Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo
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Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Directing his polemics against the pedantry of his time, Galileo, as his own popularizer, addressed his writings to contemporary laymen. His support of Copernican cosmology, against the Church's strong opposition, his development of a telescope, and his unorthodox opinions as a philosopher of science were the central concerns of his career and the subjects of four of his m...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 1st 1957 by Anchor (first published 1957)
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Tom Schulte
Galileo really missed his era - he wanted to be a blogger. The genius had such a loquacious side that even the editors of this edition excise several days of Galileo's moon diary since the avalanche of words offers no additional insights. Much of Galileo's insights are powerful arguments as he poularized new discoveries seen in the heavens. It is possible his incredible amount of verbiage made him too tempting and too open for attack from his powerful, clerical detractors. Galileo certainly knew...more
Rashaan
Science and Religion are two sides of the same coin. Neither of them are absolute and both are a means to make sense of the world. What's most extraordinary about Galileo's discoveries is how his celestial revelations necessitate Darkness. Our first modern scientist had to wait for the sun to descend deep into night before he could track the moon as she waxed and waned. And, without the blinding cloak of Religion, Galileo's ideas wouldn't have been so fantastic, so revolutionary. Darkness wrough...more
kxm
Mar 28, 2007 kxm rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who thought they'd never read a book about science & science nerds.
I read this book in a philosophy of science class focused on Italian scientists (Dante, Leonardo, Galileo, Primo Levi). The theme of the class was "bridging the gap between science and the humanities," and one of the more fascinating aspects of the class was seeing how, historically, there was no gap. The other really interesting thing that came to light for me was the fact that, for the most part, the people who are actively trying to cross the divide were the scientists. The ivory tower intell...more
Danny
This is a fascinating collection of Gailileo's writings on his discovery of Jupiter's moons and his observation and speculations on the nature of sunspots, as well as his defense of the veracity of his observations in the face of heavy censure from the Church. Any amateur astronomer who remembers seeing Jupiter's moons for the first time through a telescope and witnessing the change in their configuration from night to night will get a thrill out of reading this first account and Galileo's extra...more
Charles Kristofek
It's amazing how brazen present day evangelist hucksters claim the bible is scientifically accurate. Reading this book lays bare the fallacy of such claims. Galileo was required to tiptoe around theologians of his day as well as avoiding offense to past theocratic cosmic dogma (St. Augustine).
The bible's cosmology (Genesis) is based on Ancient Near East Cosmology (Mesopotamia) ~1800BC which pre-dated the old testament writing (1400-400BC).
Unfortunately, Galileo eventually succumbed to the ignora...more
Ross
This book was published letters and correspondence between Galileo and other associates. The letters were about his books and his discoveries which led him to be under house arrest. I was hoping for more science and explanation of his discoveries, but more it was banter and rhetoric. I was disappointed, but I enjoyed feeling like I was back in the renaissance and the time of some of the greatest minds of modern times.
Kevin
The more scientific sections (Starry messenger, Letters on sunspots, etc.) are great, but may bore those not able to get into the detail of his celestial discoveries. The Letters to the Grand Duchess Christina, however, are more engaging, particularly for those more interested in the social consequences of Galileo's discoveries.
Jody
This book was really, really hard to read (I read it off and on over a period of 3 months). Fascinating, but because most of it was actual letters written back and forth between Galileo and others, it was written in such formal, old English that it was hard to follow.
Kim
I had to read this for a History of Science course in college. I completely dreaded the task, but ended up really enjoying the read. In the end, my final grade wasn't so great but I'm happy to have read this and several other of the assigned texts.
Amy
Galileo's wit and sarcasm made this interesting book absolutely fun. Except for all the bits about prejudice and really stubborn people who wouldn't look at ideas in a clear light.
Cathy
Um, I didn't really read the whole thing. But I skimmed it and I feel a lot smarter!
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Galileo Galilei was a Tuscan (Italian) physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of scienc...more
More about Galileo Galilei...
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican Sidereus Nuncius, or The Sidereal Messenger Two New Sciences: Including Centers Of Gravity And Force Of Percussion Two New Sciences/A History of Free Fall The Essential Galileo

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“Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards.” 15 likes
“Who indeed will set bounds to human ingenuity? Who will assert that everything in the universe capable of being perceived is already discovered and known?” 4 likes
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