Galileo Galilei; Il Saggiatore (The Assayer); Rome, This quietly polemical text puts the case for a pared-down scientific conception of matter and a. This is Galileo’s argument from “The Assayer,” which I encountered in both my history survey of modern philosophy and in metaphysics. Galileo. Il saggiatore (The assayer) by Galileo Galilei (–) is the final and most significant work in the polemic regarding the characteristics of.

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Philosophy is written assayfr this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our [p. Then turning about on the toe with this hand extended, one sees the ball turn on its axis in the opposite direction, and complete this revolution in the same time as one’s own.

The Assayer – Wikipedia

This will become apparent to anyone [p. But I must not neglect to show, for his benefit and in their defense, how implausible is his deduction that their science was poor from their having had few followers.

External means capable of thus ruffling the air are very numerous, but for the most part they may be reduced to the trembling of some body which pushes the air and disturbs it. I did not mean to spend so many words on this trifling, Your Excellency, but since the more has been done, the less remains to do.

And if we find a way to make this longer tube without melting down the shorter, would not this come to the same thing? Perhaps Sarsi believes that all the host of good philosophers may be enclosed within four walls. In Sarsi I seem to discern the firm belief that in philosophizing one must support oneself upon the opinion of some celebrated author, as if our minds ought to remain completely sterile and barren unless wedded to the reasoning of some other person.

Thus they might perceive and predict this wind from a distance. If we go back to examine his argument more closely, we find it to be defective because it takes as absolute that which must be understood relatively, or as bounded that which is unbounded.

Not content with haying disproved our reasoning set forth to explain the fact that the tails of comets sometimes appear to be bent in an are, he adds that nothing new was achieved by me in this, as it had all been published long ago, and then refuted, by Johann Kepler. When they are experienced, they sometimes recognize that a wind will approach before long from a certain direction, and they say that a sure sign of this is to see the air brighter in that direction than it would normally be.

Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 15, Astronomy: The Assayer

It is as if the premises had been prepared not by the bounty of nature but by the precision asxayer the subtlest art. And perhaps when such attrition stops at or is confined to the smallest qu I assaher, their motion is temporal and their action calorific only; but when their ultimate and highest resolution into truly aseayer atoms is arrived at, light is created [20]. If its nature is different, experiments made with our flames are not conclusive.


I believe that in a way all shapes are ancient and noble; or, to put it better, that none of them are noble and perfect, or ignoble and imperfect, except in so far as for building walls a square shape is more perfect than the circular, and for wagon wheels the circle is more perfect than the triangle.

Guiducci, in his discussion of the telescope, is said either to have included an effect which does not exist or to have left out one that should be given. The former may strike upon a certain part of our bodies that is much more sensitive than the skin, which does not feel the invasion of such subtle matter. Guiducci was often present, and asssayer day he told me that he had thought of speaking on comets before the Academy; if I liked, he would include what he had heard from aszayer along with things he had gathered from other authors or had thought himself.

And as these four senses are related to the four elements, so I believe that vision, the sense eminent above all others in the proportion of the finite to the infinite, the temporal to the instantaneous, the quantitative to the indivisible, the illuminated to the obscure–that vision, I say, is related to light itself.

Well, it truly is a great advantage to have one’s bread buttered on both sides, and to be able to say: I shall pass over first offenders in silence, aesayer they customarily receive less galile punishment than repeaters.

But perhaps the winds that blow the clouds and those chimeras and monsters that tumultuously take shape in them had not the strength to carry solid and weighty things. But reasoning is like racing, and not like hauling, and a single Arabian steed can outrun a hundred plowhorses.

The difficulty of comprehending bow the cicada forms its song even when we have it singing to us right in our hands ought to be more than enough to excuse us for not knowing how comets are formed at such immense distances.

I have never understood, Your Excellency, why it is that every one of the studies I have published in order to please or to serve other people has aroused in some men a certain perverse urge to detract, steal, or deprecate that modicum of merit which I thought I had earned, if not for my work, at least for its intention.

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When we walk over a field into the sunlight, thousands of straws and pebbles that are smooth or moistened will reflect the sun in the aspect of the most brilliant stars. The context of the essay was to reply to the treatise Libra astronomica ac philosophica of by Orazio Grassia Jesuit mathematician at the Collegio Romanowhich used the pseudonym of Lotario Sarsi Sigensano. Witnesses are examined in doubtful matters which are past and transient, not in those which are actual and present.

I ask Sarsi why it is that some organ pipes produce deep tones and some high. It was useless to hold my peace, because those who are so anxious to make trouble for me have now had recourse to attributing to me the works of others. For having captured [p. Well, I lack the stomach for this and I freely confess this cowardice. Well, Sarsi, that is not how matters stand. It cannot consist of one glass alone, because the shape of this would have to be convex that is, thicker in the middle than at the edges or concave that is, thinner in the middleor bounded by parallel surfaces.

We know that those are heated which are perceptibly consumed, as iron when it is being filed.

Galileo, Selections from The Assayer

At last be lifted up the armor of its chest and there he saw some thin hard ligaments beneath; thinking the sound might come from their vibration, he decided to break them in order to silence it. But this is in direct contradiction to his teacher, who, in order to situate the comet beyond the moon, requires that the moon be one of those objects which are greatly magnified.

In Simon Mayr’s absence I was obliged to proceed against his pupil, in the manner described in the Defense which I published at the time.

To this I reply in the first place that for the same reason Sarsi might let Guiducci and me alone, as we are outside the circle of those worthy ancient and modem authors against whom his teacher was contending. The election of Barberini seemed to assure Galileo of support at the highest level in the Church.

If, instead of filching some trifle, I had more nobly set myself to search out books by some reputable author not as well known in these parts, and had then tried to suppress his name and attribute all his labors to myself, perhaps Sarsi would consider such an enterprise as grand and heroic as the other seems to him cowardly and abject.

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