AAS 197, January 2001
Session 103. The Great Copernican Cliché
Joint Invited, Thursday, January 11, 2001, 8:30-9:20am, Golden Ballroom

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[103.01] The Great Copernican Cliché

D. R. Danielson (University of British Columbia)

Almost all the school science texts say what Britain's Astronomer Royal also recently reasserted: ``Copernicus dethroned the Earth from the privileged position that Ptolemy's cosmology accorded it." This non-scientific equation of geocentrism with anthropocentrism does an injustice to medieval cosmology, obscures some genuinely anthropocentric aspects of Copernican theory, and impedes a critical evaluation of what modern cosmology does and does not actually impy concerning the ``place" of humankind in the cosmos. By means of a cheerful but serious guided tour of Aristotelian cosmological physics and of Copernican enthusiasm at humankind's *exaltation* to the dance of the stars--with brief visits to Chalcidius, Martianus Capella, Moses Maimonides, and the poet Dante, as well as to Copernicus himself, Digges, Galileo, Kepler, le Bouvier de Fontenelle, and Huygens--this lecture will dismantle the Great Copernican Cliché and show how much richer our account of Copernicanism can be without it.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.english.ubc.ca/~ddaniels. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: danielso@interchange.ubc.ca

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