Constellations and Conjectures

  • Authors
  • Norwood Russell Hanson
  • Willard C. HumphreysJr.

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 48)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-X
  2. Part I

    1. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 1-1
    2. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 3-3
    3. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 5-6
    4. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 7-31
    5. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 33-39
    6. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 41-60
    7. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 61-88
  3. Part II

    1. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 89-97
    2. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 99-112
    3. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 113-134
    4. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 135-140
  4. Part I

    1. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 141-141
    2. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 143-165
    3. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 166-172
  5. Part II

    1. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 173-199
    2. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 236-249
  6. Part I

    1. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 251-276
    2. Norwood Russell Hanson
      Pages 277-282

About this book

Introduction

An occurrence is explained by being related to prior events through known laws. Other intellectual activities may also constitute explanation - but this much certainly does. Ideally, an explained occurrence (0) could have been predicted in a connected way - by extrapolation from prior events (e) via the same laws (L). Schematically, 1 Explanation: 0 -Lt, 2, 3-(e e e )'-AI t 2 3 01 Prediction: (e e e )I-L , 2, 3_ +.11 t 2 3 t Thus Mars' backward loop in late summer, 1956, is explained by showing how this follows from (e ) its mean distance from sun and earth, (e ) its t 2 mean period of revolution, (e ) its past positions relative to earth, etc. 3 - by way of the laws of Celestial Mechanics (including (Lt) Kepler's Laws and Galileo's, (L2) Newton's, and (L3) those of Laplace and Lagrange. Moreover, this loop (0) could have been predicted from such events (e -e ) via the laws of Celestial Mechanics. t 3 This is an ideal situation. It crystallized late in the history of planetary theory. The Greeks found explanations for heavenly motions: the back­ ward loops were explained to their satisfaction. But they could not predict these motions, not in terms of Attic explanatory cosmologies.

Keywords

Aristotle Medieval Literature Plato astronomy concept

Editors and affiliations

  • Willard C. HumphreysJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Evergreen State CollegeOlympiaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-010-2498-3
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1973
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-2500-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-2498-3
  • About this book