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Introduction: The Making of Copernicus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the history of the reception of Copernicus from the point of view of a factual affirmation and rejection of the astronomer and his doctrine but rather as accomplishments of transformation respectively. It investigates transformations: methodological, institutional, textual and visual transformations of the Copernican doctrine and the topical, rhetorical and literary transformations of the historical person of Copernicus respectively. Tamás Demeter investigates an inter-discursive transformation of methods in Hume between the astronomical research of Copernicus and the moral philosophy and science of man respectively. While the reception of Copernicus is generally related to the new world model in Scottish enlightenment, Hume refers to Copernicus's achievement as an model for an explanatory reductionism which was to be employed in the search for the principles of human nature and behaviour. Hume's example makes it clear that the Copernican revolution was perceived as a methodological revolution of science.

Keywords: astronomical research; Copernicus; Hume; Tamás Demeter



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