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From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe

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... Dick 1980, 1, 8-14, 22-27 ja passim; Dick 1982, 176-190; Henry 2002, 95-97, 126;Koyré 1979, ...
... 105 Kepler: Opera II, 501. 106Koyré 1979, 58, 61-64, 72-76, 86-87 ja 58-87 passim. 107 Holton 1988 ...
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[Conceptions of Similarity of the Heavenly Bodies to the Earth and of Extraterrestrial Life in European Natural Philosophy during the First Half of the Seventeenth Century. Master's Thesis in General History. Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. 2003.] https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/13055 The 17th century was a period of revolutionary development, as far as the natural sciences and scientific world view are concerned. This was especially the case in astronomy, where the Copernican, or heliocentric, theory gradually began to gain more supporters. Many of its proponents thought that, in contrast to the prevailing world view, there was no longer any reason to argue that the Earth differs from other celestial bodies. The majority of those who supported traditional cosmology felt the position of man at the top of creation to be threatened by the placement of the Earth among the planets, instead of the centre of the universe. Thus, this was not just a theoretical disagreement, but a fundamental contradiction in world view. The idea of the Earth-likeness of the celestial bodies is usually followed by the question of extraterrestrial life. Indeed, several natural philosophers were intensively considering the matter, especially after the telescope had been introduced as an astronomical observation tool in 1609. This thesis explores mainly astronomical literature published in different European countries between 1596 and 1659, as well as some unpublished drawings of the Moon. The aim of the study is to examine the views of natural philosophers on the plurality of the worlds, namely the existence of many worlds similar to the Earth, and to refine the image of the scientific debate on the subject created by historical research to date. The approach followed in this thesis can be defined as the history of ideas and concepts in the cosmological world view. From the sources studied it becomes clear that the question of Earth-likeness of the celestial bodies, and even the possibility of life on them, arose permanently on par with other scientific problems as early as the 1610s, even though the methods of the time did not provide satisfactory means to resolve the question. In the early stages, the subject was only discussed in passing, but gradually its weight seems to have increased. Those who welcomed the plurality of worlds also supported heliocentric cosmology, but not necessarily the other way around. The writers' attention was chiefly directed to our nearest celestial body, the Moon. Texts describing the Moon's surface and its mapping, i.e. selenographical sources, tell a great deal about the perceptions of their authors. The sources of this study are divided into two groups: first, planetography, which emphasizes visual observation of the heavenly bodies; and second, speculative texts, where the question is approached mostly by means of reasoning. In addition to astronomical sightings, the most important arguments used in the works are Earth analogies, teleology, the tenets of Christianity, and appealing to previous writings. The preconceptions of natural philosophers played a decisive role in their interpretation of visual perceptions.
... Aus Sicht Lacans bedeutet dies offenbar, dass das mit Kopernikus assoziierte heliozentrische Weltbild nur scheinbar eine Revolution darstellt und auch nicht das ist, was Freud als eine der drei historischen Kränkungen der menschlichen Eigenliebe bezeichnet (Jacques Lacan 1988a, 23-24;2013, 23;Sigmund Freud 2000a, 283-284). Lacan be ruft sich hier auf den Philosophie-und Wissenschaftshistoriker Alexandre Koyré (1957), der davon ausgeht, dass das mathematische Verständnis der modernen Galilei'schen Wissenschaft die mittelalterliche Vorstellung eines wohlgeordneten, hierarchisch organisierten und geschlossenen Kosmos ablöste (vgl. Elisabeth Roudinesco 2011, 94;Jacques Lacan 2015g, 402). ...
... Dass Newton einen "Zipfel" entdeckt hat, scheint einerseits darauf hinzuweisen, dass er letztlich hinter dem zurückbleibt, was Lacan als revolutionär erachtet, und andererseits erinnert es daran, dass man vom Realen keine vollständige Kenntnis erlangen kann. 59 Lacan, der von den Überlegungen des Philosophie-und Wissenschaftshistorikers Alexandre Koyré (1957) beeinflusst ist, deutet an, dass die mathematische Physik ein Weltbild in Frage stellt, welches zu sehr an der Idee eines wohlgeordneten, bedeutungsvollen Kosmos festhält. Er beruft sich stattdessen auf einen mit der mathematischen Physik möglich gewordenen "Weg der kleinen Gleichungen" (Jacques Lacan 2006b, 83), auch mit dem Hinweis, dass es keine Formel für das Geschlechtsverhältnis geben kann. ...
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Anthropocentrism and the fact that some animals are just considered a means to an end while others are loved are often subject to criticism in animal ethics. Drawing on the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan, the author examines how the apparent ambivalence in human–animal relationships is based on different forms of enjoyment. Referring to the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary, which according to Lacan define human reality, the author shows how enjoyment and its limits shape, for example, how we think about pets, farm animals or wild animals. This alternative perspective will contribute to a better understanding of the challenges in human–animal relationships.
... There are countless studies on the history of the concept of space (see, for instance, the following monographs on the general characteristics [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]). This notwithstanding, here, I attempt to offer a new contribution. ...
... Generally it is sustained, see for instance [15,16] (Introduction), that at the beginning mathematicians focused their attention on figures, rather than to the ambient space; thus, theirs was a geometry of figures; only later was space considered explicitly as an independent concept. Alexandre Koyré in his famous text From the closed world to the infinite universe of 1957 [7] attributes an important role to Euclidean geometry in forming the idea of infinite space, and he seems quite convincing. Edward Grant, on the other hand, argues that in no case did the discussions on the nature of space and its finiteness refer to Euclidean geometry, from Archytas of Tarentum to Pierre Gassendi [2] (p. ...
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The concept of space, ubiquitous among all humans from birth, has changed profoundly in the course of the history of Western civilization, the only one to be considered here. An important contribution to this change was the theoretical elaborations of the philosophers of nature and mathematicians, started in Ancient Greece. Here, the process is considered up to Newton, when the concept of space for physicists, who then replaced the traditional philosophers of nature, took on a connotation that remained substantially undisputed for two centuries—that of absolute space.
... On the path that leads from this break in Hellenism caused by imperial logic to the universalization of compassion, four stages have been historically decisive: 1) the emergence of Christianity, and especially the intellectual influence of St. Paul; 2) the humanism of the Renaissance, where the value of "human dignity" is recognized; 3) the revolution in the physical sciences, which substitutes, according to the remarkable formula of Alexandre Koyré (Koyré 1968), the "infinite universe for the closed world"; 4) the philosophy of the Enlightenment, which finally enshrines the brotherhood of men through their presumed equality (Audi 2008: 185-202). ...
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The Anthropocene refers to the geological era in which man - anthropos - has become a geophysical force transforming the biosphere. This period is marked by a lack of compassion and understanding of our environments - a total detachment from our biospheric reality. If care is everything we do to repair and maintain this world, what does this process entail in the Anthropocene? This paper addresses the importance of taking care seriously. We look at care in the Anthropocene and its interconnections with the notions of vulnerability and compassion from both a philosophical and anthropological perspective.
... The tradition of seven rulers of time, seven planetary metals, seven colors has its roots already in Babylonian times (Almarantis 2005) and come to the European tradition in the astronomy (Ptolemaic system of celestial spheres), in the Christianity (e.g. seven epoches in Revelation of St. John), or the hermetic tradition as a pre-stage to modern science (Yates 1964, Koyré 1968, Robert, McGuire Westman 1977. ...
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The article focuses on a statistical analysis of the colour changes in European national flags over the years 1900-2020. The state flag has become the primary distinguishing symbol for all independent states in an international environment. Colours on European flags during the 20th century underwent several changes in the context of historical development. The author examines colours as an expression of collective emotion. The changes of colour occurrence are monitoring by using statistical methods as the linear regression and frequency analysis. The paper focuses on the dynamics of colour changes, according to the percentage of occurrence of all existing national flags, which were officially approved by the national parliaments. Research found, that only the primary seven colours accompany the modern European flag history (i.e. red, black, white, blue, green, orange and yellow). The colours on state flags refer to the long-term trends of the collective emotions (as universal emotions of P. Ekman, or moral emotions of J. Haidt). Methodo-logically, the author is inspired by current approaches of generative social sciences, cliodynamics or color psychology (especially theory of colors by Johann Wolfgang Goethe).
... His doctrine of ideas or eternal forms of reality was conceived with this very intention. In Timaeus, one of Plato's latest works, the Greek philosopher, who had previously apparently rejected the idea of investigating the physical world, much more imperfect than the ideal world of eternal forms, proposed a method of inquiry, involving mathematics, which is supposed to be one of the bases for modern physical science (Koyré, 1968). ...
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Western philosophy has always stressed the importance of understanding the very nature of the universe and the relationship between humanity and the cosmos. Nowadays, astrobiology is used to shed light on that issue through a set of empirical data. Also, the Fermi paradox and the Rare Earth hypothesis could offer a suitable ground to properly interpret the proofs emerging from space exploration and direct and indirect observations from astronomers, that is, “we are likely the only intelligent species within the universe.” From this, we can say that maybe we are confronted with a cosmic bet. We should better wager on our cosmic importance as a species, otherwise the loss could be immense: the disappearance of the only species through which the universe enabled itself to understand its own secrets and cosmic treasures.
... Regarding the relationship between capitalism and the "infinite" nature of economy, Emanuel Wallerstein, an American sociologist, argues that modern capitalism can be defined as a system which presupposes an infinite increase in capital(Wallerstein, 2004).2 In the context of science, AlexandreKoyre (1968), a prominent historian of science in the 20th century, discussed that the fundamental transformation of worldviews from the closed and finite system of meanings and order to the infinite universe took place in the rise of modern science. ...
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A wide range of research across academic disciplines including brain sciences, psychology and social sciences are paying attention to the cooperative or altruistic aspects of human behavior or human beings. This can be regarded as an essential departure from the basic paradigm of modern science or the modern model about human beings, which characterizes them as independent or atomistic individuals maximizing self-interests. While there may be a myriad of factors behind such a shift, attention can be focused on one socio-economic factor: the state of a society as determined by the “finite” versus “infinite” character of the total volume of resources and environment. This perspective is explored in this article through theoretical and historical viewpoints and future directions for the “reintegration of economy and ethics” in the post-growth society are presented.
... One might, indeed, compare Leonardo's Vitruvian emblem with its near contemporary, Albrecht Dürer's Melencolia (1514), where the two images relate to the 'closed world' of both the European pre-Christian era and that of the medieval Church Fathers, distinct from the 'infinite universe' that was to come (Koyré 1957). The different pathos of experience evoked in these two European icons retain their fascination -even in a world of nuclear energy, of the Internet, of climate change, and of all that is now critically conceived of as 'the Anthropocene'because they are haunted by what is already broken (cosmically and temporally) in and for a European imaginary; at least, in so far as this imaginary still speaks Greek (Danowski and Viveiros de Castro 2017: 112). ...
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Adopting the term from the work of French-Algerian artist, Kader Attia, this essay reflects on what ‘repair’ offers for a reading of decolonising practices of knowledge, addressing the cosmological besides the historical. In contrast to the ‘modern Western’ expectation of the work of repair, in which a break or wound is rendered invisible, Attia advocates the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of kintsugi, in which repair is even highlighted with gold dust – an illumination of fracture that foregrounds an object’s transformation through the visible simultaneity of both the damage and its repair. Repair, here, is a thought-image of and for an anti-essentialism, challenging a cultural politics of ‘identity’ in which claims of and for an ‘original’ status that has been lost could be (ideally) redeemed or restored. The following discussion explores the resonances of this conception within an iconology of decolonialism, where the conceptual potential of repair connects with a cultural politics of what one might call ‘demodernism’ – addressing a correspondence, rather than simply a break, between pre- and post- in the historical self-definition of the ‘modern’.
... upšarrūtu represented and interpreted reality for the cuneiform scholars? Of course, that question makes no sense for a scientific realist, exactly the position the contextualists and 9 There are other formulations, and van Fraassen takes account of many of them in the book from which this definition was quoted (van Fraassen 1980 The restoration of scientific ideas to a place of significance in accordance with the contextualist method of Thomas Kuhn (1962), Quentin Skinner (1969), and Alexandre Koyré (1957) before them, was a crucial step in the critique of ahistorical claims to a universal representational goal of scientific epistemology. Scientific ideas in historical context often fly in the face of realist aspirations for science to reveal knowledge of the true way of nature. ...
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Over the course of many centuries, cuneiform scribe-scholars produced a textual culture of learning that organized knowledge of the phenomenal world as defined by their particular interests. The ancient term for this culture was ṭupšarrūtu “the art of the scribe.” That we grant this culture the designation scientific is not without problems from the perspectives both of modern philosophy of science and of conventional historiography of science. This essay reflects on the anachronisms entailed in transposing such ideas about science to the premodern cuneiform world and the consequences these ideas have on a historiography of science inclusive of cuneiform scientific texts.
... Additive and linear models are now supplemented by non-additive, dynamic and non-linear ones. The ontological idea of a closed universe, an idea which came out of the Middle Ages, and which still characterized Hegel's thought, became replaced, as Koyré (1965Koyré ( , 1968 notes, by the conception of an open universe characterized by infinite possibilities, uncertainty, and chance. ...
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This is the first collection focusing on knowledge socialism, a particularly apt term used to describe a Chinese socialist mode of production and socialist approach to development and modernity based around the rise of peer production, new forms of collaboration and collective intelligence. Making the case for knowledge socialism, the book is intended for students, teacher, scholars and policy theorists in the field of knowledge economy.
... It is worth mentioning, but not elaborating, that both Koyré and Kojève had Cosmist roots: the former, who is generally known for his explanation of the seventeenth century Scientific Revolution in terms of the shift 'from the closed world to the infinite universe' (Koyré 1957), published the first French book on so-called 'Slavophile' philosophy in 1950, while the latter did his PhD in Heidelberg under Karl Jaspers on Vladimir Solovyov, the Cosmist philosopher who introduced Hegel to Russia. We see already in the thought of the original Cosmist, Nikolai Federov (1829-1903, but then developed by his latter day follower, Vasily Kuprevich (generally known as the founder of Soviet gerontology), a much more explicit version of Dobzhansky's view about the collective benefit of individual deaths for humanity's cosmic advancement. ...
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P> Nietzschean Meditations takes its inspiration from the version of Nietzsche that was popular before the Second World War, which stressed the ‘Zarathustrian’ elements of his thought as the harbinger of a new sort of being – the Übermensch . The book updates the image of this creature to present a version of ‘transhumanism’ that breaks with the more precautionary and pessimistic approaches of humanity’s future in contemporary ‘posthumanist’ thought. Fuller follows Nietzsche in discussing deeply and frankly the challenging issues that aspiring transhumanists face. They include their philosophical and especially theological roots, the implications of transhumanism for matters of life and death, and whether any traces of classical humanity will remain in the ‘transhuman’ being.</P
... The transition from a closed world to an infinite universe (Koyré 1957) was not easy for Medieval and Renaissance cosmologists, nor did it happen in a single leap, nor did it happen in a gradualistic evolutionary straight line. Rather, it advanced on many fronts as multiple working hypotheses (Chamberlain 1890) were offered competitively to escape the limits of earlier theories. ...
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There is a contradiction between the fact that societal endogamy characterizes most models of Australian Aboriginal systems of descent, marriage and kinship, while societal exogamy, which is freely acknowledged by most observers, widely reported in the ethnographic literature and necessary for Aboriginal survival, is commonly missing from those models. In a field characterized by the modeling of formal relational systems of enormous complexity within societies, surely it is remarkable that representations and analyses of comparable complexity rarely address relations between and among Aboriginal Nations and their constituent societies. The tradition of building endogamous, generationally closed cognitive models of exogamous, behaviorally open societies is valuable for some purposes but is lacking in realism. Drawing on research in demography, genetics, kinship, historical linguistics, ecology and archaeology, I advocate moving beyond cognition and dealing with the facts of life as well.
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DescartesDescartes, R.’ philosophy is one of the most studied and debated subject in the whole history of philosophy because of the innovative character of his metaphysics and theory of knowledge.
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This paper traces the evolution of Philippa Foot’s way of thinking about moral issues, going beyond her particular opinions and philosophical positions to examine her methodology. Guided by a continuous struggle against the limits of what moral philosophy sees as a legitimate statement, her work is much more coherent than the author herself seems to have thought.Philippa Foot looked for a natural raison d’être to morality – one that would ensure its reality – without always being sure what “natural” means. Her work evolved around this theme across three distinct periods. To begin, she was simply a realist. Then, she drew close to David Hume and his refusal to give a definitive and universal foundation for morality. Finally, she ended her philosophical work by adopting Neo-Aristotelianism. Her contribution to moral philosophy was twofold. Her first philosophical stances were made in dialogue with expressivism to advance a metaethics. She later moved on to practical ethics, or rather a general reflection on the variety of normativities engaged in difficult life decisions. While sympathetic to this struggle, the present text will not simply follow all the choices made by Foot. It may indeed be the case that contemporary moral philosophy cannot, and should not, propose such wide-ranging conceptions. Working on the grammar of morality means working on its conceptual errors, its flawed definitions, and its unacknowledged presuppositions rather than providing a general anthropology, which requires a different methodology. Moral philosophy as grammar should probably concentrate the critical work. The practical consequence of this effort leads to elucidating the decisions made on a case-by-case basis as much as possible.
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The first edition of Newton's Principia contains only two additional comments on the methodology: the notification that the purpose of the paper is to explain "how to determine the true motions from their causes, effects, and apparent differences, and, conversely, how to determine from motions, whether true or apparent, their causes and effects"; and, in the Scholium at the end of Book 1, Section 11, Newton asserts that his distinctive approach makes possible a safer argumentation in natural philosophy.
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Kant’s absolute, the Categorical Imperative, commands acting only on universalizable reasons, reasons everyone can act on without entailing self-contradiction or collective self-destruction. He argues it is reason that demands universalizability and makes us free-willed, but only somewhere beyond space and time. For to solve the big problem of his age, how knowledge is possible, he argued we can know nature only if we apply to it the category of causality. If we don’t act on universalizable reasons we are causally determined, hence not responsible for immoral actions. Kant bit this bullet to save a system that provided meaning in life. His interest in finding meaning appears in his naturalistic interest in teleology. The Categorical Imperative proves to be metaphysical rather than moral and might be backed by a naturalistic teleology of history and nature.
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