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Galileo: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview


In a startling reinterpretation of Galileo's trial, Stillman Drake advances the hypothesis that Galileo's prosecution and condemnation by the Inquisition was caused not by his defiance of the Church but by the hostility of contemporary philosophers. Galileo's own beautifully lucid arguments are used in this volume to show how his scientific method was utterly divorced from the Aristotelian approach to physics; it was based on a search not for causes but for laws. Galileo's methods had an overwhelming significance for the development of modern physics, and they led to a final parting of the ways between science and philosophy. Now, in this extraordinary and concise introduction, Drake provides a stimulating view of Galileo's life and works, providing a fresh perspective on Galileo's methodology and his final incrimination.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

"An interesting and stimulating introduction to the life and works of Galileo by the doyen of Galilean studies."--Mathematical Reviews.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An interesting and stimulating introduction to the life and works of Galileo by the doyen of Galilean studies. The author studies the interplay of mathematical reasoning and physical experimentation in the genesis of the law of free fall and in the employment of Galileo's methodology."--Mathematical Reviews

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Stillman Dranke is a Professor Emeritus of History of Science at the University of Toronto.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Introduction
1. The background
2. Galileo's early years
3. Conflicts with philosophers
4. Conflicts with astronomers and theologians
5. The Dialogue and the Inquisition
6. The final years
Reading list
Index

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