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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into western development of a scientific model, 27 May 1999
By A Customer
Kuhn masterfully depicts the changes which, not only brought about the Copernican Revolution, but also, more abstractly, links them to prevaling modes of western thought as they differ from eastern models of the universe. Kuhn's attempt succeeds at placing the reader on the road to scientific revelation, not only the Copernican Revolution per se, but the political and religious currents which not only resisted it, but made it necessary. His work traces the early work of Greek astronomers and the problems they dealt with in depicting the motions of the planets and the position of the earth in the universe. He moves into Copernicus' work as a quasi-scientific endeavor synthesizing neo-Platonic forms and astute astronomical observation. This he elucidates fully, by infusing the work of other astronomers, namely Kepler,Galileo and Brahe. On a whole the book is a good example of how attitudes are changed by a revolutionary figure and a radical departure from established "paradigms" of science. Moreover, Kuhn shows us the genre of scientific history which is so important to understanding these types of issues. His book is easy to understand given cursory astronomical background and will prove invaluable in understanding not only the thought of Copernicus himself, but more precisely, the real revolution which it began. It is a must for all history students and would provide interesting topical information for science majors and star-gazers alike. You should come away with the idea that "astronomers" of the past were not as scientific as we would expect them to be, and furthermore, revolutions do not take place in a vacuum but rather are dependent on an atmosphere and necessity for acceptance.
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