BN.com Gift Guide

Galileo's Mistake: A New Look at the Epic Confrontation Between Galileo and the Church

( 2 )

Overview

The modern understanding of the notorious 1633 trial of Galileo by the Inquisition is that of Science and Reason persecuted by Ignorance and Superstition -- of Galileo as a lonely, courageous freethinker oppressed by a reactionary and anti-intellectual institution fearful of losing its power and influence. But is that an accurate picture of what actually happened? The disagreement between Galileo and the Church seemed to center on Galileo's belief in the Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth and the other...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $6.00   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$6.00
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(769)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
320 pp., Hardcover, NEW in a NEW dust jacket!!

Ships from: Cleveland, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$34.41
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(320)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$409.79
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
New York, New York, U.S.A. 2003 Hardcover New 1559706848. Flawless.

Ships from: New Hampton, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Galileo's Mistake: A New Look at the Epic Confrontation between Galileo and the Church

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$14.95 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

The modern understanding of the notorious 1633 trial of Galileo by the Inquisition is that of Science and Reason persecuted by Ignorance and Superstition -- of Galileo as a lonely, courageous freethinker oppressed by a reactionary and anti-intellectual institution fearful of losing its power and influence. But is that an accurate picture of what actually happened? The disagreement between Galileo and the Church seemed to center on Galileo's belief in the Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun -- something we know to be true today. But was the debate really about the Copernican theory per se? If so, why was Copernicus never condemned? And why did the Church not bring to trial the other leading astronomers of the day who shared Galileo's Copernican views, some of whom were Jesuits in the Vatican? If the debate was not about this revolutionary theory of planetary motion, then what was it about?

In his provocative reexamination of one of the turning points in the history of science and thought, Wade Rowland contends that the dispute concerned an infinitely more profound question: What is truth and how can we know it? Ingeniously using the Socratic method -- a method Galileo himself employed -- the author demonstrates that in the epic confrontation between Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church at the dawn of the Scientific Revolution, Galileo's mistake was to insist that science -- and only science -- provides the truth about reality. The Church rejected this idea, declaring that while science is valid, it provides mere models for reality, models that enable people to better understand and manipulate the world around us. Truth is a metaphysical issue -- beyond physics -- and it involves such matters as meaning and purpose, which are unquantifiable and therefore not amenable to scientific analysis. In asserting the primacy of science on the territory of truth, Galileo strayed from purely scientific inquiry into the theological realm, an act that put him squarely on a warpath with the Church. The outcome would change the world. Wade Rowland's intelligent, erudite, and thoughtful exploration of an event that would forever define the modern era promises to disarm the most stubborn of skeptics and make for scintillating debate.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rowland seeks to dispel what he calls "the myth of Galileo": that he was attacked by an ignorant, closed-minded Church for having discovered the truth, which contradicted Church belief. Rowland (Ockham's Razor) argues that this traditional perspective on Galileo's 1633 trial is both simplistic and wide of the mark. Instead, he builds a compelling case that Galileo and the Church differed over something far more important than whether the earth revolved around the sun-they differed on the very nature of truth and how mortals can come to know it. Modeling the structure used by Galileo in his own book about Copernican theory, Rowland makes use of fictionalized dialogues to explore issues of epistemology and concludes that Galileo, by promoting the idea that scientific experiments alone can lead to a meaningful understanding of the natural world, was a very real threat to the coherence of the Church. Rowland does an impressive job of bringing the 17th century to life. It's important to note that, as he makes clear throughout, he believes that religion can allow for a comprehension of reality in ways that science cannot, and that many of the world's present ills are due to "the transition from the Age of Faith to the Age of Reason," which Galileo helped accomplish and the wisdom of which Rowland seriously questions. Still, his book will appeal to most readers interested in the current debate about the relation between science and religion, and particularly to those who, like him, posit limits to the reach of science. 8 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Galileo's 1633 trial by the Inquisition has almost mythical status as exemplifying the conflict between enlightened science and the Church's ignorance. Historians of science have known that that is not the whole story and have explored various aspects of the conflict, from the cultural (James Reston's Galileo: A Life) to the political (Mario Biagioli's Galileo Courtier). Rowland's work takes these new views a step further. He agrees that the two sides were both attempting to realign their worldviews while maintaining control of the discussion, but he argues that the terms of the discussion are still being negotiated; Galileo's mistake was to insist that only science has true answers and deny a role for religion. Rowland uses the Church's dispute with Galileo, along with current philosophical trends, to argue that science provides not definitive answers but only changing models of reality and that there may be more than one way to the truth. Most historians of science would say that Rowland is correct in gauging the role of the Church in Galileo's trial, but this work is likely to be controversial in arguing that the Church still has a role today. Recommended for general and academic audiences.-Eric D. Albright, Tufts Univ. Health Science Lib., Boston Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A revisionist argument that the Catholic Church was right to try the father of astronomy on charges of heresy in 1633. Galileo's key error, Canadian historian Rowland finds, was not his advocacy of the Copernican scheme of the solar system, in which the planets rotate about the sun, but his contention that the scientific method is the sole means to determine truth. In support of this thesis, Rowland undertakes a detailed examination of the history behind Galileo's trial. While much of the material is undoubtedly familiar to students of scientific history, he presents with considerably more sympathy than usual nowadays the Church's position on scientific matters, hammered out over more than 1,500 years, with considerable effort devoted to accommodating the philosophies of first Plato, then Aristotle, within the orthodox worldview. Galileo's support of the Copernican system was a threat, Rowland contends, because of its unstated assumption that the nature of the universe can be learned from observation and reason rather than faith. Granted this premise, it is hard to argue with his conclusion that Galileo's prosecution was justified both by law and custom. Where many readers will part company with the author, however, is when he sets up Galileo as an embodiment of the failure of modern civilization to provide spiritual and human values. Much of this argument is presented in dialogues among Rowland, a secular friend, and an Italian nun in the context of the author's travels in Italy for research. These bring in considerable local Italian color as background and give the somewhat abstract points a more human face; on the other hand, they sometimes distort basic science in order to scoredebating points. Well-presented scientific history with an interesting philosophical twist: take with a grain of salt.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559706841
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/16/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST US
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustration and Photo Credits xiii
Acknowledgments xv
11
Overture
211
Pope Paul V
A Time of Crisis
Doctrinal Revolutions
317
A Dialogue
Science's Motives
On Curiosity
A Negotiation
431
Galileo the Aquarian
Ptolemy's World
Comets and Supernova
Kepler's Genius
The Uses of Hypotheses
545
Young Galileo
The Studies in Motion
The Experimental Method
Number and Beauty
The Pythagoreans and the Reduction of Quality to Quantity
655
Ferrara and Copernicus
The Reluctant Revolutionary
Challenging Aristotle
A Stimulating Meeting
767
The Stagirite
The Primacy of Mind
The Good
Deductive Science
879
Aristotle's Influence
A Question of Infinity
Copernican Caution
Saving the Appearances
985
The Padua Years
The Telescopic Discoveries
The Lure of the Medici
The Jesuits
Rumors of Reaction
10105
In the Medician Court
The Phases of Venus
Sunspot Disputes
Triumph in Rome
Cardinal Bellarmine
11113
Bruno's Heresy
An Infinite Universe
Aristotle Revisited
The Struggles of Aquinas
The Return of Pythagoras
12129
Storm Warnings
Cardinal Barberini
The Conflict Is Joined: "Letter to Christina"
Bellarmine's Response
13141
Under Attack
A Dangerous Mission
Barberini's Argument
Defeat in Rome
The Warning
14151
A Dialogue in Venice
Science's Successes
The Nature of Knowledge
15159
Further Dialogue in Venice
Science and Faith
Faith and Reality
The Nature of Progress
16167
On the Lido
The Problem of Objectivity
Reasoning's Recursiveness
The Map and the Territory
An Unfortunate Outburst
17179
At Santa Maria Maggiore
Galileo's Conservatism
Kepler's Heterodoxy
A Remarkable Fresco
18185
A Scientific Testament
Models of the World
The Paradox of Empiricism
19193
Pope Urban VIII
Intimations of Change
Galileo's Dialogue
The Suppression
A Summons from the Inquisition
20209
An Enigmatic Pope
A Mass in St. Peter's
A Chance Encounter
21219
A Remarkable City
History's Parochialism
An Uncomplicated Man
The Motives of Pontiffs
22227
A Dialogue in Vatican City
Galileo's Rehabilitation
"Learned Ignorance"
The Puzzle of the Abjuration
23239
The Final Journey to Rome
The Inquisition
The Denial
The Confession
The Sentence
24253
The Judgment and Abjuration
The Unspoken Issues
25259
The Aftermath
Return to Arcetri
Discourses on Two New Sciences
A Visit from Hobbes
Milton's Tribute
26267
On the Road to Florence
Galileo's Tomb
Human Happiness
Science and Number
Limits to Scientific Knowledge
An Unfinished Journey
Appendix 279
On the Question of Galileo's "Perjury"
Notes 283
Index 291
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2003

    Thought-provoking, enjoyable read - Highly recommended

    I first ran across the author, Wade Rowland, while I was taking an undergrad course in communications at Rutgers. His book, Spirit of the Web, was on the reading list and is a real gem, full of sharp insights and thoughtful social comment, all in all a great introduction to the history of communication technologies. The big bonus was that it was so readable. Galileo's Mistake picks up on some of the themes in Spirit of the Web (and I understand, his other book, Ockham's Razor which I haven't yet read) and goes into them in depth. <p> The book is really about the problem of hegemonic science--the kind of science that insists that only scientific knowledge is valid knowledge and that all else is a waste of time or worse. Rowland identifies this philosophically with 'naive realism' or positivism, which was Galileo's Mistake. Positivism was discredited philosophically by the eighteenth century, and by scientists themselves in the twentieth century, with relativity and quantum physics. Rowland's point is that we live by our mythologies and the Galileo myth is foundational in Western culture. He wants to show how it's wrong and even dangerous and needs correction. <p> Given the heavy-duty nature of the content, Galileo's Mistake is remarkably easy to read, because it's set up as a kind of travel narrative involving three chatty characters who like to talk about metaphysics. If only all philosophy books were like this!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2013

    In 1838 in Germany Friedrich Bessel accurately measured stellar

    In 1838 in Germany Friedrich Bessel accurately measured stellar parallax for the first time with an instrument he developed, his heliometer. Ten years later in France Jean Foucault developed, and 3 years later demonstrated his eponymous pendulum, perhaps the simplest, but no less profound instrument developed in physics. The observations based on these instruments, were the first real proof that the Earth rotated around the Sun while spinning on its axis and were made a little more than 200 years after Galileo Galilei stood before the Holy Inquisition in Rome accused of heresy. Nominally, Galileo's heresy was professing that the Earth moved in space and the Sun stood still. In fact Galileo was &quot;wrong&quot; in the sense that he had no real proof that the Copernican system of planetary motion was any more valid than the Ptolemaic one. Alternative models of planetary motion, including Ptolemy and especially that of Galileo's contemporary Kepler, were just as valid as that of Copernicus. Galileo was 200 years ahead of his time.
    Yet the myth that has persisted for some 4 centuries is that the tottering 70-year-old Galileo, innocent and totally &quot;right&quot; appeared before the Inquisition's ignorant cadre of prelates and, faced with threats of torture and death, was forced to ultimately recant his support for the Copernican world system. Galileo's trial has become the symbol of objective reason and science defiant in the face of superstition and ignorance - &quot;Yet, it still moves!&quot;
    Wade Rowland's contribution, Galileo's Mistake, to the voluminous literature on Galileo is, to this reader's knowledge, the first to tell a part of the scientist's story using his own literary style - a narrative dialog between real and fictitious characters who hold contrasting positions on the topic at hand - used by Galileo in his Dialogue Concerning the Two World Systems - the book that landed him before the Inquisition.
    Rowland argues that the real reason for the charge of heresy against Galileo was not his adherence to the Copernican model per se, but Galileo's parallel belief that everything in the universe could ultimately be completely explained in mathematical terms; that defining a physical phenomena in mathematical terms was equivalent to seeing and understanding how God works. Rowland proposes that only Galileo's close friendship with then Pope Urban III as well as other influential prelates saved him from being burned at the stake for that heresy of mathematical determinism - the actual reason for his trial before the Inquisition, yet glossed over by his judges in a successful attempt to defray harsh punishment.
    Rowland's hypothesis may very well be true - he assembles several arguments along the way to counter numerous apparent inconsistencies in Galileo's words and writings. The author goes further in suggesting that his version of the Galileo story can serve as a model for modern science that has reached a logical, and amoral, &quot;dead-end&quot; - namely, that science needs to practice a measure of humility before nature, leave open the possibility of alternative explanations for reality, and, as a consequence, adopt an overarching philosophy that allows for the possibility of purpose and meaning as well as mechanism.
    A few pages of Notes with embedded references and a sprinkling of illustrations, one Appendix, but no Index, complete this work.
    Richard R. Pardi Environmental Science William Paterson University

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)