Galileo Right Again, Wrong Again

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:
Galileo Right Again, Wrong Again

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This chapter addresses the theological rehabilitation of Galileo implicit in Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Providentissimus Deus; the epistemological reconviction of the culprit in Pierre Duhem's To Save the Phenomena; the collection and refinement of three centuries of anti-Galilean charges in Jesuit Adolf Müller's compendium; and a new justification of Galileo's condemnation based on Léon Garzend's account of the concept of heresy. The Duhemian interpretation of the Galileo affair has considerable originality, simplicity, and elegance. By way of general criticism, it was stated that Müller's account is too one-sidedly anti-Galilean and proclerical and too uncritical regarding the factual accuracy or legal admissibility of the special injunction. Garzend's main thesis was that there were two concepts of heresy, a theological and an inquisitorial one. Garzend made clear that the concept of heresy subsisted in a cluster of other notions such as erroneous, scandalous, temerarious, near-heretical, dangerous, formally heretical, and suspect.

Keywords: Galileo; Pope Leo XIII; Pierre Duhem; Jesuit Adolf Müller; Léon Garzend; Providentissimus Deus; To Save the Phenomena; heresy; anti-Galilean charges

Chapter.  7412 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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