Alexandre Koyre's From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Hideyo PDF


By Alexandre Koyre

ISBN-10: 0801803470

ISBN-13: 9780801803475

During the 16th and 17th centuries an intensive switch happened within the styles and the framework of eu idea. within the wake of discoveries during the telescope and Copernican idea, the proposal of an ordered cosmos of "fixed stars" gave approach to that of a universe limitless in either time and space—with major and far-reaching outcomes for human notion. Alexandre Koyré translates this revolution by way of the swap that happened in our belief of the universe and our position in it and exhibits the primacy of this modification within the improvement of the fashionable world.

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Extra resources for From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Hideyo Noguchi Lecture)

Sample text

These people want this new star and all others of its kind to descend little by little from the depths of nature, which, they assert, extend to an infinite altitude, until according to the laws of optics it b ecomes very large and attracts the eyes of men; then it goes back to an infinite altitude and every day [becomes] so much smaller as it moves higher. Those who hold this opinion consider that the nature of the skies conforms to the law of the circle; therefore the descent is bound to engender the opposite ascent, as is the case with wheels .

Thus, if they were placed on the same spherical s urface of which we are the center, the eye located on one of them would see the other as having the angular magnitude of about 21 ° ; [a n1agnitude] that for us on the earth would not be occupied by five suns placed in line and touching each other. And yet these fixed stars are by no m eans those that are the nearest to each other; for there are innumerable smaller ones that are interspersed [between them] . Thus if somebody were placed in this belt of Orion, having our sun and the center of the world above him, he would see, first, on the horizon, a kind of unbroken sea of immense stars quasi-touching each other, at least to the sight; and from there, the more he raised his eyes, the fewer stars would he see; moreover, the stars will no longer be in contact, but will gradually [appear to be] more rare and more dispersed; and looking straight upward he will see the s ame [stars] as we see, but twice as small and twice as near to each other.

It could be said, of course, that thy earth has a moon And why shouldn't they be ? There is, according to Kepler - who, for our world, accepts the teachings of Nicholas of eusa and Bruno ­ no reason to deny this possibility. As for the other discoverie s of Galileo, namely, those concerning the fixed stars, Kepler points out that they enhance the difference between the stars and the planets . Whereas the latter are strongly magnified by the tele­ scope and appear as well-defined discs, the former hardly increase their dimensio ns for, seen through the telescope , they are deprived of the luminou s haze that surrounds them, 2 5 a fact of tremendous importance because it shows that this haze belongs not to the seen stars but to the seeing eye, in other words, that it is not an obj e� ive but a subjective phenom enon and that, whereas the VISIble � dimensions of the planets have a determinate relation to their real ones, this is not the case for the fixed stars .

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From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Hideyo Noguchi Lecture) by Alexandre Koyre

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