Aristotle in the dock: The prologue to Jeronimo Muñoz' Libro del Nuevo Cometa

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Abstract

The epistolary prologue to Jeronimo Muñoz' Libro del nuevo cometa (1573) is the first resolute refutation of the Aristotelian paradigm in Spain. It is primarily a rhetorical procedure: the Valencian astronomer and hebraist makes use of elaborated argumentative and stylistic strategies that create the image of an 'Aristotle in the dock' who, at the end of the discourse, is declared guilty of ignorance with respect to astronomic subjects. In that way, Muñoz creates an argumentative basis for propagating his new cosmology. An analysis of the central passages of this historic refutatio not only reveals the importance of rhetoric in the scientific discourse of the Spanish golden age, but also its central role in the process of a paradigm shift in the scientific world view.

Translated title of the contributionAristotle in the dock: The prologue to Jeronimo Muñoz' Libro del Nuevo Cometa
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalRevista de Historia da Sociedade e da Cultura
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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