Cusanus‘s On Learned Ignorance is one of the most fascinating things I’ve read in a long time. Particular points of interest:

  • Book I features a demonstration that an infinite line is also equal to an infinite triangle, circle, and sphere. I’m convinced.
  • Book II outlines a cosmology that is, in its basic principles, identical to Kepler’s — the universe doesn’t have a center, and there are no perfect circles in nature. He derives this stance from theological principles. My jaw may literally have dropped.

I found the introduction in the “Classics of Western Spirituality” edition to be characteristically helpful, and the other shorter pieces they package with it are a good warm-up for On Learned Ignorance.

4 Responses to “Cusanus”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Wasn’t Cusanus the guy who held that God had inconsistent properties? Graham Priest mentions him favorably as one of the few brave souls to deny the law of noncontradiction before Priest did.

  2. Adam Says:

    He is most famous for the notion of coincidentia oppositorum.

  3. “Theos” « An und für sich Says:

    […] etymology is accurate, but Cusanus’ use of it in On Learned Ignorance — wherein he anticipates Kepler’s cosmology — set off a series of associations in my […]

  4. Mike J. Says:

    Kepler discusses his debt to Nicholas at the beginning of the Mystery of the Cosmos.

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