Alexandre Koyré, Kepler’s Reader Without Prejudices. Harmony of the World, Music of the Heavens



In his La révolution astronomique, published in 1961, Alexandre Koyré for the first time foresaw the important role played by musical interests in Kepler’s cosmological model. Overcoming some widespread prejudices, he built his analysis of the mental paths practiced by the German astronomer on an accurate reading of original sources. In this way he was able to recover important steps in the Scientific Revolution and to enlighten the history of scientific thought. Following in Koyré’s footsteps, I will focus on the finding of Kepler’s third law. This astronomical law for the German astronomer represents in part the successful end of a 23-year-long path and in part the empirical measure of the Harmony of the Spheres. It is a long journey, which committed Kepler for a great part of his life, accompanying him through personal and scientific events. Going forward, I will offer a general picture of the presence and the role of harmonic studies in Kepler’s work, focusing particularly on Kepler’s own translation and commentary to Ptolemy’s Harmonica, set as an appendix to Harmonice mundi, and on the differences between Kepler’s edition and the other ones.


Kepler Harmony of the Spheres Kepler’s third law Astronomical Revolution 



I want to express my gratitude to Fabrizio Castelli, who supported my work.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

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