Title

On Philolaus’ Astronomy

Keywords

Philolaus Astronomy, Eclipse theory, Crepuscular eclipses

Abstract

In Philolaus’ cosmology, the earth revolves around a central fire along with the other heavenly bodies, including a planet called the counter-earth which orbits below the earth. His theory can account for most astronomical phenomena. A common criticism of his theory since ancient times is that his counter-earth does no work in the system. Yet ancient sources say the planet was supposed to account for some lunar eclipses. A reconstruction of Philolaus’ cosmology shows how lunar eclipses occurring at certain times of day cannot be explained by earth blocking the sun’s light. The counter-earth could explain these eclipses.

Original Publication Citation

“Philolaus on Astronomy.” Archive for History of Exact Sciences 69 (2015): 217-230.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2014-10-30

Publisher

Archive for History of Exact Sciences

Language

English

College

Humanities

Department

Philosophy

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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