The book is primarily astronomical and philosophical in content, being concerned with the arguments for and against the motion of the earth. Galileo's discoveries and researches in astronomy -- the phases of Venus, the satellites of Jupiter, and the motion of sunspots -- share the main scenes with his cogent and derisive attacks upon aristotle and his followers. The discussion of the Second Day contains many of Galileo's fundamental contributions to physics -- inertia, the laws of falling bodies, centrifugal force, and the pendulum -- as well as important historical steps in mathematics toward analytic geometry and calculus. Galileo's explanations, written in the infancy of modern science, can hardly fail to be understood today by both layman and scientist.
From Aristotle to Darwin, from ancient teleology to contemporary genealogies, this book offers an overview of the birth and then persistence of Aristotle's framework into modernity, until its radical overthrow by the evolutionary revolution.
Galileo's 1632 book, Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, comes alive for twentieth-century readers thanks to Maurice Finocchiaro's brilliant new translation and presentation. Condemned by the Inquisition for its heretical proposition that the earth revolves around the sun, Galileo's masterpiece takes the form of a debate, divided into four "days," among three highly articulate gentlemen. Finocchiaro sets the stage with his introduction, which not only provides the human and historical framework for the Dialogue but also admits the reader gracefully into the basic non-Copernican understanding of the universe that would have been shared by Galileo's original audience. The translation of the Dialogue is abridged in order to highlight its essential content, and Finocchiaro gives titles to the various parts of the debate as a guide to the principal topics. By explicating his own critical reading of this text that is itself an exercise in critical reasoning on a gripping real-life controversy, he illuminates those universal, perennial activities of the human mind that make Galileo's book a living document. This is a concrete, hands-on introduction to critical thinking. The translation has been made from the Italian text provided in volume 7 of the Critical National Edition of Galileo's complete works edited by Antonio Favaro. The translator has also consulted the 1632 edition, as well as the other previous English translations, including California's 1967 version. Galileo on the World Systems is a remarkably nuanced interpretation of a classic work and will give readers the tools to understand and evaluate for themselves one of the most influential scientific books in Western civilization.
"Edited and translated by Maurice A. Finocchiaro, an international authority on Galileo, this collection makes available to scholars and students an excellent and extensive selection of Galileo's key works from his early career to the end of his life--some in toto and some represented by key selections. It presents not only Galileo's most famous works but also a range of less-known texts as well as an excellent selection of the documents from the trial of 1633 and from the 1616 condemnation of Copernicus. In addition to the breadth and quality of the selections, this volume is particularly attractive to students and instructors thanks to Finocchiaro's expert and up-to-date introductions, biographical sketch, chronology, annotated bibliography, and glossary. This is a must for anyone teaching or studying Galileo, the scientific revolution, and the relationship between science and religion." --Mario Biagioli, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University
Included is a famous nineteenth-century debate about scientific reasoning between the hypothetico-deductivist William Whewell and the inductivist John Stuart Mill; and an account of the realism-antirealism dispute about unobservables in science, with a consideration of Perrin's argument for the existence of molecules in the early twentieth century.
This book is about the complex ways in which science and literature are mutually-informing and mutually-sustaining. It does not cast the literary and the scientific as distinct, but rather as productively in-distinct cultural practices: for the two dozen new essays collected here, the presiding concern is no longer to ask how literary writers react to scientific writers, but rather to study how literary and scientific practices are imbricated. These specially-commissioned essays from top scholars in the area range across vast territories and produce seemingly unlikely unions: between physics and rhetoric, math and Milton, Boyle and the Bible, plague and plays, among many others. In these essays so-called scientific writing turns out to traffic in metaphor, wit, imagination, and playfulness normally associated with literature provides material forms and rhetorical strategies for thinking physics, mathematics, archeology, and medicine.
It was only after I had finished this volume that I came across the book by Barry Bames, Scientific Knowledge and Sociologi cal Theory (Routledge and Kegan Paul). I am in full ag, reement with certain ideas expounded in that book, although it also contains others that I must object to. I have decided to make some remarks about them at the beginning of my book, as I believe that they may prove useful by way of int, roduction to the English version of this volume. I hope that anyone who has professional reasons to turn his attention to this volume will have acquainted himself with Scientific Knowledge and Socio logical Theory before he proceeds any further. I fully share Barnes' view that it is possible and desirable to undertake descrtptive-sociological investigations of scientific research. The main subjeot of this research should be the na tural science, and, moreover, such findings in these sciences whose cognitive value has never been questioned by profession als. These investigations must avoid becoming entangled in epistemologtical controversies, and through epi:stemo}. ogy in, phi losophical controversies. They must not defend any of the contended theses and must not Hrterally, rely on evaluative pre mises that have been questicmed.
Tracing historical relationship from the dawn of civilization through the twentieth century, the authors argue that technology as "applied science" emerged relatively, as industry and governments began funding scientific research. They explore the emergence of Europe and the United States as a scientific and technological power.