Chapter

Varieties of Torture

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520242616.003.0012
Varieties of Torture

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Torture and demythologization were the two topics coalesced around during Galileo's trial. David Brewster depicted him as having cowardly avoided martyrdom, thus in effect harming the cause of science and benefiting that of the Church. Guglielmo Libri was interested primarily in using Brewster's work to develop his own account of Galileo's life and work in general. Peter Cooper elaborated that Copernicanism was never properly and officially declared a heresy. There is little question that John Quincy Adams' account of Galileo was relatively superficial, contained factual inaccuracies, and expressing interpretations unflattering to the Catholic Church. Marino Marini charged Galileo with all kinds of inconsistency, insincerity, and imprudence. Philarète Chasles' account strengthened an approach to Galileo's trial that may be called circumstantialist and demythologizing. Richard Madden's position perhaps was that there were reasons for thinking that the trial was unjustified, and there were also reasons for thinking that it was justified.

Keywords: torture; demythologization; Galileo; David Brewster; Guglielmo Libri; Peter Cooper; John Quincy Adams; Marino Marini; Philarète Chasles; Richard Madden

Chapter.  9236 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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