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Overview And Commentary Onoresme’S De Visione Stellarum

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Chapter Summary

The De visione Stellarum is divided into two unequal parts that treat the second and third cases; these I have labeled Book I and II. Oresme postulates in Book I that stars and planets could be seen by a direct ray of light without any reflection, refraction or distortion of any kind and, nevertheless, not truly be where they “seem” to be. In Conclusion One, he examines lunar parallax. In Book II, Oresme applies his scholastic and scientific skills to prove his primary thesis and to anticipate objections to it. He uses a sevenpart proof to assert that any star not over the zenith is seen elsewhere than it truly is, because of some form of refraction. In conclusions two and three, Oresme elaborates upon the effects of refraction, describing the directions of refracted rays and the apparent position and size of objects seen by refraction.

Keywords: De Visione Stellarum; Nicole Oresme



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