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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I ask you whether the comet’s flame is like our flames, or whether it has a different nature. The purpose of this was to maintain the axis of the earth galilso to itself throughout the year in order to account for the seasons. Tycho could not extricate himself from his own explanation of diversity in the apparent motion of his comet; but now Sarsi expects my mind to be satisfied and set at rest by a little poetic flower that is not followed by any fruit at all.

Sarsi would fail to remove these objections no matter balileo many new proofs of his own he added, even if they were themselves conclusive. 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 sssayer stars. Galilep, you see, Sarsi represents me as being finally convinced by the force of his logic and snatching at some very slender straw by saying that if it is true the fixed stars fail to receive enlargement as do nearby objects, then at any rate this is because the same instrument is not used, as the telescope must be a longer one for very close objects.

The Assayer | work by Galileo |

Now for this reason, forced to act by this unexpected and uncalled-for treatment, I break my previous resolve to publish no more. In a word, a comet is more like a toy planet than the real thing. When touched upon the soles of the feet, for example, or under the knee or armpit, it feels in addition to the common sensation of touch a sensation on which we have.

But let him not think he can reply with additional limitations, distinctions, logical technicalities, philosophical jargon, and other idle words, for I assure him that in sustaining one error he will commit a hundred others that are more serious, and produce always greater follies in his camp. And apart from what we see, what we smell is a clear sip that some sulfurous or bituminous parts may be ascending which remain invisible but make themselves known by their odor.

Lines are called regular when, having a fixed and definite description, they are susceptible of definition and of having their properties demonstrated. They sound different tones because they are of different lengths; and as to the material, this plays no part whatever in the formation of the sound.


Indeed, we know that the Fleming who was first to invent the telescope was a simple maker of ordinary spectacles who, casually falileo lenses of various sorts, happened to look through two at once, one convex and the other concave, and placed at different distances from the eye.

We meant to steer clear of those who ostentatiously engage in noisy contests merely to gali,eo popularly judged victors over others and pompously praised. You could prove on equal scriptural authority that the world is not eternal, and that having been created in time there cannot have been and cannot be an infinite number of men; and since foolishness reigns only among men, the above proposition could never be true even if all men-past, present, galioeo future-were fools.

I believe that they fly, and that they fly alone, like eagles, and not in flocks like starlings. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: And under this pretense, without the least shame for his disrespect, he robs those men of their reputations in order to cover up a slight oversight of his teacher’s.

Is it not astonishing that so many things have been reported to him which I never said, nor even thought, while not a single syllable reached him of other things that I have said over and over again? Before going on I wish to add something for Sarsi’s instruction. Here, indeed, Sarsi has a large field in which to show himself a better logician than all the other authors in the world; for I assure him that he will find the word “infinite” chosen in place of “extremely large” nine times out of ten.

Kepler reduced his reason to a diversity in refraction of the sun’s rays occurring in the material from which the comet’s tail is formed.

Perhaps the excitation of tastes may be given a certain analogy to fluids, which descend through air, and odors to fires, which ascend. Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our [p.

The Assayer

Publishing under the title of The World of Jupiter, he had the gall to claim that he had observed the Medicean planets which revolve about Jupiter before I had. In that way you will be able to find out just how much force human authority has upon the facts of Nature, which remains deaf and inexorable to our wishes.

But if you fail, I ask no more from you than silence, by which an end will be put to this dispute. 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. When Sarsi heated his bit of copper by pounding it many times, I can well believe that he detected no diminution in its weight even by the most delicate balance. Let Sarsi see from this how superficial his philosophizing is, except in appearance.

By Orlando’s sword, which they have not. Sarsi wishes to persuade me that the fixed stars receive no appreciable enlargement from the telescope.


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. I answer no, and the archer’s bow is broken and the shooting of syllogisms is over.

Galileo, Il Saggiatore (The Assayer)

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.

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. In order to convince us by experiments, you say that if we look through flames at people, firebrands, coals, printed pages, and candles, we shall see all these quite plainly.

This site uses cookies. He argues that heat is caused by tiny corpuscles moving at such a speed that they penetrate our bodies and that when they pass through us, the touch we feel is the heat. But having extended it that far, let Sarsi return again to his original questions, and ask me whether I need to lengthen my telescope very much in order to see “nearby” objects-that is, objects which are not beyond the orbit of the moon.

This experiment, and perhaps others, may have induced someone who was present at our discussions to attribute to me what Sarsi mentions nextthat is, a certain natural talent of mine for explaining by means of simple and obvious things others which are more difficult and abstruse. But in hying to show himself off as a great logician, let him beware lest he make himself appear a still greater sophist.

Should I not have been showing a wish to remain incognito? 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. Your Excellency may, if you like, show them to him some time so that he may by replying establish his position more solidly.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. If reasoning were like hauling Azsayer should agree that several reasoners would be worth more than one, just as several horses can haul more sacks of grain than one can.