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Aristotle through Newton When comparing the views presented by both Aristotle and Copernicus one must consider the circumstances under which these men lived to understand the differences The most obvious of these is the time in history Aristotle came almost 2000 years earlier in the astronomy field While Copernicus had set out to glorify the great religion of his time Aristotles views came 200 years before Christ was even born Although the book gives the impression nothing of significance in astronomy happened in the time between Aristotle and Copernicus professional astronomy was a developing institution during that time For nearly 2000 years astronomers had been tracking and organizing and refining the prevailing thoughts in astronomy so that Copernicus could look at them and make his judgment This touches on perhaps the largest difference between Copernicus and Aristotle while Aristotle was a pioneer in his field and was bringing a whole new theory about to explain the world to the people Copernicus was merely evaluating and analyzing other peoples theories In fact some would say there is no such thing as the Copernican theory but merely a theory Copernicus believed The major point where Copernicus disagreed with Aristotelian theorythat the Sun was the center of the universewas taken from the Greeks Even after deviating from the Aristotelian view Copernicus did not question any of the other elements such as celestial spheres and divine circular motion While Aristotle and his views revolutionized the thinking of mankind for nearly 2000 years Copernicus was so timid he did not even publish his works until the year of his death Finally while the Aristotelian theory was embraced by religious leaders due to its convenient synergy with religious doctrines the Copernican theory was denounced often without even prior reading by nearly every major religious leader But Copernicus did not merely select one of two competing theories He was showing signs ahead of his time of the scientific theory To question something
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