16 Nov 2023 14:20

Galileo Galilei before the Sidereus Nuncius (1610)

Sala Berengo, Ca’ Foscari, Dorsoduro 3246, Venice

16-17 November 2023
From numerous perspectives, the Sidereus Nuncius represents a pivotal work—a symbolic turning point signaling the dawn of a new epoch while concurrently marking the conclusion of an ancient worldview. In 1610 the publication of this work (“one’s man battle cry against ignorance” according to the suggestive definition by John W. Hessler) did also mark a turning point in its author’s life. Up until then, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) had scant publications to his name, due in large part to his academic obligations as a mathematics professor at the Universities of Pisa (from 1589 to 1592) and Padua (from 1592 to 1610). But thanks also to the political slant he gave to some of the telescopic discoveries described in the Sidereus Nuncius, in 1610 he managed to transition to the Medici court, free from teaching duties and finally revered as the Grand Duke of Tuscany’s official mathematician and philosopher. 

Recognizing the crucial role this period plays in interpreting the subsequent developments of Galileo’s natural philosophy, the conference seeks to reflect anew on specific aspects of Galileo’s life and work before the Sidereus Nuncius. The goal is twofold: first, to deliver a comprehensive assessment of the studies on Galileo’s Pisan and Paduan period (also in relation to the ‘official’ Artistotelianism of the universities and the higher intellectual freedom permitted by local academies), thus setting a benchmark for future investigations; second, to present fresh research that illuminates this seminal period for Galileo’s scientific and philosophical thought. This kind of exploration may enhance our understanding of Galileo’s later work, and by extension, our perception of this important figure in the history of early modern science.

The program is available in the poster.

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The event will be held in English

Organized by

Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, CREMT - Center for Renaissance and Early Modern Thought


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