Ayn Rand University /

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started
This course is currently closed


October 4, 2022

Tuesdays, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm PT

Q1, Q2


Start Date

Live Class



This course will trace the development of man’s understanding of motion and gravitation, starting with the earliest astronomical observations of pre-Greek civilizations, and culminating in the achievements of Isaac Newton. How did mankind progress from a state of total ignorance about the stars, planets, Sun, and Moon to our first scientific understanding of these bodies and the laws that govern their behavior? No prerequisites or background in physics are required.



  1. H. A. Rey, The Stars: A New Way to See Them
    • Part One: “Shapes in the Sky,” pp. 9-24


Homework Questions
  1. Please complete the math level of difficulty quiz before the first class: Math Level of Difficulty QuizSubmit your answers in the assignment submission portal below.

    Homework Assignment Submission Portal

  1. Rey, The Stars: A New Way to See Them,

    First sections of Part Four: “Some Whys and Hows”

    • Start of Part Four through “Pole Star and Latitude”
    • Pages 108-117 of print edition.

      Note: Ignore what Rey says about “the apparent motion of the sky as a whole as well as the real motion of the earth around itself and around the Sun.” Not sure where he got the crazy notion that the earth moves, but of course, everyone knows that the earth is motionless at the center of the universe and the stars and planets (including the Sun and Moon) revolve around the earth. Obviously!

  1. Listen to the first few lectures of LP History of Philosophy.

    Lectures, 2, 3, 4, 5

    Lectures 1, 6, beyond through Plato and Aristotle

Homework Question

Describe in your own words the cause of the phases of the moon. I.e., why do we see the moon go through its monthly cycle of phases? Think, in particular, about what we know about the nature of the moon that would not necessarily have been known to pre-Greek civilizations. If you want to include your own drawing to illustrate your explanation, feel free to do so (whether a digital drawing or a scan or photo of something hand-drawn). Maximum word count: 400

Deadline: Sunday, Oct. 9, end of day your local time

Submit your answers here.

Class recordings


1 Videos
Copyright © 1985 – 2021 The Ayn Rand® Institute (ARI). Reproduction of content and images in whole or in part is prohibited. All rights reserved. ARI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to ARI in the United States are tax-exempt to the extent provided by law. Objectivist Conferences (OCON) and the Ayn Rand Institute eStore are operated by ARI. Payments to OCON or the Ayn Rand Institute eStore do not qualify as tax-deductible contributions to the Ayn Rand Institute. Ayn Rand® is a registered trademark and is used by permission.