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Title: Kepler's Tübingen : stimulus to a theological mathematics
Author: Methuen, Charlotte
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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Studies of Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) generally treat him as a precursor of the modern scientist; the influences upon him are identified as Platonist or Pythagorean and his theological interests have been ignored, or considered largely as a mystical aberration, unworthy of serious treatment. There has been no serious attempt to place Kepler's work in the wider tradition of mainstream sixteenth-century thought. An investigation of Kepler's intellectual background in the sixteenth century is thus both long overdue and potentially fruitful both for the better understanding of his work and for an appreciation of the origins of Enlightenment thought. This study seeks to portray and analyse the influences and ideas which permeated the life of the university in Tübingen in the second half of the sixteenth century, paying particular attention to the use of theological concepts, astronomical observations, logical demonstrations and the categories of physics, and to the interplay between them. After the Reformation the University of Tübingen became the central training institution for pastors, teachers and administrators in the Duchy of Württemberg. This important role shaped the university and encouraged discussion about the merits of teaching the traditional, Aristotelian, curriculum in a university which was dedicated to imparting Lutheran ideals. The roots of this discussion are found in the work of Philip Melanchthon, an important influence in Tübingen. Melanchthon defends the study of philosophy because it prepares people for an orderly and ethical life. An essential part of this study is astronomy, since in Melanchthon's view the observation of the regular movements of the skies can raise the human mind to God and bring an appreciation of the order which God has intended for the world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available