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Dialogo di Galileo

Dialogo di Galileo

Dialogo di Galileo

Short Description

The Dialogo was designed both as an appeal to the great public and as an escape from Galilei’s silence. It takes the form of an open discussion between three friends—a radical, a conservative, and an agnostic—as it examines all of the great discoveries in the heavens, which Galilei feels the ancients had ignored.

Remnant Trust Description

Rare and important issue of Galileo’s Exposition and Proof of the Copernican system. This is the first edition to include the appended letters from Galileo and Foscarini and the Kepler “Commentario” which discuss the Copernican system and its immediate import. The publication of the Dialogo led to Galileo’s trial before the Inquisition and sentence to perpetual house arrest. The title was not removed from the “index librorum prohibitorum” until 1823. In 1610 Galileo published his “Sidereus Nuncias,” in which he described the construction of his telescope and his observations using his new instrument. His discoveries did not prove that Copernicus’s heliocentric theory was correct, but they did show that geocentric philosophy of Aristotle and the geocentric system proposed by Ptolemy were incorrect, providing strong evidence for the heliocentric theory-an implausible theory which had largely been ignored for sixty years after Copernicus’ death. His new support for the Copernican system reopened the controversy, and in 1615 he was officially silenced as regards the truth of astronomy. The Dialogo was designed both as an appeal to the great public and as an escape from silence. In the form of an open discussion between three friends-intellectually speaking, a radical, a conservative, and an agnostic-it is a masterly polemic for the new science. It displays all the great discoveries in the heavens which the ancients had ignored; it inveighs against sterility, willfulness, and ignorance of those who defend their systems; it revels in the simplicity of Copernican thought and, above all, it teaches that the movement of the earth makes sense in philosophy, that is, in physics. Astronomy and the science of motion, rightly understood, says Galileo, are hand in glove. There is no need to fear that the earth’s rotation will cause it to fly to pieces. Galileo pioneered the study of motion and its mathematical analysis, a field which was taken up by Descartes and Huygens and culminated in the massive achievements of Newton in dynamic and gravitational astronomy.