Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Geocentrism

  • Pietro Daniel OmodeoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_67-1

Abstract

“Geocentrism” refers to a cosmological and planetary theory, in which the Earth occupies the central position of the world system. In antiquity and in the Middle Ages, geocentrism was the most common cosmological view, although some astronomers and philosophical schools embraced alternative visions about worldly order. During the Renaissance, debates following Nicolaus Copernicus’s proposal of a heliocentric planetary theory prompted a reexamination of traditional geocentric (and geostatic) arguments (see “Copernicanism” and “Astronomy”). This also led to their reworking and expansion. Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s arguments were attentively reconsidered. Many scholars deemed them conclusive and therefore stuck to terrestrial centrality even after parallax computation (in the 1580s, especially Tycho Brahe) and telescopic evidence (after 1610, especially Galileo Galilei) demonstrated the impossibility of geocentric paths for Mars and the inferior planets. Geo-heliocentrism thus emerged as the only viable solution. It was a planetary theory according to which all or some of the planets rotate around the Sun, while the Sun remained Earth centered along with the Moon and the fixed stars. The Inquisition prohibition of Copernican astronomy in 1616 gave new impetus to geocentrism, in its geoheliocentric form, among Catholics.

Keywords

Planetary Theory Daily Rotation Stellar Parallax Jesuit College Copernican Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

Primary Literature

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  9. On the reasons for the Jesuit adhesion to geoheliocentrism, see “L’entrée de Tycho Brahe chez les jésuites ou le chant du cygne de Clavius,” in Luce Giard, Les jésuites à la Renaissance: Système éducative et production du savoir (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1995), pp. 145–186.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History of astronomy and philosophyMax Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany