Three Astronomers Philosophize: Ptolemy, Kepler, and Rees


Location: Jordan Hall, Digital Visualization Theater

Liba Taub, director and curator, Whipple Museum of the History of Science; professor of history and philosophy of science, University of Cambridge

Biology, physics, and mathematics have well-developed philosophical literatures, but there is little in the way of a “philosophy of astronomy.” Taub will explore the ideas of Claudius Ptolemy, Johannes Kepler, and Martin Rees (the current Astronomer Royal of Great Britain) with a view to understanding whether and why they have philosophized about astronomy.

The lecture will be followed by a presentation, “Visualizing Kepler’s Cosmos,” prepared by Notre Dame’s Katherine Brading and Matthew Meixner, which will be an excursion through Kepler’s model of the universe using the capabilities of the Jordan Hall of Science Digital Visualization Theater.

This evening is the opening event of the Tenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop.

Support for the conference is provided by the graduate program in the history and philosophy of science, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts in the College of Arts and Letters, and the Adler Planetarium.

Contact Matt Dowd at for more information.