The Discovery of Kepler's Laws: The Interaction of Science, Philosophy, and Religion

By Job S. J. Kozhamthadam | Go to book overview

4
THE ACCEPTANCE OF COPERNICANISM

Accepting the Copernican hypothesis was the essential first step Kepler took on his way to the discovery of the laws of astronomy. Without taking this step he would never have become the father of modern astronomy. Despite its unique importance, it was no easy step to take because the Copernican hypothesis was beset with problems from all angles: empirical, philosophical, and religious. Yet Kepler embraced the hypothesis wholeheartedly. Several ways of explaining his daring move have emerged. I think that none of these accounts is entirely sufficient; each emphasizes only one or a few of the aspects involved in Kepler's acceptance of Copernicanism. A more satisfactory explanation can emerge only when we consider the interlocking of ideas and arguments arising from all three dimensions of his system of thought -- from his scientific, philosophical, and religious views.


THE PROBLEM OF KEPLER'S ACCEPTANCE OF COPERNICANISM

While discussing Kepler's acceptance of the Copernican hypothesis, a number of significant points are worth emphasizing. His commitment was not haphazard but, rather, wholehearted and total. He

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