Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo: Philosophical, Historical, and Historiographical Essays

Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo: Philosophical, Historical, and Historiographical Essays

by Maurice A. Finocchiaro

Hardcover(1st ed. 2021)

Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on September 13, 2021


This book collects a renowned scholar's essays from the past five decades and reflects two main concerns: an approach to logic that stresses argumentation, reasoning, and critical thinking and that is informal, empirical, naturalistic, practical, applied, concrete, and historical; and an interest in Galileo’s life and thought—his scientific achievements, Inquisition trial, and methodological lessons in light of his iconic status as “father of modern science.” These republished essays include many hard to find articles, out of print works, and chapters which are not available online. The collection provides an excellent resource of the author's lifelong dedication to the subject.

Thus, the book contains critical analyses of some key Galilean arguments about the laws of falling bodies and the Copernican hypothesis of the earth’s motion. There is also a group of chapters in which Galileo’s argumentation is compared and contrasted with that of other figures such as Socrates, Karl Marx, Giordano Bruno, and his musicologist father Vincenzo Galilei. The chapters on Galileo’s trial illustrate an approach to the science-vs-religion issue which Finocchiaro labels “para-clerical” and conceptualizes in terms of a judicious consideration of arguments for and against Galileo and the Church. Other essays examine argumentation about Galileo’s life and thought by the major Galilean scholars of recent decades. The book will be of interest to scholars in philosophy, logic, philosophy of science, history of science, history of religion, philosophy of religion, argumentation, rhetoric, and communication studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030771461
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 09/13/2021
Series: Argumentation Library , #40
Edition description: 1st ed. 2021
Pages: 461
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Maurice Finocchiaro received his undergraduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in “Humanities and Science,” specifically philosophy and physics. He did his graduate work in philosophy at the University of California-Berkeley, specializing in logic and philosophy of science: in logic he adopted an empirical and practical approach that emphasizes argumentation, reasoning, and critical thinking; and in philosophy of science he adopted a historical approach that aims to learn about the nature of science by studying important episodes in the history of science (e.g., the Copernican Revolution) and the work of great scientists (e.g., Galileo). He went on to teach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, such courses as introductory philosophy, introductory logic, critical thinking, logical theory, history of science, science and religion, and philosophy of science. This teaching experience led him to find excellent material in Galileo: Galileo’s scientific achievements for the historical approach to the philosophy of science; Galileo’s trial by the Inquisition for the study of science vs. religion; and Galileo’s critical argumentation about the earth’s motion for the empirical approach to logic. This background and these experiences encouraged and sustained Finocchiaro’s scholarship, which received the support of awards from the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, and Guggenheim Foundation. His books include Galileo and the Art of Reasoning; Defending Copernicus and Galileo: Critical Reasoning in the Two Affairs; Arguments about Arguments; Meta-argumentation; and On Trial for Reason: Science, Religion, and Culture in the Galileo Affair.

Table of Contents

Introduction.- PART I: GALILEAN ARGUMENTS.- Chapter 1. Rejection of Space-Proportional Speed.- Chapter 2. A Galilean Fallacy of Equivocation.- Chapter 3. Explanation of the Law of Squares.- Chapter 4. Arguments for and against the Earth’s Motion.- Chapter 5. Critique of the Ship-Experiment Argument.- PART II: COMPARISONS AND CONTRASTS.- Chapter 6. Socrates, Galileo, and Marx as Critical Thinkers.- Chapter 7. The Trials of Bruno and of Galileo.- Chapter 8. Galileo’s Daughter: The Book, the Movie, the Facts, and the Issues.- Chapter 9. Galileo’s Father: Method and Argument in Musicology and Astrophysics.- Chapter 10. Painting vs. Sculpture in the Cigoli Letter.- PART III: FOR OR AGAINST GALILEO OR THE CHURCH.- Chapter 11. The Berkeley Para-clerical Approach.- Chapter 12. Prison and Torture as False but Well-Founded Myths.- Chapter 13. Galileo under Fire and under Patronage.- Chapter 14. Religion vs. Science and Science vs. Religion: McMullin on the Church and Galileo.- Chapter 15. Legal Formalities and Improprieties: Mayer on the Inquisition Trying Galileo.- Chapter 16. Charity, Logic, and Para-clericalism: Agassi on Explaining Galileo’s Trial.- Chapter 17. Authenticity vs. Accuracy vs. Legitimacy: Pagano on the Vatican Documents.- PART IV: GALILEAN SCHOLARSHIP.- Chapter 18. Shapere’s Galileo: Philosophy vs. History vs. Erudition.- Chapter 19. Koyré’s Études galiléennes: Critical Reasoning vs. A Priori Rationalism.- Chapter 20. Feyerabend’s Against Method: Rationalism vs. Pseudo-irrationalism.- Chapter 21. Wallace’s Galileo and His Sources: Suppositional vs. Demonstrative Reasoning.- Chapter 22. Drake’s Essays on Galileo: Science vs. Philosophy.- Chapter 23. Camerota’s Galileo Galilei e la cultura scientifica: Disobedience vs. Heresy.- Chapter 24. Crombie’s Galileo’s Natural Philosophy: Disputation vs. Demonstration vs. Argumentation.- Bibliography.- Index.

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