Space, Imagination and the Cosmos from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period

  • Frederik A. Bakker
  • Delphine Bellis
  • Carla Rita Palmerino

Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 48)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Frederik A. Bakker, Delphine Bellis, Carla Rita Palmerino
    Pages 1-9
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 285-291

About this book


This volume provides a much needed, historically accurate narrative of the development of theories of space up to the beginning of the eighteenth century. It studies conceptions of space that were implicitly or explicitly entailed by ancient, medieval and early modern representations of the cosmos. The authors reassess Alexandre Koyré’s groundbreaking work From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (1957) and they trace the permanence of arguments to be found throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. By adopting a long timescale, this book sheds new light on the continuity between various cosmological representations and their impact on the ontology and epistemology of space.

Readers may explore the work of a variety of authors including Aristotle, Epicurus, Henry of Ghent, John Duns Scotus, John Wyclif, Peter Auriol, Nicholas Bonet, Francisco Suárez, Francesco Patrizi, Giordano Bruno, Libert Froidmont, Marin Mersenne, Pierre Gassendi, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Samuel Clarke. We see how reflections on space, imagination and the cosmos were the product of a plurality of philosophical traditions that found themselves confronted with, and enriched by, various scientific and theological challenges which induced multiple conceptual adaptations and innovations.

This volume is a useful resource for historians of philosophy, those with an interest in the history of science, and particularly those seeking to understand the historical background of the philosophy of space.


Theories of space Cosmology Thought experiments Void space Motion Therory of Place Epicurus Postulating Infinite Space Space and Metaspace Theory of Topos Space in a Finite Cosmos Pythagorean Conceptions of Space Angelological Shift Mathematical and Metaphysical Space Developments in Cosmology Giordano Bruno Libert Froidmont Mersenne’s Harmonious Universe Conceptions of Space and the Cosmos Gassendi

Editors and affiliations

  • Frederik A. Bakker
    • 1
  • Delphine Bellis
    • 2
  • Carla Rita Palmerino
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for the History of Philosophy and ScienceRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyPaul Valéry UniversityMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Center for the History of Philosophy and ScienceRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information