The Harmony of the World (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society)

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9780871692092: The Harmony of the World (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society)

Johannes Kepler is remembered today chiefly for the 3 laws of planetary motion known after him. Rejecting the view of those who regarded astronomical hypotheses as mathematical fictions, Kepler sought to derive the true motions of the planets from physical causes. Yet he combined his search for physical causes with a vision of the world as a manifestation of divine harmony. This led him to consider the formal causes or archetypes underlying the world's construction. Kepler's favorite astronomical work, Harmony of the World (Harmonice mundi), was planned in 1599 as a sequel to the Mysterium cosmographicum, although it was not completed & published until 1619. In this vol., the translators have put the Harmony of the World into the kind of clear but earnest language which they suppose Kepler would have used if he had been writing today. Illus.

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Stephen Hawking's ability to make science understandable and compelling to a lay audience was established with the publication of his first book, A Brief History of Time, which has sold nearly 10 million copies in 40 languages. Hawking has authored or participated in the creation of numerous other popular science books, including On the Shoulders of Giants and The Illustrated On the Shoulders of Giants.

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Harmonices Mundi is one of Johannes Kepler's major works and this translation is a superb work of immense scholarship. Johannes Kepler's The Harmony of the World is divided into five books: One regular polygons; on the congruence of figures; on the origin of harmonic proportions; on harmonic configurations in astrology; on the harmony of the motions of the heavens. As translated from Kepler, "Finite things which are circumscribed and shaped can also be grasped by the mind: infinite and unbounded things, insofar as they are such, can be held in by no bonds of knowledge, which is obtained from definitions, by no bonds of constitutions. For shapes are in the archetype prior to their being in the product; in the divine mind prior to being in creatures, differently indeed in respect of their subject, but the same in the form of their essence. " Using the original figures from Kepler's work, the translators include a careful introduction and meticulous notes. The Harmony Of The World is more than just a major milestone in the history of western thought, it is a seminal work that is still rewarding for the reader even as we are entering the 21st century. -- Midwest Book Review

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