Conflicts with philosophers

Stillman Drake

in Galileo

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780192854568
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191776809 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

Conflicts with philosophers

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  • Christianity
  • History of Science and Technology
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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‘Conflicts with philosophers’ outlines some of the disagreements Galileo had with natural philosophers. In 1604 Galileo had a feud with a philosopher over the distance of a supernova from the Earth. In 1609 Galileo learnt of a new invention that magnified the heavens. He created his own version, and used it to discover that the moon had mountains and craters. This enthralled the public, but enraged other philosophers, who would not accept that the moon was anything less than perfectly spherical. He also observed phases of Venus, which destroyed the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic arrangements of planets. Unlike philosophers, Galileo treated mathematics as a tool in the study of physics.

Keywords: George Berkeley; Tycho Brahe; Earth; Galileo; mathematics; moon; Isaac Newton; Paul V; Paolo Sarpi; Urban VIII; Venus

Chapter.  5786 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity ; History of Science and Technology ; Astronomy and Astrophysics

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