A Speech Given at the 2004 Kepler Commencement
“The liberal arts through the lens of Astrology.” What exactly does this mean and what does it suggest for the future role of Kepler? The phrase “liberal arts” in Latin was originally artes liberales. Unfortunately when the phrase was translated into English, it was translated into English words derived from the Latin, not into truly English equivalents. They were, to use the old term, “Englished,” but not really translated. The Latin word ars, the singular form of artes, does not mean ‘art’ in the usual English sense. It means ‘skill.’ Liberalis actually means “of or belonging to freedom, relating to the freeborn condition of a human being.” Artes liberales thus means “the skills which pertain to, and are necessary for being a free human being.” But are we not all free?
Nico MarchThank you so much Carol .. and welcome to all of you joining us this evening.
The Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu once said: "The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
Our Journey began at 2:30am on January 6, 1572 when Johannes Kepler was born.
For those of you not familiar with Johannes Kepler, he was the first man to discover and mathematically define the elliptical property of planetary orbits, known as the heliocentric theory, successfully uniting the theories of Copernicus, Plato and Pythagoras as part of his three laws of planetary motion.
In doing so, he demonstrated the essential value of mathematics in describing the processes of the cosmos, without denying their ancient empirical descriptions.