Bruno challenged all dogmatism, including that of the church-sanctioned Aristotelian physics and earth-centered cosmology as well as the controversial Copernican cosmology, the main tenets of which, however, he upheld. He believed that our perception of the world is relative to the position in space and time from which we view it and that there are as many possible modes of viewing the world as there are possible positions. Therefore we cannot postulate absolute truth or any limit to the progress of knowledge. The first to enunciate what is now called the cosmic theory, he pictured the world as composed of individual elements of being, governed by fixed laws of relationship. These elements, called monads, were in constant motion, ultimate, and irreducible and were based on a pantheistic infinite principle, or cause, or Deity, manifest in us and in all the world. Bruno's influence on later philosophy, especially that of Spinoza and Leibniz , was profound, and he is widely considered a forerunner of modern science.
See biography by I. D. Rowland (2008) P. H. Michel, The Cosmology of Giordano Bruno (tr. 1973) S. Drake, Copernicus—Philosophy and Science: Bruno—Kepler—Galileo (1973) F. A. Yates, Lull and Bruno (1982).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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