In this Book

University of California Press
summary
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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. illustrations
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xx
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-22
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  1. Part I: Copernicus’s Space of Possibilities
  2. pp. 23-24
  1. 1. The Literature of the Heavens and the Science of the Stars
  2. pp. 25-61
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  1. 2. Constructing the Future
  2. pp. 62-75
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  1. 3. Copernicus and the Crisis of the Bologna Prognosticators,1496–1500
  2. pp. 76-106
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  1. Part II: Confessional and Interconfessional Spacesof Prophecy and Prognostication
  2. pp. 107-108
  1. 4. Between Wittenberg and Rome
  2. pp. 109-140
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  1. 5. The Wittenberg Interpretation of Copernicus’s Theory
  2. pp. 141-170
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  1. 6. Varieties of Astrological Credibility
  2. pp. 171-193
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  1. 7. Foreknowledge, Skepticism, and Celestial Order in Rome
  2. pp. 194-220
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  1. Part III: Accommodating Unanticipated, Singular Novelties
  2. pp. 221-222
  1. 8. Planetary Order, Astronomical Reform,and the Extraordinary Course of Nature
  2. pp. 223-258
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  1. 9. The Second-Generation Copernicans
  2. pp. 259-280
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  1. 10. A Proliferation of Readings
  2. pp. 281-306
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  1. Part IV: Securing the Divine Plan
  2. pp. 307-308
  1. 11. The Emergence of Kepler’s Copernican Representation
  2. pp. 309-335
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  1. 12. Kepler’s Early Audiences, 1596–1600
  2. pp. 336-350
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  1. Part V: Conflicted Modernizers at the Turn of the Century
  2. pp. 351-352
  1. 13. The Third-Generation Copernicans
  2. pp. 353-381
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  1. 14. The Naturalist Turn and Celestial Order
  2. pp. 382-402
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  1. 15. How Kepler’sNew Star Traveled to England
  2. pp. 403-416
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  1. Part VI: The Modernizers, Recurrent Novelties,and Celestial Order
  2. pp. 417-418
  1. 16. The Struggle for Order
  2. pp. 419-433
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  1. 17. Modernizing Theoretical Knowledge
  2. pp. 434-454
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  1. 18. How Galileo’s Recurrent Novelties Traveled
  2. pp. 455-484
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  1. Conclusion: The Great Controversy
  2. pp. 485-514
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 515-604
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 605-649
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 650-672
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