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To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.
I am aware that a philosopher's ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavour to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God.
For a traveler going from any place toward the north, that pole of the daily rotation gradually climbs higher, while the opposite pole drops down an equal amount.
The massive bulk of the earth does indeed shrink to insignificance in comparison with the size of the heavens.
Therefore, when I considered this carefully, the contempt which I had to fear because of the novelty and apparent absurdity of my view, nearly induced me to abandon utterly the work I had begun.
Not a few other very eminent and scholarly men made the same request, urging that I should no longer through fear refuse to give out my work for the common benefit of students of Mathematics.
Accordingly, since nothing prevents the earth from moving, I suggest that we should now consider also whether several motions suit it, so that it can be regarded as one of the planets. For, it is not the center of all the revolutions.
Those things which I am saying now may be obscure, yet they will be made clearer in their proper place.
I shall now recall to mind that the motion of the heavenly bodies is circular, since the motion appropriate to a sphere is rotation in a circle.
Yet if anyone believes that the earth rotates, surely he will hold that its motion is natural, not violent.
The earth together with its surrounding waters must in fact have such a shape as its shadow reveals, for it eclipses the moon with the arc of a perfect circle.
I can easily conceive, most Holy Father, that as soon as some people learn that in this book which I have written concerning the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, I ascribe certain motions to the Earth, they will cry out at once that I and my theory should be rejected.
Moreover, since the sun remains stationary, whatever appears as a motion of the sun is really due rather to the motion of the earth.
For it is the duty of an astronomer to compose the history of the celestial motions through careful and expert study.Previous 1 2 Next