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Representing Space in the Scientific Revolution

$30.99 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107624719

$ 30.99 (C)
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  • The novel understanding of the physical world that characterized the Scientific Revolution depended on a fundamental shift in the way its protagonists understood and described space. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, spatial phenomena were described in relation to a presupposed central point; by its end, space had become a centerless void in which phenomena could only be described by reference to arbitrary orientations. David Marshall Miller examines both the historical and philosophical aspects of this far-reaching development, including the rejection of the idea of heavenly spheres, the advent of rectilinear inertia, and the theoretical contributions of Copernicus, Gilbert, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. His rich study shows clearly how the centered Aristotelian cosmos became the oriented Newtonian universe, and will be of great interest to students and scholars of the history and philosophy of science.

    • Addresses familiar material in a new way, reconceptualizing the scientific revolution through offering an alternative account of the process of scientific change
    • Uses a narrative structure integrating history and philosophy of science, speaking to a wide audience by connecting distinct disciplines within the humanities and sciences
    • Non-technical language makes the book accessible to readers without a background in science or philosophy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this exciting new study, Miller argues that the Scientific Revolution depended crucially on the adoption of an oriented representation of space, privileging parallel lines instead of centers. From this novel perspective he throws fresh light on the disparate contributions of Averroës, Gilbert, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Fermat, Roberval, Hooke and Newton. Highly recommended for all those with an interest in the birth of modern cosmology.' Richard T. W. Arthur, McMaster University, Ontario

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107624719
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    Preface
    Note on texts
    1. Introduction: centers and orientations
    2. Pluribus ergo existentibus centris: explanations, descriptions, and Copernicus
    3. Non est motus omnino: Gilbert, verticity, and the Law of the Whole
    4. Respicere sinus: Kepler, oriented Space, and the ellipse
    5. Mille movimenti circolari: from Impetus to conserved curvilinear motion in Galileo
    6. Directions sont entre elles paralleles: Descartes and his critics on oriented space and the parallelogram rule
    7. Incline it to verge: Newton's spatial synthesis
    8. Conclusion: methodological morals
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    David Marshall Miller, Iowa State University
    David Marshall Miller is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Iowa State University. He has published articles in journals including Philosophy of Science and History of Science.

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