Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England: A Study of the English Scientific Writing from 1500 to 1645

Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England: A Study of the English Scientific Writing from 1500 to 1645

Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England: A Study of the English Scientific Writing from 1500 to 1645

Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England: A Study of the English Scientific Writing from 1500 to 1645

Excerpt

The influence of the scientific movement on literature and ideas in the English Renaissance has received the increasing attention of scholars in recent years, yet thus far little has been known at first hand of the scientific writings of that age. Most studies have confined themselves chiefly to the literary and philosophical works when dealing with the century and a half preceding the first gatherings of the group of scientists who later founded the Royal Society. The purpose of this volume, on the other hand, is to survey the English writings on science from about 1500 to the mid-seventeenth century, in order to chart the course of astronomical thought in scientific circles during that significant period of transition from the old cosmology to the new. It will therefore present the results of a first exploration in territory hitherto almost wholly uncharted.

The original design for this study, first begun some six years ago, grew out of the conviction that no trustworthy appraisal of the influence of the scientific movement upon contemporary thought could be made without first understanding thoroughly the spirit and the ideas prevailing among the scientists themselves. Many currents of nonscientific speculation, both metaphysical and religious, were of course involved in the shifting from the old to the new theories of the universe. Yet I believe that students of the Renaissance will grant that the soundest point of departure for an analysis of the progress of the new astronomy should be found in the popular works of those English scientists whom their contemporaries regarded as their most eminent astronomers.

Unfortunately, it is precisely these scientific works which have been least known and most inaccessible to scholars. Consequently, a thorough survey of the once familiar but now forgotten treatises on astronomy and related sciences should make available the material for a more complete understanding of the influence of the new cosmology upon contemporary thought . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.