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Patricius' concepts of space in the Pancosmia against ideas of space in Locke's Essay

Institute of Philosophy; [email protected]
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  • Astronomy
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy


Patricius’ physical and mathematical theories of space brought forward for the first time the concepts of the isotropic, finite and infinite space and the concepts of the geometrical structure of space (point, line, surface, body). Locke’s philosophy of cognition was the first proper demonstration within the scope of the history of science showing that the idea we have of space (time, number, infinity,…), which seems the most remote from its origin (external sensation). The ideas of space and place with their modes were examined according to Book II of the carefully revised fourth original edition with large additions (London, 1700) of An Essay concerning Human Understanding, together with Patricius’ theories of space from the books De Spacio Physico and De Spacio Mathematico. This paper gives an evidence how Locke’s ideas were fruitfully accepted by young Russell in his formulations on space and its homogeneity which are usually used as basic assumptions in the modern cosmological models, leading finally to Patricius’ theory of space as the virtual origin to those assumptions. Therefore, Patricius’ physical and mathematical concepts of space are receiving real attention today through the Copernican-Patricius principle of modern cosmology.

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