May 19, 1997

Readings for remainder of week are: Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and the Harmonies of the World, p. 169. Also Holton on Kepler.

Discussion of New Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish

How do the ideas in this work compare to those in Francis Bacon's Novum Organum and Campanella's The City of the Sun?
Could Bacon have written like this? Why not? p141 astronomy

How does the relationship of the visitor to the new land tell us about the author's intentions? p.159 math

Kepler protests that he is not a rash innovator. What would Cavendish have said about that?

How does she handle the problem of Christianity?

How does she use the discipline of science in this story?
How does the Empress respond to science?
How do the underlying assumptions about science function in the story?

In groups:
At the beginning of this course we discussed several issues addressed by the genre of science fiction including: society's response to science and technology, prediction of the future, social commentary. Please break into groups and discuss one of these three issues (make sure that all three issues are discussed).

Group conclusions and discussion questions: Who was Margaret Cavendish? Scott and Virginia? What does she ask the Empress to do for her? What services are volunteered? To save England? Reverse the Duke's fortune, good health, publish Cavendish's plays. p.220, wolfe, p86

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