How Did Aristotle Say That The Earth Is Spherical?

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Aristotle was an ancient Greek thinker who had many intriguing ideas of the world and everything around us. Being born in 384 BC, he was placed in a time period where there was much dispute over what the true physical qualities of the earth were. Aristotle asserted that the world is both a spherical and immobile object. In support of his claim that the earth is spherical, he cited numerous observational claims and assumptions. Some of his observational claims included subjects relating to the location of elephants, the shadow of lunar eclipses, the way bodies fall, and how stars are seen from different locations. One of his assumptions related to the way earth, the element, behaves. One of Aristotle’s most convincing observations examined characteristics…show more content…
To make a declaration about the earth’s shape, the shadow cast must be appreciated from multiple light source angles, not assumed to be at a 90 degree angle to a flat object. In addition, Aristotle would argue that one must observe the stages of a total lunar eclipse, as the moon travels completely into and then out of earth’s shadow, displaying a circular shadow at all times. Referring back to the light example, if the light is always shining directly in front of the round object, for instance a pie tin, a similar circular shadow will be formed on the wall. But, if the light source is moved off to the side, a more oblong shadow is formed, with portions of the shadow almost linear. So, in this case, only a sphere would maintain the circular shadow shape, because the sphere’s profile is circular on all sides. But, if the earth was only a flat circle, the shadow would become warped from the pure circular shadow that is supposed to be apparent. Aristotle would likely argue that multiple observations should support the conclusion in all cases, rather than basing a conclusion on a single
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