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The Copernican QuestionPrognostication, Skepticism, and Celestial Order$
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Robert Westman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254817

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254817.001.0001

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Kepler's Early Audiences, 1596–1600

Kepler's Early Audiences, 1596–1600

(p.336) 12 Kepler's Early Audiences, 1596–1600
The Copernican Question

Robert S. Westman

University of California Press

Johannes Kepler's early representation of the heavens embodied an unprecedented convergence of elements in the political space of the Tübingen theological orthodoxy. The Mysterium Cosmographicum aimed for a rigorous justification of the loose aesthetic standard that Nicolaus Copernicus had used to warrant a strong sense of world system, one that involved an interdependency of elements. Kepler was as yet uncertain how to construct the physics (or metaphysics) of a Copernican astrology. But he had managed to join a somewhat robust, even if idiosyncratic, physics to the Copernican astronomical premises that pushed not only the planets but also the limits of what Michael Maestlin, Kepler's strongest advocate, regarded as the domain of the thinkable. Three central participants from the world systems controversy of the 1580s were immediately attracted to the Mysterium Cosmographicum: Helisaeus Roeslin, Tycho Brahe, and Nicolaus Raimarus Ursus. All had a publicly vested interest in their own representations of celestial order. Three others were established professors of mathematics whose convictions were held privately and without any effort at public advocacy: Georg Limnaeus, Johannes Praetorius, and Galileo Galilei.

Keywords:   Johannes Kepler, Tübingen, Mysterium Cosmographicum, astrology, Nicolaus Copernicus, Michael Maestlin, celestial order, Georg Limnaeus, Johannes Praetorius, Galileo Galilei

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