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Copernicus’s Mereological Vision Of The Universe

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the arguments of Nicholas Copernicus, Michael Mästlin, and Johannes Kepler that rely upon dialectical topics involving mereology or part/whole relations. It focuses on dialectical topics, specifically on the topics from an integral whole and from an integral part. The term "dialectic" has many connotations. In the middle Ages it was often used interchangeably with "logic". Many dialectical topics have counterparts among the rhetorical topics. Aristotle himself saw rhetoric as the counterpart of dialectic-rhetoric aims specifically at persuasion while dialectic provides the strictly logical arguments. Dialectical method leads the scientist to the principles that are appropriate for the object of the science in question. If the principles hold universally and necessarily, then the system is strictly deductive, corresponding to what is meant by scientific demonstration. Copernicus's mereological vision of the universe refers to an intuition about the universe as a composite or integral whole.

Keywords: Aristotle; dialectical topics; Johannes Kepler; mereological vision; Michael Mästlin; Nicholas Copernicus; universe



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