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The Penultimate CuriosityHow Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions$
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Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.001.0001

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Against Aristotle

Against Aristotle

(p.183) Chapter Twenty-Two Against Aristotle
The Penultimate Curiosity

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter focusses on Galileo’s campaign against Aristotelian ideas, which began during his time at the University of Pisa. Galileo cites Philoponus a number of times in his manuscript notes on motion, describing him as one of those forced ‘by the power of truth’ to realize the falsity of Aristotle’s views. In 1592, Galileo moved from Pisa to Padua where he was appointed professor of mathematics. During this time he was able to extend dramatically his attack on Aristotle’s picture of the world with the help of a new instrument of discovery, the telescope. When he directed this instrument up at the night sky, Galileo discovered evidence that the heavenly bodies were not the perfect and unchanging entities that Aristotle had supposed. Rather they showed every sign of being formed from the same kind of elements as the Earth.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Galileo, Philoponus, University of Pisa, telescope, astronomy

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