Kepler's "War on Mars" and the usurpation of seventeenth-century astronomy

Dorsey, William Anthony Robert (2012) Kepler's "War on Mars" and the usurpation of seventeenth-century astronomy. Professional Doctorate (Research) thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This paper presents an interpretation of how Johannes Kepler changed the history and development of astronomy. It is proposed that in his metaphorical "War with Mars", the Astronomia nova, Kepler used a revolutionary rhetoric to wage a "War on Mars" to bring about the usurpation of seventeenth-century astronomy. Kepler rhetorically redefined the axiomatic structure of the traditional astronomical framework and summarily replaced it with his own new discoveries, thereby affecting how we study astronomy. Kepler proposed a new conceptual framework based upon a new approach and methodology that was an obvious deviation and involved an intensive and extraordinary interplay between quantitative observation and theoretical construction, and between tradition and innovation. Here we examine how Kepler treated traditional astronomy with the use of rhetoric to usurp the entire well-established conceptual framework within which the hypotheses of Claudius Ptolemy, Nicolas Copernicus and Tycho Brahe functioned. We examine the principles, methods and subject matters that make up the elemental structure and character of Kepler's new conceptual framework. We reveal that Kepler sought comprehensive physical principles that could determine the true form of the entire known Universe. This thesis suggests that although Kepler may have believed in and defended some Copernican ideas for a heliocentric system, the innovations in his 'new astronomy' opened up a whole new vista.

Item ID: 29931
Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate (Research))
Keywords: medieval science, rhetoric, rhetor, usurpatory rhetoric, philosophical rhetoric, philosophic rhetor, dialectics, rhetoric of science, metaphor, allegory, analogy, argument by analogy, deduction, ethos, logos, pathos
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2013 05:43
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020199 Astronomical and Space Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220206 History and Philosophy of Science (incl Non-historical Philosophy of Science) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 100%
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