New Lies, Documents, Myths, Apologies (1758–1797)

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:
New Lies, Documents, Myths, Apologies (1758–1797)

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This chapter concentrates on the four texts that show most important developments that happened between the years 1758–1797. They are significant from the point of view of novelty vis-à-vis what came before and of their influence by way of their repercussions. They also possess a thematic affinity: the first is a deliberate lie; the second comes from exaggerating the truth; the third from setting one extreme against another; but the fourth combats lies by an attempt to display balanced moderation, sound documentation, cogent argument, and elegant prose. The forged letter of Onorato Gaetani is examined in this chapter. The chapter then describes Piero Guicciardini's portrayal of Galileo, and this is followed by a discussion of Jacques Mallet du Pan's account. Girolamo Tiraboschi ended with an explicit attempt to show his impartiality by mentioning two points against the ecclesiastical side: the Church was too uncritically favorable toward the arguments of Aristotelian philosophers and too critically unfavorable toward Galileo's arguments.

Keywords: lies; Onorato Gaetani; Piero Guicciardini; Galileo; Jacques Mallet du Pan; Girolamo Tiraboschi

Chapter.  11161 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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