N° 429
Copernicus in the Cultural Debates of the
Renaissance: Reception, Legacy, Transformation [Part I & II]

This extensive study offers a general overview of the reception of Copernicus’s astronomical and cosmological proposal from the years immediately preceding the publication of his major work, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (Nuremberg, 1543), to the Catholic prohibition of the heliocentric system in 1616. It is a reconstruction of the Renaissance cultural debates that were either provoked by the impact of Copernicus’s work or that conversely reshaped and transformed the meaning of Copernicus’s achievements. Certain aspects of this reception and transformation are treated with particular attention: epistemology, cosmology, space conceptions, natural philosophy, the incipient classical physics, theology and anthropology. The treatment of the different authors, issues and debates is based on an extensive and up-to-date bibliography concerning both the primary sources and the secondary literature.