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Kepler’s optics without hypotheses

Kepler’s optics without hypotheses This paper argues that Kepler considered his work in optics as part of natural philosophy and that, consequently, he aimed at change within natural philosophy. Back-to-back with John Schuster’s claim that Descartes’ optics should be considered as a natural philosophical appropriation of innovative results in the tradition of practical and mixed mathematics the central claim of my paper is that Kepler’s theory of optical imagery, developed in his Paralipomena ad Vitellionem (1604), was the result of a move similar to Descartes’ by Kepler. My argument consists of three parts. First, Kepler borrowed a geometrical model and experiment of optical imagery from the mélange of mixed and practical mathematics provided in the works of the sixteenth-century mathematicians Ettore Ausonio and Giovanni Battista Della Porta. Second, Kepler criticized the Aristotelian theory of light and he developed his own alternative metaphysics. Third, Kepler used his natural philosophical assumptions about the nature of light to re-interpret the model of image formation taken from Della Porta’s work. Taken together, I portray Kepler’s theory of optical imagery as a natural philosophical appropriation of an innovative model of image formation developed in a sixteenth-century practical and mixed mathematical tradition which was not interested in questioning philosophical assumptions on the nature of light. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Synthese Springer Journals

Kepler’s optics without hypotheses

Synthese , Volume 185 (3) – Sep 20, 2011

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References (43)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Philosophy; Logic; Epistemology; Metaphysics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Science
ISSN
0039-7857
eISSN
1573-0964
DOI
10.1007/s11229-011-9977-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper argues that Kepler considered his work in optics as part of natural philosophy and that, consequently, he aimed at change within natural philosophy. Back-to-back with John Schuster’s claim that Descartes’ optics should be considered as a natural philosophical appropriation of innovative results in the tradition of practical and mixed mathematics the central claim of my paper is that Kepler’s theory of optical imagery, developed in his Paralipomena ad Vitellionem (1604), was the result of a move similar to Descartes’ by Kepler. My argument consists of three parts. First, Kepler borrowed a geometrical model and experiment of optical imagery from the mélange of mixed and practical mathematics provided in the works of the sixteenth-century mathematicians Ettore Ausonio and Giovanni Battista Della Porta. Second, Kepler criticized the Aristotelian theory of light and he developed his own alternative metaphysics. Third, Kepler used his natural philosophical assumptions about the nature of light to re-interpret the model of image formation taken from Della Porta’s work. Taken together, I portray Kepler’s theory of optical imagery as a natural philosophical appropriation of an innovative model of image formation developed in a sixteenth-century practical and mixed mathematical tradition which was not interested in questioning philosophical assumptions on the nature of light.

Journal

SyntheseSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 20, 2011

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