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420 pages, Paperback
First published October 1, 1999
No detectable strife ever disturbed the affectionate relationship between Galileo & his daughter. Theirs is not a tale of abuse or rejection or intentional stifling of abilities. Rather, it is a love story, a tragedy & a mystery.In the view of the author, the difference discerned "between this vale of tears & the harmony of Paradise precisely echoed Aristotle's distinction between corruptible Earthly matter & the perfection of the heavens." And it his opposition to an Aristotelian view, via Ptolemy, of an earth-centered universe vs. the contention of Copernicus that the sun is at its center, that causes Galileo to be put on trial & ultimately to be imprisoned for his viewpoint, this in spite of his strong Catholic faith & on-going friendship with many of the papal clerics.
I beseech you not to grasp the knife of these current troubles & misfortunes by its sharp edge, lest it injure you, but rather, seizing it by the blunt side, use it to excise the imperfections you may recognize in yourself; so that you rise above the obstacles, so that by piercing through baser realms, arrive at an awareness of the vanity & fallacy of all earthly things, they being ephemeral when compared to the glory of God.Galileo is not just a keen observer of the scientific realm but a crafty expositor of his non-traditional views of the universe and composes a book called Dialogue, wherein 3 figures, one being a stand-in for Galileo, discuss the views of Ptolemy vs. Copernicus, contending that the latter is just a "majestic paradox", this being a diplomatic literary attempt to present both sides of the scientific debate, while allowing the reader to decide. Obviously, even this veiled attempt to further a heliocentric view was done at his peril.