Johannes Kepler's Universe: Its Physics and Metaphysics
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CitationHolton, Gerald. 1956. Johannes Kepler's Universe: Its Physics and Metaphysics. American Journal of Physics 24, 340. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.1934225
AbstractThough much neglected and misunderstood, Kepler was the first to attempt the detailed construction of a clockwork-like world picture operating on a single physical force law. An analysis of the eventual failure of Kepler's attempt gives us a clue to the central enigma in his writings: His heliocentric conception is a superposition of three aspects—physical, mathematical, and metaphysical. Kepler's free choice among these, which is the source both of his strength and of his apparent inconsistencies, results from his indecision between two different criteria of reality; according to one, the real world is the world of phenomena explainable by mechanical principles, and according to the other it is the world of harmonious regularity which man can discern by virtue of a direct connection existing between his mind and the Deity.
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