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This latest installment in our On the Shoulders of Giants series presents the provocative essay by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) in its entirety. Famed for its unapologetic support of Copernicus's theory and subsequent proof that the earth did indeed revolve around the sun (and not vice versa), Galileo's essay engendered great controversy when it was published, as well as heThis latest installment in our On the Shoulders of Giants series presents the provocative essay by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) in its entirety. Famed for its unapologetic support of Copernicus's theory and subsequent proof that the earth did indeed revolve around the sun (and not vice versa), Galileo's essay engendered great controversy when it was published, as well as heated opposition from the Church. The first work to outwardly challenge the established authority of religion, Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences set the standard for all future scientists faced with the conflict of science and religion. In this text, readers will also find an illuminating biography of the father of modern physics, and an introduction by modern-day physics superstar Stephen Hawking....

Title : Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
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ISBN : 9780762420155
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 248 Pages
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Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences Reviews

  • Roy Lotz
    2018-07-27 05:46

    I should think that anyone who considered it more reasonable for the whole universe to move in order to let the earth remain fixed would be more irrational than one who should climb to the top of your cupola just to get a view of the city and its environs, and then demand that the whole countryside should revolve around him so that he would not have to take the trouble to turn his head.It often seems hard to justify reading old works of science. After all, science continually advances; pioneering works today will be obsolete tomorrow. As a friend of mine said when he saw me reading this, “That shit’s outdated.” And it’s true: this shit is outdated.Well, for one thing, understanding the history of the development of a theory often aids in the understanding of the theory. Look at any given technical discipline today, and it’s overwhelming; you are presented with such an imposing edifice of knowledge that it seems impossible. Yet even the largest oak was once an acorn, and even the most frightening equation was once an idle speculation. Case in point: Achieving a modern understanding of planetary orbits would require mastery of Einstein’s theories—no mean feat. Flip back the pages in history, however, and you will end up here, at this delightful dialogue by a nettlesome Italian scientist, as accessible a book as ever you could hope for.This book is rich and rewarding, but for some unexpected reasons. What will strike most moderns readers, I suspect, is how plausible the Ptolemaic worldview appears in this dialogue. To us alive today, who have seen the earth in photographs, the notion that the earth is the center of the universe seems absurd. But back then, it was plain common sense, and for good reason. Galileo’s fictional Aristotelian philosopher, Simplicio, puts forward many arguments for the immobility of the earth, some merely silly, but many very sensible and convincing. Indeed, I often felt like I had to take Simplicio’s side, as Galileo subjects the good Ptolemaic philosopher to much abuse. I’d like to think that I would have sensed the force of the Copernican system if I were alive back then. But really, I doubt it. If the earth was moving, why wouldn’t things you throw into the air land to the west of you? Wouldn’t we feel ourselves in motion? Wouldn’t canon balls travel much further one way than another? Wouldn’t we be thrown off into space? Galileo's answer to all of these questions is the principal of inertia: all inertial (non-accelerating) frames of reference are equivalent. That is, an experiment will look the same whether it's performed on a ship at constant velocity or on dry land.(In reality, the surface of the earth is non-inertial, since it is undergoing acceleration due to its constant spinning motion. Indeed the only reason we don’t fly off is because of gravity, not because of inertia as Galileo argues. But for practical purposes the earth’s surface can be treated as an inertial reference frame.)Because this simple principle is the key to so many of Galileo’s arguments, the final section of this book is trebly strange. In the last few pages of this dialogue, Galileo triumphantly puts forward his erroneous theory of the tides as if it were the final nail in Ptolemy’s coffin. Galileo’s theory was that the tides were caused by the movement of the earth, like water sloshing around a bowl on a spinning Lazy Susan. But if this was what really caused the tides, then Galileo’s principle of inertia would fall apart; since if the earth’s movements could move the oceans, couldn’t it also push us humans around? It’s amazing that Galileo didn’t mind this inconsistency. It’s as if Darwin ended On the Origin of Species with an argument that ducks were the direct descendants of daffodils.Yet for all the many quirks and flaws in this work, for all the many digressions—and there are quite a few—it still shines. Galileo is a strong writer and a superlative thinker; following along the train of his thoughts is an adventure in itself. But of course this work, like all works of science, is not ultimately about the mind of one man; it is about the natural world. And if you are like me, this book will make you think of the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars in the sky; will remind you that your world is spinning like a top, and that the very ground we stand on is flying through the dark of space, shielded by a wisp of clouds; and that the firmament up above, something we often forget, is a window into the cosmos itself—you will think about all this, and decide that maybe this shit isn’t so outdated after all.

  • Manny
    2018-08-08 08:09

    [A pleasant Venetian villa; through the open window, we see tourists photographing each other with their iPads while gondolas traverse a canal in the background. SALVIATI effusively greets his guests, SAGREDO and SIMPLICIO]SALVIATI: Welcome, dear friends, and many thanks for answering my urgent convocation! It is my earnest wish that we now devote some hours to mutual discussion, as we have so often done before, but this time on a different topic: to wit, that book written by Galileo in 1629, which has excited so much controversy in the nearly four centuries since it first appeared to an astonished world.SAGREDO: Indeed, there is nothing that could afford me more pleasure, for I know that no man has greater power than you, Salviati, to penetrate to the heart of things and make the difficult appear simple. I am yours to command, and what little wit I have is entirely at your disposal.SALVIATI: If my discourse has merit, it is as much due to the keen testing it has received at your hands as to any small ability I may myself possess. And naturally I must also thank Simplicio, who will in his usual way propound the contrary hypotheses, and take it in good part that he is continually refuted and humiliated at our hands. I hope he will understand that it is not done in any spirit of malice, but merely that the truth may be the more plainly seen.SIMPLICIO: To be honest, I do not know what you are talking about; I feel that, on the whole, I have acquitted myself well in our verbal jousts. But I wonder if we may not proceed to the matters on which we intended to converse; for we have now spent many minutes on these polite exchanges, pleasant as they may be, and I cannot but help that I fear we may be in danger of losing our audience. Indeed, if there were one criticism I feel tempted to level against our Linceian friend's book, it is that it is overlong, and contains too much that is at best of marginal relevance to the subjects it purportedly seeks to treat, and rather tends to divagate into side-channels which with time have lost their urgency and interest.SALVIATI: You are mistaken, Simplicio, and I will lead you to deduce that from facts that you already know full well. Now tell me, is it not true that a book in many respects is like to a house? SIMPLICIO: I fail to grasp your meaning. The one is made of words, and the other of bricks and mortar; how could these be the same?SALVIATI: You are correct, my dear Simplicio, but you do not go far enough in your reasoning. A heap of bricks is no house, just as a list of words is no book. To build a house, you must skillfully arrange the bricks, to form the foundation, then the first storey, then the second, and so on; and similarly, to make a book, the words must be arranged to create the introduction, then the first chapter, then the second, until one reaches the end. SIMPLICIO: This I grant you.SALVIATI: Now one may look at a house, and feel that it is overlarge; but if one should remove some of the bricks from a lower storey, what will happen?SIMPLICIO: It will collapse, of course.SALVIATI: Exactly so! And in the same way, were we to remove some of the words from this book, the argument would fall of its own accord; for just as the higher bricks in a house are balanced on the lower, so the later words of a book rest on the earlier. Now do you see?SIMPLICIO: But--SAGREDO: I, for my part, am quite overcome by the elegance of Salviati's reasoning; truly, if this be the only thing I learn today, I shall count myself well rewarded already. And now I think we must heed Simplicio's warning, and move on to weightier matters, namely the content of the book and the question of how well it has withstood the test of the years.SALVIATI: An excellent plan. Simplicio, lest you again tax us with losing time in overlong and prolix explanations, I beg you to do us the honour of guiding our conversation in an appropriate direction. What is your opinion here?SIMPLICIO: Well, surely all the world is now in agreement on this point. Galileo, the revered author of this book, is universally acknowledged as a martyr, maybe even the foremost martyr, of science in its age-old war with religion; time has given him right on each and every point he brought up, and has long covered his ecclesiastical opponents in shame and ignominy. Indeed, his words, Eppur si muove, have become a veritable rallying-cry for scientists in their fight against base religious superstition.SALVIATI: Though this phrase does not in fact appear anywhere in the book, and there is some doubt as to whether Galileo ever said it.SIMPLICIO: This is of little matter. The important thing is Galileo's scientific arguments, which eloquently speak for themselves.SALVIATI: By his scientific arguments, you mean his proofs that the Earth rotates on its axis and circles the sun, rather than standing still in the center of the universe, as argued by Aristotle and the Peripatetic school?SIMPLICIO: Quite so, that is exactly what I refer to.SALVIATI: Now tell me, which of Galileo's several arguments did he consider weightiest and of most significance?SIMPLICIO: It is some time since I read the Dialogue; I fear I do not recall it in sufficient detail to be able to answer.SALVIATI: Then I shall ask you quickly to read the final chapter, so that you can remind yourself of its content. Here, I have brought a copy with me. Well?SIMPLICIO: It is true, he does consider his argument from the nature of the tides to be the most convincing; and with the advance of scientific knowledge, it would appear that it is not correct in every detail.SAGREDO: My dear Simplicio, you are too kind to your revered author! To say that it is not correct in every detail is the grossest of understatements; say rather, that it is utterly fallacious from start to finish, and can be readily refuted by arguments which Galileo himself adduces in earlier parts of the book. That he should obstinately have clung to it over the course of two decades and regarded it as the crowning jewel in his life's work is one of the great mysteries of science. SALVIATI: To make a bad matter worse, Galileo even goes so far as to pour scorn on what later turned out to be the correct hypothesis, namely that tides are caused by the gravitational influence of the moon and sun, as argued by the Catholic priest Marcantonio de Dominis in his 1624 pamphlet Euripus sive sententio de fluxu et refluxu maris, and he moreover castigates the author as dealing in occult speculations.SIMPLICIO: I do not know what to say; I find it hard to believe that the great Galileo could have mistaken himself to this extent, and I am sure that a closer reading of the passage will reveal much in his favour. But even if your accusations have substance, which I do not concede, a single slip is hardly of great consequence. The rest of the book is still sound. Otherwise, I doubt that so many great scientists would speak as warmly as they do in Galileo's favour. For example, Bertrand Russell in Science and Religion refers to him as "the greatest man of his age", while A.D. White in A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom says--SALVIATI: Let us for the moment leave to one side the opinions of these learned men, and continue with those of Galileo. For example, please tell me a little more about his observations on the paradox of the rotating Earth?SIMPLICIO: With pleasure. Galileo confronted arguments that the Earth could not rotate, and utterly refuted them. He showed that all motion was relative, in contradiction to the then-established principles of Aristotle; and with his celebrated experiment of dropping an object from the mast of a moving boat--SALVIATI: Was this experiment ever performed?SIMPLICIO: I am not sure. But the result is so obvious that this is hardly necessary. A moment's reflection suffices to show that--SALVIATI: Surely this is not a trivial matter. Galileo repeatedly argues that all points of disagreement must be resolved by experiment; yet, on a point crucial to his theory, he either did not perform the experiment, or gives no details of what was done.SIMPLICIO: In that case, I am convinced that Galileo did perform the experiment. And since the rest of the argument is clearly sound, this small point of doubt is no more than an academic quibble.SAGREDO: Steady on, Simplicio! You are sure that the argument is sound?SIMPLICIO: Quite sure. Though, as I said, I have not read the book recently.SALVIATI: I think our friend touches here on the question of whether a rotating Earth would throw off all loose objects due to the action of a centrifugal force. Can you tell us how Galileo answered this objection? You may wish to read this passage first.SIMPLICIO: I am somewhat confused. It appears, on a superficial reading, that Galileo believes himself to have proved that no rotating planet, no matter how quickly it turns, can ever throw off an object into space. But surely it is impossible that Galileo could have meant this; I fear the translator has somehow garbled his words, or given them an unintended meaning.SALVIATI: And why do you suspect that the translation is at fault? SIMPLICIO: It is surely obvious! All the world knows that, when Galileo was confronted by the Inquisition, he was utterly in the right, and the the Inquisition in the wrong; why, I have recently read as much in books by Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, peace be upon his memory. Were there such gaps and lacunae in Galileo's reasoning as you suggest, once could well believe that matters were quite unclear, and that the Inquisition were not entirely unreasonable in their methods of proceeding.SALVIATI: What I am asking is the following: does a close study of the text lead you to this conclusion?SIMPLICIO: It is hardly important: I am sure that these great thinkers could not be mistaken on such an important matter.SALVIATI: But my dear Simplicio, Galileo would not wish you to quote authorities in his defence: the entire burden of his argumentation is that one should examine the facts for oneself and ignore the opinions of authorities, be they ever so weighty. I fear it was exactly this obstinacy, which falls dangerously close to the opinions of Luther and Calvin, which prompted the ire of the Holy See, in the person of Pope Urban VIII. SAGREDO: I am once again struck by the extraordinary insight which Salviati brings to bear on all matters: we are truly fortunate to be in the presence of a man who can render the most difficult matters simple. I feel that I have been stumbling about in the dark all through this discussion, and only now am able to see things in the clear light of day. I will make haste to reread Galileo's book, paying the closest attention to all the matters of which Salviati speaks, so that I can form my own opinion of them. And now, I fear that we have been overtaxing our aimiable friend's hospitality, and we are all wearied by our discussion; so I move that we adjourn the day's proceedings, and continue again tomorrow when our spirits have been refreshed.

  • Gary
    2018-08-12 03:01

    The end of Scholasticism starts with this book. The Aristotelian thought (or as the book usually calls them The Peripatetics) and its appeal to authority and the appearance of the phenomena as truth are overturned. Sometimes what we see (such as the sun rising in the east) is not what is. I loved the way Galileo uses the Aristotelian logic to poke holes in the Ptolemaic science (particularly, using proof by contradiction). Often in the other books I've read they'll make a statement such that Galileo purposely kept his argument to the Ptolemaic versus the Copernican system and ignored the Tycho system because he couldn't refute that as easily. After having read this book, I don't see that at all. The argument on the movement of the sunspots moving across the sun are best explained by a moving earth (or otherwise would lead to bizarre motions of the sun) and would work against the Tycho system as well. Except for the bible, I don't think any single book from all the books I've read over the last five years has been mentioned or quoted more frequently then this book has. There are multiple reasons to really enjoy this book. It's a great peek into the mindset of the very beginnings of modernity countermanding the pernicious influence of religious thought by permeating reason and rational thought. Proof by authority is never sufficient. The narrative we use to explain the world is as important as the phenomena. Relativity is cool. Even a brilliant person gets things wrong such as Galileo does with his tide hypothesis (now I finally understand what that was). Often the book would read exactly like the morons who today argue against Climate Change. Particularly, the section were Galileo was trying to show the super nova of 1574 was in the firmament and not below the moon. The argumentation that they were using sounded just like what the morons who say that the weather stations on earth (or the satellites) aren't recording accurately because of blah, blah, blah. Science has multiple values and none of them are absolute. One of it's values is how the story your telling fits into the current web of knowledge that's available. The moving earth around the sun upsets everything that was thought to be known as true in 1610 Europe and shakes it to its core, but, in the end, good argumentation with the proper narrative will end out. Fortunately, simplicity, accuracy, explanation, and prediction are some of the other values of science. Relative thought is hard to grasp and Galileo makes it easy. I would spend multiple days on two or three pages trying to digest what was being said. It's always good to learn how other people think before gravity was a force and calculus wasn't yet discovered. This version of the book I thought was very good. It had necessary footnotes (I didn't know Etiopico was Ethiopia and often referred to all of Africa below Egypt, e.g.). The least self-aware statement I've seen is in the forward by Albert Einstein which he wrote in June 1952 while criticizing Galileo for ignoring Keplers' elliptical orbits: "a grotesque illustration of the fact that creative individuals are often not receptive". Gee, Einstein maybe should have been receptive to quantum theory, don't you think?

  • Jonathan
    2018-08-05 10:53

    Why hadn't I read this book before? Not just one of the greatest texts in the history of science but fabulously written and entertaining as a dialogue. We hear about Galileo in high school, but that isn't like getting it right from the source.

  • Pandiya
    2018-07-20 09:47

    I have read only first ten pages of the book.

  • David
    2018-08-11 07:12

    Two New Sciences is definitely a unique physical treatise in that it is written as a Platonic style dialogue. As the title suggests, the dialogue serves to highlight a shift in thought and the format does prove suitable to allow ideas and opinions to clash freely. Simplicio is the clear-cut Aristotelian of the group. Sagredo and Salviati seem like mouthpieces for conflicting ideas with which Galileo himself had to reckon to arrive at his conclusions which are given in the text written by the "Academician." Another good thing about the dialogue style is that the reader can elect to follow closely or to remain a little aloof and just listen in. I chose the latter for the majority part and this reading experience reminded me of my high school and college years where I mostly found myself merely present at conversations without being really involved in them. -pause- *brief but painful flashbacks which abruptly dissipate* ...Whoa, sorry...anyways... While this fate isn't exactly enviable in real-life social settings, the approach works well for this book. Those who do choose to follow along, I admire you. The Euclidean style of working with ratios and line segments rather than quantifying values with numbers dominates the many proofs. Again, I think it's more helpful as a work which displays the "history of ideas" at play and in transition. Time-honored opinions are bolstered or dismantled by experimental reasoning. While it may be thought a criticism to be labeled an "intermediate" work for the science of Newton, there is truly no shame in that at all. One can't have ends without process.

  • Mark Woodland
    2018-08-14 04:13

    This is still a fascinating read over 400 years later. They don't write them like this anymore; the classic "dialogue" format that one finds in classic writings such as those by Plato was not in general use. However, given the clash between the two dominant models of the order of the universe at the time, it was a perfect choice, and well "argued" on each side. Of course, the Copernican system was proved out, but the process by which it was done is an excellent example of the use of logic, and the demonstration of facts, observation and data as the trump cards over the "thought experiment" mindset behind the Ptolemaic system. In that respect, the Dialogue is an important forerunner of the modern scientific paper; it's written in such a way that it not only proves itself right, but explains how the data was gathered and analyzed, and invites others to duplicate the experiments that led to the proof. This was what gave it such lasting power, despite the Catholic Church's attempts to suppress it. Fortunately, Galileo had many powerful friends in Europe who made sure that it continued to circulate. Amusingly, well over 400 years later, the best that the Church can come up with is that they may have been a little hasty when it came to Galileo; they have yet to come out and say that they were wrong. I recommend this book to anyone interested in astronomy, logic, mathematics or scientific inquiry. The quality of the translation is impressive as well.

  • Brian Maicke
    2018-08-07 05:02

    This is a great book to start with for those interested in the scientific classics. Written as a dialogue and in the vernacular rather than Latin, Dialogues is a much more accessible read than the Copernicus text I started with. There is still a bit of geometry that may be off putting to some readers, but even those without a science background should be able to follow the discussion if they have an interest.

  • Khalil
    2018-08-02 07:53

    According to Socrates Everybody can grasp philosophical truths if they just use their innate reason , and that is what Galileo " tried " to do with Simplicio , he ( Galileo ) worked exactly like Socrates ( and his mother before him ) as a midwife , and tried to give birth to Simplicio`s reason in time which scriptures was sacred and reason was forbidden .

  • James Violand
    2018-08-06 05:57

    Believe it or not, I found this to be one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Easily understood, it is a seminal work in the history of science. Excellent.

  • Xander
    2018-08-12 08:13

    I read parts of this book in 2016, when I was self-studying physics. I used a textbook that often referred to the main historical works of figures like Copernicus, Kepler and Galilei, and I thought it interesting to read (parts of) these references as well.I found Galilei's books surprisingly accessible and fun to read. Works of Copernicus and Kepler are hard to read for modern day readers due to the heavy use of outdated and complex mathematics. Galileo uses the form of a dialogue to bring his point across - a world of difference!In his first Dialogue, on the two main world systems (Ptolemaic and Copernican, or geocentric and heliocentric respectively), Galileo uses three characters to explain the two different systems. Salviati is the modern (by Galilei's standards) view of Copernicus, which set the Sun at the centre of the cosmos and the Earth and the five planets in circular motions around the Sun. Simplicio represents the old system, based on the astronomical model of Ptolemy and the philosophy of Aristotle - this is the system that was guiding in Christian theology at the time (due to Thomas Aquinas who combined the philosophy of Aristotle with the Christian doctrines). Salviati starts to explain the practical consequences of the Copernican view, while Simplicio keeps using Aristotelean objections to his views. Sagredo, the third character, is a neutral listener and is persuaded, during the conversation, to adopt more and more of the new Copernican world system and drop more and more of the Christian/Aristotelean world system. This takes place during (a fictional) four days, in which different topics are discusses between the three characters.From what I remember, Salviati uses the Aristotelean style of arguing, leading to the defeat - time and time again - of Simplicio. In other words, Salviati adopts Simplicio's way of arguing and hence defeats Simplicio with his own rules. It is easy to see which character represents Galileo - Salviati - and it is not strange that this book led Galilei to be arrested by the Inquisition. Galilei had written Siderius Nuncius some years before, in which he explained his discoveries with the telescope. This was ground breaking science at the time, especially the discovery of the phases of Venus, which was the decisive observation that vindicated the Copernican world system. The phases are the product of the motion of the Earth around the Sun and the orbit of Venus around the Sun. The position of Venus relative to the Earth changes, hence the different sizes and shapes of Venus. This led Galilei to conclude that the 'retrograde motion' in the old system of Ptolemy was falsified, hence the Ptolemaic system should be dropped in the trash can and the Copernican system should be adopted. In a time (the Counter Reformation) when the Catholic Church felt the need to regain and strengthen its orthodoxy, it's not strange that Galilei was warned not to publish anything anymore on the topic of Copernican astronomy.His first Dialogue was Galilei's refusal to accept this restriction. Instead of explaining on the basis of observational evidence (as in Siderius Nuncius) the falsehood of the Ptolemaic world system, he now went head-on and destroyed the whole Aristotelean/Christian worldview philosophically. In other words, he denied the Church warning not to publish and hence was arrested, tried and convicted to lifelong house arrest. Galilei was old enough at the time of his trial, so lifelong house arrest wasn't that bad. The worst thing for him was that he was not allowed to publish anymore.(Still, he managed to write a second dialogue in his dying days and sneak it out of his house to let it be published in Leyden.)The whole context of the Dialogue on the Two Chief World System makes this a remarkable book. It is important as a historical document, culturally as well as scientifically. As a bonus, it's written very well. I can definitely recommend reading this book! I, for one, plan to read this book again in the future (as a whole instead of loose parts).

  • Andreas Schmidt
    2018-08-19 07:52

    Come vincere una guerra che probabilmente è già vinta?Il testo di Galilei è un capolavoro di sfottimento, al contempo scientifico e paziente. Pur ovvio il fatto che dato il periodo della sua vita, l'informazione scientifica circolava molto lentamente (qui, due minuti dopo l'esperimento scientifico è già su 47 blog), il testo del Galilei rimane una lunga diatriba di confutazione della scienza aristotelica. Il problema di per sé è, che trattavasi di una guerra già vinta, visto che il suo discorso violento contro chi la pensava "alla vecchia maniera" non ha motivo assoluto d'essere; avrebbe sfondato una porta aperta, visto che la Chiesa stessa condannava la sua "eresia" di voler cambiare non la scienza, ma le sacre scritture, e più volte è stata accomodante verso il suo pensiero. Come più volte è stato posto l'invito allo scienziato Galilei di badare alle sue scienze, che alla Chiesa ci avrebbe pensato la Chiesa. Probabilmente se avesse conosciuto la modestia taoista al giorno d'oggi non cercheremmo di ricordarlo come il Braveheart della fisica/astronomia moderna.

  • Myat Thura Aung
    2018-08-15 09:59

    Needless to say, this book is of such great importance to the history of science and to the scientific literature.Galileo is smart enough to write it in the form of a dialogue so that the book is a bit entertaining and accessible to a layman person (despite containing a little geometry).The silly arguments of the character Simplicio and the satirical remarks of Sagredo are quite amusing at times.To learn Galileo's arguments alone is worth enough to give it a shot.So I'd recommend this to anyone interested in astronomy or in argumentation.

  • Ivan Savić
    2018-07-26 07:56

    Zanimljivo je da se vidi kako su ljudi razmišljali o nekim prirodnim pojavama i kako su ih objašnjavali pre 4 veka. Pisano je zanimljivo kao dijalog 3 čoveka među kojima nije Galilej, i vrlo je čitko za razliku od nekih knjiga iz filozofije, ali je to i možda loša strana jer nemaš osećaj da ti se Galilej obraća, nego je još malo kao da čitaš fikciju. U svakom slučaju zanimljivo za čitanje onom ko se interesuje za istoriju nauke.

  • Sid Nuncius
    2018-07-31 03:45

    It's not the most alluring of titles, I admit, and even though most people have heard of Galileo and many know enough of his achievements to admire him, I suspect few people would consider reading a book by him. However, I urge you very strongly to buy this book and at least give it a try. It's a wonderful work, full of fascinating and brilliant insights and Stillman Drake's superlative translation makes it extremely readable. It gives a fascinating insight into what Galileo *really* did to annoy the Inquisition and shows his often brilliantly witty and occasionally dangerously sarcastic style. Even to dip into, this book is a monumental pleasure.Try this, the first few lines of the Introduction - To The Discerning Reader:"Several years ago there was published in Rome a salutary edict which, in order to obviate the dangerous tendencies of our present age, imposed a seasonable silence upon the Pythagorean opinion that the Earth moves. There were those who impudently asserted that this decree had its origin not in judicious inquiry, but in passion none too well informed. Complaints were to be heard that advisers who were totally unskilled in astronomical observations ought not to clip the wings of reflective intellects by means of rash prohibitions. Upon hearing such carping insolence, my zeal could not be contained..."I first read that while studying History of Science forty years ago, laughed out loud, and read the rest of the book with immense pleasure. It is written in the form of dialogues presided over by Sagredo ("wise man") and conducted between Salviati (really Galileo himself) and the person representing the Church's orthodoxy, whom Galileo christened Simplicio. Tactful, he wasn't, but he was a brilliant physicist and a brilliant author, filling the book with witty and amazingly ingenious arguments resulting in poor Simplicio being confounded at every turn.I cannot say strongly enough what a pleasure this book is. It really isn't just a tome which will sit on your shelf looking impressive, or which you ought to plough through because it will Do You Good. It's wonderfully enjoyable and hugely rewarding, and I recommend it very highly indeed.

  • Matt
    2018-08-03 04:50

    Salviati, Sagredo and Simplicio serve as Galileo’s vehicles to discuss the conflict between the Ptolemic/ Aristotelian universe and the Copernican. Separated into discussions over four days, Salviati is Galileo’s proxy as he disassembles Simplicio’s geocentrism to win over the undecided Sagredo. The first day is a lively debate which sets the stage for the intellectual battle between established “scientific” belief and the persuasiveness of observable and geometric facts. With only polite restraint, Salviati rips apart the philosophers who intellectualize the world for structure instead of those who observe and interact with it to understand it. As the days progress, Salviati relies more and more upon the geometric proofs which support his position which make it difficult for those not geometrically inclined to follow the conversation. Unfortunately, the geometry eventually supersedes the writing. However, I am the first to admit that this is the weakness of the reader (like me) and not the book. As a fairly accessible, well-documented (if not oftentimes incorrect) and engaging scientific work, it’s undoubtedly an excellent and seminal work. But if we look at this as literature, which it attempts to be through its dialogue format, it falls apart as it relies more heavily on geometric diagrams than words.

  • Sean
    2018-08-05 04:59

    For genius level of thought and scientific practice, this is obviously five stars. I give it four only because for a modern reader, it does go on a bit. Despite that, it's very readable for a 400 year old book. And the length is interesting because it's caused by the extensive nature of the arguments Galileo had to make to convince people of this crazy proposition that the Earth moves. Though not an idea original to Galileo, even in his time it was not something people believed. Galileo used actual experiments, not to mention inventing the telescope, to prove that it was true, and he's got all kinds of brilliant, intuitive arguments to make his case.In the last section he goes on about how the tides could only be caused by the Earth's rotation and orbit, so he was off there, but still, his reasoning almost convinces. No one understood gravity yet back then, and what the moon was up to.The other barrier to belief in a mobile Earth was that if you published anything saying you believed it, the church would torture you until you recanted. Which is what they did to Galileo after he published this book, even after he got permission in advance to write it (though he did promise he wouldn't be supporting the moving Earth, only discussing the arguments in its favor, which turned out to be bullshit).

  • Autumn Kotsiuba
    2018-07-27 09:01

    These sort of books are a bit tricky for me. On one hand, I ask myself how the ancients--or even those in Galilei's time--could believe that the earth was the center of the universe. But that wondering quickly ceases when I realize how little I understand. I mean, when I read Galilei, or Turing, or Einstein, I wonder how on earth I'll contribute anything to the human race when I've spent my life thus far just trying to wrap my head around what we've already learned. And anyways, I'm sure people 100 years from now will be laughing about something we believe to be fact.But anyways. This work is just great. I hope to be the sort of person represented here--who doesn't argue to be proven right, but to discover what the truth is. Period. And, if you know what Galileo, Bruno, and others went through for going against the mindset of the day...I mean, how can you not read such an important work? Some of my favorite parts:"It always seems to me extreme rashness on the part of some when they want to make human abilities the measure of what nature can do.""The truth has not so little light as not to be perceived through the darkness of falsehoods."

  • JP
    2018-08-11 08:49

    A review of all of the learning of his youth, he writes this as a dialogue between three scientific explorers playing the role of teacher, experimenter, and student. He covers a lot of content in relatively few pages. More than anything else here, we see the process of the curious mind discovering physical truth incrementally through experimentation. Consider the humorous example of he and his friend convincing themselves that light probably is instantaneous as a result of their distant lantern echo from but a mile away. Nonetheless, there is truth here about acceleration (at least a third of the work dedicated to the path and time of the parabola of motion, geometry of mean proportionals to calculate time and distance), mechanics (especially discovering different tensile and hanging strengths, also about pressure of rope and friction), and geometry (the area of a circle relative to an infinitely-sided regular polygon; infinites and finites).

  • Hangci Du
    2018-08-17 04:49

    总评: 原书成书于1638年。(牛顿作品之前五十年) 读这本书的缘起,是想要寻找牛顿“力”“惯性”观念的源头,但略失望,伽利略并没有明晰地指出这些概念。伽利略最大的功绩,是首次研究了运动学的规律,然而对于“力”在运动中的应用则很少,也没有明确指明。因此还需要读更多资料研究牛顿“力的加速度表述”的观念源头。 在山西科学技术出版社的《科学名著赏析 物理卷》中我明白,这里的“两种信科学”指的是材料力学和动力学。“伽利略是用力的观念研究运动的第一人,是动力学的奠基人”(拉格朗日《分析力学》)。本书写于伽利略去世前,是伽利略一生研究的集大成。体裁是三人四天的对话(与其之前的作品《托勒密哥白尼对话》是相同体裁)。这种体裁的缺点就是不够明朗啊~ 伽利略科学观受到三大思想影响:亚里士多德的思辨,欧几里得的几何,阿基米德的静力学。 按照《赏析》,本书四天的内容分为: 第一日,固体对断裂抵抗的讨论;(这是工程上的静力学嘛) 第二日:内聚力的原因 第三日:运动的讨论、均匀运动、自然加速运动 第四日:强迫运动和抛体 (第三第四日所讨论是我所感兴趣的(分别是运动学和动力学r),一二日所讨论的均是来自工程学的静力的内容,而这和时空的本性不相干,也不是我所感兴趣的)第三天、第四天 (讲的是运动的变化) 分为三大部分:匀速运动;匀加速运动(前第三天);抛射运动(第四天)。 在伽利略时代,关于运动的数学性质的研究还是一个新科学,并没有前人研究,因此伽利略最突出的贡献是运动学上的,主要是匀加速运动的数学性质。并且本书是按照欧几里得式的公理化体系进行演绎的。然而伽利略没有确定地给出力与运动的关系,在伽利略,力基本还是处于静力学的范畴:用于分析平衡以及不平衡。 另外,惊人地发现当时数学工具的简陋,代数的发展极其滞后,无论是牛顿还是伽利略,所运用的数学工具都是几何证明:大段的欧几里得几何的应用,可见在当时,几乎欧几里得的几何就是数学的全部,也可见欧几里得对于西方科学灵魂重大的塑造。 同时,书的第四日的最后,给了我重大的启发:将“力”与“运动”挂钩,杠杆原理是一个非常好的原理。通过虚位移的思想,很容易从杠杆原理出发,但这样似乎得到的也仅是动量守恒的结果。而牛顿的运动定律,是否可以从动量守恒导出呢?我还是没有理解牛顿的加速度定律的来源。得读一些这方面的书。

  • Zach
    2018-08-16 05:13

    Galileo is brilliant and surprisingly clear in his exposition of the Copernican system against the Aristotelian/Ptolemaic. The dialogue form suits the discussion well - Salviati makes some impressive deduction, Sagredo exclaims how impressive it is and adds his own thoughts, and Simplicio quotes Aristotle. That's a bit harsh to Simplicio - Galileo goes out of his way to introduce a ton of objections to his/Salviati's theories, which are duly refuted by Salviati. Sagredo also brings a nice practical viewpoint who is quick to think up experiments, while Salviati does the more abstract philosophising.The reasonings, both philosophical and geometrical, are incisive, and if Galileo missed on a few things (circular versus Kepler's elliptical motion, the tides) he was right about far more and eloquently and insightfully so.

  • S
    2018-08-16 07:45

    Pisa 15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642 Florence (Arcetri)1632Stillman Drake, trans.Albert Einstein, introductionStephen Jay Gould, series ed.Those that deny the motion of the earth would point out that birds could not keep up with 24 hours of flying so fast, and would look as if they were rapidly being carried westward.To reiterate, when we travel on horseback, we feel a wind against our face: what a wind we would feel if we were being borne in such rapid course (earth must complete revolution in 24 hours) against the air. To refute this reasoning for a motionless earth, Galileo develops step 1 of the theory of relativity. Using the motion of a ship, he proves that the motion of the person on the ship, or a ball being thrown back and forth, does not change whether the ship is stationary or at sea.

  • Jeremy
    2018-07-21 07:55

    Galileo is a seriously good writer, he's got a great sense of rhythm and the imagery he employs to get his points across about everything from how logic works, to what happens when a canon is fired, are brilliant. The dialogue format also works really well here, its actually really refreshing to see several different voices working through a series of problems instead of just reading one long, bloated tract. Best of all, he attacks intellectual dogmatism head on, and makes the case that when a set of observations about the world (specifically Aristotle's) don't seem to match it anymore, well you should probably figure something else out instead of just stuffing your fingers in your ears. I'd recommend this to almost anyone, its foundational and beautifully written.

  • David
    2018-08-11 09:12

    Fairly slow going, but it's fascinating to watch an early 17th-century natural philosopher work through an explanation of (what we would now call) gravitation without recourse to calculus or decimal fractions, with no finer measurement of time than the human heartbeat. Galileo's thought experiments work equally well as powerful mental images; his best is the traveler on a boat belowdecks.In this edition, the note to p. 360 explains an ingenious thumb-operatoed water clock that he devised to measure subsecond intervals.Galileo's challenge to all of us: get out of the library; go out into nature and observe!

  • Han beng Koe
    2018-08-02 04:47

    A very good book written by the "father of modern physics" which clearly shows how brilliant Galileo not only in his knowledge and importantly how he conveyed his idea to the reader, even Einstein wrote a foreword for this masterpiece by Galileo!It is not a very heavy material although some thinking is still needed, but all the argument is written beautifully and easy to understand.I recommend this book to everyone (in fact to every scientist!) who is interested how does the modern science kind of start, but be warned that the earlier science philosophy (Aristotelian, etc) is different from nowadays (most of the time we have taken for granted all the basics).

  • Dayla
    2018-07-20 10:54

    It took me forever...to finally sit down and read this book, but I was so happy once I understood the format and the topic of discussion. I learned so much, especially about movements of the sun verified by sun spots and completely different movements of the moon, whose front side is all those on earth can see. Very interesting process of using a dialogue to voice the opinions of the skeptic as well.

  • Ron Noteborn
    2018-08-10 05:11

    One would expect such an old text to be a bore, but in this modern version it reads really easy and the discussions are fascinating to follow. It gives more of an idea in why the followers of Aristoteles were thinking they were right, but also shows some early science, which isn't always right either, but interesting nonetheless.

  • Leslee
    2018-08-06 06:44

    Not only does this work make clear Galileo's incredible mind for science and philosophy, but it's also a riot! Who knew that one of the fathers of modern scientific thought had such a hilarious wit! It's delightfully and clearly written, easy for a layperson to follow and certainly worth anyone's time.

  • Zach
    2018-08-01 03:53

    well, i've only read the first couple of days, and am uncertain as to when i'll finish it, but it is an incredible work. just to witness galileo demolish aristotle is such an amazing feat that makes this book a lesson in rhetoric. of course, having read the a' man's physics will help make this book more intelligible.

  • Jordan Botta
    2018-08-11 05:49

    Excellent book for those ignorant to the current galactic model. Somewhat dry, but very educational and influential. I highly recommend it for someone who would like to learn about the progression of universal theories.