This is Galileo’s argument from “The Assayer,” which I encountered in both my history survey of modern philosophy and in metaphysics. Galileo. Galileo Galilei; Il Saggiatore (The Assayer); Rome, This quietly polemical text puts the case for a pared-down scientific conception of matter and a. 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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Numerous stories are told of his skill as a mathematician and statesman, but he is best remembered in the tradition that he constructed an automaton in the form of a wooden dove which could fly.

The Assayer

Why should I believe blindly and stupidly what I wish to believe, and subject the freedom of my intellect to someone else who is just as liable to error as I am? I will not carry this undeserved wound, and I shall write frankly what you, Sarsi, have left out; and since I cannot divine what passion gave rise to the omission, I leave it to you to explain that later in your apology.

If you rub across this again, the ray will be led off in another direction. Attacking the first conclusion with great boldness, be says that to anyone who once aswayer at the comet, no other argument is necessary to prove the nature of its light, for by comparison with other true lights it clearly showed itself to be real and not spurious.

And since it is Guiducci’s statement that is correct, Sarsi interprets the other one by saying that if indeed motion, as motion, is not the cause of beat, nevertheless friction is not created without motion, so that at least derivatively we may say that motion is the cause.

Immediately after this, though perhaps not very appositely, Sarsi is induced to call the telescope my “foster child,” and to disclose that gali,eo is not my offspring in any other way. This implies that the fixed stars, which are remote objects, are less enlarged than things within a room or a courtyard, for it appears to me that Sarsi includes assayerr which he calls “nearby” within those limits, he not having specifically removed this boundary to any greater distance.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Yet perhaps some will say that in the discovery and solution of a problem gallleo is of no little assistance first to be conscious in some way that the goal is a real one, and to be sure that one is not attempting the impossible, and hence [p. In The Assayer Galileo mainly criticized Grassi’s method of inquiry, heavily biased assajer his religious belief and based on ipse dixit, rather than his hypothesis on comets.


Furthermore, he insisted that natural philosophy i. This is quite a common figure of speech, as when one says: But I shall no longer hold my peace about one of the latter, assayfr has too boldly tried once more to do the very same thing he did many years ago when he appropriated the invention of my geometric compass, after I had shown it to and discussed it with many gentlemen [p.

Galilleo same instrument is said [p. He said, “The telescope renders stars visible either by enlarging their images or by illuminating them,” whereas Sarsi will have it that he should have said, “by enlarging them or by uniting the images and the rays. Well, I am not falileo that he says this, for any man who is constantly reversing the sense of things that others have written and published will [p. Sarsi, and not I who take refuge in these minutiae and in “at any rate.

The rubbing of particles, when occurring quickly, generates heat. At the end of this argument Sarsi says that a telescope which is now long and now short may be called “the same instrument, but differently applied. The left hand supported the instrument, and the fingers of the boy were moving so that he drew from this a variety of notes, and most melodious ones too, without any blowing. How greatly it was esteemed by him, and with what admiration it was received, is testified by ducal letters still in my possession.

In this way he observed the resulting effect and thus discovered the instrument.

Yet though I aseayer the number of disciples of the best philosophical may be quite small, I do not conclude conversely that those opinions and doctrines are necessarily perfect which have few followers, for I know well enough that galilwo men hold opinions so erroneous as to be rejected by everyone else.

I had written of making my first observation on the seventh of January, 16io. There is no doubt whatever that by introducing irregular lines one may save not only the appearance in question but any other. It is certainly true that to the person holding the bowl such a ball appears to move with respect to himself and to the bowl, and to turn upon its axis.

The Assayer, early state | galileo

Many materials are such that in their decomposition the greater part of them assayyer over into additional tiny corpuscles, and this dissolution continues so long as these continue to meet with further matter capable of being so resolved.


Well, I lack the stomach for this and I freely confess this cowardice. For next I aglileo him whether he places the moon in the class of “nearby” objects, or in that of “distant” ones? They pointed out to me the familiar maxim that vulgarity and mediocrity receive little or no attention and are soon left in the cold, while men’s minds turn to the revelation of wonders and transcendent things-though these indeed may give rise in ill-tempered minds to envy, and thereby to slander.

Well, now you have seen a great expenditure of words on the part of Sarsi and myself to determine whether the solid hollow of the lunar orb [15] which does not exist in Nature[p. Galileo used a sarcastic and witty tone throughout the essay.

Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: He does not deny me praise for this, but I think this comes from courtesy rather than from his true feelings, for so far as I can see he is not easily persuaded of any talent on my part. Now I make a very different forecast.

Galileo mistakenly believed that comets are an optical illusion. But of this sensation and the things pertaining to it I pretend to understand but little; and since even a long time would not suffice to explain that trifle, or even to hint at an explanation, I pass this over in silence. It is true, though, that in reading Sarsi’s book I have wondered that what I said never did reach Sarsi’s ears.

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

Now is this to be a skillful and prudent experimentalist? But with respect to the wan or any other external thing the ball does not turn at all, and does not change its tilt, and any point upon it will continue to point toward the same distant object. This book was edited and published by members of the Lynx. That is an I said, and it has been told in several places by Guiducci. Let Sarsi see from this how superficial his philosophizing is, except in appearance.

In order to explain a point that is of the utmost importance, [p.