Galileo: A Very Short Introduction

By Stillman Drake | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Conflicts with philosophers

In October 1604, when Galileo was writing to Sarpi about his law of falling bodies, a supernova appeared in the evening sky. Galileo was told about it a few days after a medical student named Baldessar Capra and his mathematics tutor Simon Mayr had observed and confirmed it. A new star had been seen in 1572 and had been proved by Tycho Brahe to be among the fixed stars. According to Aristotle's fundamental principles, no change could ever take place in the heavens, because everything in them was made of a perfect and unalterable substance called the ‘quintessence’. Change occurred only in the ‘elemental’ materials of earth, water, air, and fire. Natural philosophers accordingly taught that comets were not astronomical events, but meteorological phenomena situated in the elemental sphere beneath the moon. New stars could be explained as some kind of tailless and motionless comets, but not as bodies actually in the heavens.

Galileo wrote to astronomers in other cities and compared their observations with his own. Like Tycho's star, this new star exhibited no detectable parallax; no matter where it was observed from, it was seen in the same place with respect to nearby fixed stars. That cannot happen for things as close as the moon. Since people were always excited by unusual appearances in the sky, Galileo gave three public lectures on the new star, explaining how astronomical observations and

-40-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Galileo: A Very Short Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface *
  • Contents *
  • List of Illustrations xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • Chapter 1 - The Background 1
  • Chapter 2 - Galileo's Early Years 16
  • Chapter 3 - Conflicts with Philosophers 40
  • Chapter 4 - Conflicts with Astronomers and Theologians 63
  • Chapter 5 - The Dialogue and the Inquisition 88
  • Chapter 6 - The Final Years 101
  • Further Reading 119
  • Index 123
  • Expand Your Collection of Very Short Introductions *
  • Visit the Very Short Introductions Web Site *
  • Intelligence - A Very Short Introduction *
  • Drawin - A Very Short Introduction *
  • The Bible - A Very Short Introduction *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 127

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.