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PHI 300-001: A Philosopher's Guide to Conspiracy Theories
A guide to library resources for students in PHI 300-001. Spring 2020.
Contrary to popular belief fostered in countless school classrooms the world over, Christopher Columbus did not discover that the earth was round. The idea of a spherical world had been widely accepted in educated circles from as early as the fourth century b.c. Yet, bizarrely, it was not until the supposedly more rational nineteenth century that the notion of a ?at earth really took hold. Even more bizarrely, it persists to this day, despite Apollo missions and widely publicized pictures of the decidedly spherical Earth from space.
Arguing against the fable that when Columbus discovered America he proved that the Earth is round, to the astonishment of his contemporaries, this work discusses geographical knowledge in the Middle Ages, as well as why and how the error was first propagated in the 1820s and 1830s.