In this fascinating work, Jean Dietz Moss shows how the scientific revolution begun by Copernicus brought about another revolution as well—one in which rhetoric, previously used simply to explain scientific thought, became a tool for persuading a skeptical public of the superiority of the Copernican system. Moss describes the nature of dialectical and rhetorical discourse in the period of the Copernican debate to shed new light on the argumentative strategies used by the participants. Against the background of Ptolemy's Almagest, she analyzes the gradual increase of rhetoric beginning with Copernicus's De Revolutionibus and Galileo's Siderius nuncius, through Galileo's debates with the Jesuits Scheiner and Grassi, to the most persuasive work of all, Galileo's Dialogue. The arguments of the Dominicans Bruno and Campanella, the testimony of Johannes Kepler, and the pleas of Scriptural exegetes and the speculations of John Wilkins furnish a counterpoint to the writings of Galileo, the centerpiece of this study. The author places the controversy within its historical frame, creating a coherent narrative movement. She illuminates the reactions of key ecclesiastical and academic figures figures and the general public to the issues. Blending history and rhetorical analysis, this first study to look at rhetoric as defined by sixteenth- and seventeenth-century participants is an original contribution to our understanding of the use of persuasion as an instrument of scientific debate.
Spanning the course of his career, this book brings new light to Kepler’s vitalistic views and their central place in his world picture. It challenges our view of Kepler as a nascent mechanical philosopher who fell back on an older form of physics.
Social constructionists claim that scientific debates are influenced by non-evidential factors such as the rhetoric and professional clout of the participants. These essays undermine an extreme social constructionist perspective and indicate the need for a more realistic scientific rationality.
This book demonstrates that the luminaries were transformed from peerless bodies that radiated powerful forces into objects of scientific study, and in the case of the moon, a place to visit imaginatively with its own geography and probable inhabitants. Utilizing literary, historical, and visual evidence, Luminaries in the Natural World indicates how and why these changes in solar and lunar perceptions occurred among the scientific community from 1400 to 1680, breaking new ground with its emphasis on influences from cartography, astrology, and hermeticism.
Courage and achievement are celebrated and questioned, paradoxes examined, and human frailty appreciated in fifteen tales, at once lyrical and provocative, ranging fromthe fantastic to the achingly real. Be it a tale of an expulsion from Eden, a journey through time, the dreams of a failed writer, ora dead woman's ambiguous legacy, each story in Novelties & Souvenirs is a glorious reading experience, offering delights to be savored ... and remembered.
The remarkable astronomical discoveries made by Galileo with the new telescope in 1609-10 led to his famous disputes with philosophers and religious authorities, most of whom found their doctrines threatened by his evidence for Copernicus's heliocentric universe. In this book, Eileen Reeves brings an art historical perspective to this story as she explores the impact of Galileo's heavenly observations on painters of the early seventeenth century. Many seventeenth-century painters turned to astronomical pastimes and to the depiction of new discoveries in their work, yet some of these findings imposed controversial changes in their use of religious iconography. For example, Galileo's discovery of the moon's rough topography and the reasons behind its secondary light meant rethinking the imagery surrounding the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception, which had long been represented in paintings by the appearance of a smooth, incandescent moon. By examining a group of paintings by early modern artists all interested in Galileo's evidence for a Copernican system, Reeves not only traces the influence of science on painting in terms of optics and content, but also reveals the painters in a conflict between artistic depiction and dogmatic representation. Reeves offers a close analysis of seven works by Lodovico Cigoli, Peter Paul Rubens, Francisco Pacheco, and Diego Velázquez. She places these artists at the center of the astronomical debate, showing that both before and after the invention of the telescope, the proper evaluation of phenomena such as moon spots and the aurora borealis was commonly considered the province of the painter. Because these scientific hypotheses were complicated by their connection to Catholic doctrine, Reeves examines how the relationship between science and art, and their mutual production of knowledge and authority, must themselves be seen in a broader context of theological and political struggle.