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Copernicus's Mereological Vision of the Universe

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Mereology is the philosophical study of part/whole relations. Copernicus, Mästlin, and Kepler addressed explicitly some of the logical issues in their support of heliocentrism. Their emphasis on harmony and commensurability to evaluate theories as more or less likely fits with their use of part/whole relations to argue for the greater reasonability or probability of heliocentrism. The essay summarizes the logical and metaphysical issues that earlier traditions discussed, and it uses those discussions to illuminate features of heliocentric theories that remain otherwise obscure even in Newton.

Affiliations: 1: Stonehill College, 320 Washington St, North Easton, MA 02357-5620, U.S.A.


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