Daily Archives: 20/08/2014

Cosmology through the ages #4 – Modern

When Nicholas Copernicus first proposed his heliocentric model of the universe in 1543, it appears to have been primarily for the reason of returning astronomy to the Aristotelian ideal of perfect circles abandoned by Ptolemy’s equants, thus simplifying (and idealizing) the model. Though sources about his thinking are scarce, he was wedded enough to Aristotle still to consider the earth to be the lowest place in the universe, even though that was a problem for his cosmology: But the fact that Copernicus turned the earth into a planet did not cause him to reject Aristotelian physics, for he maintained that “land and water together press upon a single center of … Continue reading

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