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5 Arguing for One’s World. Copernicus’s Theories and Their Reception in Jean Bodin’s Theatrum

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Chapter Summary

Jean Bodin's rejection of Copernicus's theories in his Theatrum does not only rely on his belief that Copernicus is a threat to Christian dogmas, Bodin also opposes Copernicus's approach. Bodin's world is structured around a Neoplatonic "Chain of Being". The differences between these two world images are therefore not only apparent at the level of facts and statements but are also inseparable from the rhetorical strategies the authors rely on, which are logical syllogism in the case of Copernicus, and topical argumentation in Bodin's work. This chapter examines how these methodological and rhetorical differences become manifest in the texts. In his Topikê, Aristotle distinguishes two possible kinds of syllogisms. He defines logical syllogisms, which are apodictic and rely on first and true sentences that cannot be further deduced. These syllogisms prove that, in a given system, something has to be the way it is by necessity.

Keywords: Aristotle; Christian; Copernicus's theories; Jean Bodin's Theatrum; logical syllogism



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