Plato's Doctrine Respecting the Rotation of the Earth, and Aristotle's Comment upon that Doctrine
By George Grote, Esq.
Examination of the three following questions:--
1. Whether the doctrine of the earth's rotation is affirmed or implied in the Platonic Timæus?
2. If affirmed or implied, in what sense?
3. What is the cosmical function which Plato assigns to the earth in the Timæus?
This paper was originally intended as an explanatory note on the Platonic Timæus, in another work on Plato and Aristotle. Interpreting, differently from others, the much debated passage in which Plato describes the cosmical function of the Earth, I found it indispensable to give my reasons for this new view. But I soon discovered that those reasons could not be comprised within the limits of a note. Accordingly I here publish them in a this separate Dissertation. The manner in which the Earth’s rotation was conceived, illustrates the scientific character of the Platonic and Aristotelian age, as contrasted with the subsequent development and improvement of astronomy.