plato's "design systems that reduce the apparent irregularities in the motions of the planets to regular motions in perfectly re

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Plato's design systems that reduce the apparent irregularities in the motions of the planets to regular motions in perfectly regular cycles Name: Institution Plato's design systems that reduce the apparent irregularities in the motions of the planets to regular motions in perfectly regular circles The history of classical astronomy tends to emphasise the development of mathematical astronomy and the origin of astronomical instrumentation…

Introduction

Plato's later dialogues abound in mathematical allegories. Timaeus begins with a very long one, Statesman contains a short one, the Republic has three, and both Critias and Laws are permeated with them from beginning to end. When Plato died in 347 B.C. his pupils and friends immediately began to argue about these mathematical constructions and about Plato's purpose in using them for models of souls, cities, and the planetary system. By the beginning of the Christian era much of Plato's mathematics had become a riddle. Many rivals clamored for recognition as the “single harmony” Socrates heard from the planets.1 A certain number which he confidently proclaimed “sovereign” in political theory was labelled “numero Platonis obscurius” by Cicero (c. 100 A.D.), with the hearty concurrence of later scholars; an interpretation which Nicomachus promised at about this time was either lost or never written. ...
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