The Inquisition on Galileo's Side?

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:
The Inquisition on Galileo's Side?

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In 1820, a controversy raged in Rome that came to be called the Settele affair. The surface issue was whether to allow the publication of an astronomy textbook in which Guiseppe Settele treated the earth's motion as a fact. Although the publication of Settele's astronomical work settled the issue involving that particular book, the more general doctrinal question had not really been settled. Thus before long, new difficulties arose. Maurizio Olivieri wrote a summary of the events and issues of the Settele affair to be used by cardinal-inquisitors and other officials in reaching a final decision on the case. Although some may admire Olivieri's balanced impartiality, his argument was Solomonic in more than one sense; it was a double-edged sword of questionable value to a friend of the historical Galileo.

Keywords: Settele affair; Galileo; Guiseppe Settele; Maurizio Olivieri; Solomonic

Chapter.  16335 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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