The Copernican Question: Prognostication, Skepticism, and Celestial Order

Westman, Robert S.

Published by University of California Press, 2011
ISBN 10: 0520254813 / ISBN 13: 9780520254817
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Berkeley. 2011. University of California Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 57. 704 pages. July 11, 2011. hardcover. 9780520254817. keywords:. inventory # 38156. FROM THE PUBLISHER - 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. 'Westman's profound understanding of his subject informs every page of this magisterial book. The Copernican Question provides a new road map to one of the central episodes in the history of science, in all its cultural, social, and philosophical complexity.' --Peter Dear, author of Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and Its Ambitions, 1500-1700. 'The Copernican Question is a truly astonishing work. Westman writes with the authority of someone who has really done his homework; he tells a fascinating story and tells it exceedingly well.' --Ernan McMullin, editor of The Church and Galileo. 'Robert Westman's engrossing book--the fruit of many years' research--offers the best answer given so far to the question of Copernicus. The Polish astronomer was an enigma to his contemporaries and to many who later struggled to understand his ideas. Westman shows that astrological prediction provides the missing key to his work and to its interpretation by astronomers in the subsequent decades. He sets the Copernican tradition against a backdrop of tumultuous religious conflict, apocalyptic prophecies, and the explosive growth of printed publications. This book is a magnificent scholarly achievement. Everyone who is seriously interested in the science and culture of early-modern Europe will want to read it.' --Jan Golinski, author of British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment. 'Robert Westman's The Copernican Question is a magnificent achievement. It is a comprehensive, nuanced, and fascinating reinterpretation of the Copernican century and the transformation of astronomy. This book will be of interest to anyone who wants a new understanding of the history of the heliocentric hypothesis and the complex problems facing Copernicus and his contemporaries and followers.' --Carolyn Merchant, author of The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. 'The Copernican Question is a richly detailed, extensively researched, and engagingly written book that radically recontextualizes major figures in the 'science of the stars' from Copernicus to Galileo, revealing new connections and motivations for their work and ideas. It will be required reading for historians and philosophers of science and for anyone interested in how and why we came to know what we do about the heavens.' --Lawrence M. Principe, author of The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: 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.

From the Inside Flap: "Westman's profound understanding of his subject informs every page of this magisterial book. The Copernican Question provides a new road map to one of the central episodes in the history of science, in all its cultural, social, and philosophical complexity." ―Peter Dear, author of Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and Its Ambitions, 1500-1700

The Copernican Question is a truly astonishing work. Westman writes with the authority of someone who has really done his homework; he tells a fascinating story and tells it exceedingly well." ―Ernan McMullin, editor of The Church and Galileo

“Robert Westman’s engrossing book―the fruit of many years’ research―offers the best answer given so far to the question of Copernicus. The Polish astronomer was an enigma to his contemporaries and to many who later struggled to understand his ideas. Westman shows that astrological prediction provides the missing key to his work and to its interpretation by astronomers in the subsequent decades. He sets the Copernican tradition against a backdrop of tumultuous religious conflict, apocalyptic prophecies, and the explosive growth of printed publications. This book is a magnificent scholarly achievement. Everyone who is seriously interested in the science and culture of early-modern Europe will want to read it.” ―Jan Golinski, author of British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment

"Robert Westman's The Copernican Question is a magnificent achievement. It is a comprehensive, nuanced, and fascinating reinterpretation of the Copernican century and the transformation of astronomy. This book will be of interest to anyone who wants a new understanding of the history of the heliocentric hypothesis and the complex problems facing Copernicus and his contemporaries and followers." ―Carolyn Merchant, author of The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution

The Copernican Question is a richly detailed, extensively researched, and engagingly written book that radically recontextualizes major figures in the “science of the stars” from Copernicus to Galileo, revealing new connections and motivations for their work and ideas. It will be required reading for historians and philosophers of science and for anyone interested in how and why we came to know what we do about the heavens.” ―Lawrence M. Principe, author of The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Copernican Question: Prognostication, ...
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2011
Binding: hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Seller Inventory # AAH9780520254817

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