Galileo and the Birth of Modern Philosophy
Reading Nature’s Book provides contextual material for college and university students enrolled in modern philosophy courses, introducing them to ideas and concepts that dominated philosophical discussion during the era. Furthermore, students and scholars interested in the history of philosophy of science will also benefit from a decidedly philosophical approach to such a leading scientific figure. Many of the topics explored by Galileo continue to be of philosophical interest today, including scientific methodology and the relation between science and religion.
Chapter Six: Mathematics and the Book of Nature
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The rejection of dogmatic submission to the principle of authority in the field of philosophy; the vindication of a new language; the rights of research and free intellectual discussion against the prevarication of institutional culture—these were the contents that made The Assayer the manifesto of the new philosophy in Rome. The book was a literary sensation because, even more than the Jesuits, even more than Scholastic thought, it seemed to oppose a whole intellectual tradition. The telescope was the instrument through which one looked at the entire universe, and The Assayer was the manual that taught one to read the universe like a book.
—PIETRO REDONDI 1987, P. 51
The Assayer amused Galileo’s friends, multiplied his enemies, and brought him new readers who could appreciate the brilliance of the style and the asides that have made excerpts from it chestnuts in the history of science and in the teaching of Italian literature.
—J.L. HEILBRON 2010, PP. 246–7
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