Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant
This is a fascinating history of the debate over the question of extraterrestrial life from Classical Greece to the mid-eighteenth century. Using many primary and secondary sources never examined in this context, the book analyses why such great thinkers as Aristotle, Aquinas, Ockham, Galileo, Kepler, Huygens, and Kant thought the debate over the plurality of worlds a subject for serious discussion. The author shows how conflicting arguments from science, philosophy, and theology gradually converged to the same opinion - that intelligent life must fill the universe.
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Aquinas argued arguments Aristotelian Aristotle Aristotle's assertion astronomer atomist belief Bentley Borel caelo Campanella Cartesian celestial bodies Celestial Worlds Discover'd Christiaan Huygens commentary concept conclusion Copernican theory Copernicus cosmogony cosmology cosmos Cosmotheoros creatures Cusa debate Democritus demonstrate denied Derham Descartes Descartes's discussion Divine doctrine Earth Earthlike edition Epicurus existence extraterrestrial fixed stars Fontenelle Fontenelle's Galileo Gassendi Giordano Bruno God's habitability heavens heliocentric Huygens Huygens's Ibid idea infinite number infinite universe infinite worlds Kant Kepler kosmoi Latin laws London Lucretius lunar atmosphere lunar habitability lunar inhabitants Maestlin matter Mersenne metaphysical moon motion natural philosophy natural place natural theology Newton Newtonian number of worlds observation Ockham omnipotence opinion original Paris phenomena physical planets plenitude plurality of worlds Plutarch principles question reason role scientific Scripture seventeenth century similar single world solar systems Somnium space telescope things tion trans treatise vortex vortices Wilkins worlds tradition Wright