Maurice A. Finocchiaro

in Retrying Galileo, 1633-1992

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780520242616
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941373 | DOI:

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This chapter investigates what might be called a third wave of reactions to Galileo's trial, covering the period between 1654 and 1704 and most significantly represented by the figures of Vincenzio Viviani, Adrien Auzout, and Gottfried W. Leibniz. Viviani account focused on Galileo's work in astronomy and physics and on his personality. Auzout suggested that while he might be willing to accept the prohibition on public support, he did not think there was anything wrong with the private pursuit of Copernicanism. Leibniz's 1689 argument was an attempt to make both sides happy; and he thought he could accomplish this by means of a reinterpretation of the situation. In Leibniz, someone who was temperamentally and methodologically moderate, bipartisan, diplomatic, and ecumenically minded was found; he attempted several such moves, and it may have been their failure that led him to a relatively pro-Galilean position in his most mature and public pronouncement.

Keywords: Galileo; Vincenzio Viviani; Adrien Auzout; Gottfried W. Leibniz; Copernicanism; reaction

Chapter.  11288 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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