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Publication Details

Elements of New Science and New Method in Copernicus’s Work

(Original title: Prvky novej vedy a novej metódy v Koperníkovom diele)
Filozofia, 28 (1973), 3, 207-221.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
Starting from the generally acknowledged Weltanschauung importance of Copernicus’s work the author tries to apprehend the sources and causes of this importance in the very work of the great astronomer. He holds the opinion that the deepest presuppositions of the far-reaching effect of Copernicus’s work even out of the sphere of science lie in the qualities of this work. Most of the innovatory thoughts urged by the idea of heliocentrism are contained in Copernicus’s works only implicite, often in a misty, rudimentary form. Through the development of the Copernican, i. e. New Age astronomy of physics and science in general, these innovatory ideas have been made precise and have received also a thorough explicit expression. The author pays a great attention to Copernicus’s contribution to the method of science, especially to his new understanding of phenomenalism of mathematic astronomy that can no longer be understood as an attempt at a „pure description“ or a mere mathematic harmony or elegance (i. e. primarily aesthetically). The heliocentric standpoint had demanded also corresponding innovations in method that with Copernicus got to the threshold of the demand of searching the law (the law of expressing the phenomenon). This is closely connected with the fact that the heliocentric system made Copernicus leave the purely cinematic standpoint. Copernicus disproving the arguments of Aristotelian-scholastic physics (the positions of which, according to his own conviction, he had been holding) anticipated, or even implicite expressed some of the basic principles of modern physics which exceed as far as to dynamics. The transition from mathematic astronomy to the beginnings of modern physics, however unwanted, and from geocentric phenomenalism to heliocentric phenomenalism, is the first great step towards the change of the notion of science straight on the ground of science. In this, too, the secret of the scientific, Weltanschauung seminality and, in general, of the cultural seminality of Copernicus’s work consists.
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