Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | September 25, 2015

    Caitlin Doughty: IMG Caitlin Doughty's Playlist for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

    The soundtrack perfectly suited to facing your own mortality. ("My Way," "Wind beneath My Wings," and other popular funeral songs need not apply.)... Continue »
    1. $11.17 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse Astronomy- General

This title in other editions

The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought


The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For scientist and layman alike this book provides vivid evidence that the Copernican Revolution has by no means lost its significance today. Few episodes in the development of scientific theory show so clearly how the solution to a highly technical problem can alter our basic thought processes and attitudes. Understanding the processes which underlay the Revolution gives us a perspective, in this scientific age, from which to evaluate our own beliefs more intelligently. With a constant keen awareness of the inseparable mixture of its technical, philosophical, and humanistic elements, Thomas S. Kuhn displays the full scope of the Copernican Revolution as simultaneously an episode in the internal development of astronomy, a critical turning point in the evolution of scientific thought, and a crisis in Western man's concept of his relation to the universe and to God. The book begins with a description of the first scientific cosmology developed by the Greeks. Mr. Kuhn thus prepares the way for a continuing analysis of the relation between theory and observation and belief. He describes the many functions--astronomical, scientific, and nonscientific--of the Greek concept of the universe, concentrating especially on the religious implications. He then treats the intellectual, social, and economic developments which nurtured Copernicus' break with traditional astronomy. Although many of these developments, including scholastic criticism of Aristotle's theory of motion and the Renaissance revival of Neoplatonism, lie entirely outside of astronomy, they increased the flexibility of the astronomer's imagination. That new flexibility is apparent in the work of Copernicus, whose De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) is discussed in detail both for its own significance and as a representative scientific innovation. With a final analysis of Copernicus' life work--its reception and its contribution to a new scientific concept of the universe--Mr. Kuhn illuminates both the researches that finally made the heliocentric arrangement work, and the achievements in physics and metaphysics that made the planetary earth an integral part of Newtonian science. These are the developments that once again provided man with a coherent and self-consistent conception of the universe and of his own place in it. This is a book for any reader interested in the evolution of ideas and, in particular, in the curious interplay of hypothesis and experiment which is the essence of modern science. Says James Bryant Conant in his Foreword: "Professor Kuhn's handling of the subject merits attention, for...he points the way to the road which must be followed if science is to be assimilated into the culture of our times."

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by James Bryant Conant
  • 1. The Ancient Two-Sphere Universe
  • 2. The Problem of the Planets
  • 3. The Two-Sphere Universe in Aristotelian Thought
  • 4. Recasting the Tradition. Aristotle to the Copernicans
  • 5. Copernicus’ Innovation
  • 6. The Assimilation of Copernican Astronomy
  • 7. The New Universe
  • Technical Appendix
  • References
  • Bibliographical
  • Notes
  • Index

Product Details

Kuhn, Thomas S.
Harvard University Press
Kuhn, Thomas S.
Cambridge, Mass. :
General science
Astronomy - Solar System
Copernicus, nicolaus, 1473-1543
Copernicus, Nicolaus
Science -- History.
Astronomy - General
Edition Number:
Corr. ed..
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
January 1992
Grade Level:
56 line illustrations
8 x 6 in 10 oz

Other books you might like

  1. The Construction of Modern Science:... Used Trade Paper $30.50
  2. The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's... Used Trade Paper $11.00
  3. The mismeasure of man Used Trade Paper $5.95
  4. The Edge of Objectivity: An Essay in... Used Trade Paper $5.50
  5. Science and human values Used Mass Market $2.95
  6. Reading the Book of Nature: An... Used Trade Paper $6.50

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Transportation » Railroads » General

The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$36.75 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674171039 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at