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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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Simplicius Reborn

Simplicius Reborn

(p.202) Chapter Twenty-Five Simplicius Reborn
The Penultimate Curiosity

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter focusses on Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which takes the form of a conversation conducted over the course of four days. A discussion between three men takes place in the Venetian palazzo of one of the three who is called Sagredo. Sagredo is an intelligent layman who is at first neutral in the debate between the other two. Galileo’s own arguments are put into the mouth of one of these two, Salviati, and a third character, Simplicius, described as a philosopher ‘whose greatest obstacle in apprehending the truth seemed to be the reputation he had acquired by his interpretations of Aristotle’. Galileo says that this character (who is recognizably modelled on two of Galileo’s opponents), ‘because of his excessive affection towards the commentaries of Simplicius, I have thought fit to leave ... under the name of the author he so much revered’.

Keywords:   Galileo, Aristotle, Simplicius, Salviati, Sagredo

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