Defending Copernicus and Galileo: Critical Reasoning in the by Maurice A. Finocchiaro

By Maurice A. Finocchiaro

Although contemporary works on Galileo’s trial have reached new heights of erudition, documentation, and class, they generally convey inflated complexities, forget four hundred years of historiography, or make little attempt to profit from Galileo. This e-book strives to prevent such lacunae by way of judiciously evaluating and contrasting the 2 Galileo affairs, that's, the unique controversy over the earth’s movement finishing together with his condemnation by means of the Inquisition in 1633, and the following controversy over the rightness of that condemnation carrying on with to our day. The ebook argues that the Copernican Revolution required that the speculation of the earth’s movement be not just constructively supported with new purposes and facts, but in addition significantly defended from quite a few previous and new objections. This protection in flip required not just the harmful refutation, but additionally the appreciative realizing of these objections in all their energy. a massive Galilean accomplishment used to be to difficult this kind of reasoned, severe, and fair-minded safeguard of Copernicanism. Galileo’s trial should be interpreted as a sequence of ecclesiastic makes an attempt to prevent him from so protecting Copernicus. And a vital thread of the next controversy has been the emergence of many arguments claiming that his condemnation used to be correct, in addition to defenses of Galileo from such criticisms. The book’s specific but overarching thesis is that at the present time the correct safeguard of Galileo can and will have the reasoned, serious, and fair-minded personality which his personal safety of Copernicus had.

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First released 1995
ebook ISBN13: 9780802779434

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Additional info for Defending Copernicus and Galileo: Critical Reasoning in the Two Affairs (Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science)

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It was almost as if a reversal of roles was occurring, with his erstwhile enemies turning into friends, and his former friends becoming enemies. Several other circumstances add interest and significance to such a development. These critics elaborated what may be called social and cultural criticism of Galileo; that is, they tried to blame Galileo by holding him personally or emblematically responsible for such things as the abuses of the industrial revolution, the social irresponsibility of scientists, the atomic bomb, and the rift between the two cultures.

Finally, another important classification was in terms of the opposition between natural and violent motions. Violent motion was motion caused by some external action; natural motion was motion which a body underwent because of its nature, so that the cause was internal. For example, the downward motion of earth and water, the upward motion of air and fire, and the circular motion of heavenly Galileo, Cosmography, in Favaro 2: 213. 4 8 1 The Geostatic World View spheres and heavenly bodies were all cases of natural motion; whereas rocks thrown upward, rain blown sideways by the wind, a cart pulled by a horse, and a ship sailing over the sea were all cases of violent motion.

For some time, Galileo was also criticized for his hermeneutical principle that Scripture is not a scientific authority; but historical and cultural development also vindicated him in this regard; at least this is what happened from the point of view of what has become the official position of the modern Catholic Church (Chapters 8 and 10). , the opposite of what he did); it took about a century before this myth was dispelled (Chapter 10). In any case, on the hermeneutical issue too, it is important to check the correctness of his argument justifying that Scripture is not scientific authority; although this Galilean reasoning has been the target of many objections, I believe it can be defended from them (Chapters 4, 9, and 10).

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