigation of early modern sources, the author systematically examines a series of issues ranging from computation to epistemology, natural philosophy, theology and ethics. In addition to offering a pluralistic and interdisciplinary perspective on post-Copernican astronomy, the study goes beyond purely cosmological and geometrical issues and engages in a wide-ranging discussion of how Copernicus’s legacy interacted with European culture and how his image and theories evolved as a result.     

Duncan Liddel (1561-1613)

Networks of Polymathy and the Northern European Renaissance

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Edited by Pietro Daniel Omodeo

This collective volume in the history of early-modern science and medicine investigates the transfer of knowledge between Germany and Scotland focusing on the Scottish mathematician and physician Duncan Liddel of Aberdeen. It offers a contextualized study of his life and work in the cultural and institutional frame of the northern European Renaissance, as well as a reconstruction of his scholarly networks and of the scientific debates in the time of post-Copernican astronomy, Melanchthonian humanism and Paracelsian controversies.

Contributors are: Sabine Bertram, Duncan Cockburn, Laura Di Giammatteo, Mordechai Feingold, Karin Friedrich, Elizabeth Harding, John Henry, Richard Kirwan, Jane Pirie, Jonathan Regier.

The Lynx and the Telescope

The Parallel Worlds of Cesi and Galileo

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Paolo Galluzzi

Set in the context of Counter-Reformation Rome, this book focuses on the twenty-year long relationship (1611-1630) between Galileo Galilei and Federico Cesi, the founder of the Academy of the Lynx-eyed. Contrary to the historiographical tradition, it demonstrates that the visions of Galileo and Cesi were not at all convergent. In the course of the events that led to the adoption of the anti-Copernican decree of 1616, Galileo realized that the Lynceans were not prepared to support his battle for freedom of thought. In addition to identifying the author of the anonymous denunciation of Galileo’s Assayer, Paolo Galluzzi offers an original reconstruction of the dynamics which culminated in the Church’s condemnation of the famous Tuscan scientist in 1633.

This book was originally published in Italian as Libertà di filosofare in naturalibus: I mondi paralleli di Cesi e Galileo (Storia dell’Accademia dei Lincei, Studi 4). Rome: Scienze e Lettere, Editore Commerciale, 2014.

Beyond Metaphysics?

Explorations in Alfred North Whitehead’s Late Thought

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Edited by Roland Faber, Brian G. Henning and Clinton Combs

Alfred North Whitehead’s interpreters usually pay less attention to his later monographs and essays. Process and Reality is taken to be the definitive center of the Whiteheadian universe and the later works, thereby, appear to many only as applications or elaborations of themes already introduced earlier. Yet, is it also possible that the dominance of this perspective has obscured or even distorted further creative developments of Whitehead’s thought? This volume offers a sort of Copernican revolution in Whitehead interpretation, methodologically and conceptually inviting its contributors to observe Whitehead’s work from the perspective of his later works. The aim of this preferencing is meant not to invalidate earlier approaches to Whitehead’s thought nor is the inference that the later works are more authoritative. Yet, just as the first space-based images of our planet forever changed humanity’s understanding of its place in the universe, shifting the alleged center of, or even decentering of the view on, Whitehead’s “philosophy of organism” to the later works, we might discover previously obscured ideas or new vistas of thought relevant not only to our current philosophical landscape, but also to the pressing issues of our fragile and endangered world. This volume invites its contributors and readers to consider whether one thereby also moves beyond metaphysics?

The Making of Copernicus

Early Modern Transformations of a Scientist and his Science

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Edited by Wolfgang Neuber, Claus Zittel and Thomas Rahn

All those interested in Copernicus, transformation of images, application of metaphors, history of science,

Logik des Entwerfens

Eine designphilosophische Grundlegung

Florian Arnold

Wir leben im Zeitalter des Entwerfens. Der Umstand, dass gerade Designpraktiken unser heutiges Selbstbild prägen, deutet auf einen fundamentalen Einstellungswandel seit den Anfängen der Moderne.
Seit Kants »kopernikanischer Wende« hat sich auch die philosophische Weltsicht irreversibel gewandelt: Die objektive Erscheinungswelt entpuppt sich als Produkt von gestaltenden Subjekten. Design und Philosophie verbindet so ein Entwurfsgeschehen, das kreative Tätigkeiten und kritische Reflexionen als Momente eines Ganzen ausweist. So ist Design mittlerweile zu einer praktischen Bedingung der Möglichkeit von Praxis überhaupt geworden: Komplementär zur Philosophie stellt Design eine transzendentale Praxis dar, durch die wir zugleich uns selbst umgestalten. Seiner inhärenten Logik folgend ist Entwerfen heute Ausdruck dessen, was im Sinne Heideggers den Selbst- und Weltentwurf des Menschen meint: Design ist Dasein.

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Shigeru Nakayama

One of the most distinguished science historians of the twentieth century, Shigeru Nakayama has been at the forefront of redirecting or ‘reorientating’ conventional East Asian science and technology, arguing, like Joseph Needham, that the ‘orientation of science’ refers not only to the direction of science but also implies a turning to Eastern science. In recent times, he has been arguing for implementation of a ‘Service Science’,which is linked to the rights and needs of mankind. A survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, he majored in astrophysics at the University of Tokyo and wrote on the history of astronomy for his PhD and later on the history of science for his Harvard PhD.

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Edited by Scott Mandelbrote and Jitse van der Meer

The four companion volumes of Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions contribute to a contextual evaluation of the mutual influences between scriptural exegesis and hermeneutics on the one hand and practices or techniques of interpretation in natural philosophy and the natural sciences on the other. We seek to raise the low profile this theme has had both in the history of science and in the history of biblical interpretation. Furthermore, questions about the interpretation of scripture continue to be provoked by current theological reflection on scientific theories. We also seek to provide a historical context for renewed reflection on the role of the hermeneutics of scripture in the development of theological doctrines that interact with the natural sciences.

Contributors are Peter Barker, Paul M. Blowers, James J. Bono, Pamela Bright, William E. Carroll, Kathleen M. Crowther, Maurice A. Finocchiaro, Carlos Fraenkel, Miguel A. Granada, Peter Harrison, Kenneth J. Howell, Eric Jorink, Kerry V. Magruder, Scott Mandelbrote, Charlotte Methuen, Robert Morrison, Richard J. Oosterhoff, Volker R. Remmert, T. M. Rudavsky, Stephen D. Snobelen, Jitse M. van der Meer, and Rienk H. Vermij.

The Problem of Disenchantment

Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse 1900 - 1939

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Egil Asprem

The Problem of Disenchantment offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the intellectual history of science, religion, and “the occult” in the early 20th century. By developing a new approach to Max Weber’s famous idea of a “disenchantment of the world”, and drawing on an impressively diverse set of sources, Egil Asprem opens up a broad field of inquiry that connects the histories of science, religion, philosophy, and Western esotericism.

Parapsychology, occultism, and the modern natural sciences are usually viewed as distinct cultural phenomena with highly variable intellectual credentials. In spite of this view, Asprem demonstrates that all three have met with similar intellectual problems related to the intelligibility of nature, the relation of facts to values, and the dynamic of immanence and transcendence, and solved them in comparable terms.