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V E N E T I I S , Apud Thomam Baglionum. M DC X. Superiorum Permiffu, & Privilegio.
Galileo Galilei, Sidereus mincius (1610): title page. This little book marks a turning-point in Galileo's life. Here he published his first telescopic discoveries, notably of the mountainous surface of the Moon and the satellites of Jupiter, which he named the Medicean stars after the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Here also he showed a serious commitment to the Gopernican system.




Published by Hambledon Press 1996 102 Gloucester Avenue, London NW1 8HX (UK) PO Box 102, Rio Grande, Ohio 45674 (USA) ISBN 1 85285 067 1 © Alistair Cameron Crombie 1996 A description of this book is available from the British Library and from the Library of Congress

Printed on acid-free paper and bound in Great Britain by Cambridge University Press


Acknowledgements Illustrations Preface Further Bibliography of A.C. Crombie 1 Designed in the Mind: Western visions of Science, Nature and Humankind 2 The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 3 Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science 4 Robert Grosseteste (c. 1168-1253) 5 Roger Bacon (c. 1219-1292) [with J.D. North] 6 Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature: A Medieval Speculation 7 Experimental Science and the Rational Artist in Early Modern Europe 8 Mathematics and Platonism in the Sixteenth-Century Italian Universities and in Jesuit Educational Policy 9 Sources of Galileo Galilei's Early Natural Philosophy 10 The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and of Nature [with A. Carugo] 11 Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric [with A. Carugo] 12 Galileo Galilei: A Philosophical Symbol 13 Alexandre Koyré and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne 14 Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language 15 Le Corps à la Renaissance: Theories of Perceiver and Perceived in Hearing 16 Expectation, Modelling and Assent in the History of Optics: i, Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition; ii, Kepler and Descartes 17 Contingent Expectation and Uncertain Choice: Historical Contexts of Arguments from Probabilities 18 P.-L. Moreau de Maupertuis, F.R.S. (1698-1759): Précurseur du Transformisme 19 The Public and Private Faces of Charles Darwin 20 The Language of Science

vii ix xi xiii

1 13 31 39 51 67 89 115 149 165 231 257 263 275 291 301 357 407 429 439


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought 443 451 465

21 Some Historical Questions about Disease 22 Historians and the Scientific Revolution 23 The Origins of Western Science

Appendix to Chapter 10: 479 (a) Sources and Dates of Galileos Writings [with A. Carugo] (b) Pietro Redondi, Galileo eretico (Torino, 1983) [with A. Carugo] (c) Mario Biagioli, Galileo, Courtier (Chicago, 1993) Corrections to Science, Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (1990) 495 Index 497


The articles reprinted here first appeared in the following places and are reprinted by kind permission of the original publishers. 1 2 History of Science, xxvi (1988), pp. 1-12. Proceedings of the 3rd International Humanistic Symposium 1975: The Case of Objectivity (Athenai: Hellenistic Society for Humanistic Studies, 1977), pp. 428-55. In Italian in Federico II e le Scienze: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Frederick II and the Mediterranean World (1990), a cura di A. Paravicini Bagliani (Palermo: Sellerio, 1995). Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. C.C. Gillispie, v (New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, 1972), pp. 548-54. Ibid., i (1970), pp. 377-85. L'infinito nella scienza, a cura di G. Toraldo di Francia (Roma: Enciclopedia Italiana, 1987), pp. 223-43. Daedalus, cxv (1986), pp. 49-74. Prismata: Naturwissenschaftsgeschichtliche Studien: Festchrift fur Willy Hartner, hrsg. Y. Maeyama aund W.G. Salzer (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH, 1977), pp. 63-94. Reason, Experiment and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution, ed. M.L. Righini Bonelli and W.R. Shea (New York: Science History Publications, 1975), pp. 157-75.


4 5 6 7 8


10 Annali dell' Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze, viii.2 (1983), pp. 1-68. 11 Nouvelles de la république des lettres (1988) ii, pp. 7-31. 12 Actes du VIIle Congrés International d'Histoire des Sciences (Florence, 1956), pp. 1089-95.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

13 The Renaissance of a History: Proceedings of the International Conference Alexandre Koyré, Paris, 1986, ed. P Redondi: History and Technology, iv (London, 1987), pp. 81-92. 14 In French in Nature, histoire, société: Essais en hommage à Jacques Roger, éd. C. Blanckaert, J.-L. Fischer, R. Rey (Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1995); Appendix: The Times Literary Supplement, 2 October 1992, p. 23. 15 Le Corps à la Renaissance: Actes du XXXe Colloque de Tours 1987, sous la direction de J. Céard, M.M. Fontaine, J.-C. Margolin (Paris: Aux Amateurs de Livres, 1990), pp. 379-87. 16 Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, xxi (1990), pp. 605-32, xxii (1991), pp. 89-115. 17 The Rational Arts of Living, ed. A.C. Crombie and N.G. Siraisi, Smith College Studies in History, vol. 50 (Northampton, Mass., 1987), pp. 53101; first version published in French in Médecine et Probabilités: Actes de la Journée d'Etudes du 15 December 1979, éd. A. Fagot (Paris: I'Université Paris-Val de Marne, 1982). 18 Revue de synthèse, lxxviii (1957), pp. 35-56. 19 First published as 'Darwin's Scientific Method' in Actes du IXe Congrès International d'Histoire des Sciences, Barcelona-Madrid 1959 (Barcelona/ Paris, 1960), pp. 354-62; reprinted in The Listener (London: B.B.C., November 1959). 20 Presented at the Forum de la communication scientifique et technique: Quelles langues pour la science?, organise a l'initiative du Ministère de la Francophonie; published in French in Alliage: Culture - Science Technique, no. 4 (Eté, 1990), pp. 39-42. 21 Sida: Epidémies et sociétés, 20 et 21 juin 1987, éd. C. Mérieux (Lyon, 1987), pp. 115-21. 22 Physis, xi (1969), pp. 167-80. 23 Metascience, n.s.ii (1993), pp. 1-16.


Galileo Galilei, Sidereus nuncius (1610): title page Figure illustrating Roger Bacon's fifth rule Galileo Galilei, from // Saggiatore (1623) : frontispiece The beginning of Galileo's autograph Disputationes Autograph page of Galileo's Tractatio de Caelo Watermark showing a backward-looking lamb Diagram of the Copernican system, with the Sun in the centre, from Galileo's Dialogo (1632) Pope Urban VIII facing Galileo Galileo Galilei by Mario Leoni (1624) Galileo Galilei, Dialogo (1632): title page Vincenzo Galilei, Dialogo della musica antica (1581): title page Rene Descartes, by an unknown artist Euclid: the geometry of vision Euclidian vision: from Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi. . . historia: Microcosmus (Oppenheim, 1618) The anatomy of the eye (1572) Diagram of the eye, from Roger Bacon, Opus Majus Light rays and the eye, from Roger Bacon, Opus Majus Alberti's grid (1435) A painting of a cross-section of the visual pyramid: from Fludd (1618)

ii 56 88 152 154 157 164 165 230 256 274 300 302 303 306 307 312 318 318

x Science. f. De corporis humani structura et usu (Basel. 1604). 1604). La dioptrique (Leiden. La dioptrique (Leiden. f. illustrating Kepler's ocular dioptrics Kepler. illustrating his comparison of the eye with a camera obscura Leonardo da Vinci. Ad Vitellionem paralipomena (Frankfurt. 1637). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought 321 322 323 333 337 340 Leonardo da Vinci. xxiii Scheiner. Codex Atlanticus. 1630). 337. 1619). prop. 1637). comparing the eye and a camera obscura with a lens system. 3. Codex D. Rosa ursina (Bracciani. Oculus (Oeniponti. showing the structure of the eye 346 351 353 . and the effects on each of using further lenses Descartes. 3v Observing a solar eclipse in a camera obscura (1545) Kepler. vol. illustrating the transmission of light Scheiner. 1583) Descartes. after Plater. Ad Vitellionem paralipomena (Frankfurt.

Two of them. the medieval conception of laws of nature. Their diversification has generated a series of different styles of scientific thinking and of making theoretical and practical decisions. initiated by the ancient Greeks in their search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought published in 1990. and the historical relation between rational design in scientific experimentation and in the arts exemplified especially by perspective painting. and forthcoming Galileo's Arguments and Disputes in Natural Philosophy (with the collaboration of Adriano Carugo). These styles are described and analysed in the opening chapter and exemplified in more detail in those that follow. These deal with scientific objectivity. and of his reputation.Preface This second volume of essays forms a coherent set of studies like the first volume Science. 1994). This scientific vision. the historiography of medieval science. and the diversification of both vision and argument by scientific experience and by interaction with the wider contexts of intellectual culture. Ltd. Music and Language. London. published by Gerald Duckworth & Co. The history of Western science is the history of a vision and an argument. constitute the long history of European scientific thought. explored and controlled by argument. After a chapter on the place of mathematics in sixteenthcentury Italian universities and in Jesuit educational policy. accompanied by a recurrent critique. Robert Grosseteste and Roger Bacon (Chapter 5 in collaboration with John North). Chapters 10 and 11. Underlying that development have been specific commitments to conceptions of nature and of science with its intellectual and moral assumptions. Central to them are our discoveries of the use by Galileo of works by Jesuit philosophers at the Collegio Romano or associated therewith. which . Both volumes complement my books Augustine to Galileo: Medieval and Early Modern Science and Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100-1700 and lead into my Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition: The History of Argument and Explanation Especially in the Mathematical and Biomedical Sciences and Arts (3 volumes. were written in collaboration with my colleague Adriano Carugo. there are five substantial studies of Galileo and his ideals of scientific demonstration and experimentation. and Marin Mersenne: Science. of his use of rhetoric.

An extensive bibliography for the whole subject is included in my Styles of Scientific Thinking. Some of the papers included in this volume (chs. are listed below. Concluding chapters deal with scientific language. Smith College.C. many of them still unsolved. and with appropriate revision of internal references. Mass. Cambridge.10 appendix (a). Kepler and Descartes. 14. with footnotes at the bottom of the page. Thus they record stages in the process of discovery and interpretation. Next come studies of Mersenne and the origins of language. through the quantification of probabilities initiated with insurance and commerce in fifteenth-century Italy. Florence. They have been reprinted with continuous pagination. from the qualitative treatment found in ancient medicine. Paris. Oxford . especially when dealing with problems of dating. Rome. Additions to my own publications. beyond those included in the bibliography of my writings in Science. once again it is a pleasure to thank all those who provided the occasions for these papers. These chapters contain the original and authentic account of these discoveries. Athens. 3. with a detailed analysis of the theories and researches of Alhazen. The others have been left as they were first printed except for minor corrections. There is a further substantial analysis of historical contexts of arguments from probabilities. Erice. Barcelona and Annecy. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought have thrown an entirely new and very influential light on Galileo's intellectual biography. ethics and law. Finally. and of the role of hypothetical modelling in the investigation of hearing and more particularly of vision.xii Science. conceptions of disease. Huygens and Leibniz. Capri. 20) have not been published in English before.. given mathematical elegance especially by Pascal. Crombie 30 November 1994 Trinity College. These complement and bring up to date my long monograph on the subject (1967) republished in Science. and the historiography of science. Optics and Music. Immediately relevant further bibliography has been added as required at the ends of chapters. Optics and Music. developed further in the fields of demography and economics. A. as in the chapters on Galileo. Tours. in Belagio. and applied to a form of evolution by natural selection in the eighteenth century by Maupertuis and finally in crucial detail by Darwin.

Science Technique. pp. 1007-8. Céard. 3 vols. . Margolin.J. cv (1990). J. 11-54 'La Langue maternelle de la science'. i: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition. Roche. Gerald Duckworth & Co. no. 379-87.-C.. pp. 1994. Review of E. Alliage: Culture .).Further Bibliography of A. sous la direction de J. pp. London. Dordrecht. ii: Kepler and Descartes'. Crombie Acknowledgements should have been made in Science. Istituto Antonio Banfi Annali. M. Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition: The History of Argument and Explanation Especially in the Mathematical and Biomedical Sciences and Arts. Aux Amateurs de Livres. Spanish translation by J. Paris. 1989). Ltd.L. 1985. iii (1989-90). North and J. 1994. Crombie. Napoli. 4 (Eté. 1990/91 'Expectation. ed. J. 39-42.E. Mathematics and its Applications to Science and Natural Philosophy in the Middle Ages (Cambridge. 1987) in English Historical Review. Modelling and Assent in the History of Optics. (a) Books on the History of Science 1992 Stili di pensiero scientifico agli inizi dell' Europa moderna. Grant and J. 1990). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. 'Expectation and Assent in Seventeenth-Century Scientific Argument: Galileo and Others' (Banfi Lecture. Barona.C.D. Bibliopolis. Optics and Music to the bibliography published in The Light of Nature: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Science Presented to A. Valencia.C. pp.M. Murdoch (ed. (b) Papers on the History of Science 1994 1990 'Le corps a la Renaissance: Theories of Perceiver and Perceived in Hearing' in Le Corps a la Renaissance: Actes du xxxe Colloque de Tours 1987. Fontaine.

Reviews of Elspeth Whitney. L'Eglise et la Science: Histoire d'un malentendu. 136-8. pp. pp. pp. Barona (Valencia. 1990) in English Historical Review. vii (1994).-C. De Saint Augustine a Galilee (Paris.xiv Science. 35-46. 23. Rey. North) in Les caractères originaux de I'Occident medieval. pp. Le Goff. prés. a cura di Marta Fattori con la collaborazione di M. Metascience.-L. Agnes Bresson. 1992. Paradise Restored: The Mechanical Arts from Antiquity through the Thirteenth Century (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. ed. Transactions lxxx. Fischer. 1992) in Journal of the History of Collections. 225-38. éd. pp. Palermo. (1993)-ii. xxi (1990). par C. forthcoming. Bianchi.1. 'Boundaries of normality' in Malatia i cultura: Seminari d'Estudis sobre la Ciència. J. The Origins of Western Science'. 11-17. London. ix (1995). a cura di A. J. L'inventario del mondo: Catalogazione della natura a luoghi delsapere nella prima etá moderna (Bologna. forthcoming. pp. Presentation of Lessico filosofico dei secoli xvii e xviii. 1990) and Georges Minois. Paris. 1993 1994 1995 'Univers' (with J. Ad familiares: The journal of the Friends of Classics. 15-24. 102-4. interview by Marc Borràs in Mètode: Revista de difusió de la investigació de la Universitat de València. n. xxii (1991). 3 May 1993. Blanckaert. 14-17. cix (1994). p. ii. éd. Paravicini Bagliani. xxiii (1995). 'The History of European Science'.L. 'Per una antropologia històrica del saber científic'. J. pp. Olschki.i (Roma. histoire. Leo S. J. Schmitt. Editions Klincksieck. Sezione latina. New European: European Business Review. J. pp. société: Essais en hommage a Jacques Roger. and of Guiseppe Olmi.L. 605-32. 89-115 1992 Review of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc. Times Literary Supplement. xii-xiv. 'Marin Mersenne et les origines du langage' in Nature. Firenze. ii-v. 1995). fasc. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. pp. 'Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science' in Federico II e le Scienze: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Frederick II and the Mediterranean World. 1992) at the Warburg Institute. 'Commitments and Styles of European Scientific Thinking' in History of Science. Sellerio. pp. 2 October 1992. . Librairie Arthème Fayard. pp.D.s. 'The Greek Origins of European Scientific Styles'. in Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres. xciv (1994). Paris. Lettres à Claude Saumaise et à son entourage (1620-1637). 1-16.

pp. Olfactory Conditioning and Host Selection in Rhizopertha dominica Fab. Exp. 159-66.. pp. 'Interspecific Competition'.H. Journal of Animal Ecology. 1962-72. Exp. 62-79. Exp. Proc. 16. Heffer and Sons. coleoptera)'. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London A. B. Biol. 20. BioL. forthcoming.. 1945 1946 1947 'On Competition between Different Species of Graminivorous Insects'. 135-51. 113.H. 362-95. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. Joint founder and editor of History of Science: A Review of Literature. 19. Roy. Biol. 1942 1943 1944 . Exp.Bibliography xv "Philosophical Commitments and Scientific Progress" in The Idea of Progress (Academia Europea conference 1994). Hill and J. (d) Scientific Papers Papers on (i) interspecific competition (an experimental and mathematical analysis on some aspects of ecology and natural selection) and (ii) the physiology of the chemical sense-organs in insects. 311-40. pp. 131-2. B. 7.. 234-66. Research and Teaching. pp. pp. 133. Darrah]. 'The Chemoreceptors of the Wire worm (Agriotes spp. /. (Bostrichidae)'. 23. Darrah].) and the Relation of Activity to Chemical Composition' [with J. (Insecta. Science History Publications 1973. /. pp. 'Sensillae of the Adults and larvae of the Beetle Rhizopertha dominica Fab. 'On Intraspecific and Interspecific Competition in Larvae of Graminivorous Insects'. pp. 'Further Experiments on Insect Competition'.H. 18. Proceedings of the Royal Society. pp. 'The Effect of Crowding upon the Oviposition of Grain-Infesting Insects'. 1949-54 of The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. Thorpe. A. 'The Effect of Crowding upon the Natality of Grain-Infesting Insects'. BioL. pp. 76-109. Cambridge. BioL./. 132. 20. Exp. 77-98. 24. Soc. 'On the Measurement and Modification of the Olfactory Responses of Blow-Flies'. R. W. 1941 On Oviposition. pp. (c) Editorships Editor. pp. 19. 95-109. 44-73. 'The Behaviour of Wireworms in Response to Chemical Stimulation' [with W. Journal of Experimental Biology. J.

(Shakespeare.In nature's infinite book of secrecy A little I can read. Antony and Cleopatra i.l 1) .

revelation. and the consequent habit of envisaging thought and action in all situations as the perception and solving of problems. A similar characteristic style is evident over the whole range of Western intellectual and practical enterprise. so that natural events must follow exactly from scientific principles. just as logical and mathematical conclusions must follow from their premises. Thus they introduced. They developed thereby the notion of a problem as distinct from a doctrine. Nature and Humankind When we speak today of natural science we mean a specific vision created within Western culture.1 We may trace the characteristically Western tradition of rational science and philosophy to the commitment of the ancient Greeks. at once of knowledge and of the object of that knowledge. From these two conceptions all the essential character and style of Western philosophy. Hence it offered rational control of subjectmatters of all kinds. from mathematical to material. for whatever reason. on some other principle or practice. designed in . authority. The exclusive rationality so defined supplied the presuppositions and came to supply the methods of reasoning alike in purely formal discourse and in the experiential exploration of nature. the equally fundamental conception of formal proof. the Greek philosophers. to the decision of questions by argument and evidence. They closed for Western scientific vision the elsewhere open questions of what kind of world people found themselves inhabiting and so of what methods they should use to explore and explain and control it. a vision at once of natural science and of nature. from ideas to things. We have then in Western scientific culture. edict. as distinct from custom. a system in which formal reasoning matched natural causation. mathematicians and medical men committed their scientific successors exclusively to this effective direction of thinking. By deciding at the same time that among many possible worlds as envisaged in other cultures. as an object of study to which we its students at the same time inextricably belong. in parallel with their conception of causal demonstration. mathematics and natural science have followed. a highly intellectualized and integrated whole. rule-of-thumb. the one world that existed was a world of exclusively self-consistent and discoverable rational causality.1 Designed in the Mind: Western Visions of Science. They introduced in this way the conception of a rational scientific system.

The whole historical experience of scientific thinking is an invitation to treat the history of science. These have affected both the problems perceived and the solutions found acceptable. as a workshop of active substantial powers. We may distinguish three. as an evolutionary generation of novelty. dispositions and memories that have varied greatly with different periods. law. and intellectual and moral commitments and expectations generating attitudes to innovation and change. and to relate them all in a taxonomy of styles. nature has been conceived as a product of divine economy or art with appropriate characteristics of simplicity and harmony. The scientific thinking found in a particular period or society or individual gets its vision and style from different but closely related intellectual or moral commitments or dispositions. scholarship. In the succession competing for dominance in subsequent Western thought. An historical anthropology of science must be concerned before all with people and their vision. as a causal continuum. as a passive system of mechanisms. with the conception of an inevitable order established by an exclusive natural causality.2 Science. evaluations of scientific goals with consequent motivations. But if we insist upon the cultural specificity of the Western scientific tradition in its origins and initial development. and upon its enduring identity in diffusion to other cultures. It is an invitation to analyse the various elements that make up an intellectual style in the study and treatment of nature: conceptions of nature and of science. philosophy. (1) First there have been conceptions of nature within the general scheme of existence and of its knowability to man. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought the mind like a work of art.identity of natural science within an intellectual culture. These in turn have been conditioned by language. found in all ancient cosmologies and cosmogonies. as a consequence of atomic chance. societies and also individuals. The scientific movement offers an invitation to examine the. as a manifestation of probabilities. both in its development in the West and in its complex diffusion through other cultures. . to distinguishrihat from the identities of other intellectual and practical activities in the arts. expectations. as a kind of comparative historical anthropology of thought. methods of scientific inquiry and demonstration diversified according to the subject-matter. not all at once but over many generations of interaction between creative thinking and testing. commerce and so on. and also the evaluations of desirable or undesirable ends and their motivations. government. The original Greek commitment entailed the replacement of conceptions of nature as an arbitrary sociological order maintained by personified agents. we do not have to look far below the surface of scientific inquiry and its immediate results to see that the whole historical process has gone on in a context of intellectual and moral commitments. between programmes and their realization or modification or rejection.

and of relations in space and time. but they also circumscribe it. which could scarcely be expressed in the classical logic and syntax of subject and predicate. a classification of experience in names. we can hardly divest it sufficiently of its meaning. a logic. "prompted by certain analogies we ascribe electrical phenomena to the action of a peculiar fluid. Terminology may have had to be revised to detach its specific scientific meaning from its source in common but inadequate or misleading analogies. yet its vocabulary and syntax may have to be modified to provide for the conceptual and technical precision required by the science developing within it. or prevent our minds from being prejudiced by it". and this has structured its natural and moral philosophy . in this new science. especially of functions. precisely symbolized as first for mathematics and music and later for many other sciences and arts. Philology can be an indispensable guide to theoretical ideas and real actions. Thus a new terminology had to be devised in medieval and early modern Latin to accommodate the new kinematic and dynamic conceptions.Western Visions of Science. John Tyndall3 in his attractive account of Faraday as a discoverer exemplified a familiar historical process when he described how. in a new terminology devised with the aid of William Whewell to fit the precise context of electro-chemistry. sometimes at rest. wrote Michael Faraday. when the mind has grown too large for its lodging. and by-and-by. a conception of both perceiver and perceived and their relation. "The word current". but still a language that may be learned and understood in any society and may convey to it objectively communicable knowledge. with the neutral "electrode".2 "is so expressive in common language that when applied in the consideration of electrical phenomena. Nature and Humankind 3 Any language itself embodies a theory of meaning. The West learnt from the Greeks to look for causal continuity in events both physical and moral. Must science in different linguistic cultures always acquire differences of logical form. it often finds difficulty in breaking down the walls of what has become its prison instead of its home. The result may be a special language fundamentally different in intention from that implicit in the common language of the society from which it originated. of instantaneous change and of rates of change. The expression of a system of science in a language may not entail an immediate critique of the fundamental structure of that language." Thus a radically new technical language may be made up. they afford peaceful lodging to the intellect for a time. and must the grammatical structure of a language always impose its ontological presuppositions on the science developing within it? While the technical language of science has often been developed partly to escape from just such impositions. For the same reason he replaced "pole". Such conceptions have their advantages and their disadvantages. philology can be an accurate guide to implicit or explicit intellectual commitments of this kind and to their changes. sometimes flowing. inconveniently suggesting attraction.

All generated scientific systems made up of theories and laws and statements of observations. geometry. By taking us beneath the surface of immediate scientific results. Japanese thinking. more generally. along with scientific methods diversified by the diversity both of general commitments and of particular subject-matters of varying complexity. or looked for probabilities or for genetic origins and derivations. to transform the geometrical pattern by an increasing preoccupation with quantitative experimental analysis of causal connections and functional relations. or. and the acceptability of both questions and answers. not of mastery either by thought or action. they help us to identify the conceptual and technical conditions. At once alternative and complementary to this was the much older medical and technological practice of exploring and recording by piecemeal observation. providing particular explanations and solutions of problems within the framework of a general conception of nature and science. The medieval and early modern experimental natural philosophers combined both traditions. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought alike and its whole tradition of dramatic literature and music since Antiquity. but away from others. The commitments of a period or group or individual to general beliefs about nature and about science. Two different traditions of scientific organization and method began in Antiquity. with no general abstract term for nature. Such commitments have directed research towards certain types of problem and towards certain types of discovery and explanation. but . The whole question might throw an interesting light in our philosophical anthropology upon a question central to the whole Western debate: that of distinguishing the argument giving rational control of subject-matter from an implication of the existence of entities appearing in the language used. They have both guided inquiry and supplied its ultimate irreducible explanatory principles. Yet a different pattern came from intellectual satisfaction in mathematical harmonies rather than causal processes. The dominant Greek mathematicians saw as their goal the reduction of every scientific field to the axiomatic model of their most powerful intellectual invention. seems traditionally by contrast to have accepted events in their individual existential discontinuity. now in exemplary possession of Western science and music. measurement and trial. Other modes of intellectual organization assimilated analysis for scientific investigation to that for artistic construction. combined with the technical possibilities available. impressionistically unrelated to before and after. frontiers and horizons making certain discoveries possible and explanations acceptable to a generation or group. but each thing the subject of personal knowledge and companionship.4 Science. (2) A second kind of intellectual commitment affecting scientific style has been to a conception of science and of the organization of scientific inquiry. have regulated the problems seen. the questions put to nature. that of distinguishing a rational structure of nature from that of the organizing human mind.

Such dispositions have been both psychological and social. of the possibility of error in good faith. Nature and Humankind 5 others not. They have been challenged not usually by observation. and the same not to others. (3) A third kind of intellectual and moral commitment has concerned what could and should be done. to anticipate innovation or conservation. to be ready or not to reject theories and to rethink accepted beliefs and to alter habits. took that control as far as aesthetic style. In this process the cogency of such worlds might change from generation to generation as each nevertheless added to enduringly valid scientific knowledge. both internally within scientific thinking itself. to change or to resist change. of which its natural science is simply a part. the form of theories and the kinds of explanatory entities taken into them. Such beliefs. They established. They may characterize a society over the whole range of its intellectual and moral behaviour.Western Visions of Science. have regulated the expectations both of questions and of answers.The medieval Christian theological hierarchy of dignity within that cosmology. More specifically a discovery or a theory or even a presentation of research may open fresh horizons but at the same time close others hitherto held possible. of the attitude to be taken to . Sensitive implications of natural philosophical and metaphysical questions and doctrines placed the whole of intellectual life within the political framework and control of a moral cosmology. This in its diverse modes has followed from diverse evaluations of the nature and purpose of existence and hence of right human action. The primary focus. and the acceptability of the explanations they offered. They may be specified by habitual styles and methods both of opposition and of acceptance. Given the dual source of human knowledge in the divine gifts of true reason and of undeniable revelation. and excluded others. the kind of world that was supposed to exist and the appropriate methods of inquiry. taken from the more general intellectual context of natural science. for example. the whole enterprise made an urgent issue then of error. It has been linked with dispositions generating an habitual response to events. but by re-examining the metaphysics or theology or other general beliefs assumed. They established in advance the kind of explanation that would give satisfaction when the supposedly discoverable had been discovered. Dominant intellectual commitments have made certain kinds of question appear cogent and given certain kinds of explanation their power to convince. in anticipation of any particular research. and externally in the responses of society: dispositions to expect to master or to be mastered by or simply to contemplate events. of medieval and early modern Christian as of Islamic culture and society on the teaching and preservation of theological truth could scarcely fail to condition all human inquiries. as also Islamic attitudes to the visual representation of natural objects.

Descartes argued likewise at two levels. himself a lawyer. Galileo and Descartes were both masters of the current rhetorical techniques of persuasion. persuasion has been as important as proof. from magic. and this indeed was a general necessity in a period when the intellectual identity of the contemporary scientific movement was still open to misunderstanding by the learned world at large and when its methods and accepted styles of reasoning were still to some extent being established. has been well understood by some of the greatest scientific innovators. Charles Darwin similarly set out his argument in the Origin of species for evolution by natural selection like a legal brief: marshalling the evidence. periods and societies than in others. proposing his own solution. especially when the ideas were new and the audience uncertain or unsympathetic. raising difficulties against it. His test of a general explanation was its ability to incorporate the solution of particular problems. The disposition to change. meeting them one by one. Charles Lyell. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought unpersuadable infidels and irredeemable heretics. By presenting his arguments in the wake of the statistical analysis of human economics which provided the persuasive analogy. demolishing rival explanations. of the commitments and expectations of disagreement as well as agreement. The use of persuasive arguments to reinforce or to create the power of ideas to convince. Persuasion has obviously been aimed at the diffusion of scientific ideas. It has been easier to reject particular theories within an accepted system of general doctrine than to take the drastic step of rejecting the whole doctrine. both at the sophisticated level of the scientific community and also among the general public. Galileo devoted at least as much energy to trying to establish the identity of natural science within contemporary intellectual culture as to solving particular physical problems. from a literary exercise.6 Science. Again. In all this. and in the whole scientific movement considered in the context of society and of communication. Change in ideas has come about more easily in some scientific situations. Darwin was able to establish at one and the same time his scientific explanation by natural selection and a statistical conception of the economy of nature which belief in providential design had hitherto made widely unacceptable in biology. which has been . and finally concluding that his was the only plausible and acceptable explanation that could account for all the various categories of fact that had to be considered. He conducted all his controversies at two levels: one was concerned with the particular physical problem in question. the other was concerned with an eloquent advocacy of his conception of natural science as an enterprise in solving problems and finding scientific explanations distinct from the philosophical or theological exegesis of authorities and texts. set out like a skilful lawyer to present his uniformitarian conception of geology as the only acceptable one and to discredit its hitherto accepted catastrophic rival. from a commercial or legal negotiation. and so on.

technology and commerce of our contemporary world. opportunities. These correspond to the three kinds of commitment. or in China or . Historical problems at all levels require scientific and linguistic knowledge to control the view of any present recorded through the eyes and language of those who saw it. in part made by man. theology. social position. law. revise or reject their arguments? Where scientific and analogous inquiries have interested only a scattered minority. Thus at the level of nature there is historical ecology: the reconstruction of the physical and biomedical environment and of what people made of it. and only in highly industrialized societies. It was a matter of individual as well as collective behaviour: Kepler.Western Visions of Science. medicine. range from those of archaeology and palaeopathology to those of the history of climate. use. for example. medicine. or even continuity between generations? How. philosophy. transmit. develop. for example. have an immediate relevance for the diverse cultures brought into contact with the science. agriculture. education. It is only comparatively recently. in part given by nature. government. economic theory. but it has been transmitted elsewhere mainly with Western commerce and science. became within the same culture an essential part of the scientific movement over a period when innovation and improvement were also becoming the intellectual habit in art. private and public habits. The conscious cultivation and reward of a disposition towards innovation began in Western society perhaps first in the technical arts and philosophy. motives. and of the material conditions. They may require also historical knowledge of religion and of artistic style. that science and technology have risen to a dominant position among the vastly various concerns and interests that throughout history have moved men to thought and action. occupations. both human and physical. A comprehensive historical inquiry into the sciences and arts mediating man's experience of nature as perceiver and knower and agent would include questions at different levels. institutions. were these maintained in the ancient Mediterranean. commerce and many other activities. contrasts notably with some of his contemporaries and opponents in controversy by his readiness to sacrifice a favourite theory to contrary evidence. and other analytical disciplines. At all levels comparative historical studies of the intellectual and social commitments. What have been the numbers. dispositions and habits. what opportunities have existed for establishing agreement on principles and methods. The sources and problems of historical ecology. but difficult or impossible for another. persuasions and means of communication of the individuals taking part in scientific activities in different periods and societies? What critical audience has there been to be convinced by. that might make scientific activity and its practical applications intellectually or socially or materially easy for one society. travel and art. technology. Nature and Humankind 7 so marked a characteristic of the whole modern history of the West.

by the cultivation of the arts or of literary learning or of logic and philosophy. of China throughout its history to any other culture. So too are the intellectual and social responses of society at large to making man an object of scientific inquiry and treatment. what intellectual or moral or practical commitments motivated the teaching and learned institutions of medieval Islam and of medieval and early modern Christendom. who used them. Relevant also are mentalities indicated by philosophical and social programmes and responses in relation to their social. economic and sometimes military context. of a desire for intellectual or moral or social or political reform. and in choice of policies by governments. by a predominant concern with a theological scheme of human responsibility and destiny. and came in the last to establish effective conditions of education and research for an explicit scientific community? How have the conditions for science and for technology differed? What intellectual needs or habits or intentions or social pressures have there been within different philosophical or scientific or technical groups to bring about a consensus of opinion in favour of innovation or of conservation? How have scientific ideas and activities been located within the values of society at large? What has been the intellectual or moral or practical value given to science in different societies. Likewise what external pressures and internal dispositions have operated in the intellectual and practical responses of one culture to another. discoveries and inventions? To what extent does innovation breed innovation? What was the costeffectiveness of the inventions described in histories of technology. by the needs of war.8 Science. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought India? In comparison. of a religious search for God in nature. of Islam to Greek thought. of utility in the senses either of the material improvement of the human condition or of industrial or commercial or political or military power or gain? What social or commercial or political interests have promoted or resisted scientific research and technical innovation. What have been the . of early modern Europe to China and Japan and India and the New World. and with what consequences? It would be relevant to compare the criteria of evidence and decision used in science or in medical diagnosis and prognosis with those used in commerce and industry. of Japan in its early history to China and in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries to the West. in law courts. trade. of medieval Western Christendom to Islam and to farther Asia. by the pressures and expediencies of politics. transport or medicine? What has been the appeal of pure intellectual curiosity and philosophical satisfaction. for example. within a range of interests so divergent as those indicated. and the diffusion and application of ideas. of the so-called developing countries now to the industrially developed? The essence of effective scientific thinking has been the advancement of knowledge through the identification of soluble problems. industry.

The critical historiography of science has been an integral part of the scientific movement itself. philosophers and historians. accidental analogies. satisfactory explanation? Scientific thinking has commonly progressed through periods of critical analysis bringing novel forms of speculation about the discoverable in nature in anticipation of technical inquiry. historical scholarship.Western Visions of Science. and of the evidence for its history. accepting new criteria of valid demonstration and cogent. and awareness of other contemporary cultures enabled Europeans to measure their own scientific orientations and potentialities against those of diverse earlier and contemporary societies. but the new ideas became established as scientific knowledge only by technical scientific research. performance and prospects that have continued through many changes of context from Archytas and Aristotle down to the latest disputes among scientists. the atomic speculations preceding the quantitative atomic theory promoted by John Dalton. Such assessments both of current science and of the history of science have had various purposes. social and materal ambience of science? To what extent has the internal logic of science taken over from features of this ambience. seeing new problems. or suggestions for new hypotheses or styles of thinking? What has been the part played in the initiation of progress by breaches of conceptual frontiers leading to asking new questions. and the evolutionary speculations preceding the scientific organization of the evidence and theory finally achieved by Charles Darwin. Obvious examples are the critique of the Aristotelian doctrine of qualities and causation preceding the new science of motion established from Galileo to Newton. Those made in medieval and early modern Europe aimed usually to monitor the identity and intellectual orientation of the contemporary scientific movement and to define its methods and criteria of acceptability of questions and answers. have been the self-conscious assessments of its presuppositions. technical. Nature and Humankind 9 sources of new intellectual perceptions? How have the intellectual commitments or dispositions or habits or the technical potentialities of an individual or a group or period either promoted or discouraged creative discovery and technical invention? How have these interacted with the conditions for intellectual change or conservation in the philosophical. The radical variations in contemporary assessments and their changes with time and context and individual disposition provide unique and indispensable primary evidence in historically taking the measure of the intellectual and technical and moral equipment available in any scientific situation. Only after that were their speculative precursors given a retrospective scientific significance. They were made during a long period when increasing scientific experience. Of the essence of the Western scientific tradition. The older conceptions were discarded and the new first entertained by rethinking. The range of modern assessments points to the range of sources for an interpretation. An habitual search during this period at once for the best form of .

mathematical reasoning and calculation.10 Science. or methods of scientific inquiry and demonstration. An historian needs to ask both what theories of scientific method contributed to science. uniting all the mathematical sciences and dependent arts. and three in the investigation of the regularities of populations ordered in space and in time. projected the earlier into the contemporary tradition but with extended power. The growth of particular scientific knowledge has carried in its wake a growth of general understanding of scientific thinking and its varieties. was required by the scientific search for principles in the observable relations of more complex subject-matters. Thus (i) the simple method of postulation exemplified by the Greek mathematical sciences originated within the common Greek search for the rational principles alike of the perceptible world and of human reasoning. The scientific movement brought together in its common restriction to answerable questions a variety of scientific methods. both to control postulation and to explore by observation and measurement. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought science. Both in the perception and solution of problems within the theoretical and technical possibilities available. Each arose in a context in which an assembly of cognate subject-matters was united under a common form of argument. (ii) The deployment of experiment. This consistency clarifies the historical variety of accepted explanations and methods diversified by intellectual commitments and subject-matters. instruments and apparatus. from optics and music to mechanics. and by scientific experience of the interaction of programmes with realizations. Through the variations of the scientific movement there has run a consistency of development in conceptions of explanation and method. the strategy of experimental argument was elaborated in medieval and early modern Europe as a form of reasoning by analysis . or styles of scientific inquiry and demonstration. Starting with the Greeks. by presuppositions about scientific validity. but with significance always in relation to the argument. by general conceptions of nature. the history of science has been the history of argument. a discourse using experiment and observation. astronomy and cartography. diversified by their subject-matters. and what methods were used by scientists. Three styles or methods were developed in the investigation of individual regularities. Throughout. methods of yielding accurately reproducible results were required equally by the practical commitment of technology and the arts to the control of materials. Scientific argument forms the substance of the scientific movement. and by the theoretical commitment of science to establishing regularities or causal connections within a common form of demonstration. This was the primary ancient model. We may distinguish in the classical scientific movement six styles of scientific thinking. and in the justification of the enterprise whether intellectual or practical or moral. and for its best ancient model.

The imitation of nature by art then became an art of inquisition. from the . or the analysis and synthesis of genetic development. Thus uncertainty was mastered by reason and stabilized in a calculus of probability. with further quantification through new techniques of instrumentation and mathematical calculation. Nature and Humankind 11 and synthesis in which the point at which experiment was brought into the argument. or natural selection. The rational experimenter was the rational artist of scientific) inquiry. Moves towards quantification in all sciences may be traced to the general European growth both of mathematics and of the habits of measurement and recording and calculation arising from need in some special sciences. was precisely defined. artist and scientist shared a common style. The recognition that/in the constructive arts theoretical design must precede material realization anticipated the scientific hypothetical model. (vi) The method of historical derivation. (iv) Taxonomy emerged first in Greek thought as a logical method of ordering variety in any subject-matter by comparison and difference. or the reasonableness of assent to a scientific theory. was developed originally by the Greeks and then in early modern Europe first in application to languages and more generally to human cultures. The subject-matter of historical derivation was defined by the diagnosis. with attempts to relate diagnostic signs and symptoms to their causes and to discover the natural system that would express real affinities. Each proceeding to a different end. The subject-matter of probability and statistics came to be recognized through attempts to accommodate within the context of ancient and medieval logic situations of contingent expectation and uncertain choice. The elaboration of taxonomic methods and of their theoretical foundations may be attributed to the need to accommodate the vast expansion of known varieties of plants and animals and diseases following European exploration overseas. and was then transposed from art into science as likewise a method of analysis and synthesis by the construction of analogies. and in the practical and commercial arts. either for control or for exploration. of a commercial enterprise. as in astronomy.Western Visions of Science. where new systems of weights and measures and of arithmetical calculation were first developed. The scientific experimental method derived from the union of these practical habits with the logic of controls. of a legal process. followed by the early modern discovery of the phenomenon of statistical regularities in adequately numerous populations of economic and medical and other events. (iii) Hypothetical modelling was developed in a sophisticated form first in application to early modern perspective painting and to engineering. (v) The statistical and probabilistic analysis of expectation and choice developed in early modern Europe again took the same forms whether in estimating the outcome of a disease. rational design for construction became rational modelling for inquisitorial trial. and afterwards to geological history and to the evolution of living organisms.

ed. Hence the need for historical analysis in the scientific movement of both continuity and change. Daedalus. its progress equally in scientific knowledge and in the analysis of scientific argument. REFERENCES 1. i (London. 1990). Crombie and N. also A. Of its essence have been its genuine continuity. by A. C. 1868). C. Crombie. 21-31. Clearly all this scientific diversity can be understood only within the diversity and the changes of thought in the whole historical context. cf. which contains full documentation and bibliography. idem. pp. 1987): the first three of these papers are included in A. A subtle question is what continued and what changed through different historical contexts. idem. Siraisi (Northampton. established with the commitments with which they began.: Smith College studies in history. . Mass. 233-46. Styles of thinking and making decisions. These like most human behaviour begin in the mind. "Science and the arts in the Renaissance: The search for truth and certainty. cxv (1986). G. idem. habitually endure as long as these remain. "Experimental science and the rational artist in early modern Europe". and its recurrent critique of its moral justification. optics and music in medieval and early modern thought (Hambledon Press. London. C. History of science. 53-55. 2. and we its historians who belong at the same time to its history must look in a true intellectual anthropology at once with and into the eye of its beholder. This paper is based on the historiographical introduction to my book. based on the study by any generation of texts written by its predecessors. 3. Faraday as a discoverer (London. vii. "Contingent expectation and uncertain choice: Historical contexts of arguments from probabilities" in The rational arts of living. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought common characteristics of diverse existing things. Crombie. Hence the structural differences between different civilizations and societies and the persistence in each despite change of a specific identity. Michael Faraday. The history of science is the history of argument: an argument initiated in the West by ancient Greek philosophers. in the scientific argument and in the cultural vision through which experience is mediated. 29-51. part 2 (1982). "What is the history of science?". xviii (1980). 1994). idem. "Historical commitments of European science". when education and experience itself could furnish options for a different future. followed by the postulation of causes to account for the diversification from that source. of a common source earlier in time. Experimental researches in electricity. cf. London. 1839). Styles of scientific thinking in the European tradition (Gerald Duckworth. History of European ideas. mathematicians and physicians in their search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. vii (1986). Science. even after long breaks. 515. Annali del' Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze. old and new". 49-74.12 Science. 195 ff. John Tyndall.

Conspirators used fair words for guilty ends with cynical confidence that others would hypocritically welcome them as cover for their own moral cowardice or indifference. setting gain above justice and revenge above religion : «For surely no man would put revenge above religion. 1 Among all this violence against both truth and person he noted interestingly : «Words had to change their ordinary meaning in relation to things and to take that which men thought fit*. 2.2 The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity * At a depressing period of the Pelopennesian War. Anyone who excelled in evil and anyone who «prompted to evil someone who had never thought of it were alike commended*. x<oXu6(jievo^ 8&v ^8uv/)0yj vA TrapaaTfj. greed and envy against the moderate and the honest. yet those who could carry through an odious deed under the cloak of a specious phrase received the higher praise».84. Strong and weak were swept indifferently away. . Peloponnesian War. had not envy swayed him with her blighting power» 2 . «neither had any regard for true piety. Unscrupulous mendacity and opportunist treachery masqueraded as superior cleverness. For «human nature. iii. 8&V iTttfJXOXoiiGlJCS au£)f)TY)(ItS. And. 1. It was the same in the plague of Athens.82. dTcdvTO? TOO elcnqyi')TOU. the sweeter if a rival trusting a pledge of reconciliation were taken off his guard. and gain before innocence of wrong. he argued. Ibid. Thucydides included in his famous account of the moral disintegration of society in revolution two points of immediate relevance to a discussion of the European experience of scientific objectivity. Revolution had brought many and terrible sufferings upon the Greek cities. these calamities of behaviour «have occurred and always will occur as long as the nature of mankind remains the same». 8i6n 6 et<rifjY»)T7)<. 'Q? £x Toii-rou. always rebelling against the law and now its master. iii. United only through complicity in crime. victims with unquench* 'H (ivaxotvoxjis aveYV<J>a6y) UTT& TOU xaOvj^ToO ERWIN SCUEUCU. gladly showed itself ungoverned in passion».

medicine and technology. and men thus bereft of fear of any law divine or human «now coolly ventured on what they had formerly done in a corner*1. expressing in stable language the dependability of natural law. and man as a participant in and student of nature. I shall argue that in order to understand our culture. as mutatis mutandis in all intellectual and social history whether of philosophy. a belief which I fully share. prayers and other measures all proved equally futile and were given up. We can study the history of science as a kind of intellectual anthropology. the sick and dying received help and compassion. Influenced by medical thought. Thucydides looked for the causes of social as of individual disorders in a theory of human nature. Ibid. We expose ourselves to the surprise of discovering that thinkers so effective in solving problems which we seem to be able to recognize should be able to do so within the context of such a variety of aims. belief and motive in the history of science.54. It hardly now needs saying that in this field. theology or whatever. mostly very different from our own. which is the interaction of reason. there are various ways of doing this in the history of science. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought able thirst drank much or little with common failure of relief. We encounter also societies and individuals who find 1. The enlightenment that we may derive from this kind of historical experience is like that we get from foreign travel. medicine and technology. especially outside the areas of Western culture. law. the particular thinking found in any period can be properly understood by us only by relating it to the categories in which nature.14 Science. In the spirit of a symposium evidently based on the belief that one main reason for studying history is to throw light upon ourselves. were understood in the societies and by the individuals with which we are concerned. Yet from those who had suffered and recovered from the plague. We can make a natural history of intellectual and moral behaviour in situations presenting questions for decision. categories and presuppositions. He offered a commitment to reasoned beliefs and actions against which to measure the motivation of behaviour. ii. . This may suitably introduce the subject of my brief contribution to this discussion of objectivity and culture. we are not only advised but obliged to study the intellecutal attitudes and achievements of societies that have formed its history remote in time and seemingly remote in character from the immediate present. Yesterday's events can be the least relevant to educated understanding. physicians could find no remedy and perished themselves.

which excluded others. The Greek philosophers and mathematicians at the same time committed the Western tradition to the belief that among many possible worlds. as distinct from custom. separately for each category of nature and collectively for every category. explain and control it.C.. even through periods of the darkest gloom about the . in skill of mind and hand which gave man mastery of earth and sea. edict. or some other source. appears with the first Greek achievements in these fields in the fifth century B. The one world that actually exists did so in one discoverable way. Pride in self-reliant intelligence. authority. putting ourselves into the minds of those we are studying and trying to understand their questions. and of such difficult arts and sciences as writing. either in antiquity or in early modern times. the world that exists is a world of exclusively self-consistent and discoverable rationality. two essential general questions remained open. notably in the Prometheus of Aeschylus. Science has been recognized since Aristotle and Archimedes as a cumulative progress of knowledge. Scientific thinking has proceeded and scientific knowledge has progressed ever since by such a logic of either — or. we need to control relativity by the contrasting light of the objective continuity of cultural tradition. mathematics. Yet in looking for a comparative history or anthropology of approaches to nature. In this way they introduced the fundamental conception of a scientific system. It was an open question what kind of world men found themselves inhabiting. mathematicians and medics we may see the origins of our scientific tradition.The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 15 15 intellectual satisfaction in categories of thought and explanation not aimed at solving scientific or technical problems at all but expressing some quite different purpose. by decisions both about the general nature of the world and about particular questions each of which has committed the future towards one line of theory and away from others. astronomy and medicine. Science has developed in the characteristically rational Western tradition as an approach to nature effectively competent to solve problems. They introduced decision into speculations about nature. revelation. of other living creatures. Before the general direction towards scientific knowledge had been decided. The characteristically Western tradition of rational science and philosophy can be dated from the ancient Greek commitment to the decision of questions by argument and evidence. In the grasp and technical development of the logic of proof and decision by the ancient Greek philosophers. and so it was also an open question what methods they should use to explore.

iii (1966) 97 sqq. DREW and F. «Some attitudes. xiii (1975) 213 sqq. Introduction (London. 2. The recovery of our own scientific culture after periods of external disaster or internal confusion has been the recovery of rational decision. M. Isis . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought moral regress of mankind. R.. G. To understand any historical culture we must then study its intellectual orientation and re-orientations through long tradition. 1 These rational commitments applied moreover as much to decisions about moral values and principles showing what ought or ought not to be done. «Some attitudes to scientific progress : ancient. E. 1934) 58.2 Looking forward from the shoulders of giant predecessors. «Historical commitments of biology». «Therefore hope and you will find the capability. In such a process we may see the origins of modern science in the rediscovery. Cf. Cf. ADELARD'S countryman ROGER 1. ed. wrote the Englishman ADELARD OF BATH. S. MULLER (Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters.. 1973) 1 sqq. from the assumption of the constancy and certainty of principle*. Aristotle meant his ethics to be derived as systematically from a theory of human nature as his physics was from a theory of matter and causation. a different theology and a different economy. CROMBIE. as a continuation of the ancient scientific movement. translator into Latin of Euclid's Elements of Geometry and author of two works presenting his vision of natural philosophy early in that century. but it was seen first. and also for the argument above Scientific Change. . ADELARDUS VON BATH Quaestiones naturales. Minister.. 1963) 1 sqq. with a different view of man and his place in nature and his destiny.16 Science. K. «Nothing is difficult unless you despair. 3. The Ancient Concept of Progress (Oxford.3 ADELARD and his contemporaries saw unlimited potentialities for the elaboration of scientific knowledge long before these were actually discovered in application to any of the numerous and diverse new problems and subject matters which we can now look back on.. «Historians and the scientific revolution*. GROMBIE..» (1975) 220. For I shall be the more able to shed light on the matter. A. citing myself here and elsewhere for ease of reference and further bibliography. in the twelfth century. medieval and early modern».. ed. LEAR (Chicago. DODDS. STIEFEL. The Britsh Journal for the History of Science. as to the decisions of science about what was or was not the case. «The heresy of science : a twelfth-century conceptual revolution*. 1963) 35 sqq. ixviii (1977) 347 sqq. exegesis and elaboration of the Greek model by medieval and early modern Europe. Physis. History of Science. xxxi.». The rediscovery was made by a new society.F.. and also «The relevance of the middle ages to the scientific movement)) in Perspectives in Medieval History. T. xi (1969).2. cf..

and exclude others. because they establish.The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 17 BACON in the next century likewise looked to the recovery of a greater past as the first step towards a happier future. ROGER BACON'S vision of rational human happiness and dignity foresaw the restoration of one true wisdom founded on the Scriptures equally with rational science as he conceived it. but difficult or impossible in another. DESCARTES and others before and many since throw a special light on an essential characteristic of the Western scientific tradition : its persistent attention to the definition of norms of rational thought. discovery or practical application intellectually and socially possible in one society. which have given diversity to definitions of the rational. the possible. * Visions of happiness. has an immediate relevance for the diverse cultures brought into contact with the science of our contemporary world. and this remained the common outlook of Christendom until some four hundred years later when modern scientific discovery had got confidently under way. Gf. Its matching relevance to our understanding of ourselves may be illustrated by trying to identify some very general characteristics of our continuing rational tradition. The light may be as special as the reforming vision and historians are well advised to combine it with that of established contemporary practices. of science and of BACON himself have all since changed selectively with human expectations. After the medieval West had received its first intellectual impetus from antiquity with the recovery of Euclidean geometry and of Ari1.. man and science can make certain kinds of question appear cogent and give certain kinds of explanation their power to convince. Together they illuminate the beliefs and motives arising from the whole intellectual and social ambience. Discussions of the discoverable and the discovered as well as of the reputations of predecessors show how the commitments at a particular time of an individual or a society to general beliefs about nature.. The comparative historical study of the intellectual and social commitments that may make certain kinds of scientific understanding. in anticipation of any particular research. . the kind of world that is supposed to exist. the desirable and the acceptable. as well as the scientific experience. They give satisfaction because the supposedly discoverable has been discoverer and they point to what to do in research. applying to every kind of subject-matter and every aspect of life.» (1975) 221-2. «Some attitudes. Programmes for intellectual reform such as those of ROGER BACON and FRANCIS BACON. CROMBIE.

Miinster. «Medieval engineering and the sociology of knowledge*. 2 A programme is not an achievement but we are looking for mental attitudes. material construction and instrumented sound. * Each demonstrated a stable relation between perceiver and perceived by postulating in the one linear rays of vision and in the other motions propagated from a sounding body. 1971) 295 sqq.18 Science. 2-3. Cf.. BA.. and it seems to me that we find already expressed in such words that urge towards rational analysis and ingenious contrivance for the mastery of nature. for example. «which taught «the ways of contriving and finding out how natural bodies may be fitted together by some artifice according to number. Reaching the West first mainly through Boethius and then through Arabic compendia (Euclid's texts became known only in the sixteenth century). i. London. «The mechanistic hypothesis and the scientific study of vision*. Actes du XHe Congres international d'histoire des sciences 1968.. music and medical science*. LYNN WHITE j r. Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society. L. mathematics. adding to the logical control of argument and 1. and for full discussion Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition (Gerald Duckworth. in Euclid's two fundamental treatises on optics and on music. which was to be expressed in action by the artists. CROMBIE. was a geometrical or mathematical rationalism which is evident.. 1994).UR (Beitrage. so that the use we are looking for may come from them».B (Paris. Characteristic of this intellectual inheritance. These groups introduced a new style of rationality into Western culture. whether in logic. these theories were made in the twelfth century part of philosophical programmes for the sciences which included also : «The science of engines (scientia ingeniis). from whose specified angles or speeds were demonstrated what specific sizes and shapes must be seen or pitches and intervals heard. Mathematics.. ed. . 2. and the grasp and elaboration of logical precision in the use of evidence in deciding an argument. including decision by experiment. engineer-architects and musicians who from the fourteenth century were to give such an impressive practical demonstration of their theoretical control of visual space. cosmology or physiology. De divisione philosophiae. the philosophical community of the universities may be credited with two major achievements : the grasp and elaboration of the construction of a deductive explanatory system. DOMINICUS GUNDISSALINUS. 1903) 122. Pacific Historical Review. iv. xliv (1975) 1 sqq. . at least as it was received.. cf.. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought stotelian logic and later of natural philosophy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. ii (1967) 3 sqq.

The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 19 calculation achieved by the academic philosophers and mathematicians a matching control of materials. Typically of his period. Isis. McMahon. and becoming no longer nature's slave but rival. 2.Styles. . especially MAX WEBER'S famous Introduction (1920) to The Protestant Ethic. Hi (1961) 143 sqq.* There is a parallel artistic rationalism in his philosophical contemporary MARSILIO FICINO'S vision of man acting like nature from rational principles within but freely and inventively. In both. All these arts and sciences. but it does not seem difficult to recognize both the early modern arts and the early modern sciences as typical products of the same society. «Quantification in medieval physics*.3 (Opera. 1956) 11.. beginning in thirteenth-century Italy. coming through his intellectual and material constructions to know by imitation God's creations. Other examples are the rational quantification of time in the calendar and the abstract units of the mechanical clock. i (Princeton. i. the introduction of mathematical cartography related to astronomical navigation. also CROMBIE.19. . transl. mother of all certainty*. cf. P. he saw the art of design and the science of nature both as expressions of the rational necessary laws laid down by the art of Deus naturae artifex. The goals of the arts should not be confused with those of philosophy and the sciences. They were linked through their common foundation on rational and quantitative theory and also on knowledge of instruments and machines. Gf. operated by the calculation of exchanges and obligations in increasingly standardized abstract units. 1576) 295-7. but activities of many different kinds. xiii. Treatise on Painting : Codex Urbinas Latinus 1270. A. 3. PARSONS (New York. and the methods of book-keeping. CROMBIE. Crombie. LEONARDO DE VINCI insisted were «born of experience.1 designed in the mind and issued through the hands. T.. Can it be supposed that the habits of reason and calculation growing up through Western society in all these diverse activities provided an efficacious condition for the rise of mathematical and experimental science. Some historians8 have suggested that a Western disposition to base not only these. that for example the habit of weighing. 1958). on a common foundation of reason and calculation may offer a possible explanation of the unique development of modern science in the West. Theologica Platonica. transl. MARSILIUS FICINUS. Basileae. commerce and fiscal administration. experience of nature was mediated through the style and interests of a tradition. ibid. measuring and accounting in each of these activities encouraged the 1.

still remained in varying degrees open questions for the philosophical and scientific community at large. but within the consideration of general problems of knowledge and existence. In some areas of natural philosophy as well as of religious. The style of intellectual and moral behaviour in natural philosophy. As much part of this specificity. of disagreement as well as agreement.20 Science. dedication to quantity and logic did eventually lead to decisions on the fundamental question of identity both of science and of nature. The possible connection between methods of numerical recording in commerce and in theoretical and practical sciences is just one specific question for research. in the individual and social processes by which discoveries and inventions have been made and have come to be accepted. as of that of any intellectual reorientation. They promoted not so much the accumulation of the technical content of science from one generation to the next. what they should ask about it. Dissatisfaction with the Aristotelianism established in the universities as the common basis for all education was encouraged by the arrival of other philosophies in credibly systematic form. in the styles of the thirteenth-century attempts to combine the newly translated Aristotelian philosophy with the theology of an omnipotent and providential creator. and what could be known about it for certain. The debates touched on natural philosophy sometimes at length. legal and . However these large questions of intellectual sociology are to be answered. as the specificity of their intellectual outlook. was the style and method of opposition. for example. a dedication of will as much as of intelligence towards enlightenment and power. may be illuminated as much by that in religion. with an energy and purpose found in no other society. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought same habit in the others. of the challenges made by the new Platonism of the fifteenth century and by the new scepticism of the sixteenth. This evident. law or art as by the natural philosophy itself. the appropriate methods of investigating it. and of GALILEO'S quantitative science as simply the latest in a succession of old and new philosophies. Does this all indicate a mental and social disposition. of dealing with tension over the whole range of culture. During the sixteenth century the kind of physical world men thought themselves to inhabit. commitment and expectation. and at least as much its engine as the achievement of objectively successful scientific progress. what constituted a satisfactory explanation of it. that provided a uniquely favourable set of circumstances enabling the West to exploit the intellectual opportunities offered by the recovery of Greek science.

GROMBIE. Stoic or Christian versions highly charged with moral values of economy. Plato's vision of knowledge producing virtue. It was used to justify the systematic introduction of mathematics into modern university teaching in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. a view that has profoundly affected both the specifib intellectual character and the political role of science in Western culture. The first half of the seventeenth century is then a genuine turning-point in the potentialities of Western culture. the eighteenth-century principle of least action and practically the whole theory of biological adaptation 1. has deeply influenced the whole history of scientific explanation and education. has provided an enduring model and sufficient reason for physical behaviour : from the perfect circles of ancient cosmology and the perfect ancient consonant ratios between low numbers. An obvious characteristic of the Western scientific tradition is that it has been from the beginning a moral enterprise as much as a means of solving physical problems. . Styles. moral tension sacred or profane must accompany any framework of thought or society that gives meaning to existence. From that time a scientific community has come into existence with conditions of education and communication providing for both agreement and disagreement by a specific kind of rationality. throwing light on what came both before and after. It was nevertheless the generations of GALILEO and DESCARTES who finally clarified and defined science as a mode of rational thinking in the modern world and who gave it a recognizable and enduring identity in relation to other fields of inquiry and decision. and now globally providing standards which even if not always realized are a normal requirement for objective scientific success. proportion and fitness. This side of paradise. Aristotelian. Aristotle. Of immediate relevance for us all is the relation of this specific rationality to beliefs about man's moral nature and true end. One form of this was the view established in different ways by Plato. whether in its Platonic. . and of the rational progress of human knowledge through mathematical abstraction to the eternal truths expressing the morally as well as intellectually normative economy and harmony of the real world. .The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 21 artistic theory and practice.1 The conception of the world as a work of divine art. old and new remained in uncertain competition long after GALILEO was dead. the Stoics and other ancient philosophers of nature as at once a deductive system and a moral order. to KEPLER'S planetary intervals.

but also the necessary reasons in the First Cause why it must be so. But when one remembers some aspects of the extended cosmological debate. the rejection then or later of any form of rigid historical determinism is by definition an essential condition for belief in free inquiry. a liberation to be extended when such divine attributes as economy were converted into variational principles of nature or regulative principles of science. also CROMBIE. and the agonies over man's alleged devaluation in our own century. the concern for the providential government of the world raised by geology and then by Darwinian evolution. . It has been argued that by maintaining the fundamental revelation of God's creative freedom. It may be argued that it was above all GALILEO who showed how to disembarrass nature of its moral charge. This carried with it the powerful belief that men could discover not only how the world was constructed. The tensions generated by morally charged cosmology have come from its encounters with other sources of belief or with original thought. most dramatically in that brought about in the thirteenth century by the introduction into the Latin West of the Aristotelian theory of the world as a necessary and eternal emanation from the First Cause. «The relevance . a belief which Christian theologians and philosophers quickly rejected in defence of the freedom and responsibility of both God and men. . » (1963) 40 sqq. continuing through GALILEO'S Copernican controversies. Moreover even so qualified a secularization of the world must surely have been a liberation for both theology and natural science. 1909) 411 sqq. for man was then free to explore hypothetically the possible worlds which God might have created had he chosen. was best so and could not be otherwise. especially PIERRE DUHEM.1 Whatever the historical cogency of this particular argument. Etudes sur Leonard de Vinci ii (Paris. The moral charge quickly becomes a political charge. Matching this in Christian thinking was the conception of a benevolent Creator inviting man to use his gifts of reason and the senses to uncover the designs in nature towards his providential end and to teach and use his knowledge for the good of all mankind. they maintained also the liberty of man's inquiring mind. one must admit that the meaning of this separation of categories is not one which our society has hastily sought. . Some historians have seen the deepest consequences for the potentialities of scientific thinking in Western culture in encounters at the level of theology. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought before CHARLES DARWIN..22 Science. and who through his in1. Cf.

applying themselves now on one side and now on the other. Le mecaniche (c.. In nature man was not the measure of all things. Le opere. public controversies and personal tragedy focussed the Western scientific tradition as a moral enterprise of freedom for the inquiring mind. interrogated in the style of a legal hearing. certain that such is the best and not something else. ii. GALILEO. 2. rational man. «being used to study in the book of nature. GALILEO in 1612 (Le opere. 3. He himself. and that the demonstrated conclusions about the things of nature and of the heavens cannot be changed with the same ease as 1. «Terza Lettera delle macchie del Sole* (1612.The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 23 dividual thinking. 4. GROMBIE AND CARUGO . ibid.2 Nature could not be exploited in the spirit of magic or commerce. GROMBIE. Le opere. 1593.»4 He begged theologians. GROMBIE. Styles . naz. GALILEO in 1612 (Le opere. that they would consider with all care the difference that there is between opinable and demonstrative doctrines. . they might the better ascertain themselves that it is not in the power of professors of demonstrative sciences to change opinions at their wish. would not be able to dispute any problem ad utranque partem or to maintain any conclusion not first believed or known to be true. iv) 248. deaf and inexorable to our entreaties. he distinguished both nature and science objectively from human wishes. In defining the identity of natural science within contemporary intellectual culture. GALILEO'S assumption of the right to intellectual freedom and truth represents perhaps the greatest moral contribution of science to the humane conception of a responsible. ed. Engineers who attempted the impossible «as if with their engines they could cheat nature* and her ((inviolable laws» x cheated only themselves and their employers. For «Nature. or made the subject of mere academic disputation or literary search for philosophical or theological concordance. .. in his argument for the true moral agreement between the true cosmology and theology but in categories which logically did not meet. and that there is a great difference between commanding a mathematician or a philosopher and directing a merchant or a lawyer. 1968) 155. Firenze. will not alter or change the course of her effects ».»3 To all attributions of moral design in nature he replied : «We must not ask nature to accommodate herself to what might seem to us the best disposition and order. ibid. having clearly in front of their minds with what force necessary inferences bind. GROMBIE. xi) 344. GALILEO. ibid. where things are written in only one way. . v) 218. so that. but we must adapt our intellect to what she has made.

1 The issues over which GALILEO felt obliged to make his stand. He claimed freedom to find and state the truth as an established right with precedence in all policy. and to allow people utterly ignorant of a science or an art to become judges over intelligent men and to have power to turn them round at their will by virtue of the authority granted to them-these are the novelties with power to ruin republics and overthrow states.. if you want to make the propositions concerning the movement and the rest of the Sun and of the Earth a matter of faith. theologians. is going to give birth to very grave scandals? And that to want other people to deny their own senses and to prefer to them the judgement of others.24 Science. Styles. Who doubts that the novelty just introduced. ibid. ed. paralleled before and since whenever reason has seemed to challenge other sources giving meaning to existence.R.L. you will expose yourselves to the risk of being in need of condemning perhaps in the long run as heretical those who asserted that the Earth stays at rest and the Sun moves from one 1.* in Reason. and externally in the relation of free inquiry to the habits of society and its institutions. the unavoidable objective truth. that. RIGHINI Bonelli and W. he continued. have made him from his own lifetime an historical symbol of the conflict of loyalties that can take place both within the minds of individuals. for faults are matters upon which a prince can exert mercies and dispensations. Le opere. 2. of wanting minds created free by God to become slaves to the will of others. 215. GALILEO. CROMBIE. and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution. so that it seems that it has been done according to the law. . xvi.. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought opinions about what is lawful or not in a contract. Shea (New York.»2 But. Some private notes he wrote during that last Copernican campaign have an obvious application to many later situations : In the matter of introducing novelties. his conscience was clear. and his hope for the acceptance of truth remained undiminished as he went on to produce what became his most distinguished contribution to science. Lettera a Madama Cristina di Lorena (1615. rent or exchange. . GALILEO asserted the right to the truth as a moral norm for all men. writing to a friend in 1635 from his perpetual house-arrest at Arcetri: «I do not hope for any relief. He knew the price of his political failure. Le opere. M. I could hope for and obtain mercy and pardon if I had erred. because I have not committed any crime. GALILEO. Experiment.. 1975) 157 sqq. and in the long run essential for all good policy.. . and «Sources of Galileo's early natural philosophy. CROMBIE. Be careful. v) 326. whereas upon someone who has been innocently condemned it is convenient to be rigorous.

as you want. With novelties you cause great ruins in religion. 540 541. 544.. medicine and technology but its questioning of the meaning men give to existence as a whole and to human life. vii. Your doctrines are the new ones that harm. when it has been demonstrated by the senses or by necessity that the Earth moves and the Sun stays fixed. The paradox lies in a contradiction between the powerful logic of science and the notion of a responsible individual. to force the mind and the senses not to understand and not to see. decision and disease within it. GALILEO. From this it has eliminated all values except truth and the aesthetic economy of theories which must also pass the test of truth. with a development and diversification of methods along with that of subject-matter and theory. Modern science has developed its power to solve problems by its selectivity and by its programme of reduction of more and more classes of phenomena to increasingly general theories. The paradoxical culmination of reasoned decision in our time has been an increasing magnification of means with a matching neutralization of ends. CROMBIE. This has made it a notable source first of conflicting certitudes and then of disquiet in Western societies.The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 25 place to another : I say in the long run.. the notion that created science. Yet natural science has emerged as the rational norm in the Western search for universally and exclusively true principles in all regions of thougth and action. These generations came to see experimental science as a deliberate union of the theoretical search for reduction to common forms of explanation and logical mastery of argument achieved by philosophy. with the practical demand for accurately reproduceable results required by technology. if man's moral nature it held to be confined within that 1. and a notable solvent of the confidence of other cultures to which the West has brought not simply its science. the delimitation of the questions as well as of the answers to be admitted. The questions had to be answerable by acceptable means. eventually if not immediately...1 The generations of GALILEO and DESCARTES established the specific rationality of modern science and gave confidence to its methods of research and criteria of acceptability by defining it as the art of the soluble. .. Later came an expansion of the initial restriction to exclusively answerable questions in all realms of experience and thought. ibid.. and all questions of motive and of the meaning of existence. Le opere. To all other values and to all such questions its clear logic has made it explicitly neutral. The act of definition required first a restriction.

2 all social injustices and all crimes as products of the system. obliged by necessity to gear its programme of selection and reduction to one end alone. by its programme of selection and reduction science inevitably eliminates all data irrelevant to its current problems and theories. There are many examples of this in the study of perception. Some people seem to have found in our scientific culture a need to use the discovered regularities of human psychology and social behaviour to deny individual responsibility. 1966) 122 sqq. It is no accident that rational science and rational power have arisen together in the experience of nature. These are irreducible. 2. and it contradicts the possibility of reasoned science on which it is presumably based. but these may be the most relevant to existence and experience outside a particular scientific scheme. developed or developing. towards this single goal? The specific rationality of science. has indeed obliged us now to recover and retain for the quality of life the responsible decisions from which the individual is eliminated by faceless organization. P. thinking. purpose. yet also obliges us if we 1. yet they belong to our experience. anticipation. But this does not follow from evident experience. 1955) . neuropsychological and psychiatric theory inevitably falls into the pattern of any general system. a reflection of the specific rationality of science. GREGORY. Western or Communist. If the logic of science must eliminate meaning from the individual who yet remains paradoxically responsible for it. (London. But must we accept the committal of our society whatever the political system. It is as if our whole society were in the grip of a vast theory. Eye and Brain. Thus science which as the truest available account of nature can yet offer us no moral values. and by obsession with power and achievement which is only one expression of science. Gf. Gf. which must logically eliminate from consideration each individual's unique consciousness of attention. it lacks the commonsense of proportion supplied by humour. In trying to understand human nature itself. the organization of modern industrial society is likewise neutral to all values except its own logic and yet imposes what we have learnt to call its own quality of life. all sins as sickness. intention. L. mirrored in industrial society. logical and moral choice.26 Science. Mind and Body (London. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought logic. LAIN ENTRALGO. the mindless competitive acquisition of material advantage and power. R. responsibility. to treat all human acts as caused.1 The scientific understanding of human nature built up from biological. decision.

inevitably gave the mission of science a rather different flavour.» (1975) 222. was elaborated by St. against nature. The geologists. for example in ROGER BACON.. to some extent perhaps to a paradise lost. x given that evangelical flavour. If the order of nature and of society were simply sequences through time of states of statistical equilibrium. The greatest gift of scientific reason to the practical arts of civilization has surely been to provide mankind with both a true guide for our actions and the material capability of choice. biologists and mechanistic philosophers. Science can show us as individuals and as societies the consequences our actions may have for our well-being or our survival. . which has characterised the Western sense of mission in science as in religion. Cf. if time and history were merely a meaningless. «Some attitudes. interminable succession. against rivals. or against the weak? Why should those with the power not feel entitled to exploit all opportunities? It is a question as bleak for us as it was for Thucydides. That belongs to paradise. CROMBIE. and if something like that was the whole truth about existence. Science has given us responsible information and practical power for making the difficult decisions between combinations of good with bad in medical practice. and Styles. This conception of the benevolent destiny provided for responsible man had already by the thirteenth century. One answer of course would be to find agreement on the true moral nature and end of man. 1. . in which the weak are restrained more than the strong only by their weakness. Through our scientific tradition. The Christian view of cosmological and human history.. open-ended. or in military need. we have liberated ourselves both from ignorance and from a purely biological regime of existence. both social and natural. inherited from Hebrew theology. in the use of the environment and of natural resources. .The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 27 are to remain civilized to seek reasons for restraint. whose thinking notably from the eighteenth century dismissed design from time and history. But what reasons can be offered to restrain the powerful from doing whatever they have power to do for their own selfish advantage. that desire to discover and spread true knowledge. in legal pleading of diminished responsibility (in a society concerned for its own welfare a persistent disposition or intention to lie must presamably disqualify from responsibility whether psychiatric. criminal or political in motivation). Augustine as the fulfilling through an extended time of the providential purpose of the creation.

Reasoned truth from which these gifts have come is hard to find and hard for fallen man to keep. LEWIS through the fictitious character of EZEKIALBULVER. who should perhaps be better known and who used to attribute his formula for political power to a dispute between his parents overheard at the age of three. Whatever its form or context. The New Genetics of the Soviet Union (Imperial Bureau of Plant Breeding and Genetics. The authors of an analysis published thirty years ago of the Soviet genetical disputes of that period distinguished among the modes of argument used what they felicitously called «alogical discourse». Western scientific culture retains its sense of mission if only because. HUDSON and R. The procedure is of course political. in result : ((Technically it was a smear. 1946) 23 sqq. heresy. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought it could be argued that moral values could be regarded only with profound frivolity or profound despair. it offers pragmatic agreement on specific limited ends. . «Some attitudes.)) (1975) 225..S.H. Another common version has the logical form of the vulgar : Why doesn't he stop beating his wife? I once had the pleasure of seeing Senator JOSEPH MCCARTHY routed by a witness who with clear head simply unpacked the innuendos loaded into the questions put to him.S.28 Science. in a plural human society. to quote locally from another context. In the last especially it seems that the Marxist geneticists were following a procedure much favoured by LENIN. also Lettres incites de John Stuart Mill a Auguste Comte. 2 The procedure has been well illustrated by C. LEVY-BRUHL (Paris. GROMBIE. and its motives. but rather to fix him in a category of motivation from which all his reasoning and behaviour was made to follow. practical utility and attributed motives. It is hardest of all when truth is made ambiguous policy. 2. especially Mill to Comte on 3 April 1844. Gf. P. but it was also a myth. Hence our word bulverism. 1899). that he said that only because he was a man. RICHENS. Bulver learnt from his mother that it was much more effective in dispute not to meet the reasoning of your opponent. and. Cambridge.. It offers also something deeper. 1 Yet if the paradise of providence has been lost. which intermixed with logical argument appeals to authority. Whether the category was false or irrelevant did not matter. 1. needed to «have very little to do with the arguments in which they were expressed». His father was routed in an attempt to prove to his mother that the sum of the internal angles of a triangle is two right angles by her finally defeating reply. its goal not truth but advantage. The suggestio falsi intended in this procedure may take various forms. publics avec les rgponses de Comte. L. ed.

its impudent mendacity is calculated on the assumption that enough even of our ostensibly honest fellow men prefer almost any formula for self-delusion. The Times (London. This does not of course 1. can illuminate the continuity as well as the mutations of the Western tradition of scientific objectivity which has now. Its criteria offer a political warning. and a moral therapy. The Spectator (London. . may be thought an insult to human intelligence. an attempt to persuade by means of something less than the truth need not be criminal. It is essential to legal defence when justice assumes innocence until guilt is proven. But nature cannot be cheated. the various other histories and philosophy. in corners of universities as of wider worlds. become the property of most of the world. 10 September 1975) 14. Effective science demands standards of truth beyond treachery.1 To meet reasons with attributions of motive. Paradoxically. this subject has been developed during two decades and more in my own university of Oxford. looking back with unavoidable impressionism to the orientations of our culture. whether in welcome or reluctance. hypocrisy or sanctimonious betrayal to facing an uncomfortable truth or an indisputable lie. naively cynical and usually transparent. To promote in the open innuendos started in malicious corners. 15 March 1975) 306. and even of the treacherous. medicine and technology. Nor need men. as scientific thinking studied through the reconstruction of its cultural ambience. with enough momentum now to continue in that style. As intellectual history indeed. I have tried then to sketch how the intellectual and moral history of science. to make words mean what you choose. Such forms of violence against both truth and person have become too obviously part of the disreputable procedure for political advantage in our time.The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 29 like all powerful myths. Mean spirited.2 Those who accept persuasion from the devil need a long spoon and when dealing with smaller monsters at least to cease to be naive. The aim is not primarily to convey information but to induce a response*. linked equally and necessarily with the sciences. And in the following appraisal by a military correspondent there is a disturbingly inverted kinship with pastoral care for virtue : «In the communist world the truth or falsehood of a statement is much less important than its effect. may be thought an insult at least to common sense. 2. it retained its potency even when its credibility had gone*.

30 Science. even those most peripheral to the central subject of scientific thought. . just as a pretence that history has been other than it has may reflect some more disreputable calculation. indeed an immature character. A wish to impose a narrow view must surely reflect an immature conception of history. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought preclude other lines of study.

runs another phrase attributed to William of Conches. this was because 'the ancients had only the writings which they composed themselves. 1 E. Ottaviano. Miiller (Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters. Their outlook was at once dependent and optimistic. Crombie. 3 Adelard of Bath. together with an intellectual revival. Un brano inedito delta 'Philosophia' di Guglielmo di Conches (Naples. and also Science. He repeated the famous image of Bernard of Chartres: 'We are like a dwarf put on the shoulder of a giant. but we do not know more'. Quaestiones naturales.W. Vivarium. For if 'the moderns are able to see better than the ancients'. William of Conches in his gloss on this phrase of Priscian epitomised the earliest perception of medieval science by those bright generations of secular scholars who effectively launched the modern scientific movement in the first half of the twelfth century. . Southern.3 The way to knowledge of nature was through training in the mathematical quadrivium.2 Likewise Adelard of Bath: Those who are now called authorities gained their first credence among those less adept only because they followed reason'. R. cf. 58. Jeauneau. as Thierry of Chartres insisted in offering from Plato's Timaeus a rational exegesis of the cosmogony of Genesis. see p. He demanded reason independent of authority. tanto perspicaciores. also the beginnings of a modest but pregnant technological revolution. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (London. . cf. but we have all their writings and all those as well which were composed from the beginning up to our time. Medieval Humanism and Other Studies (Oxford. 1935) 19. They had witnessed. He sees farther than the giant not from his own size but from the size of his support'. 2 C. and you will find the capability'. 12. iv. v (1967) 79-99.C. von M. 1923). Hence we see more. 84. Therefore hope. 'With the capacity to know all things . 1990). Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition (London. as a fundamentally essential assumption of all rational thinking. 1970) 39 sqq. for: 'Nothing is difficult unless you despair. 1994). ' "Nani gigantum humeris insidentes": essai d'interpretation de Bernard de Chartres'. hrg. even if only to exchange authorities.l.1 So placed they saw a way to independence. 'The human mind was made'. Minister. This is its greatest worth'. . for a full treatment of the subject of this paper A. They possessed. a strong belief in the dignity and intelligibility of man and nature and of the relations of God with his creation.3 Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science Quanta juniores.

the historians of the scientific movement. A subtle question is what continued and what changed through different historical circumstances. its progress equally in scientific knowledge and in the analysis of scientific argument. and its recurrent critique. ii (Paris. and 'he made quite clear to everyone what was hidden in obscurity for Plato and Socrates'. must look in a true intellectual anthropology at once with and into the eye of its beholder. in different periods and contexts and in different subjectmatters. We. were of two different kinds: those concerned primarily with general questions of knowledge and existence. and in the cultural vision through which experience is mediated. Argument has been deployed in different styles. are maintained by habit and education as long as these remain. according to his epitaph. to justify a vision of the nature of things able to solve specific problems. and the new compositions written in their light. From such commitments come the specific identities of cultures and the structural differences between different cultures and societies whose enduring persistence have become in our present world daily more evident. 4 . Medieval Humanism. who belong at the same time to its history. could see through all the perplexities of the seven liberal arts. Brunei. then. practical and moral justification of the whole enterprise. interpretations that have varied with visions of the nature of human existence and with degrees of historical knowledge.32 Science. The history of science is the history of vision explored and controlled by argument: a vision and an argument initiated in the West by the ancient Greek philosophers. established with the intellectual and moral commitments with which they began. 'Une epitaphe inedite de Thierry de Chartres' in Recueil de travaux offert a C. even after long breaks. Of the essence of the scientific movement have been its genuine continuity. of its presuppositions about nature. Styles of thinking and making both intellectual and practical decisions. enriched by the new translations into Latin such as Adelard's version of Euclid's Elements from the Arabic. varying considerably in different historical contexts. cf. Historical perceptions of the scientific movement in the middle ages have from the start been mediated through interpretations of the past and present motivated by expectations of a desirable future. Vernet. Vectorial treatment is of the essence of historiography. about scientific cogency and validity. and about the intellectual. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Thierry. in scientific argument and its criteria of cogency and validity. when education and practice could furnish options for a different future. yet there can be therapy in viewing the still life of a present moment unrelated to past or future. prejudice or ignorance. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the texts translated from the Greek and the Arabic. based on the study by any generation of texts written by its predecessors. mathematicians and physicians in their search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. Southern. and those concerned with specific problems in the mathematical and natural A. 1955) 670.4 This he could seem to do by a perspective of superior science.

Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science 33 sciences. can be read the text of time.C.H. in his analysis of the 'causes of error'7 and of scientific stagnation in contemporary Christendom. M. Chenu. In a philosophical community sharing a common education in all these subjects. Thus Hugh of St Victor. Again from Augustine. clxxvi (Paris. invented under the spur of practical necessity and reduced to rule by reason. ed. It was their fulfilment in the return of man to God's grace that was promised for the future. 1900). 14. the fated march of events.. the second provided specific advances of knowledge. long before the Greek philosophers. both were seen to belong to an integrated intellectual whole. 1961).9. 1897). he was describing 5 Hugh of St Victor. traced the restoration of the divine likeness in fallen man by the development of the arts and sciences.P. ed. 1854) 814.5 and in the contemporary image of Bernard Silvestris: There. C. Patrologia Latino. This had been lost in ages of sin and foolishness and revived by virtue. ed. 1939).4.J. cf. . The arts and sciences. hrg. Hence. Taylor (New York. scientia with ars. Medieval perceptions of the history of science (as distinct from perceptions of scientific problems as such) focused primarily on the programme of man's relation to God and to nature as his creation. have been central to the whole subsequent dynamics of the scientific movement. Didascalicon. De mundi universitate. and it could be recovered again in man's long return from divine alienation only by keeping to true belief and moral law. iii (London. Barach und J. Migne. the plenitude of wisdom entirely adequate for human needs and the source of all the arts and sciences and of untold powers over nature. For this 'entire sensible world is like a sort of book written by the finger of God'. cf. i (Oxford. When Bacon sketched his programme for the restoration of experimental and mathematical science. The context of human existence was defined by the scheme of providential history presented by Augustine. J. 6 Bernard Silvestris. the disposition made of the ages'. in an universal history written on Augustinian lines. marked down by the finger of the Supreme Scribe. Wrobel (Innsbruck. for it was the paramount duty of Christians to grasp the truth and spread it to all the world. the most systematically historical of the early twelfthcentury scholars. had been brought to perfection before Christ. C. J. 1976) 170. iii.. Bridges. he remodelled the historical belief that God had revealed to the Hebrew patriarchs and prophets. The first provided a general programme for investigating the nature of things. There could of course be mixtures of the two.S. de studio legendi vii. The interactions of programmes with realisations.6 Roger Bacon with much greater knowledge a century and a half later likewise looked first to the recovery of a wiser past as an essential step towards a happier future.i.D. with the invention of flying machines and submarines and so forth. La theologie au douzieme siecle (Paris. the moral emphasis on the habits of prejudice and vanity as well as ignorance making obstacles to truth. transl. D. 1986) 13. ii. J. Buttimer (Washington. Opus maius i. and within those of episteme with techne. 7 Roger Bacon.l sqq. 1957.

vol. 'Humanist Concepts of Renaissance and Middle Ages in the Tre. but also in order that we may bend their labours to our own ends'. McLaughlin.34 Science. iii. The Renaissance in Historical Perspective (Boston. Such theological interpretations of the history of the arts and sciences persisted in various forms and contexts for several centuries after Bacon. Speculum. ii. we can be aroused to better things. . Christians should . the effectiveness of interpretations of the past that carried with them formulae for present action. . The Italian scholars who introduced the threefold division of European history into ancient. by which. xvii (1942) 226-42. since it is wretched to be always using and never making discoveries.. 9 8 .K. and the discovery by the learned elite of their true hidden meaning. because nothing is perfect in human discoveries.15. medieval and modern times (priscis. not only because we are of a later age and should add to their works. The image of medieval darkness was repeated at the end of the fourteenth century by the Florentine historian Filippo Villani. ii (1988) 131-42 with further references. just as painting was raised again to life in modern times first by Cimabue. unless we are asses. 'Petrarch's Conception of the Dark Ages'. Mommsen. He cited with approval Seneca's respect alike for ancient wisdom and for intellectual progress of the elite who alone among foolish mankind would not misuse it. Renaissance Studies. The pedagogic function of history. 1982) 132. when Latin poetry was revived and Italian vernacular poetry reborn (renatum). Hence we of a later age should supply what the ancients lacked. modernisque temporibusy. Mass. but a different style of historical orientation came to be offered by the humanist scholars and philosophers who from the fourteenth century established so much of the basic methods and conceptions of modern historiography. and then by Giotto. Ferguson. medieval and modern gave to these periods an evaluation beyond mere chronology. Hence his vision of the reform of education and knowledge within a theological scheme of man's providential destiny in the fulfilment of time to the end of the world.9 He was offering a programme. It seems to have been Petrarch who first used the term medius tempus with the sense of a dark age lasting for a thousand years until his own time. T.L. who 'began to recall it to the imitation of nature'.and Quattrocento'. D. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought what he believed had been known already to the ancients. mediis. as of the direct investigation of nature. was well understood in antiquity. W.8 He saw the recent and future progress of scientific knowledge as the product as much of the recovery of ancient texts. 'who not only can be compared with the illustrious Ibid. who described certain events as happening 'in ancient. and he insisted that 'the study of wisdom can always increase in this life. 'Historians and the Renaissance During the Last 25 Years' in The Renaissance (London. 1948). When Dante revived the art of poetry he 'recalled it as from an abyss of shadows into the light'. Cf. M. because we have entered into their labours. Hay. complete the paths of the unbelieving philosophers.

and the successive proposals for true methods.C. On similar lines philosophical historians like Machiavelli and Jean Bodin. or more realistically the claims to be practising like William Gilbert a 'new sort of philosophising'. They studied history in order to manage or at least to anticipate its course. 13 Francesco Patrizi. Hence also the recurrent claims to novelty: to have discovered like the sixteenth-century Neoplatonist Francesco Patrizi the 'new. the possible. Giustiniani (Florence.14 or to have invented like Francis Bacon a novum organum or like Galileo 'new sciences'. Praefatio (London. 1914). Some scholars maintained that philosophy had flourished without interruption through the scholastic period and needed no revival. McLaughlin. or perhaps into diagnoses of decline. Galletti (Florence. complete philosophy of the universe'. McLaughlin.10 (It is a pity that he was unaware of the lively and accurate naturalistic illustrations of Frederick IPs Art of Falconry and of many others made in Italy. the Netherlands and England during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 15 Galileo Galilei.) That the modern arts had come to revive (rinascere) and to surpass ancient models. 7. De magnete. ii. whether in politics. the desirable and the acceptable.g. in order to promote the enlightenment they saw coming from ancient models of all kinds. 'Panurgia' i (Ferrara.2. philosophical reasons and the clearest experiments'13 or other fashionably convincing criteria. 1953) 106-7. a cura di V. ambitiously so 'proved with divine oracles.15 Reforming visions may show us the intellectual tradition of European science in varied and peculiar lights. G. 'Historians and the Renaissance'.R. but surpassed them all in skill and genius'. Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (Leiden. 1591) f. Hence the search for the best ancient models. looking for the causes of the progress or regress of civilisation in different periods.l. 'Humanist Concepts'. . geometrical necessities.11 became commonplaces in the fifteenth century. 1638). 11 Cf. These may change with changing 10 Filippo Villani. and the historical term media tempestas. Liber de civitatis Florentinae famosis civibus. 14 William Gilbert. ed. Munich. Lettere ed orazione. whether for philosophy or science or art or theology or government. 1847).12 But in general the humanists gave to the medieval term a sense of total darkness. Alamanno Rinuccini.l r . P. France. 1600). 'Historians and the Renaissance'. true.Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science 35 painters of antiquity. v. as necessary for a true historical anthropology as the solving of problems and related contemporary practices. Lehmann. Hay. They show us the historical diversity of conceptions of the rational. Latin style or painting and sculpture. which were so evident in Western intellectual culture from the age of Roger Bacon to that of Francis Bacon and Descartes. could project their historical analyses into programmes for present advantage or reform and future advance. Vom Mittelalter und von der Lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters (Quellen und Untersuchungen zur Lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters. 12 E. Nova de universis philosophia.7. cf. iii.

18 Historiography of science was an evaluation entailing a programme.36 Science. To the historiography of a political and literary and artistic renaissance centred in fourteenth. An exemplary linking of the revival of classical learning.21. science and technology. and the interaction of internal 16 17 18 Petrus Ramus. this scheme has had its full influence on that large part of the historiography of science developed since the sixteenth century in which it has been assumed. Scholarum mathematicarum . using the warning of past stagnation to promote their new optimism for mathematical and experimental methods. is that these can cloud factual investigations. (Basel. 1614) 537. History of the World. The critical question is whether the vision casting its objects in this reforming light can stand the light of historical evidence. The renaissance of religion then came to be identified in Protestant historiography with the fortunes of the Protestant reformation. such wisdome as may guide our desires and actions'.and fifteenth-century Italy. They tell us more about the periods in which they were invented than about those to which they referred. art. . the obvious disadvantage of a periodisation in evaluative terms like dark ages or renaissance. and later when in the dispute of the Ancients and Moderns the recent scientific triumphs replaced antiquity with progress as a guiding vision. ii (Rotterdam.17 Put together over two centuries through a series of disparate issues in politics. religion. Erasmus added a further European element with his conception of close causal connection between the decline or revival of learning and those of religion. Such terms distract attention from the apprehension of an intellectual culture in its historical context and in its own terms. Preface and ii. or as a specified intellectual competence to solve problems. Science was brought into the historiography of a renaissance at this time first by such philosophical reformers as Peter Ramus16 and Francis Bacon. the Protestant reformation and the rise of the new philosophy as stages in the liberation of the inquiring mind was set out in the Dictionnaire historique (1697) by Pierre Bayle. 1697) 1123. . or like reformation or scientific revolution or enlightenment. to teach by example of times past.6 (London. or in some causal series. Whatever wisdom history may teach us. that is was 'the end and scope of all historic. 1569). or as a deep moral commitment to discover and spread true and useful knowledge. literature. They obstruct the analysis of connections of reason and motive both manifest and hidden. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought human expectations. Vol. as also the obvious disadvantage of simply assuming a linkage of apparently separate issues whether in the pursuit of some view of the human condition or even of truth or liberty. or they may persist as definitions of norms of rational thought for every kind of subject-matter and every aspect of life. in Walter Ralegh's phrase. religion and science the period of medieval darkness was moved forward to the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It is a curious fact that in the course of the successive controversies over the arts. Ralegh. .

(Baltimore. Our historical perceptions now make it clear that the questions. also A. Introduction to the History of Science. can change so much as to be scarcely the same questions at all.g. cf. . embarked on his magisterial exposition of medieval scientific thinkers and their relation to their early modern successors. The questions may be explicit or they may be implied by the answers given. and in consequence this gave academic careers to generations of young scholars. often obscured by the inertia of language and terminology. Rivista critica di storia della filosofia. Human historiography. Antecedent assumptions in historical as in scientific investigations may indeed direct our attention to questions otherwise overlooked. by G. nor despite its obvious dangers does it necessarily produce bad scholarship. 3 vol. Pacchi. 1965). 1953. are to some extent his disciples. Yet all subsequent historians of medieval science. and he has been justly criticised for certain historical distortions that have come from it. European interest in medieval history. under the pressure of opposition from French academic positivists.Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science 37 intellectual needs with external social pressures evident in complex societies. It was he beyond all others whose heroic vision of medieval natural philosophy and cosmology projected bright shafts of understanding through the cloudy darkness of academic prejudice. He gave fresh excitement to medieval science. xx (1965) 499-502. Md. assumed that his predecessors had been asking the same questions as himself but had not answered them so well. Convenzione e ipotesi nella formazione della filosofia naturale di Thomas Hobbes (Florence. like natural science.C. This has been done by no means only on one side.1971) 278-9. we can recognise fairly easily the theoretical assumptions generated in early modern historiography by the diverse disputes in which the innovating parties needed to define their position in relation to their immediate predecessors and current opponents. Aristotle. the first historian of science. A. are those brought about by changes in the conceptions of nature 19 Ample evidence of the continuing interest in medieval natural philosophy during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries is provided by the printed editions recorded e. The most fundamental changes. powerfully stimulated by Romanticism.. Crombie. 1927-47). When we read a text in the history of science we need to identify the questions to which the text was directed and to which it offered answers. however much we may criticise and object. Suitably distanced by time and experience. especially German. Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science (Oxford. 'Ruggero Bacone e Roberto Grossatesta in un inedito hobbesiano del 1634'.19 They used history in an exercise of persuasion to influence present attitudes and actions. Duhem was explicitly making a point with more than medieval historical relevance. must proceed by means of a body of theory. Sarton. A little later that great man Pierre Duhem. as likewise away from other questions indicated by other assumptions. led on the Continent during the nineteenth century to the methodical study of medieval thought and to some exemplary. technical studies of medieval philosophy and science. Yet on many details and perhaps on much of the whole vision we must criticise and differ. whether explicit or implied.

ratio. Again. We need to examine continuity and change at all the levels involved. Such changes can alter both the way in which particular scientific problems are formulated and the criteria for an acceptable scientific explanation. It takes great care to interpret such important terms as lex naturae. Yet again. and it is tricky not only for the medieval predecessors dear to Duhem. since every effect requires a cause. The question changed because the presuppositions generating them changed. Kepler came to make a structural break from his own first approach to the analysis of optical physiology. experimentum and scientia experimental. sed caveat emptor. machina. based on the assumption inherited from the Greeks that the process by which vision is effected through the living eye must yield an immediate explanation of visual perception. for example. In the famous case of inertial motion. Structural changes in scientific thinking such as occurred over this period make the whole subject of predecessors extremely tricky. Kepler generalised the subject by treating the eye as a physical optical instrument like any other. the analysis of the rainbow by Descartes starting from a general quantitative law was structurally different from that of Theodoric of Freiberg. This had been accepted by Alhazen in his brilliant geometrical model of the eye and by all his successors.38 Science. tanto perspicaciores. as in fact a camera obscura. from those of factual discovery and mathematical formulation to those of scientific demonstration and causal explanation. but here also there are dangers. whose sophisticated experiments with models were designed to discover the particular causal conditions for particular phenomenon. every motion requires a mover. So then: quanta juniores. Valuable light can be thrown on all this by the study of scientific and philosophical terminology. It led to insoluble problems like that of the inversion and reversal of the image. . and thus he could separate its optical operation for analysis independently of the problem of perception. It is clear that the questions put or presupposed in the answers given by medieval natural philosophers were not identical with those put or presupposed in the seventeenth century. resolutiva et compositiva. but likewise for those of Darwin in the theory of evolution and equally throughout the history of science. the seventeenth-century concept was basically different from that formulated in the fourteenth century on the Aristotelian principle that. Language can misrepresent or lag behind practice. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought and of science presupposed by the questions being posed.

and occasionally in charters.A. writing to his sister. After that it seems likely that he taught at Oxford in the arts school until the dispersion of masters and scholars during 1209-1214. by Roger Bacon. Epistolae. Tradition places his birth in Suffolk. . by 1198. but in 1232 he resigned them all except for a prebend at Lincoln. languages. 44. He may have been educated first at Lincoln. Grosseteste was given a number of ecclesiastical preferments and sinecures. ed. Robert Grosseteste. and mathematics and natural science. although with the title magisterscholarum. when a reference by Gerald of Wales suggests that he may have had some knowledge of both law and medicine. within the jurisdiction of which Oxford and its schools came. and was in the household of William de Vere. including the arch-deaconry of Leicester in 1229. during this period. who had come to Oxford in 1224. p. a nun: 'If I am poorer by my own choice.. some time before his appointment as chancellor of the University of Oxford. He must have taken his mastership in theology. probably at Paris. Luard.4 Robert Grossteste (c. 1168-1253) Grosseteste was the central figure in England in the intellectual movement of the first half of the thirteenth century. ed. bishop of Hereford. deeds and other records.1 His birth has been variously dated between 1168 and 1175.. He contributed largely to directing the interests of the English Franciscans toward the study of the Bible.'2 From 1229 or 1230 until 1235 he was first lecturer in theology to the Franciscans. Indispensable sources for this later period of his life are his own letters and those of his Franciscan friend Adam Marsh. but since he is described as 'Magister Robertus Grosteste' (the first appearance of his name) in a charter of Hugh. 1 2 See D. then at Oxford. Callus. H. the earlier date is the more likely. bishop of Lincoln. probably about 1214-1221. when he must have lectured on theology. I am made richer in virtues. of probably 1186-1190. His influence there was profound and continued after he left Oxford in 1235 for the see of Lincoln. of humble parentage.R. yet the only evidence for his life before he became bishop of Lincoln in 1235 is to be found in fragmentary references by Matthew Paris and other chroniclers.

40 Science. His writings fall roughly into the same periods: to the former belong his commentaries on Aristotle and on the Bible and the bulk of a number of independent treatises. that the fundamental corporeal substance was light (lux).V (14 cent. and to the latter his translations from the Greek. he also arranged for a translation of the psalms to be made from the Hebrew and seems to have learned something of this language. of Pseudo-Dionysius and of other theological writings.. Although in content a somewhat eclectic blend of Aristotelian and Neoplatonic ideas. L.3 Grosseteste's rational scheme included E. Hexaemeron and commentaries on the Pauline epistles and the psalms.G.E. Hexaemeron. the first that of a university scholar and teacher and the second that of a bishop and ecclesiastical statesman. He held that light was the first form to be created in prime matter. Baur. expounded in De luce seu de inchoatione formarum and De motu corporali et luce. For this work he brought to Lincoln assistants who knew Greek. Grosseteste's philosophical thinking shows a strong intellect curious about natural things and searching for a consistently rational scheme of things both natural and divine. Lux was a instrument by which God produced the macrocosm of the universe and also the instrument mediating the interaction between soul and body and the bodily senses in the microcosm of man. heat. sound. fols 147v-150v. Living at a time when the intellectual horizons of Latin Christendom were being greatly extended by the translations into that language of Greek and Arabic philosophical and scientific writings. Essential for the latter in natural philosophy was mathematics. to which Grosseteste gave a role based specifically on his theory. De cessatione legalium. he used his learning fruitfully during the period of his episcopate by making Latin translations of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and De caelo (with Simplicius' commentary). likewise one of the first. His commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics was one of the first and most influential of the medieval commentaries on this fundamental work. propagating itself from an original point into a sphere and thus giving rise to spatial dimensions and all else according to immanent laws. British Museum MS Royal 6. optics (including lenses and the rainbow). Hence his conception of optics as the basis for natural science.). he took a leading part in introducing this new learning into university teaching. and his scriptural commentaries. of the Defide orthodoxe of John of Damascus. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Grosseteste's career thus falls into two main parts. comets. independent treatises on astronomy and cosmology. Other important writings belonging to the first period are his commentary on Aristotle's Physics. especially the Moralitates in evangelica. His search for rational explanations was conducted within the framework of the Aristotelian distinction between 'the fact' (quid) and 'the reason for the fact' (propter quid). 'Das Licht in der Naturphilosophie des Robert Grosseteste' in Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiete 3 . Having begun to study Greek in 1230-1231. and other scientific subjects. the calendar (with intelligent proposals for the reform of the inaccurate calendar then in use).

He extended the luminous analogy to illustrate the relationship between the persons of the Trinity. and a belief in the superiority of the church over the state because its function. 5 Epistolae. and he was one of the first medieval thinkers to attempt to deal with the conflict between the Scriptures and the new Aristotle.5 In practice Grosseteste was governed by three principles: a belief in the supreme importance of the cure of souls. Geburtstag Georg Freiherrn von Herding (Freiburg im Breisgau. Likewise. Grosseteste was a close friend of Simon de Montfort and took charge of the education of his sons. Especially interesting are his discussions of the problems of the eternity or creation of the world. pp. 360. and in a memorandum presented to the pope there in 1250 he expounded his views on the unsuitability of such appointments while accepting the papal right to dispose of all benefices. in which the papacy. for example. Analogous to corporeal illumination was the divine illumination of the soul with truth. in opposing the widespread use of ecclesiastical benefices to endow officials in the service of the crown or the papacy. the operation of divine grace through free will like light shining through a coloured glass. of angelology. of the relation of will to intellect. 1913). 8 and 10. Above all he was a bishop with an ideal. but Grosseteste was unique in the ruthlessness and thoroughness with which he applied them. 202. Such views were widely accepted. of divine knowledge of particulars. the salvation of souls. pp. an outstanding example of the new type of ecclesiastic trained in the universities. 389. 179. so a bishop reflects power to the clergy. 4 De libero arbitrio. and of the use of allegorical interpretations of Scripture. his opposition to the obstruction of the disciplinary work of the church by any ecclesiastical corporation or secular authority brought him into conflict both with his own Lincoln chapter and with the crown over royal writs of prohibition when secular law clashed with church law and when churchmen were employed as judges or in other secular offices. . pp. 364. Grosseteste's public life as bishop of Lincoln was informed by both his outlook on the universe as a scholar and his conception of his duties as a prelate dedicated to the salvation of souls. was the centre and source of spiritual life and energy. he said in asserting his episcopal rights against the cathedral chapter of Lincoln. der Philosophic und ihrer Geschichte. a highly centralised and hierarchical conception of the church. caps.Robert Grosseteste 41 revelation as well as reason. As a bishop he had attended the First Council of Lyons in 1245. but the degree to which he shared in or influenced Montfort's political ideals has probably been exaggerated. under God. in L. 41-55.4 and the relation of pope to prelates and of bishops to clergy: as a mirror reflects light into dark places. Die philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste. Baur. was more vital. Eine Festgabe zum 70.

corresponding to some finite part of that series. of which his love became proverbial. . and the quantity of matter given cubic dimensions. Pelzer. Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science (1953. The Oxford Career of Robert Grosseteste' in Robert Grosseteste. it may be assumed that many of them arose out of his teaching in the schools. In this attractive introduction he described how the seven liberal arts at once acted as apurgatio erroris and gave direction to the gaze and inclination of the mind (mentis aspectus et affectus).. Related to this essay was his phonetical treatise De generatione sonorum. De artibus liberalibus. I (London. corresponding to the infinite series of natural numbers.hence the power of music to mould human conduct and restore health by restoring the harmony between soul and body and between the bodily elements. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Scientific Thought Some of Grosseteste's scientific writings can be dated with reasonable certainty. Thomson. Brewer. Grosseteste developed his mature natural philosophy through a logic of science based on Aristotle and through his fundamental theory of light. Dales.with the revisions by Callus. with his cosmogony and cosmology of light.42 Science. which he introduced with an account of sound as a vibratory motion propagated from the sounding body through the air to the ear. 45-47. Gerald of Wales's description of Grosseteste at Hereford as a young clerk with a manifold learning 'built upon the sure foundation of the liberal arts and an abundant knowledge of literature'8 is borne out by what is probably his earliest work. 'Robert Grosseteste's Scientific Works. ed.H. See Callus. Second. and R. De luce and De motu corporali et luce. The Writings of Robert Grosseteste . Crombie.' pp. from the motion of which arose a sensation in the soul. and the related power of astronomy through its indication of the appropriate times for such operations and for the transmutation of metals. 1861). music for him comprised the proportion and harmony not only of sounds produced by the human voice and by instruments but also of the movements and times of the celestial bodies and of the composition of bodies made of the four terrestrial elements . 249. Opera. and S.C. As for Boethius. see Baur. The structure of the universe generated by the original point of lux was determined. 7 From William of Alnwick. 1971). A. Die philosophischen Werke. and of astronomy. In their present form most of the works concerned were almost certainly written between about 1220 and 1235.' Commentarius in viii libros. by the supposition that there was a constant proportion between the diffusion or 'multiplication' of lux. first. The Oxford Career of Robert Grosseteste. as first noticed by A. the intensity of this 6 For the basic works on this question. and most of the others can be related to these in an order based on internal references and on the assumption that the more elaborated version of a common topic is the later. J. 8 Giraldus Cambrensis.6 From the evidence for his method of making notes on his reading and thoughts to be worked up into finished essays and commentaries. Of particular interest is hi treatment of music. seem to date from early in this period.S.C.7 and from these writing themselves.

in his commentary on the Physics. 582-588. species) varying in its manifestation according to the source from which it was propagated or multiplied and in its effect according to its recipient. In all these writings Grosseteste made it clear that by lux and lumen he meant not simply the visible light which was one of its manifestations. De generatione stellarum. The result was a sphere denser and more opaque toward the centre. in which he argued that the rays of the rising moon released vapours from the depth of the sea which pushed up the tide until the moon's strength increased so much that it drew the vapours through the water. In De cometis et causis ipsarum Grosseteste gave a good example of his method of falsification in arguing that comets were 'sublimated fire' separated from their terrestrial nature by celestial power descending from the stars or planets and drawing up the 'fire' as a magnet drew iron.C. . how it caused differences in climate. Another seemingly early work in this series. shows Grosseteste dependent on Aristotle in many things but not in all. Thus he showed in De impressionibus elementorum how solar radiation effected the transformation of one of the four terrestrial elements into another and later.Robert Grosseteste 43 activity of lux varied directly with distance from the primordial source. he produced perhaps his most elegant exercise in analysis by reduction to conclusions falsified either by observation or by disagreement with accepted theory. smaller monthly tide was caused by the weaker lunar rays reflected back to the opposite side of the earth from the stellar sphere.10 and four related essays 9 See R. until all the celestial and elementary spheres of Aristotelian cosmology were complete. and so on. in De calore solis (c. but a fundamental power (virtus. at which time the tide fell again. Grosseteste set out and exemplified the formal structure of his mature scientific method in his Commentaria in libros posteriorum Aristotelis. in De natura locorum. for he argued that the stars were composed of the four terrestrial elements. The Authorship of the Questio de fluxu et refluxu maris Attributed to Robert Grosseteste. An explanation of the tides begun in De accessione et recessione maris or De fluxu et refluxu maris (if this work is by him)9 was completed in De natura locorum. he contrasted the imprecise and arbitrary way man must measure spaces and times with God's absolute measures through aggregates of infinities. 1230-1235). 10 See the ed. Then from the outermost boundary of the sphere lumen emanated inward to produce another sphere inside it. He concluded that all hot bodies generated heat by the scattering of their matter and that the sun generated heat on the earth in direct proportion to the amount of matter incorporated from the transparent medium (air) into its rays. finally leaving a verified explanation. then another.' in Speculum. Later. Dales. his Commentarius in viii libros physicorum Aristotelis. The second. Later. 37 (1962). Grosseteste wrote probably about 1230 a summary of Aristotle's views in his Summa super octo libros physicorum Aristotelis. by Dales.

lib. fol. The commentary on the Physics was written later. 7Wd. '14 This introduced a fundamental addition to 11 12 13 14 Commentarius in viiiphysicorum Aristotelis.fol. pp. usually a composite phenomenon. a scientific inquiry began with an experienced fact (quid).11 His method of discovering the causal agent was to make first a resolutio. '13 The echo belonged formally to the same genus as the reflection of light. finishing after 1220 and probably nearer the end of the decade. .II.4. before 1209. 3-4. fols. in the sense that 'the superior science provides the propter quid for that thing of which the inferior science provides the quia. ed. whence nature as an agent has the natural things that are to be produced in some way described and formed within itself. . He verified or falsified these hypotheses by observation or by theory already verified by observation. Commentaria in libros posteriorum Aristotelis. The aim of the inquiry was to discover the reason for the fact (propter quid). is called knowledge of nature.. and completed it over a long period. 12 (1494). Ibid. It seems likely that he began the commentary on the Posterior Analytics when he was still a master of arts. for example. or reconstruction and deduction of the phenomenon from hypotheses derived from the discovered principles. It has striking parallels with some of the scientific topics of the Hexaemeron but shows less than even the limited knowledge of Greek found in this work. that is. that of the subordination of some sciences to others. but the material and efficient cause of the propagation of sound had to be sought in its fundamental substance: 'the substance of sound is lux incorporated in the most subtle air . llr-12r.'12 But mathematics provided only the formal cause. the material and efficient causes were provided by the physical sciences. as for Aristotle. of astronomy and optics to geometry and of music to arithmetic. in the very nature of things to be produced before they are produced. Grosseteste used in the analysis of the causal agent as the starting-point of demonstration another Aristotelian procedure. and then a compositio. Dales. 8r. . probably around 1230. .44 Science. 29v. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought giving a geometrical analysis of the natural propagation of power and light. likewise certainly over a period of years. I. For Grosseteste. but is the nature of the radiation generating itself in a straight path . I. I. or analysis of the complex phenomenon into its principles. Thus 'the cause of the equality of the two angles made on a mirror by the incident ray and the reflected ray is not a middle term taken from geometry.. the proximate cause or natural agent from which the phenomenon could be demonstrated: Every thing that is to be produced is already described and formed in some way in the agent. . 8. suggesting that it just precedes it. so that this description and form itself. Besides this double method.

every agent multiplied its power spherically. . Die philosophischen Werke..' he resumed.. . pp.Robert Grosseteste 45 the very similar discussion of the propagation of sound in De artibus liberalibus and De generatione sonorum. 78-79. De iride seu de iride et speculo. '16 An example of the analysis of a power producing sensation is provided by Grosseteste's De colore. 'is manifest not only by reason but also by experiment. angulis et figuris seu fractionibus et reflexionibus radiorum: 'All causes of natural effects have to be expressed by means of lines. and went on in De natura locorum to use Ptolemy's rules and construction with plane surfaces to explain refraction by a spherical burning glass. in Baur. 'Hence.' This was clear 'first in natural action upon matter and later upon the senses. ibid. Grosseteste developed his geometrical analysis of the powers propagated from natural agents in the four related essays written most probably in the period 1231-1235.'15 The same power produced a physical effect in an inanimate body and a sensation in a animate one. angles and figures. 'untouched and unknown 15 16 17 De lineis angulis et figuris. Grosseteste discussed the laws of reflection and refraction (evidently taken from Ptolemy) and their causes. the power was greater the shorter and straighter the line. . for otherwise it would be impossible to have knowledge propter quid concerning them. ibid. the shorter the three-dimensional pyramid or cone. of reflected rays. in a pure medium) to black were produced by the 'intension and remission' of these three variable principles. De natura locorum.'11 The last of these four essays. is the most complete example of Grosseteste's method and his most important contribution to optics. the smaller the incident angle. by art [per artificium]. . It was subordinate to the third part. pp. 59-60. pp. light varied in brightness and in the multitude of its rays. He established rules for the operation of powers: for example. in order to decide to which part the study of the rainbow belonged. multitudinous rays. In the compositio he asserted that the sixteen colours ranging from white (bright light. transparent media varied in degree of purity from earthy matter. 65-66. and of refracted rays. They can show every kind of colour they wish to visibly. the careful observer of natural things can give the causes of all natural effects by this method. De lineis.' he concluded. . The resolutio identified the constituent principles: colour was light incorporated by a transparent medium. . . to those who know the principles of natural science and of optics deeply and inwardly. He said in the first. The resolutio proceeds through a summary of the principle of subordination and its relation to demonstration propter quid into a discussion of the division of optics into the science of direct visual rays. De colore. 'That the essence of colour and a multitude of the same behaves in the said way. 'these rules and principles and fundamentals having been given by the power of geometry.

or to count sand. size and position. Robert Grosseteste (1971). pp. or grain.. The first of these references to experimental verification.' he concluded. Baur. and how we may make small things placed at a distance appear as large as we want. bisected the angle between the projection of the incident ray and the perpendicular to the interface.' Hence 'it is perfectly clear from geometrical reasons how. so that it is possible for us to read the smallest letters at an incredible distance. See L. and that a thing is made invisible not by great distance. 18 . p. on entering a denser medium. 117-124. except by accident. 20 Ibid. Yet he advocated and was guided by the principle of experiment and developed its logic. 21 Ibid. In De sphaera. As was true for a great many medieval natural philosophers. Die philosophischen Werke. when well understood. 73. pp. may throw doubt on all such references by Grosseteste. 19 De iride. of uncertain date between perhaps De irlde. Crombie. Grosseteste wrote important treatises on astronomical subjects. ibid.. p.. since it would have been so inaccurate. pp. 74-75. 'is shown us by experiments similar to those by which we discovered that the reflection of a ray upon a mirror takes place at the angle equal to the angle of incidence. but by the smallness of the angle of vision. a thing of known distance and known size and position will appear according to place.'21 It was also evident from the principle that nature always acts in the best and shortest way. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought among us until the present time'. Die Philosophic des Robert Grosseteste. p. as he had learned from Euclid and Ptolemy. or any sort of minute objects.19 The reason.46 Science. Besides these works related to optics. 74. Clearly his interest was directed primarily towards theory. most of these references came from books or from everyday experiences. position and arrangement according to which a thing is seen depends on the size of the angle through which it is seen and the position and arrangement of the rays. according to which the refracted ray. This part of optics [perspectiva]. Grosseteste went on to use a construction of Ptolemy's to show how to locate the refracted image. shows us how we may make things a very long distance off appear to be placed very close. p. 75. 117-118. was 'that the size. in Baur. claiming again that this 'is made clear to us by the same experiment and similar reasonings'22 as those used in a similar construction for locating the reflected image. or seeds. 22 Ibid.'20 Grosseteste followed this account of magnification and diminution by refracting media with an apparently original law of refraction. 'That the size of the angle in the refraction of a ray may be determined in this way..18 and it is his treatment of refraction that has the greatest interest. 75. by means of a transparent medium of known size and shape placed at a known distance from the eye. and large near things appear very small.

Robert Grosseteste 47 1215 and 1230. that of al-Battani. These attentions marked the beginning of a European reputation that 23 Compotus. Compotus correctorius. He knew of three estimates of this: that of Hipparchus and Ptolemy. Grosseteste had used a multiple nineteen-year cycle of seventy-six years. 10) that by his time the moon was never full when the calendar said it should be and that this was especially obvious during an eclipse. He pointed out in the Compotus correctorius (cap. Grosseteste's plan for reforming the calendar was threefold. This was the shortest time in which the cycle of whole lunations came back to the start. 1). possibly after 1230. and Albertus Magnus first made serious use of his commentary on the Posterior Analytics. and De motu supercaelestium. De impressionibus aeris seu deprognosticatione. and Compotus minor. . the spring equinox.'23 And with Grosseteste's optics. In the Compotus correctorius he calculated the error this involved and proposed the novel idea of using a much more accurate cycle of thirty Arab lunar years.25 days and of the nineteen-year lunar cycle. six minutes and forty seconds older than the calendar indicated. For the new-moon tables of the Kalendarium. 10). he expounded elements of both Aristotelian and Ptolemaic theoretical astronomy. Al-Battani's estimate. The error in the reckoning of Easter came from the inaccuracy both of the year of 365. In the Compotus correctorius (cap. correcting these. he discussed astrological influences and. R. again.. each of twelve equal months. 259. Grosseteste gave a method of combining this Arab cycle with the Christian solar calendar and of calculating true lunations. dating apparently from 1249. probably between 1215 and 1219. He discussed in detail the systems of adjustments that would have to be made in each case to make the solstice and equinox occur in the calendar at the times they were observed. on which the date of Easter depended. as did John Duns Scotus of that on the Physics. it was Roger Bacon who first took up his work on the calendar. In a later work. even without an accurate measure of the length of the solar year. he said that an accurate measure must be made of the length of the solar year. Steele. with further corrections in 1244.' The next stage of the reform was to calculate the relation between this and the mean lunar month. The third stage of the reform was to use these results for an accurate reckoning of Easter. he said in the Compotus correctorius (cap. First. 215. according to which nineteen solar years were considered equal to 235 lunar months. 'agrees best with what we find by observation on the advance of the solstice in our time. could be discovered 'by observation with instruments or from verified astronomical tables. He showed that with the system long in use. he said that. pp.631 days. in every 304 years the moon would be one day. his mature explanation of the tides. accepted by the Latin computists. the whole occupying 10. ed. More original were Grosseteste's four separate treatises on the calendar: Canon in kalendarium and Compotus. and that of Thabit ibn Qurra.

factus and correctionem communis kalendarii nostri. See also Roberti Grosseteste episcopi quondam Lincolniensis epistolae. De luce.' in Medievalia ethumanistica.A. Pacchi.' in Isis.C. 1926). Thomson.C.48 Science. ed. 1912). 1498. .' in Isis. astronomi och fysik (Uppsala). II. Thomson. 57 (1966). De generatione stellarum. De generatione sonorum.. (London. and S. The Text of Grosseteste's De cometis. Die philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste. 2 (1916). vol. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought continued into the early printing of his writings at Venice. ed. 1514. 1861). and Compotus correctorius (Venice.R. Callus. ed. His Opuscula (Venice. and Convenzione e Ipotesi nella formazione dellafilosofia naturale di Thomas Hobbes (Florence... Compotus. Colo. For further modern texts see Canon in Kalendarium.. All these essays. 5th ed. It was followed by his Summa super octo librosphysicorum Aristotelis (Venice. De calore solis. in Roger Bacon. 1503).. 9th ed. de cometis and De operacionibussolis.' in Rivista critica distoria dellafilosofia 20 (1965). 499-502. 1940). A.' 24 See Crombie. 1518). . S.. The Text of Robert Grosseteste's Questio defluxu de refluxu maris with an English Translation. with De sphaera and the hitherto unprinted De cometis. SECONDARY LITERATURE. De sphaera. For the fundamental work of identifying and listing Grosseteste's writing see L. 1508. De finitate motus et temporis (appearing first as the concluding section of his commentary on the Physics). 212 ff. IX of Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters (Miinster. London. De motu supercaelestium. 1690) includes De artibus liberalibus. angulis etfiguris. 19 (1933). The Writings of Robert Grosseteste Bishop of Lincoln 1235-1253 (Cambridge. De impressionibus aeris and De iride. of a work by Grosseteste is Commentaria in librosposteriorum Aristotelis (Venice. Libellus dephisicis lineis angulis etfigurisper quas omnes actiones naturales complentur (Nuremburg. R. as Sphaeraecompendium (Venice. De natura locorum. 1637). R. (Boulder. and R. 1531).' in Archiv for matematik. De colore. 8th ed.. ed. 1552). and De differentiis localibus. 19-25. Opera hactenus inedita.24 BIBLIOGRAPHY i. ORIGINAL WORKS. and interest in them by Thomas Hobbes. Baur. . 1965). De lineis. 34-43. and "Grosseteste's Questio de calore. 11 no. pub. 1634. the collecting of his scientific manuscripts by John Dee. Luard.H. 1963). Steele. Lindhagen as 'Die Neumondtafel des Robertus Lincolniensis. The earliest dated printed ed. Dales. H. 1494. Bishop von Lincoln. Commentarius in viii libros physicorum Aristotelis . 455-474. De impressionibus elementorum. Baur in Die philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste (see below). Dales. For further discussions of his scientific writings with reference to additional items. The Oxford Career of Robert Grosseteste. 11 (1957). see D. Robert Grosseteste (1971). were published by L. De motu corporali.H. 'Ruggero Bacone e Roberto Grossetesta in un inedito hobbesiano del. . by A. VI (Oxford.

Minds and Fate (London. Dales. Scholar and Bishop (Oxford.. 1971) and the comprehensive bibliography therein. Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science. The pioneering account of his scientific thought is L. 6 (1990) 137. 4-6 of Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters (Miinster. R. Southern. 3rd ed. D. XVIII. . Further References See A. 1989) 119-33. .C. Dales and S. Robert Grosseteste. Die Philosophic des Robert Grosseteste. North.. Crombie. with Robert Grosseteste. nos. R. Stars.D. 2nd ed.S. Baur.. Callus. and R. Optics and Music. 1982). while Callus. Hexaemeron. Crombie. 42-72. judiciously sums up more recent scholarship. 'Robert Grosseteste's Scientific Works. The first modern biography was F. 1100-1700 (Oxford.C.Robert Grosseteste 49 in Oxoniensia. (Oxford. Bishop of Lincoln (London. 10 (1945). the basic biography. J. 1917). 1992).C. Metafisica delta luce: Opuscolifilosofici e scientific!. 1986). traduzione e note di Pietro Rossi (Milano. ed. 1953.' in Isis. Gieben (London. 1899). Robert Grosseteste. ch. . Robert Grosseteste. 52 (1961).C. W. ed. Stevenson.A. introduzione. 381-402. Science. A. 1955). Bischofs von Lincoln. Robert Grosseteste.

1. But only in mathematics . .3) . the same. . or known simply. . (Roger Bacon. .All science requires mathematices. . are what are known to us and what are known in nature. Opus maius iv.

from his statements in the Opus tertium (1267) that it was forty years since he had learned the alphabet and that for all but two of these he had been 'in studio. North] Apart from some brief references in various chronicles. Ibid. Brewer ed. Of his family the only good evidence comes again from Bacon himself.'1 Taking this to refer to the years since he entered the university .5 Roger Bacon (c. A. and therefore could not respond to his appeal for funds for his work in 1266..D. Bacon seems to have acquired an interest in natural philosophy and mathematics at Oxford. In arguing later in his Compendium studii philosophic for the necessity of knowledge of languages. and the pseudo-Aristotelian De vegetabilibus (or Deplantis) and the De causis. among which the works of Seneca and Cicero left a deep impression. 16. 467-468. p. Probably between 1241 and 1246 he lectured in the Faculty of Arts at Paris on various parts of the Aristotelian corpus. either at Oxford or at Paris. p. beginning about the age of seven or eight. which would place his birth about 1219 or 1220. He took his M.2 After early instruction in Latin classics. including the Physics and Metaphysics. followed by Little.3 he was to use an incident in which his Spanish students laughed at him for mistaking a Spanish word for an Arabic word while he was lecturing on De vegetabilibus..the usual age was then about thirteen . Brewer ed. But Crowley has argued that his statements more probably refer to his earliest education. where lectures were given from the first decade of the thirteenth century on the 'new' logic (especially Sophistici Elenchi and Posterior Analytics) and libri naturales of Aristotle as well as on the mathematical quadrivium.they concluded that in 1267 Bacon was fifty-three and thus was born in 1214. 1219-1292) [with J. He was in Paris at the same 1 2 3 Opus tertium. 65. coincident with the Aristotelian revival there.. Compendium studii philosophic. the only materials for Robert Bacon's biography are his own writings. pp. probably about 1240. The date 1214 for his birth was calculated by Charles. . He wrote in the Opus tertium that they had been impoverished as a result of their support of Henry III against the baronial party.

5 The radical intellectual change following Bacon's introduction to Robert Grosseteste (c. he also entered a period of distrust and suspicion probably arising from the decree of the chapter of Narbonne. 30. which Bacon thought possible. 425.. and for instructing assistants in languages. 1249). Grosseteste's influence is evident in Bacon's particular borrowings. and languages and instruments and tables and other things. soon to be elected Pope Clement IV (February 1265). in numbers. Brewer ed. Compendium studii philosophic. optics (perspectiva). the cardinal. 74-75. especially in his optical writings. 1245)4 and William of Auvergne (d. This story and some later works place him there for long periods as a Franciscan. soon afterwards.. during the twenty years in which I have laboured specially in the study of wisdom. Bacon agreed with the accepted view that predictions of human affairs could establish neither certainty nor necessity over the free actions of individuals. 1168-1253) and his friend Adam Marsh on his return to Oxford about 1247 is indicated by a famous passage in the Opus tertium: For. Brewer ed. Opus tertium. such as eclipses of the sun and moon and sometimes the weather.52 Science. 6 Ibid. acting through the body. p. In alchemy Bonaventura was also sceptical about converting base metals into gold and silver. but above all in the devotion of the rest of his life to the promotion of languages and of mathematics. in figures. p. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought time as Albertus Magnus. Whatever the particular reasons for Bacon's troubles within the order. The 4 Opus minus.. where he says in the Opus maius1 that he saw the leader of the Pastoreaux rebels. could be foretold with certainty. astrology and alchemy. and scientia experimentalis as the essential sciences. Bonaventura had no time for studies not directly related to theology. pp. He entered the Franciscan order about 1257 and. I. He was in Paris again in 1251. 401. as a result. 7 Opus maius (1266-1267). 5 Opus tertium. as well as for searching out the friendships of the wise. asked him for a copy of his philosophical writings. Alexander of Hales (d. . presided over by Bonaventura as master general in 1260. 59. he felt it necessary to make certain proposals to a clerk attached to Cardinal Guy de Foulques. He held that only things dependent solely on the motions of the heavenly bodies. but he held that nevertheless astrology could throw light on the future by discovering general tendencies in the influence of the stars. p. p. on human dispositions. he was diametrically opposed to Bacon. as well as on nature at large. 325. Bridges ed. I have put down more than two thousand pounds for secret books and various experiments [experientie]. after disregarding the common way of thinking [neglecto sensu vulgi]. Brewer ed. and on two important questions.. which prohibited the publication of works outside the order without prior approval. and tables and instruments and many other things.

Opus minus. Cf. These were followed in 1271 or 1272 by the Compendium studii philosophic. and reason on its part was insecure if not confirmed by experience. There was only one wisdom. ii-iv. of which only the first part on languages remains and in which he abused all classes of society. one obtained through interior mystical inspiration and the other through the exterior senses. pp. by his pupil John. by the bishop of Paris.10 followed (before the pope died in November 1268) by the Opus minus and Opus tertium as resumes. Perhaps at this time Bacon wrote his Communia naturalium and Communia mathematica^ mature expressions of many of his theories. corrections. and De multiplicatione specierum. and the concealment of one's own ignorance in a display of apparent wisdom. but this. had to be developed by reason. Opus maius. Stephen Tempier. and particularly the Franciscan and Dominican orders for their educational practices. as he explained in an interesting history of philosophy. The last known date in his troubled life is 1292. It is reasonable to suppose that after twenty years of preparation he composed these scripture preambule to an unwritten Scriptum principale between the receipt of the papal mandate and the end of 1267. Opus maius. when he wrote the Compendium studii theologii.8 Bacon eventually replied with his three famous works. 3. 1. In that year he sent to the pope. He identified four chief obstacles to the grasping of truth: frail and unsuitable authority. dist. V. Sometime between 1277 and 1279 he was condemned and imprisoned in Paris by his order for an undetermined period and for obscure reasons possibly related to the censure. 34. and Opus tertium. the last two prefaced with explanatory epistole in which he set out his proposals for the reform of learning and the welfare of the Church. pt IV. which included heretical Averroist propositions. Cf. p. Opus maius. . given to us by the authority of the Holy Scriptures. Bridges ed.. uninstructed popular opinion. The pope left no recorded opinion of Bacon's proposals. and additions to it. pt. the Opus maius with some supplements. There were two kinds of experience. Rashdall. Bridges ed. including De speciebus et virtutibus agentium in two versions9 and De scientiaperspectiva. aided by instruments and made precise by 8 9 10 11 Brewer. long custom. in 1277.Roger Bacon 53 request was repeated in the form of a papal mandate of 22 June 1266.11 Scientific Thought The Opus maius and accompanying works sent to the pope by Bacon as a persuasio contain the essence of his conception of natural philosophy and consequential proposals for educational reform.

Ibid. Opus tertium. astronomy and astrology (discussed later) and.'14 Hence the need to understand philosophy not only in itself but 'considering how it is useful to the Church of God and is useful and necessary for directing the republic of the faithful. He insisted on the need for accurate translations..54 Science. When it was that he learned Greek himself is not certain. They have..'13 He recommended that Christians study and distinguish different beliefs and try to discover common ground in monotheism with Judaism and Islam. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought mathematics. as regards 12 13 14 15 Opus maius. and would be used by the Antichrist. VI. not to the arguments of a better sect.. His assertions that 'in the things of the world. such as practised by the Teutonic knights. Bacon leaves no doubt that he regarded himself as having struck a highly personal attitude to most of the intellectual matters with which he dealt. but his writings are not as unusual as the legends growing about him might suggest. 122. on the whole. which at its best involved the sifting of evidence and the balancing of authority against authority. but his Greek grammar may be placed after 1267. followed by metaphysics and mortal philosophy. 3-4. was 'against violation.12 Natural science would lead through knowledge of the nature and properties of things to knowledge of their Creator. Bridges ed. a geometrical theory of physical causation related to his optics. mathematics. . optics. Bacon's mathematics included. II. The resistance of conquered people to forcible conversion. and he insisted that the truth must be shown not by force but by argument and example. since in it he corrected a philological mistake in the Opus tertium. He also wrote a Hebrew grammar to help in the understanding of Scripture. the whole of knowledge forming a unity in the service and under the guidance of theology. scientia experimentalis and alchemy. One of the most interesting and attractive aspects of Bacon is he awareness of the small place of Christendom in a world largely occupied by unbelievers. and how those who cannot be converted may be kept in check no less by the works of wisdom than the labour of war. 377.. the virtues rather than the vices of Scholasticism.'15 Science would strengthen the defences of Christendom both against the external threat of Islam and the Tartars and against the methods of 'fascination' that he believed had been used in the Children's Crusade and the revolt of the Pastoreaux. The necessary sciences for this programme were languages. Bacon was conscious of the dangers of reliance on authority: Rashdall draws attention to the irony of his argument against authority consisting chiefly of a series of citations. pp. Brewer ed. on the other. 'and there is no one to show them the truth. Most of the content of his writings was derived from Latin translations of Greek and Arabic authors. 1. and how far it is effective for the conversion of infidels. Ibid. Ill. on the one hand.

because the object is between the eye and the centre. and this is the smaller part of a sphere whose convexity is towards the eye. in matter and the senses. and refracted at the convex surface of the lens meet at the eye. a magnified image. f. Bridges ed.Roger Bacon 55 their efficient and generating causes..19 if the rays leaving the object. nothing can be known without the power of geometry' and that 'it is necessary to verify the matter of the world by demonstration set forth in geometrical lines'16 came straight from Grosseteste's theory of multiplicatio specierum.4 (Bridges ed. As he did not seem to envisage the use of Opus mains. He followed Grosseteste in emphasising the use of lenses not only for burning but for magnification. C. He wrote: If a man looks at letters and other minute objects through the medium of a crystal or of glass or of some other transparent body placed upon the letters. or propagation of power (of which light and heat were examples). will be seen at the intersections of the diameters passing from the centre of curvature.18 According to the fifth rule. In thus trying to reduce different phenomena to the same terms.3. and the image is larger. he will see the letters much better and they will appear larger to him. 1] about a spherical medium beneath which is the object or on this side of its centre. Besides Grosseteste his main optical sources were Euclid. of figures. MN. because the angle is large under which it is seen.. and whose convexity is towards the eye. He seems to have made an original advance by giving constructions. p. and it is in his treatment of this subject that Bacon appears most effective.'17 This theory provided the efficient cause of every occurrence in the universe. E. Ptolemy. everything agrees towards magnification [ad magnitudinem]. V. Grosseteste and Bacon showed a sound physical insight even though their technical performance remained for the most part weak. For they can see a letter... al-Kindi. Ibid.iii. providing eight rules (canones) classifying the properties of convex and concave spherical surfaces with the eye in various relationships to the refracting media. 143-144. 112.ii. 17 16 . 19 Figure I is redrawn and relettered from Opus maius. These conceptions made optics the fundamental physical science. British Museum MS Royal V. and his account of the 'common corporeity' that gave form and dimensions to all material substances. and the eye is in the air.ii. based on those of Ptolemy for plane surfaces and of Ibn al-Haytham for convex refracting surfaces. to aid natural vision. For in accordance with the truth of the fifth rule [Fig. I. or angles. 18 Ibid. 'Every multiplication is either according to lines. placed at their focus. And therefore this instrument is useful for the aged and for those with weak eyes.iii. 13th cent. AB. in the celestial and terrestrial regions. at sufficient magnitude. and in animate and inanimate things. II.. 157).f.viii. and the position of the image is nearer. and Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen). V. no matter how small. 93r. through AB to this surface and the projections of the rays entering the eye.

1 combinations of lenses. he seems to have introduced a new concept of laws of nature (a term found in Lucretius and numerous other authors more widely read... because of the magnitude of the angle under which we may see them. Bacon got no further than Grosseteste in speculating about magnifications such that 'from an incredible distance we may read the minutest letters and may number the particles of dust and sand. Opus maius. 167. Opus tertium. Communia naturalium. Universal nature constituted from these common laws. basing his ocular anatomy on Hunayn ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sma. 453. 22 Ibid. was superimposed on the system of particular natures making up the Aristotelian universe . 165.' had 'three great Ibid.' Bacon began Part VI of the Opus maius. 1. II. II. ibid. Bridges ed. pp. 'wholly unknown to the general run of students. 23 Opus maius. of such phenomena as water remaining in a clepsydra so long as its upper opening remained closed .56 Science. 224. pp. 220. II. which he rejected.. such as St Basil) by his reference to the 'laws of reflection and refraction' as leges communes nature. in place of the negative horror vacui. because without experience [experientia] nothing can be known sufficiently. Bridges ed. 90.. Bridges ed. 21 20 .. 'Having laid down the roots of wisdom of the Latins as regards languages and mathematics and perspective. Duhem ed.. 'I wish now to unfold the roots on the part of scientia explanation comparable to one found in Adelard of Bath's Natural Questions.not yet the seventeenth-century concept but perhaps a step toward it. 78.151.'20 But he did make an important contribution to the history of physiological optics in the West by his exposition of Ibn al-Haytham's account of the eye as an image-forming device. including those de multiplication specierum..23 This science. II. 3.. 49. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought E Fig. In doing so.21 His meaning is clarified by his discussion elsewhere of a lex nature universalis22 requiring the continuity of bodies and thus giving a positive explanation. Steele ed. fasc. De multiplicationespecierum.

Little ed.30 he described more wonderful machines for flying. opening up knowledge of the past and future and the possibility of marvelous inventions. lifting weights. pp. Steele ed.28 together with sketches of the sciences of medicine and agriculture. the prolonging of human life by observing what plants produced this effect naturally in animals. . or simply the north part of the heavens.26 Bacon described possibly original experiments of his own with a lodestone held above and below a floating magnet. pp. but all four parts equally. His approach had been profoundly influenced by the pseudoAristotelian Secretum secretorum. The 'dominus experimentorum' of the Opus tertium25 who may have been Pierre de Maricourt. It was in this work.Roger Bacon 57 prerogatives with respect to the other sciences.. but he also insisted that his new science would expose the frauds of magicians by revealing the natural causes of effects. including mathematics. Despite his occasional references to them.. In the Opus minus. Examples were the discovery of the properties of the magnet. 16. but belonged equally to 'natural magic' aimed at producing astonishing as well as practically useful effects by harnessing the hidden powers of nature. such as ever-burning lamps and explosive powders. and argued that it was not the Nautical (Pole) Star that caused its orientation. 533. The third prerogative was to investigate the secrets of nature outside the bounds of existing sciences.. 2. There is a further discussion in the Communia naturalium. In the Communia mathematical and the Epistola de secretis operibus artis et naturae et de nullitate magiae. Brewer ed.. 42-44..'24 The first was to certify the conclusions of deductive reasoning in existing speculative sciences. pp. 46-47. and so on. 383-384. The second prerogative was to add to existing sciences new knowledge that they could not discover by deduction. 172. and driving carriages. fasc.. pp. is praised for understanding all these essential characteristics. 6-8. p. the pioneer investigator of magnetism. It is clear that Bacon's scientia experimentalis was not exactly what this term might now suggest. which he believed had been made in antiquity and could be made again. and the purification of gold beyond the present achievements of alchemy. Bacon in his accredited writings deals with neither instruments nor mathematical tables in any but a superficial 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Ibid. p. pp. 80-89.fasc. As an example he gave an investigation of the shape and colours of the rainbow involving both theoretical reasoning and the collection of instances of related phenomena in order to discover their common cause. Brewer ed. of which he had produced an annotated edition variously dated between 1243 and sometime before 1257. ships and submarines.. Ibid. Steeleed. including the conversion of base metals into gold and silver. and in the Opus tertium27 that he inserted his main discussion of alchemy.

Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought way. Part IV of the Opus maius is devoted to the usefulness of mathematics (1) in human affairs (this section was published separately as the Specula mathematica).he preferred simply to dismiss it as being contrary to Euclid. and in a sense supreme. not a single theorem. Bridges ed.that it can make the hypotenuse and side of a square commensurable . al-Bitruji to Ptolemy. 172-173. It is more to the point to notice that Bacon argues for the usefulness of mathematics in almost every realm of academic activity. an insight that to the modern mind is almost platitudinous. arithmetic and music. In this connection it is easy to forget the large numbers of astronomers of antiquity and the middle ages for whom mathematics was an essential part of the science. and he was not always a good judge of competence. astronomy and the like.' it has to be remembered that he used the word in an unusually wide sense. such as chronology. Brewer ed. As for his analytical skills and his views on the citation of authority. pp. Bacon seemed to fear that mathematics would be dismissed as one of the blacker arts.' 'the alphabet of philosophy. under which heading are included geography and astrology.. He sought 'per vias mathematics verificare omnia que in naturalibus scientias sunt necessaria'. II. axioms. optics. for which the standard medieval authority 31 32 Opus tertium. 36. The standard discussion of ratios in Euclid. natural phenomena. did not include a numerical treatment of the subject. and the smaller numbers of natural philosophers who had made use of simpler mathematical techniques than those of astronomy. 7. and we must take on trust the story of the difficult problem he devised for the young Paris masters. He could compose his De communibus mathematice and mention.g.31 His mathematics and astronomy were in fact almost wholly derivative.58 Science. and yet in the last resort. 'the first of the sciences. For this reason it is hard to measure his stature by comparison with that of his contemporaries whom we should call astronomers and mathematicians. nothing beyond definitions. as when arithmetic was applied to geomancy. and (4) in affairs of state. preferring. (2) in divine affairs. in geometry. his works apparently contain not a single proof. for instance. Opus maius. the fixing of feasts. experience was still necessary.. Bacon is often held to have achieved a deep and novel insight in regard to the role of mathematics in science. such as the certification of faith and the emendation of the calendar. rather than try to resolve the geometrical paradox of the doctrine of atomism . (3) in ecclesiastical affairs.32 So loud and long were Bacon's praises of the mathematics that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that his love of the subject was unrequited. See. . 38. When Bacon sang the praises of mathematics.' 'the door and key of the sciences. and methods. Book V. Apart from mathematically trivial results in such practical contexts as engineering.. e. We are not encouraged to set great store by the stories that while in Paris he constructed astronomical tables and supplied the new masters with geometrical problems that none of their audiences could solve.

citing such authors as Theodosius.' teacher of Amauri. in a sense.34 Mathematics alone gave absolute certainty. for instance. Communia mathematica. 16. was inherently empiricist: rational argument may cause us to dismiss a question. son of Simon de Montfort. but it neither gives us proof nor removes doubt. and the absence of a similar logical division of ratio in Euclid was complained of by Bacon in Communia mathematical3 He was not to carry out the programme at which he might seem to have hinted. I. (2) facilitation of the spiritual government of the world . I. almost everything Bacon wrote under the title of mathematics is best regarded as being at a metaphysical level. fasc. Euclid. John of London and Pierre de Maricourt. and not until Bradwardine's Geometria speculativa did the Schoolmen make any progress toward a numerical description of irrational ratios. In the Opus maius35 he stated the possibility of voyaging from Spain to India. p. would be saved from danger and from much wasted labour.missionaries. without reference to its source. p. Despite his criticism of Jordanus. however. an extended verbal map of the world) by such writers as Ptolemy and al-Farghani. Ptolemy. by any reckoning a better mathematician than Bacon. 102.Roger Bacon 59 was the Arithmetica of Boethius. was more important in the discovery of America than the Toscanelli letters. quoted by Columbus in a letter of 1498 to Ferdinand and Isabella. he had praise for 'the only two perfect mathematicians' (of his time). In the last analysis. 290 ff. especially to the East.among modern writers Jordanus de Nemore (De triangulis and Arithmetica} and Adelard. al-Farabi. Bacon was unusual in that he generally named his sources. 16. His geography was nevertheless a compilation of works on descriptive geography (in which he gave. for example. cf. Steele ed. The passage was inserted. (3) knowledge of the whereabouts of the ten tribes and even of the Antichrist. Bridges ed. Imago mundi was first published at Louvain in 1480 or 1487. He also condescended to praise Campanus of Novara and a 'Master Nicholas. the logistic thesis of our own century: without mathematics. supplemented by the reports of Franciscan travellers. His philosophy of science. the categories were unintelligible. Bacon inverted. It was held in the Opus maius that a more accurate knowledge of the latitudes and longitudes of placed was needed for (1) knowledge of mankind and the natural world. There the different species of ratio are tediously listed and subdivided. As for the relation of logic to mathematics. Bridges ed. 80.fasc. except perhaps in some halting attempts to elucidate Proposition III of Archimedes' De mensura circuit. Opus maius. Humboldt argued that this passage. and .... His view that in mathematics we have perfect demonstration reinforced his theory of natural action. Thorndike suggests that Columbus probably did not read the vital work until 33 34 35 36 Steeleed. 16. . as it were. 1420).. in the Imago mundi36 of Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly (d.

1949). 202-203. In fact Bacon argued as cogently from such longitudes and latitudes as were available in the Toledan tables as he did from classical authors.. 645.that he had no appreciation whatsoever of the practical difficulties it involved. 16. Steele ed. 41 Bridges ed.42 to the effect that conscious efforts were being made to drive what amounts to a clock (in Bacon's example the spherical astrolabe was to be driven) at a constant rate. from his repetition of the method of determining the size of the earth . i.245 miles (al-Farghani). Messahala.38 We have no knowledge of the projection adopted. 40 Brewer ed.. and Pliny on the distance of Spain from India. In the Opus tertium he spoke of astrology as the most important part of mathematics. Seneca. Abu Ma'shar. ephemerides. he showed that the best astrologers had not held that the influence of the stars subjugated the human will. p. dividing it into a speculative. By reference to Ptolemy.41 written in 1267. and to have spoken of instruments only as a means of verifying tables. Thorndike. or theoretical. This seems to confirm approximately the terminus ante quern non previously determined for the mechanical clock. confirms a similar remark made four years later by Robertus Anglicus. Bridges ed. part. 106. presumably of the sort included in Sacrobosco's Sphere. II.37 It is immaterial. He stated that the earth's surface was less than three-quarters water. Bacon used the words 'astronomia' and 'astrologia' in a typically ambiguous manner.e. The Sphere ofSacrobosco and Its Commentators (Chicago. it is probable that here he meant to refer only to the astrolabe and the equatorium. 42 See L. p.40 A remark in the Opus maius. Haly Ibn Sina. and a practical part.. In both cases he selected good figures from a great many authoritative but bad ones. Communia mathematica. Bacon appears to have sent a map to the pope with his Opus mains. Since in ch.. 72. It is clear. 39 Cf. 300. whether Bacon was merely optimistically citing Aristotle. II. Although it is now lost. as Thorndike points out. but there is no doubt that he believed in the reasonableness of what we would call astrology.'39 concerned with the design of instruments and tables.a method he took from al-Farghani . 'que dicitur astronomia. XII of the same work he seems to have used the word 'tables' to refer primarily to almanacs. but the description is compatible with the use of a rectangular co-ordinate system. 38 37 . from the description he gave it appears to have included the better known towns of the world plotted by their latitudes and longitudes as found in many contemporaneous lists.60 Science. On many occasions Bacon emphasised at length that the two sorts of 'astrology' were essential if man was to learn of the celestial influences on which terrestrial happenings depended. nevertheless. fasc. I. and that the Fathers who objected to astrology on these grounds had A History of Magic and Experimental Science. Nero. 49. For the radius of the earth Bacon took a figure of 3.. p. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought his return from the first voyage of 1492. and others.

271-292. Little45 suggests that Grosseteste (d. does not contain any passage from either of these works. 281. written 1263-1265. sources. I. Little. Astrology might strengthen faith in the stability of the Church and foretell the fall of Islam and the coming of the Antichrist. appendices ii and iii. The first of these two works is interesting because it incorporates the whole of the De impressione aeris attributed to Grosseteste and printed among his works by Baur. and that it acknowledges Arabic. word for word. is inconsistent with certain of Bacon's accredited writings. Notice. I. 44 43 . Bacon's astronomical influence was slight in all respects. he wrote on calendar reform with as much insight as anyone before Regiomontanus Nicholas of Cusa notwithstanding.. in Opus tertium. In his main works Bacon did not discuss the technicalities of astronomy or astrology. Note that the same passage occurs. pp. Bacon's prison sentence was probably related to the bishop's decrees. As already seen. that the Computus.46 His writings on the calendar were frequently cited. and in Opus maius. xxxiii. they have a rational cast and even include the testimony of medical men of the time. It is essentially a criticism of Stephen Tempier's decree of 1277 attacking 219 errors. xxx. he asserted that the length of the Julian year (365 1A days) was in excess of the truth by about one day in 130 years. Steele ed. and that the author was by no means as skilled as the best astronomers of the time. These works are not merely compilations of older authorities.. fasc. and all these things 'ut auctores docent et experiencia certificat. regarding it as a product of astronomy. while astronomers would have treated it with more disdain had they been detached enough to perceive it in a historical context. Although technically they are in no sense new. of doubtful authorship (see below). The Speculum astronomic.47 Theologians treated the calendar with a respect it did not deserve. 46 Bridges ed.. p. Bridges ed. p. Internal evidence suggests a date of composition of about 1249. 47 See bibliography.. I.Roger Bacon 61 never denied that astrology could throw light on future events. later changing this to one day in 125 years. Some planetary positions quoted for that year are sufficiently inaccurate to suggest that the work was written before 1249 rather than after. 292. ibid. however. several involving a belief in astrology. It was possible to predict human behaviour statistically but not with certainty in individual cases.'43 On occasion he likened astrological influence to the influence of a magnet over iron. 385. Here Bacon's scepticism was useful.. but in both of the works ascribed to him with the title De diebus creticis44 the standard medical astrology of the time is rehearsed. and whatever the depth of his astronomical knowledge. 1253) collaborated with Bacon. 45 Little. Brewer ed. although through Paul of Middleburg he is said to have influenced Copernicus. In discussing the errors of the Julian calendar. The length of the (tropical) year implied was better than Opus maius. rather than paying lip service to Hebrew. ed.

eliminating a number of days to alter the equinox suitably (Gregorian reform. Thabit is grouped with alBattanl and others who are said to have argued for one day in 106 years. Little wrote in 1914.' who was now 'contented to follow so neare the footsteps of veritye. Corpus Christi College. 6. otherwise a lunisolar year like that of the eastern nations should be adopted. Bacon seems finally to have recommended the removal of one day in 125 years (cf. 254. in connection with a proposal for calendar reform in England. His proposals may be compared with the much less radical ones of Nicholas of Cusa. MS C. and according to a curious passage in the Communia naturalium Thabit was 'maximus Christianorum astronomus. 12-18. f. and in connection with Easter. we find that in 1582 John Dee commended Bacon to Queen Elizabeth as one who had 'instructed and admonished' the 'Romane Bishopp. (Grosseteste had previously made this proposal."'50 and cited as evidence the 48 49 50 Steele ed. Thabit ibn Qurra made the length of the year shorter than the Julian year by almost exactly one day in 130 years.62 Science. supervised by Clavius. . while Pierre d'Ailly followed Bacon explicitly in advocating a lunisolar cycle. the astronomical calculation of the feast.48 As a means of reforming the calendar. There is no reason whatsoever to suppose. The extant manuscripts of Bacon's works show that the "Doctor mirabilis never wanted admirers. Again. it seems that Bacon was a little less than five centuries ahead of most of his countrymen. since the nineteen-year cycle is in error.'49 Judging by the speed of English legislation in the matter of calendar reform. while Asophus ('Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Umar al-Sufi) appears to have been the most probable source of influence. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Ptolemy's. the Gregorian method of ignoring three leap years in four centuries). Pp. however. pp. who in his Reparatio calendarii (pre-1437?) merely suggested a temporary patching up of the calendar. took the same superfluous step) and changing the 'golden number' so as to make the ecclesiastical moon correspond for a time with reality. fasc. including fewer safeguards against a future state of affairs in which Church usage and the ordinances of the Fathers might differ appreciably.. 30-31. It is worth noting that Stoffler proposed to omit one day in 134 years (an obviously Alphonsine parameter). that Bacon's data were his own. with his one day in 131 years. and indeed better than that accepted in the Alphonsine tables compiled a few years after the Opus maius. Hebrew astronomical tables should be used. as many have done following Augustus De Morgan.' In the Computus.) He tempered this rash suggestion with the pious qualification that if an astronomical calculation of Easter was to be adopted. Oxford. These solutions were inferior to Bacon's. (The correct figure for Bacon's time was one day in a little over 129 years. 161r.) The Alphonsine tables imply that the Julian error is one day in about 134 years.

in French (Lyons. Dee. Basel.' in Antionianum. The earliest of Bacon's authentic works to be printed was the Epistola de secretis operibus artis et naturae (De mirabili potestate artis et naturae) (Paris. The 1st eds. Pt. Introduction to the History of Science. with a discussion of its date and associations by F. 1914). There were other early eds. 'Le prologue de Roger Bacon a son traite De influentiis agentium. London. VII of the actual MS sent to the pope has been ed. 1928). A Catalogue oflncipits of Mediaeval Scientific Writings in Latin (2nd ed. into English by R. both ed. Bridges. 2 vols. 1620). 1542. pt. 1557. 1608). 18 (1943). After this appeared the De retardandis senectutis accidentibus et de sensibus conservandis (Oxford. 1614). of the Epistola de secretis 51 Opus maius. Pr. v. Jebb (London. Delorme. I-VI. in English (London. Cambridge. 963-967. 1683). was trans. and Specula mathematica (part of Opus maius IV). with a supp. and other eds. Apart from his proposals for the calendar it was on Bacon's optics that most scientific value was placed. A number of Baconian problems must remain unsolved until there is a complete critical edition of his works: see the bibliography by Little in Roger Bacon: Essays (Oxford.. in English. dating from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries. together with the Compendium studii philosophic and a new ed. II (Baltimore. both including only pts. pp. 81-90. J. a further section of this has been ed.1629). The 1st ed.Roger Bacon 63 existence of twenty-seven manuscripts of the Perspective?1 alone.M. English. At the same time his accounts of alchemy and natural magic gave him more dubious fame. 1733). Sarton. in qua De specierum multiplication earumdemque in inferioribus virtute agitur and Perspectiva (Opus maius V). 1597. Hobbes. II and III. 375-426. This ed. Mass. pp. a separate treatise forming part of a larger work. 1590. with later reissues) and the collection De arte chymiae scripta (Frankfurt. by his contemporary Witelo as well as by Francesco Maurolico. of the Opus minus and the Opus tertium. (Ill) of revisions and additional notes (London. 1557. 1953). ORIGINAL WORKS. VII was included in the new ed. vol. Leonard Digges.1659). . 1593). J. and L. in German (Eisleben. varying from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries with current popular prejudices. 1900). 1618). ed. (Oxford. Paris. by E. 1897). followed by an improved ed.H. John Dee. of the Opus maius was by S. compare G. Massa. of Jebb and Bridges (Vols. Kibre. Rogeri Baconi Moralis philosophia (Zurich. 1541. 1597. 183-185) both include De multiplication specierum. (Hamburg. 1603. and the first editors of his works.B. German. 1750). of the doubtful Speculum alchemiae (Nuremburg. Burke (Philadelphia. Thorndike and P. in the Opera. by J. 1931). The eds. BIBLIOGRAPHY i. in French. 1608. 1963. Combach (Frankfurt. 1612. (Venice.

Delorme. on optics. Thorndike.M. ed. Further sections of the first two works have been ed. Wiedemann. and E.G. E.' in Archivium Frandscanum historicum. Muir (alchemy). II. Roger Bacon: The Problem of the Soul in His Philosophical Commentaries (Louvain-Dublin. 1950). I-IV). 1859). E. 1370) was pub. 3 (1897). (7) Questiones supra undecimum prime philosophic Aristotelis (Metaphysica. (14) Liber de sensu et sensato. by F. For further parts of the Opus minus. and in Opera hactenus inedita Rogeri Baconi. F.A. V-X) (1930). and alchemy. Charles. F. R. 16 fasc. (Oxford. (2-4) Communia naturalium (1905-1913). Delorme. Summa de sophismatibus et distinctionibus (1937). Duhem (vacuum). 27 (1937). Roger Bacon: Sa vie. ses ouvrages. (13) Questiones supra libros octo physicorum Aristotelis. Brewer in Fr. Steele. Little. Withington (medicine)' and I. Little and E. (8) Questiones supra libros quatuor physicorum Aristotelis. XII) (1926). P.' in The English Historical Review. by E. 1861). still unpublished. British Society of Franciscan Studies. (12) Questiones supra librum de causis (1935). Un fragment inedit de I'Opus tertium de Roger Bacon (Quaracchi.E. Withington. Wiirschmidt (optics). Other works have been ed. Part of the Opus tertium of Roger Bacon. and (16) Communia mathematica (1940). The Greek Grammar of Roger Bacon. 1902). IV (Aberdeen. Baur (Grosseteste's influence). Papers and Documents (Manchester. commentateur des Meteorologiques d'Aristote.' in Isis. Little. Roger Bacon: Essays Contributed by Various Writers (Oxford. (1928). L. astronomy. 494-517. Nolan and S. S. (1928). SECONDARY LITERATURE. 219-224. III (Aberdeen. (unless otherwise stated). is now mostly of historical interest. ses doctrines d'apres des textes inedits (Paris. Little. Vogl. The Chronica XXIV generalium ordinis minorum (ca. Gasquet. 12 (1919). a prefatory letter and other parts of Opus minus. Rogeri Bacon Opera quaedam hactenus inedita (London. Questiones supra de plantis (1932). (9) De retardatione accidentium senectutis cum aliis opusculis de rebus medicinalibus.. Pelzer. (10) Questiones supra libros prime philosophic Aristotelis (Metaphysica.M. 'An Unpublished Fragment of Roger Bacon. 1909). 1914). The pioneering study by E. 'An Unnoticed Treatise of Roger Bacon on Time and Motion. Hirsch.H. Sandys (English literature). eds. Thomson.G. Alfred de Sareshel. H. 1911). The best critical study of Bacon's life is T.64 Science. (11) Questiones altere supra libros prime philosophic Aristotelis (Metaphysica. Crowley. S. Duhem.S. ed. Franciscan Letters. M. A History of Magic and .G. (1935). ed. Sumule dialectices (1940). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought operibus. 1905-1940): (1) Metaphysical De viciis contractis in studio theologie (1905). were by J. see A. Rashdall. A. including discussions of alchemy. especially contributions by Little (life and works). A.P. Fratris Rogeri Baconi Compendium studii theologii. inAnalecta Franciscana. and a Fragment of His Hebrew Grammar (Cambridge. 1943). (6) Computus (1926). 12 (1897). L. Hirsch (philology). 44-67. ed. 1912). (5) Secretum secretorum cum glossis et notulis (1920). 'Une source inconnue de Roger Bacon.M. (15) Summa grammatica. The last two items include Bacon's De enigmatibus alkimie. II. and A. British Society of Franciscan Studies. Essential studies are A. I.

Birkenmajer. S.B. 4 (1911). 1924). forthcoming). and F. Optics and Music . with English trans!. . 'Aristotelianism: Basis and Obstacle to Scientific Progress in the Middle Ages. Roger Bacon: An annotated bibliography (New York. 'En quel sens peut-on parler de "methode scientifique" de Roger Bacon. 1971). Schlund.278-281.G. '£tudes sur Witelo. with bibliography and The Mechanistic Hypothesis and the Scientific Study of Vision. 204-207. with bibliography. introd. Easton. pp. 1929). 1983). and A. 18 (1917). (1990) 258. (Oxford. Le systeme du monde (Paris. and notes of De multiplication specierum and De speculis comburentibus by D. III. J. G. L'experience mystique de I 'illumination interieure chez Roger Bacon. Schramm. 636-643.. A. VIII. La synthese doctrinale de Roger Bacon. Tetrus Peregrinus von Maricourt: Sein Leben unsd seine Schriften. 77-98. Roger Bacon dans I'histoire de la philologie (Paris.Roger Bacon 65 Experimental Science.C. Carton. 52-63 and 'Die Philosophic des Robert Grosseteste. Lindberg (Oxford. 3-25. . M. . Vandewalle.' in Archivum Fransiscanum historicum. L. Crombie.' in Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters. . 5 in the series Etudes de philosophic medievale (Paris. Roger Bacon and His Search for a Universal Science (Oxford. 616-691. Studies of particular aspects are E. 445-449. 284. Roger Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100-1700.' in Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society. 354-360 and 'Robert Grosseteste and Richard Fournival.C. 1983). The Meaning of Experimental Science (Scientia experimentalis) in the Philosophy of Roger Bacon (University of Toronto doctoral thesis.213-218. 53 (1952). 20 (1965). Pacchi. 121-168.N. 1952).' in Bulletin international de I'Academie polanaise des sciences et des lettres. i-iv. 104-108.. 411-442. C.' in Bulletin de litterature ecclesiastique (Toulouse). Styles of Scientific Thinking .C. 375-411. Crombie. Duhem. 41. Studies in the History of Medieval Optics (London. 9 (1912). 1929). P. 'Die philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste. 92-120. 1976). R.C. 36-41. V. L'experience physique chez Roger Bacon. Philosophy of Nature. 139-162. (1994). Baur. . 20-30. a critical ed. Mito e scienza in Ruggero Bacone (Milan. Theories of Vision from AlKindi to Kepler (Chicago.C. 3rd imp. 1983). 1916-1958). A.' in Rivista critica di storia filosofia. Science. D.' in Mediaevalia et humanistica. 260-277. 43-45. 5 (1948). 'Ruggero Bacone e Roberto Grossatesta in un inedito hobbesiano del 1634. 2 (1963). 2 (1967). with Roger Bacon. Classe d'histoire et de philosophis (1920). 3. Lindberg.' ibid. Further References See A. nos. 1957). 499-502. 2. Hackett.' in History of Science. Alessio. Meyer. II (New York.

which even malevolence cannot overcome. has in some way certain settled desires of its own. and the elements of this corporeal world have their settled power and quality. (St. which is in a creature. what any one of them may or may not effect and what may or may not come from what. Augustine.The most customary course of all this nature has certain natural laws of its own according to which both the spirit of life. 17) . De Genesi ad litteram ix.

Out of these considerations came a new conception of laws of nature. of Greek cosmology and metaphysics (especially of Aristotle) with the accepted Christian doctrine that the world had been created by an omnipotent and utterly undeterminable agent. This was the problem to which the earliest Greek mathematicians and philosophers had to address themselves in their search for principles which established the characteristically Western style of abstract thinking. The postulate of creation obliged medieval natural philosophers to rethink some basic assumptions of the Greek physics and metaphysics. as they appeared with diverse meanings depending on the context of assumptions about the nature of things. They had to rethink the question of natural necessity involved in the regularities of nature. further. Boyle and Newton. law-like regularities and eventually laws of nature. So let us look briefly at the history of conceptions of natural necessity. We may look at the effects of this Hebrew-Christian postulate of creation on Greek physics and metaphysics in a similar way. in the form to become a scientific commonplace in the writings of Descartes. They assumed that they were dealing with a stable world. We are familiar with the effects on physical science of fundamental conceptual changes. I want to consider briefly the consequences for natural philosophy of that doctrine. remembering of course that this was not a scientific postulate but one believed to have been handed down to mankind by revelation from the First Principle itself.6 Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature: A Medieval Speculation A fundamental problem for any system of thought is the validation of its first principles. and the conception of causality both as existing in nature and as knowable by man. with which they became familiar through the texts and Latin translations made available in Western Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries. But what if an even more fundamental principle was postulated on which that Stability depended. of which the principles had to be found. during the 13th and 14th centuries. such as those brought about by using statistical instead of mechanical postulates and by the postulates of relativity. a principle of unlimited or infinite power capable of changing the principles of the world? What. Essentially they were of two kinds: (1) as conceived . both of thought and of existence. if this principle was essentially inscrutable? That was the question to which Western philosophers had to address themselves when dealing with the confrontation.

The order of nature so postulated was at once mathematical and physical. law and related terms in Greek. as distinct from edict. within a system of beliefs in which those movements (and indeed everything that happened in the world) were carried out by the arbitrary wills of supernatural beings.. and this combination was to characterize conceptions of nature (in different ways according to varying contexts of general beliefs) down through the 19th century. I. The order of things was then a kind of legal or sociological order of arrangements between these beings. From Religion to Philosophy. When the divine craftsman of the Timaeus 0) Cf. Aristotle. The Exact Sciences in Antiquity. Paris 1935. and also moral. Cambridge 1912. M. J. revelation etc. A notion of law as distinct from custom or usage appeared in the meaning given to nomos as the dispensation of Zeus. Providence. Cornford. Mieli. A History of Greek Philosophy. Neugebauer. C. Latin and later languages marked the changing contexts and contents of European natural philosophy. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought by Plato. I will first say something briefly about the history of these questions. A. F. London 1994. Nomos then came to signify. The Discovery of the Mind. laid down by the external creator of the world. custom.68 Science. and that of proof from established or assumed first principles. Cambridge 1962-81. Frankfort. Oxford 1953. R. The notion that nature followed inescapable laws or regularities was a fundamental conception introduced by the earliest Greek philosophers in contrast with earlier beliefs. T. . Heinimann. Idem. Nomos und Physis. B. Histoire des sciences: Antiquite. > with full documentation and bibliography. necessity. and in some respects residually does so still. Wilson and T. Related also were the decision of questions by argument and evidence. G. the regular and rightful functions that ought to be exercised within the allotted limits of necessity 0). which allowed for no freedom of action outside an exclusive causal order of things (I pass over the questions of chance and uncertainty which they also discussed). 19572. (2) as conceived in Hebrew and Christian thought. Snell. A. H. Both involved a comparison between moral laws of mankind and physical laws of nature. These were related: effects followed from postulated causes just as consequences followed from postulated premises. and the introduction of models embodying mathematical necessity and physical causality. Rosenmeyer. The Laws of Motion in the Ancient World. By contrast. F. The Babylonian astronomers for example had developed highly sophisticated arithmetical methods of calculating and predicting the movements of the heavenly bodies. trans. P. and then come finally to the effect of the postulate of the infinite power of the creator of nature upon the conception of laws of nature as established by the 17th century. such as Eudoxus's cosmological model postulating the celestial spheres. in the sense that what was allotted by destiny (tnoira) happened both necessarily and also rightly in the physical world and in human affairs alike. Guthrie. Chicago 1946.. Brunei and A. This paper s based on my discussion of the subject in my: Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition. G. the Greeks introduced two fundamental and related concepts: that of causality. The changing significance of nature. The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man. For Homer and Hesiod nature (physis) was at once a physical and a moral order. intrinsic in the existing world. K. W. 6 vols. fakobsen. Cambridge 1931. the Greek atomists and the Stoics. and H. Basel 1935. beyond the normal processes and habitual behaviour of nature and mankind. a comparison requiring clarification in the course of scientific history.

Ficino translated this a millemum later as «monstravit universi naturam. living things and other things of all kinds. 5. London & Leiden 1962. (*) Lucretius. pp. was set out by Lucretius. Thus Calcidius in the fourth or fifth century A. that confused the issue in Plato. ed. C.. Oxford 1947. sea. 1. pp. cf. Leiden 1964. Van Winden. For in the nature given in his title De rerum natura. and XLV (1936). earth. 121-134. Hamburg 1958. II. for the same primordia constituted the sky. Pliny. L. a Calcidio translates commentarioque instructus.. in «Mind». eifiapfjievou<. 12. as was the Platonic conception of law as a necessity rather arising from the materials given than laid down by divine decree. Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony. ed. Waszink. pp. with an existence entirely external to and dependent upon himself. at leges fatales edixit». pp.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 69 fashioned the world by imposing his moral design upon the materials given in «the nature of the universe» by «the laws of destiny (TKXV-CO? qnicnv v6[xou$ TOU<. Bailey. B. H. but he did not create it. Epicure. deliberately recalling many earlier treatises. 586) (4). The Greek Atomists and Epicurus. Likewise in his own verses many common letters or «many elements (elementa) common to many words» gave rise to many differences in both sense and sound: «So great is the power of elements by a mere change of order. as did the omnipotent Jehovah in contemporary Hebrew doctrine. Naturalis historia. pp. Seneca. J. Bailey. ed. Virgil. Reason overcame necessity by persuading her to guide the greatest part of the things that become towards what is best» (48A). 889. Studien zur Timaios Kommentar des Calcidius. 60-1.D. Foster. Spitzer. This conception of nature and of naturales leges was to be established in Latin Christian philosophy by Augustine of Hippo. «but only when mingled and moving with different things in different ways». VI.. in «Traditio» II (1944). But the first-beginnings of things can bring more means (2) Plato. H. both for the necessity inherent in the nature of things and for the normal processes of natural things. In the generation of the world from the common first-beginnings of things (primordia rerum) it was of great importance «with what others and in what position they are held together and what movements they mutually give and receive*. and what too they cannot* (I. Der historische Ursprung des Naturgesetzbegriffs. J. 307-64. The demiurge could in this way fashion the world. Oxford 1928. without any divine lawgiver or provindential design. XLIV (1935). and another phrase «contrary to the established use of nature (rcapa TOU? -afc (puae<oc v6|iou$)» as «ex confronts praeter naturae Ieges» (83E) (3). IV. ibid. 3 vols.S. pp. XLIII (1934). Chalcidius on Matter. 409-64. N. Christian Theology and Modern Science of Nature. the consequence «was a mixed results of the combination of necessity and reason. 27 and 27.. Timaeus. 1-27. Waszink. 446-68. Operum a Marsilio Ficino tralatorum tomi quinque. by G. vol. «it stands ordained what all things severally can do by the laws of nature (per foedera natural). and III (1945). Idem. The alternative atomist conception of laws of nature arising entirely out of the necessity in the nature of matter alone. It was their ambiguous use of leges. Georgics. C.)» (4IE). M.. . J.] universae rei naturam spectare iussit kgesque immutabilis decreti docuit ostendens» (2). this distinction was to be confused. C. following essentially Epicurus. I. (3) Plato. N. translated Timaeus (4IE) as «[. M.. in Festschrift Ernst Kapp. Lyons 1550. 97. Leiden 1959. Naturales quaestiones. cf. Opere. Arrighetti. 964. K.S. Turin 19732. 439-66. De rerum natura. In the Latinized and Christianized Plato.. Reich. pp. out of nothing. and pointed towards the naturales leges of a different intellectual context in which nature was constituted entirely of laws laid down by an omnipotent and eternal creator and remained entirely dependent upon his will. The Christian Doctrine of the Creation and the Rise of Modem Natural Science.

with Philo Judaeus of Alexandria (5). Thus the bodies of the first-beginnings in the ages past moved with the same motion as now. nor can they break through the firm ordinances of everlasting time (aevi [. Or again one must look similarly for the law that gave rise to language.. 16 vols. C. .. from the name of its native place* (VI. but rather.] leges)» (V. 1049). Marcus. 569-76].. 56-58). Paris 1961-67. at length they fall into such dispositions as those of which this created sum of things consists* (I. Thus «each of these things comes forth after its own manner. But in nature «not by design did the first-beginnings of things place themselves each in their order with keen intelligence*. The first systematic confrontation of Greek thought with the Hebrew theology of creation came in the 1st century B. and how they must of necessity abide by it. the vital forces of things conquer and are conquered alike [II. or as one asked «by what law of nature it comes about that iron can be attracted by the stone which the Greeks call the magnet. as in the generation of living things. Arnaldez et Al. 906-8). by which all diverse things may be created* (I. but the same condition (ratio) sets a limit to all things* (II. nor yet can the motions of creation and increase for ever bring things to birth and preserve them. Cambridge. by R. In this endless process neither can the motions of destruction prevail for ever.. H.C. with English translation by F. The last great thinker of a line of Hellenized Jews in Alexandria who set out to reformulate Greek philosophy in terms of that theology. 2 vols. Wolfson. so always what happened «must come about in a fixed way (certa fieri ratione)». 718-9). Now here. Whitaker. now there. H. Colson and G. Just as the common letters of the alphabet gave rise to many different words and meanings. 817-29). The world was too imperfect to be of divine origin. 707-10. ed. by which man got «the first power to know and see in his mind what he wanted to do* (V. Paris 1967. We should not then assume purpose in asking «by what law (foedus) all things are created. Arnaldez. A. J. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought to bear. 1021-2. 297-301]. MA 1947. R. so the «first-beginnings common to many things* could «make up wholes different from one another* (II. Mondesert. By the same laws of nature arose everything attributed to the gods. 695-8). with 2 supplements trans. Pouilloux. But just as in living things «all are born of fixed seeds and a fixed parent and can as they grow preserve their kind». London 1929-62. «so great are the faults with which it stands beset* (199). H. Pbilo.70 Science. R. and all preserve their separate marks by a fixed law of nature (foedere naturae certo)» (923-4). cf. «by trying every kind of motion and union. Philo in turn came both directly (') Philo ludaeus. One should look for such laws in everything. and bury life in an eternal tomb. Geneva 1613. Philon d'Alexandrie. such things as have been wont to come to being will be brought to birth under the same conditions [II. 10 vols. Lei oeuvres. Opera. and hereafter will be borne on forever in the same way. 1026-8). So war waged from time everlasting is carried on by balanced strife of the first-beginnings. It was not only living things in their generation that were «bound by these laws (teneri legibus hisce).

but in proportion to the capacities of the recipients* (6.23). Diogenes Laertius. so that «if the existent One had willed to employ his skill. yet working together for the permanence of the whole. 128-131. that God was neither material nor within the world as supposed by the Stoics. These were found in «the natures of the heavenly bodies and the movements of the stars» and «numberless other operations of nature*. 134. but that he had acted with entirely free omnipotence in creating ex nihilo a world separate from himself. 5.20) so that the world discerned only by the intellect is nothing else than the reason (logos) of God when he is engaged in the act of creation. (7) Cf. VII. Finally the logos was the system of principles introduced in the act of creation into the world as its immutable laws. He made use of the Stoic terms logos and logos spermatikos. 136. cf. V. by an act not necessitated by his perfection but of wholly free providence not propotional to his acutal powers.61].21) was as Plato had written God's desire to share his goodness. seminal principle or reason (6). in making a new kind of creature living in all the elements* (Quod detenus potion insidiari solet) (42. often obscure to us. and it has a single polity and a single law (nomos).29]. Philo accepted the Greek conception of immutable causality which determined the order of the world.154) (7). God was absolute lord of the universe: «For this world is the great city. Moslem and Jewish thinking about the relation of God to the world and to mankind.43. by which he made amphibious creatures. Ill. Philo used the term logos for principles that entered into this process first as the rational pattern on which God modelled his creation like a «city which was fashioned beforehand within the mind of the architect* (De opificio mundi. .Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 71 and through Augustine and other routes to affect profoundly the formulation of later Christian. and this is the reason (logos) of nature. He argued with the support of Scripture that God did not act as Aristotle had maintained as an essentially passive first cause coeternal with the world emanating by necessity from the divine reason. The logos existing in nature provided thus for its harmony and for the perpetuation of species by means of the «seminal essences (spermatikai ousiai)» within which «hidden and imperceptible are the logoi of all things* (13. op. commanding what should be done and forbidding what should not be done* (De (6) Cf. cf. Lucretius. But if God had so chosen. 4. but he was at pains to identify the true source of that order. operations which are invariably carried out under ordinances and laws (Oeo(ioT( xoti v6|xoi() which God laid down in his universe as unalterable [19. for all things are not within the ken of mortals. God's power existing within the world itself.. he could have changed the existing natural order. 44).24. The «cause for the sake of which this universe was created* (5. For (to revert to our illustration) the city discernible by the intellect alone is nothing else than the reasoning faculty of the architect in the act of planning to found the city [6. 784-787. that God did not make the world out of preexisting matter as in the Timaeus. and that God was in no way necessitated. «for these are without end or limit.16-7. but gave them a different meaning. he could have created a different world. cit. 147.

atomism especially in its Epicurean form.. Portalie. XXIV. without any beginning. E. Grant. in his use of the scriptural theology of creation as a cardinal principle of his natural philosophy. trans. Dei. J. 6. Four Views of Time in Ancient Philosophy. Middlesex 1972.. Philo saw in Scripture both literal and underlying meanings. Sceptical criticism forced each alike to defend its principles and in turn was forced into defence against counterattack. 90. For God's nature was so unlike created natures as to be unknowable by human reason. Bruges 1939. Quaestiones in Genesim IV. omniscient. De civ. but it was no more than an analogy.. 205. with individual works in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinomm. Opera omnia. it is not because they are that he knows them. Quaestiones in Exodum II.. London 1960. Medieval and Early Modem. 1954-. 59. Bettenson. Moslem and Jewish philosophy. he did not know because he created [De Trinitate XV. both spiritual and corporeal. C. A. Platonic thought. ed. Augustine was much influenced.. (9) Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis Ep. God the creator of all things knew beforehand. in its fundamental doctrines of God. 28. Paris 1861. Vienna & Leipzig 1891-. pp. F. Miracle and Natural Law in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Thought.. by relating the sciences of nature to more general problems of knowledge and existence. and a scientific conception of methods of acquiring and exercising such knowledge. a conclusion that was to take a central place in subsequent Christian. Schubert. Platonism. Bastian.22] (»). XXV.] And with respect to all his creatures. V.. R.72 Science. 2 (De quantitate animae). Harmondsworth. de Labriolle. depended in the first place on the survival of the Greek texts and the making of Latin versions. also Oeuvres. 16 vols.. Venice 1584. and again in medieval and early modern Europe. Augustine offered with his theological insight into the inexorable objectivity of the laws of nature. with a deceptive similarity to Christianity which at first captivated Augustine. all things to come in time. Migne. 213-30. Augustins lex-aetema-Lehre nacb Inhalt und Quellen. Some Attitudes to Scientific Progress: Ancient. hence he created because he knew.. was promoted by him through the essential mediation of Plotinus with the firm proviso that.. indifferent to human wishes even if alterable by their creator. J. trans. P.. providential and wholly distinct creator. Opera. A Guide to the Thought of Saint Augustine. (8) De Josepho. it was very different. Turnhout. cf. H. MA 1948. but because he knows them they are... He established a Platonized Latin Christian philosophy with the historically pregnant conception of the world as the work of an eternal omnipotent. 2. from which he could apply the concept of law to God as an analogy (8). For he was not ignorant of what he was to create. They promoted in the culture of each society or period a certain specificity of commitment and expectation. Prague. A. Miinster 1924. 13. . 20 vols. ed. 151.29). 6. 184. vol. in «History of Science» XIII (1975). [. Cambridge. and as absolute lord he could overrule that law and order as in the miracles well attested by Scripture. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Josepho. J. Their survival and revival depended at the same time on the ideas presented. P. as of the equally influential Greek scepticism and Stoicism. and Stoicism each offered at once an account of the origin and nature of things and a morality for the human condition appropriate to that account. Amsterdam 1952. Callahan. M.. These philosophies diversified the intellectual context of scientific thinking in antiquity. and in Corpus Christianum. «Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters». The survival and revival in the West of Platonic and atomist thought. 19. by Philo Judaeus. an encouragement to rational knowledge of them. the creation and the soul. Crombie. R.

21]. 292. what any one of them may or may not effect and what may or may not come from what. nor wheat from a bean. A. Nova patrum bibliotheca. note. as it were. he put in front of your eyes the very things that he made (10). did not make the letters with ink. I. From these.3]. Sermo CXXVI. God. exemplified to the senses in time and space in the rational proportions of sounds and of the growth of plants and general order of the visible universe. he created things which he already knew. 10.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 73 So God created nothing in ignorance. The laws of nature were the laws of numbers. R. whatever they are and of whatever genus. then those things which are contained and hidden in the secret bosom of nature may break out and be outwardly created in some way by the unfolding of their proper measures and numbers and weights. R. Novos ex codicibus vaticanis Sermones. E. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. trans. read. Look above and below. As for men: Some people. . which is in a creature. things that are not created in it except from that highest essence where nothing either springs up or dies. vol. Curtius. 16. W. nothing has a beginning or an end. Just as in music. which even malevolence cannot overcome. which cannot be truly said of any human artificer. their departures and ends. quoting Wisdom 11. origins (primordia) of things. take their beginnings and progresses. ed. cf. Above this natural motion and course of things the power of the Creator (10) Sanctus Augustinus. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. and the elements of this corporeal world have their settled power and quality. all things which come to be. Rome 1852. So it is that a bean is not born from a grain of wheat. but they make their appearance only when they get the opportunity. All things appearing in the universe have in fact originally and primarily already been created in a kind of web of the elements. the provindential unfolding of the history both of nature and of mankind required time for its rational pattern to appear. in order to discover God. and that rational pattern was in all cases embodied in the unchanging laws of nature that generated the process through time. Thus: The most customary course of all this nature has certain natural laws (naturales leges) of its own according to which both the spirit of life. 6. has in some way certain settled desires of its own. nor a man from a beast. read a book. Mai. Then if God created all things knowingly. which they have received from him who has ordered all things in measure and number and weight [De Trin. nor a beast from a man. so the world itself is pregnant with things that are to come into being. For just as mothers are pregnant with their young. but it could not have existed if it had not been known to God [De civ. Ill. But when appropriate conditions arose. p. New York 1953. This appears surprising but yet as something true: that this world could not be known to us if it did not already exist. 9. Dei XI. Trask. whom you want to discover.

Crombie. 24. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought has in himself the ability to make from all things something other than is in accord with their. II. D. (12) De doctrina christiana. by which a man can speak and a beast cannot [De Genesi ad litteram IX. cf. De civ.. R. W. We do not seek to learn from these any application to our deeds and fates in the manner of the ravings of the astrologers but only information that pertains to the stars themselves. Dei. XXII. St. 17.. 60-83. your stomach will not hurt.. pp. trans. since on the basis of the present position and motion of the stars it is possible to trace their past courses according to rule. It also includes predictions concerning the future made according to rule which are not superstituous and portentous but certain and fixed by calculation. The first course is recommended as a healthful remedy. Some Attitudes. X. . For just as he who computes the phases of the Moon. 29]. A. Augustine's further insights into the conception of natural laws offered a context for the exercise of scientific knowledge. A. Likewise in the arts whether of construction or of medicine. by which this season is fruitful and that one not. 24. But more effective were arguments from general laws and starting conditions as in astronomy. from facial expression to emotion. the second is to be condemned as a superstituous sign. Thus we argued from smoke to fire. in «Phronesis» II (1957). Therefore there are different arrangements of circumstances by which this herb generates thus and that one thus. but he cannot by himself or from any things make that which was not ordained in those things. cit. when he has observed its condition today. C. Markus. XXI. If the certainty of belief in the rational and providential creation of nature and destiny of mankind encouraged a disposition towards scientific inquiry (ll). can determine its condition at a given period of years in the past or in the future. To acquire knowledge we could argue from natural signs or from general laws. For his power is not an unruly one.74 Science. 2-3. 8]. seminal principles (rationed seminales). as it were. We could prognosticate either legitimately or illegitimately: For it is one thing to say: If you drink the juice of this herb. and quite another to say: If you hang this herb round your neck. agriculture and navigation or of dancing and wrestling: «In all of these arts experience with the past makes possible inferences concerning the future. as we did through language and as both we and the animals did through voice and gesture (12). your stomach will not hurt. cf. for no artificer in any of them performs operations except in so far as he bases his expectations of the future on past experience* (II. Dei VI. He makes from any one thing in its due time that which in it he had previously made possible. cf. Indianapolis & New York 1958. Such predictions were made from the unchangeable laws of numbers instituted by God in nature. and discovered by men as the measure of the past and future: ( u ) Cf. but he is omnipotent through the strength of this wisdom. De civ. 30). Robertson. 2. so in the same way those who are competent can make assertions about any of the other stars [De doctrina christiana II. from track to animal. XIV. For: It contains beyond a demonstration of present circumstances an element akin to historical narration. Augustine on Signs. We could also use conventional signs to convey information.

in «History of Science* II (1963). So when we speak of foreseeing the future. Pine-Coffin. A. or are evenly divisible by two when odd numbers cannot be so divided. D. it is possible to see only something that exists. A. Chicago 1963. Drew and F. 66-101. for it already exists. ed. S. But it can be foretold from things that are present. pp. I.which Bacon rejected as contrary to the whole doctrine of adequate causation. North. vol. is not the sunrise. a vessel with a hole at the top and a perforated bottom. This provided a positive cause for a positive phenomenon instead of the negative horror vacui . just as I have at this moment while I am speaking about it. things that are future. K. as the ancients pronounced it. Yet the dawn.] Suppose that I am watching the break of day. Crombie. 38]. in Critical Problems in the History of Science. and by means of them the mind can form a concept of things that are still future and thus is able to predict them. or do not geometrically produce a square figure. Harmondsworth. 1219-c. 377-85. R. In this way they are not future but present to the eye of the beholder. But both the dawn and my mental picture are seen in the present. and it was made long. S. pp. F. 1292). Virgil did not wish to have the first syllable of Italia short. This he developed by explaining that «the particular nature of water remains in position upwards not by itself but by the power (virtus) of universal (1}) Trans. pp. M. C. But I could not foretell the sunrise unless I had a picture of it in my mind. and whatever exists is not future but present. but it may be that we see their causes or signs. because it has not yet happened. pp. or of some other motion. Delorme in Opera hactenus inedita. or of sound. The real cause he wrote in an early discussion of the question was «the orderly regulation of the bodies of the universe and the congruence of the machine of the world (ordinatio corporum universi et mundi machine congruentia)» (14).. or are not one and a half times six. C. The Relevance of the Middle Ages to the Scientific Movement. . VIII. Whether they are considered in themselves or applied to the laws of figures. The Significance of Medieval Discussions of Scientific Method for the Scientific Revolution. but rather investigated and discovered. but what I foretell is future. I predict that the Sun is about to rise. and if it is not at all. Bacon. in Perspectives in Medieval History. which is future. Lear. These concepts already exist. which are already in being. nor is the picture which I have in my mind the sunrise. and by seeing them present in their minds people are able to foretell the actual facts which they represent. M. which I see in the sky. Crombie and J. 200-1. ed. [. The future then is not yet. Clagett.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 75 It is perfectly clear to the most stupid persons that the science of numbers was not instituted by men. Roger (c. because they exist now and can therefore be seen [Confessions XI. 91-113. but that its rise is future. numbers have immutable rules not instituted by men but discovered through the sagacity of the more ingenious [II. and it is from them that I am able to predict the sunrise. But no one could in this fashion because of his personal desire arrange matters so that three threes are not nine. it is not at all. with changes. cf. Likewise it was a lex nature universalis requiring the continuity of bodies that prevented the water from running out of a clepsydra. Roger Bacon moved towards a new conception of nature by making the particular regularities which he called the laws of reflection and refraction examples of the common laws of nature. Idem. or are not the triple of the ternary. Oxford 1928. Aristotelianism: Basis and Obstacle to Scientific Progress in the Middle Ages. we do not see things that are not yet in being. that is. although it precedes it. so long as the upper opening remained closed. WI 1959. 35-57. Middlesex 1961. 18] ( ). New York 1970. in Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Schramm. Quaestiones supra libros quattuor Physicorum Aristotelis. What I see is present. (M) Roger Bacon. pp.. Madison. By whatever mysterious means it may be that the future is foreseen. F. ed. I do not mean that the Sun is future. it cannot possibly be seen.

This occurred at the ultimate seat of sensory perception in the brain. pp. Bacon brought this into his system as a further regular mode of propagation: After I have shown the power of mathematics. therefore I demonstrate this by the law of refraction (per legem refractionutn). and how they are composed of a threefold membrane and intersect like a cross in the surface of the brain. Lindberg in Roger Bacon's Philosophy of Nature. Alhazen had argued that all that was required for true visual perception was that the image formed in the eye should preserve the proper arrangement of its parts corresponding to those of the object seen.. Next I show the origin and composition of the eyes. R.7). pp.. That the laws of reflection and refraction are indeed common to all natural actions I have shown in the treatise on geometry [. pp. To explain how this image was transmitted through the hollow optic nerves for presentation in the brain it was not then required that it should follow in these sentient organs the rectilinear propagation followed in non-sentient transparent media. [. in which intersection and not in the eye is the principle organ of seeing...] but principal(l3) Roger Bacon. about which Avicenna makes mention in Metaphysics VI. Therefore I disclose how the evidently concave optic nerves in which is the visual power arise from parts of the brain. for it was held up «by a law of universal nature (ex lege nature universalis)» (15). . cit.] (17).] because images come to every part of the pupil from the separate parts of the thing.. So that the power of the soul makes the image relinquish the common laws of nature (leges communes nature) and advance in a way that suits its operations [. This natura universalis acted as both efficient and final cause.].] Next because vision would be ruined unless there were a refraction of the image between the pupil and the common nerve where there is the common section of the nerves of which I spoke above. Un fragment inedit de I'Opus tertium. which is wonderful. the capability is cut off and the act excluded* (16).. vol.. Liber primus Communia naturalium. so that vision is thus saved. The idea seems to have been suggested by Avicenna to whom Bacon referred in explaining in De multiplicatio specierum (I. 1. nevertheless by divine ordination and a law of universal nature... but these again could be dispensed for the benefit of natural order by «the capability of the power of the soul» in completing the act of vision (Opus maius V.. I have come to the position of optics (perspectiva) [. The «common laws of natural multiplication (leges communes multiplicationum naturalium)» were shared by the propagation of light and other forms of energy. 224. 84-5. and right would be seen left and vice versa. ( ) Roger Bacon. set out geometrically. For the image at its place of refraction advances according to the tortuosity of the visual nerve. Quarracchi 1909. ed. but nevertheless necessary for the completion of the operation. so that it should not transgress the laws which nature keeps in the bodies of the world. (16) Idem. and does not keep to a straight path. D. Oxford17 1983. 220. 75-8.76 Science.. because without this we cannot know how vision is effected. ed. [. 6) how «although by a law of particular nature (ex lege nature particularis) there is aptitude* for certain actions on the part of certain substances. Universal nature constituted from its common laws thus subordinated to itself the system of particular natures with their natural tendencies making up the Aristotelian universe. Ill. Steele in Opera hactenus inedita. Yet it is necessary nevertheless that the image of the thing seen should propagate itself by a new kind of propagation. De multiplicatione specierum.. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought nature». Its laws were necessary and general. Oxford 1911..] After this I show that the image (species) of a thing is sent forth to sight [.

90). and De mult. The problem for the philosophers was at once epistemological and theological. 365-6. or by producing certain effects to which secondary causes do not extend. for he could have created another order of things. The epistemological problem of defining what could be known about different subjectmatters and with what degrees of certainty was subordinated to the theological principle that the entire created world was contingent upon the inscrutable omnipotence of the Creator. it is not against nature. for if he did he would be acting against the order of justice which he had established likewise and moreover he would seem to be changeable. Aquinas answered with an exemplary account of the omnipotent freedom of the Hebrew and Christian God as the creator of the world. P. p.. Then «since the order of nature is given to things by God. 5) he wrote. It was the moral law of God that Thomas Aquinas looked for in nature. art. Empirically established connections were validated universally by the assumed principle that «all individuals of the same kind (ratio) are so made as to have effects of the same kind in a subject of the same kind disposed in the same way» (Super Quattuor libros SententiaC8 Ibidem. cit. (19) Quoting Augustine. because he does not act against himself. Contra Faustum XXVI. by contrast with the rational necessity of the Aristotelian God as its first cause. or his will. art. since it proceeds from him not by natural necessity but by the choice of his own will. p. spec.. ed. number and order in nature* (I. XLII. and «the law of God is the natural inclination imprinted in any creature to act in a way suited to it according to nature*. 90. . D. referring to Comm. cit. So Augustine says: God acts against the wonted course of nature..Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 77 ly in a separate work where I have explained the whole generation and multiplication and action and corruption of power (species) in all the bodies of the world (18).. 6) (19). Lindberg in Roger Bacon's Philosophy. nat. but by no means does he act against the supreme law. vol. q. or his goodness*. 480).: cf. It might seem that God could not do anything outside the order of nature which he established. We could suppose that God as the first cause would not «act against his foreknowledge. ed. if he does anything outside this order. 60. «A11 the moral precepts of law come from the law of nature (lex naturae)» (Summa tbeologiae. 3 (Opera omnia. p. Aquinas distinguished the total freedom of God as the first cause from the necessity of secondary causes to follow the higher causes to which they were subject.. Hence Augustine says: That is natural to each thing which is caused by him from whom is all limit. Then came the question whether God can do anything outside the established order of nature. I. 105. Therefore God can do something outside this order created by him when he chooses: for example by producing effects of secondary causes without them. William of Ockham in developing his theory of evidence under this principle limited the knowledge of the creation available to us to our immediate experience of the regularities found in particular objects. J. Migne. and De utilitate credendi XVI (ibidem. q. pp. On the contrary this order is subject to him. but he is not subject to the order of secondary causes.

Tachau. ed. 5). XLVII (1972). Hence «there is between cause and effect indeed an essential order and dependence* (Prol. in The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy. (22) Quodlibeta septem. incorporating earlier papers and further discussion. pp. in «Franciscan Studies* XXXI (1971). cf. F.78 Science. not necessary*. 2nd cd. 3-4. Adams. 4-5. The Problem of species in medio at Oxford in the Generation after Ockham. Nominalism and Late Medieval Religion. such «action is voluntary. St. 91. London & Cambridge. Paris 1958. and Order. Quaestiones in lib. 1981. 6) (22). Strasbourg 1491. in Opera philosophica et theolagica. reprinted 1979. . vol. 1984. Kenny and J. ibid. Hence it is not possibile to prove by an effect that someone is a man. in «Antonianum» XLV (1970). Guelluy. 291-312.. Boler. cf.. 433-57. Oxford 1953. A. because God does not act in any action with his whole power*. pp. XXXVIII (1978). Pinborg. He argued in a subtle analysis that the «intuitive notion (notitia intuitiva)» gained through sensory perception of something that existed was naturally infallible in providing «evident knowledge* of this fact «to which we gave assent*.. IX. A. II (1944). 460-78. especially by an effect that appears in us. For «I say that although God acts through the mediation of secondary causes*. J. MA 1959. pp. F. F. in «Natural Law Forum* VI (1961). pp. and the Scepticism of William of Ockham. A. Innovation in William of Ockham's References to the Potentia Dei. vol. first complete ed. I. as eating. 72-3. Brown.Y. W. M. Intuitive and Abstractive Cognition. it could still stand that fire is not its cause. ed. The notitia intuitiva of Non-existents according to William of Ockham. Prologus. vol. 3rd ed. Because God could have ordained that always when fire is present the nearby subject itself alone causes combustion. Prol. V. but effect and cause were separate things and knowledge of one thing did not contain knowledge of another. ed. Medieval Theories of Natural Law: William of Ockham and the Significance of the Voluntarist Tradition. 465-80. ibid. pp. XXVI (1970). Ockham on Human and Divine freedom. Oakley. N. cit. G. pp. pp. P. Philosophic et theologie chez Guillaume d'Ockham. Intuitive Cognition. in «Traditio» I (1943). But «God can cause a creditive act by which I believe that a thing that is absent is present* (Quodlibeta. Wey. J. V. Gal and R. R] (21). Leiden 1974.. 2. N. 69-95. K. Tobias 12. Lexique philosophique de Guillaume d'Occam. (21) Ed. C. Bonaventura. 65-97. The Theory of the Potentia Dei according to Aquinas. 241. q. 394-443. M. F). Crombie. with corrections 1971. Pegis. K) (20)..A. Idem. Concerning William of Ockham. Clark.. q. A. M. in «Medieval Studies* XLIV (1982). Covenant.. 223-75. C. Louvain & Paris 1947. That is evident from the angel of Tobias* [II. Oakley. Lyons 1495. Oberman. Pernoud. Idem. 72-87. Ithaca. Courtenay. Maurer. L. Christian Theology and the Newtonian Science: the Rise of the Concept of Laws of Nature. in «Church History* XXX (1961). just as he has ordained with the Church that when certain words are brought forth grace is caused in the soul. 9. pp. cit. 122-60. Super Quattuor libros Sententiarum annotations. q. II Sent. For «whatever God produces with secondary causes mediating he can produce and conserve immediately without them*. Certainty. G. Voluntarism and Rationalism in the Ethics of Ockham. This did not «make secondary causes superfluous. J. ibid. 1495. ed. Cambridge 1982. Scotus and Ockham. 1980. C. R. I Sentent. Trinkaus and H. Baudry. Scriptum in lib. Idem. But from the omnipresence of divine power it follows that it is not possible to demonstrate that some effect is produced by a secondary cause: because although combustion always follows the bringing of fire near combustible material. Wood. D. pp. pp. Then «God can make us see without a created object on which vision depends only as on a secondary cause* (VI. Ockham and the Possibility of a Better World. Kretzmann. Omnipotence. because everything we see in a man can be done by an embodied angel. pp. in The Pursuit of Holiness in Late Medieval and Renaissance Religion. H. 389-98. J. ibid. Gal and S. pp. in «Medieval Studies* XXXVIII (1976). in Opera philosophica. Augustine to Galileo. C. pp. This doctrine placed natural philosophy and with it the relation (M) William of Ockham. drinking etc. A. 19. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought rum. 65-83. Boehner.Y. 1967. q. pp. W. N. ed. in Opera philosophica. Idem. cf. Robert Grosseteste.

The Philosophy of Kalam. . Idem. both morally and physically. Islamic Occasionalism and its Critiques by Averroes and Aquinas. Out of this examination came the distinction developed notably by Albertus Magnus and Aquinas between God's power considered absolutely in itself (potentia absolute).. Omnipotence. This was the historical world of Christian belief and expectation. H. was absolutely free and inscrutable to man except in so far as he chose to reveal his providential plan through the patriarchs and prophets and through Christ and his Church. and provided a new apprehension of the relation of God to the world and to mankind and hence of nature as the object of scientific inquiry. but when the philosophers Avicenna.. Gardet and M. M. a world of which the creation by God's providential will established the beginning and sequence of time in which under divine rule man was free to fulfil his ordained destiny. Anawati. The Platonic God as the good whose reason generated the world in accordance with the eternal ideas and the Aristotelian God as the rational first cause from which everything eternally emanated were alike necessitated by their rational perfection to produce the best of all possible worlds. Covenant. MA 1976. goodness and foreknowledge. The order of nature as known to us as an order of observable facts depended on God not being a deceiver. in ^Harvard Theological Review* LXVI (1973). L. London 1958. Wolfson. Discussion focused on the nature of God and the opennes of divine to human knowledge. F. Van Steenberghen. and his ordained power (potentia ordinata) by which he acted in his (") See on this subject especially F. The recovery and incorporation into the educational system of the entire body of Aristotle's writings in the 13th century restructured treatment of the relation of philosophy to theology and of reason to faith. cit. The Critique of Natural Causality in the Mutakallimun and Nominalism. Aristote en Occident. without regard to the order of the creation which he had established. Majid Fakhey. 77-94. was the sharper because Aristotelian metaphysics entered the Latin West accompanied by Arabic paraphrases and commentaries which stressed its determinism. Louvain 1946. Paris 1948. The contrast offered by the Aristotelian God as reason. Courtenay. in his act of creating a world utterly distinct from himself. The dominance of Christian thinking by the theology of divine omnipotence had specific consequences for natural philosophy in the 13th and 14th centuries through the distinction drawn between God's absolute and his ordained power (potentia Dei absolute et ordinate) (2i). A. Oakley. (24) Cf. Introduction a la theologie musulmane. The God of Abraham and of Christian theology by contrast. W. of whose discovered essence and perfection the world was an eternally necessary consequence without beginning or end. pp.. Louvain 1974. Alfarabi and especially Averroes introduced the idea of creation into their interpretations of Aristotelian metaphysics they appeared in doing so to deny alike free providence to God and free responsibility to man (24). by which I have been guided in what follows. reason.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 79 of perceiver to perceived in a wholly new context. The Christian response was to examine the nature of God's power and its relation to his other attributes of will. J. Muslim as Christian theologians had had to defend God's omnipotent freedom against the same Aristotelian determinism.. Human reason moreover could know that divine reason in such a way as to discover not only the true constitution of the world but also why it must necessarily be so constituted and not otherwise. Cambridge. Introduction a I'histoire de la philosophic medievale.

God's Absolute Power. pp. Idem. A. Wippel. vol. 381.. by L.. 271-348. H. D.. Le systeme du monde. (26) Chartularium Univenitatis Parisiensis. L.. The doctrine of the absolute and inscrutable power of God was to have a long reach in expanding the domain of the supernaturally and speculatively possible at the expense of accepted certainties of experience and demonstrations of philosophy. It was God's voluntary restraint of his absolute by his ordained power that preserved the established order of nature as a possible and proper object of human inquiry. cf. Nicole Oresme and Albert of Saxony and as late as the 17th century in defence of Galileo's cosmological arguments by Tommaso Campanella (27). Duhem. The Significance of Medieval. Thomas Aquinas. pp. E. Sylla. 24. II. J. When Bishop Etienne Tempier of Paris in 1277 condemned a collection of philosophical theses his main purpose was to defend God's absolute power against any attempt to limit it by current Aristotelian philosophy (26). Thus a number of propositions asserted explicitly what God could not do: he could not make more than one world (34). The condemned propositions were cited in the 14th century among others by Thomas Bradwardine. 155-215 (2nd ed. Metapbysische Hintergriinde Spatscholastischen Naturphilosophie.. 45 ff. Cambridge. Etudes sur Leonard de Vinci. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought creative plan in accord with his providence and goodness (25). Murdoch in The Cultural Context of Medieval Learning.. Paris 1909. MA 1974. MA 1937). McColley («Smith College Studies in History» XXII. in «Viator» X (1979). Infinity and Continuity. or perform the absolutely impossibile (147). cit. Rome 1955.. vol. Tempier also condemned the proposition that there was no question disputable by reason which a philosopher ought not to dispute and decide by argument (145). Italian trans. art. Jabrbundert. Summa tbeologiae I. The Condemnation of 1277.. Oakley. pp. and Physical Thought in the Late Middle Ages. Louvain 1977. F.. Grant (ed. q. Idem. 1958.. make an accident exist without a subject or more than three dimensions (141). P. Enquete sur les 219 articles condamnes a Paris le 7 man 1277.). The Condemnations of 1270 and 1277 at Paris. 5 and Augustine (sec note 19). Nominalism and Late. and especially F. Tommaso Campanella. Hamm. J. E. E. Denifle... 1966). make a man without the agency of a human father (35). A. B. Courtenay. English trans. A Source Book in Medieval Science. move the world in such a way as to produce a vacuum (49). possibilities involving the void. Northampton. That order was identified by Ockham as the order of laws that God had ordained and established: for «I say that God can do one thing by ordained power (23) Cf. Pactum. Ordinatio. J. in The Cambridge History of Late Medieval Philosophy. Crombie. Firenze 1984. Hissette. Die Vorlaufer Galileis im 14. Paris 1954. 25.. Grant. MA 1975. 169-201. Paris 1889. 211-44. ed. Permoud. p. VIII. by G. of which the numbering is followed here. A. cit. 41-4. Maier. Frankfurt 1622. cit. ed. but in dealing with his creation he voluntarily restrained that absolute power within the providential order which he had created. except only when he chose to transcend it with a miracle.. E. Chatelain. vols. 3-4. Omnipotence. Bianchi. Apologia pro Galileo. Promissio. R. pp. W.. move anything differently from the way it moved (50). The Theory of the Potentia Dei. (") Cf. Murdoch and E. Dordrecht & Boston. the effect of the theological affirmation of God's absolute power seems to have been to have liberated the more enterprising natural philosophers from such Aristotelian limitations so that they could explore in speculation a variety of possible worlds which God might have created had he so chosen. infinity and a plurality of universes. C. 54355. . pp. J. pp. pp. L'errore di Aristotele: La polemica contra I'etemita del mondo nel XIII secolo. cit. 566-9. Jean Buridan. pp. Covenant. A.80 Science. Idem. pp. Torino 1969. Rome 1949. I. VI. Tubingen 1977.. M. Absolutely then God could do as he liked. Despite this last. cit.. From each side of this distinction came specific consequences for natural philosophy. Firpo. in «Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies* VII (1977).

Maker of Heaven and Earth... 352. «what was then possible according to the laws then established is no longer possible according to the law now established. Idem. Gal et R. Kolmel.. Oakley. p. Medieval Theories. ed. Idem. C0) Quoted with changes from H. F. cit. cit.. in «Franziskanische Studien* XXXVII (1955). cit. making good actions evil and evil good «if then they were to agree with divine precept» P).. J. but an unfailing necessity comes in God from his promise and covenant or established law (ex promisso suo et pacto sive lege statuta). Von Ockham zu Gabriel Biel: zur Naturrecbtslehre des 14. 149.. The Harvest of Medieval Theology. In God compulsory necessity has no place. W. p. This is not an absolute but rather a consequential necessity (>0). Cambridge. Thus the Pope cannot do something according to the law (jus) established by him which however he can do absolutely speaking.. 58-60. II Sent. whenever this is taken according to the laws ordained and established by God (secundum leges ordinatas et institutes a Deo) and that means what God can do by ordained power. Oberman. 15.. explained Ockham's contemporary Robert Holcot. 1. by which he freely bound himself to preserve a stable world. alike to the moral order governing human behaviour and to the natural order governing the behaviour of irrational beings. by which God granted free choice despite his foreknowledge. ed.. in lib. Christian Theology.. q. whether God ordained this to be done or not. who did nothing that was not ordained. Omnipotence. of the Christian creed. Quaest. was God's covenant with man and that alone guaranteed the consistency of the creation and of the economy of salvation and grace. the metaphor of laws decreed by a ruler. Again in the scheme of salvation ordained by Christ to replace the Old Law (lex defuncta). mankind had no option but to accept the order of things as it was given in experience <nd in revelation through Holy Scripture. . Wood. For there is a distinction between compulsory necessity (necessitas coactionis) and unfailing necessity (necessitas infallibilitatis). cit. cit. Quodlibeta VI. cf. C. God by his absolute power could reverse the «universal law (communis lex)» of the existing moral order. 585-86. here the inscrutable God the Father Almighty. because God can do many things which he does not want to do [. In this way we should understand that he can do something. MA 1963. cit. 64. although absolutely speaking it is possible* (28). und 15. It was the «necessitee condicionel» of Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale. That. to be able to do something is taken for being able to do everything that does not involve a contradiction. with further references.. Idem. Ockham in effect applied to the created world in general. (w) William of Ockham. cf. 3-4. 4433-41) (}1). cf. A. 168 n. In the other way. Jahrhunderto. Covenant.. and that means what God can do by absolute power. G. Oakley ibid... pp.. p. in which man must have faith... These were of course a single power in God.. With God's reasons no longer in any degree transparent to human reason as they still had been for Aquinas.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 81 and another by absolute power». Wey. Forerunners of the Reformation.]. (3l) Cited with Holcot from F. Omnipotence.. Covenant. by contrast with the «symple necessitee» by which something had to be done (11. pp... just as he could upturn the existing physical order of things if he so chose. q. (») William of Ockham. p. F. The only safeguard of constancy both moral and physical was the goodness of God. New York 1966. 228-59. pp. Oakley.

Crombie. p. Thus Buridan in applying the dynamics of impetus to the celestial spheres: One could say in fact that God.82 Science. q. In this he wrote that it could be supposed that when God created the heavens. cf. tempered and harmonized to the resistances that the movements are made without violence..... Nicole Oresme completed his Le livre du del et du monde. 82. Metaphysische Hintergriinde. Elaborate astronomical clocks were devised and constructed by the Oxford mathematician Richard of Wallingford and in Italy by Giovanni de' Dondi. where clocks had been set up in public places over the previous hundred years. Idem. God has therefore no longer to move these spheres. Maicr. had become gradually part of daily life by about the middle of the 14th century in many Western towns.. [. 12. Perhaps the most famous terrestrial clock was that erected by Henri de Vick in Paris on the Palais Royal (now the Palais de Justice) in 1370. when Charles V of France ordered all churches in the city to ring the hours and quarters according to the equal divisions of the day incorporated in this instrument. others to have been designed to measure the terrestrial hours. when he created the universe. p. VIII. impressing on each of them an impetus which has moved it ever since. It was the product of a divine art not transparent like that of the Timaeus to human reason. The gravitational clock. Die Impetustheorie (1940) revised in Zwei Grundprobleme der Scbolastischen Naturpbiloiopbie. cit. C. he put in them motive qualities and powers just as he put weight in terrestrial beings. Hence the evident empiricism of 14th-century natural philosophy and its focus not on any ultimate purpose which the natural order might have in the divine economy. except in exerting a general influence similar to that by which he gives his concurrence to all phenomena. Seven years after de Vick had installed his clock. A. but rather on the regularities of nature visible to man and on explanations postulated to account for them in a creation separated from its Creator. Augustine to Galileo. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought The attribution of the natural order entirely to laws of nature imposed from without by God's ordained will. but utterly impenetrable. vol. Paris 1509. II. Thus he could rest on the seventh day from the work he had achieved. and he put in them resistances against these motive powers. Hence likewise the new relevance of analogies between the contrivance of the divine artificer. set each of the celestial spheres in motion as it pleased him. confiding to created things their mutual causes and effects (32). and except for violence it is doubtless like a man making a clock and letting it go and be moved by itself. and the contrivances which man could understand because he made them himself.. Some appear to have been planetaria or astronomical clocks paralleling the motions of the celestial bodies. whose reasons man could not penetrate. and the elimination from the concept of nature of any intrinsic principle of rationality such as Aristotle had postulated. Subtilissime Questiones supra octo Pbisicorum libros Amtotelu.. its order discoverable only so far as it was directly observable or divinely revealed. 212. assimilated nature to a product of art. cit. Rome 1951. Thus God left the heavens to be moved continually according to the propor()2) Johannes Buridanus. commissioned by Charles V within his plan for translating into French the whole of Aristotle with commentaries. A.] And these powers are so adjusted. . propelled first by water and then mechanically by weights. Clocks came to interest philosophers as programmed mechanisms capable of self-regulation.

1]. in accordance with the inclination imparted to them by the Author of nature*. ()4) Francis Suarez.. since things lacking reason are not properly speaking capable of law. Singer et AL.S. S. F. pp.. H. ^Transactions of the American Philosophical Society* N. Thus the Jesuit Francisco Sudrez in his Tractatus de legibus ac Deo legislator (1612) distinguished among the meanings of the term lex naturalis not only «that law which is in mankind» but also «that which fits all things. Paris 1977. Ill. On the Origins of Clockwork. in A History of Technology. [. Hence it is said that God cannot do certain things according to ordinary law. have been established by God and depend on him entirely as well (") Nicole Oresme. C. 3. also A. B. cit. Mechanical Timekeepers. S. Revolution in Time. Perpetual Motion Devices and the Compass. vol. pp. Pour un autre moyen age: Temps. God's free acts in so far as they operated externally might be said to relate to art. . cit.. which you call eternal. J. For although God could have made and ruled the world in various ways. trans. Philadelphia. for clockwork E. Covenant. travail et culture en Occident. Price. ed. 103-104. J. MA 1983.. cf. or that he cannot according to his ordained power (secundum potentiam ordinatam). ]. North. Oxford 1976. that is reduced to such order by the same law. R. J. Omnipotence. Oxford 1957. Oakley. But this latter acceptation of law is metaphorical.. S. de S. pp. D. D. cf.] Thus the free works of God are ruled by a law established by himself [II. Coimbra 1612. PA 1966.. ed. Menut. vol. Maddison. 81-112. Menut and A. so that he may carry out his works in accordance with it. for as Oresme argued in explaining that he could have lengthened the day for Joshua far more economically by stopping a rotating Earth than the whole rotating heavens: «When God performs a miracle. I. just as they are not capable of obedience. These ideas were all to have a long reach. Hence the efficacy of divine power and the natural necessity resulting therefrom in these things are called law metaphorically [I. Lloyd. namely which he has imposed upon himself. Oxford 1944. 5. A. D. Landes. with introduction by J. WI 1968. Tractatus de legibus. A. LVI. J. he has decided to constitute and govern it according t'o a certain definite law applying to both the physical and the moral order.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 83 tions which the motive powers have to the resistances and according to the established order [II. and in so acting he observed a law which God as artist (artifex) has imposed upon himself.. Cambridge. 648-75. D. Scott.. Crombie. 1-64. Aus der Friikzeit der Raderuhr. Le livre du del et du monde. Zinner. That order God respected even when extraordinarily he performed a miracle. 2] (M). J.. A. in Selections from Three Works. Similarly Descartes was to insist that even «the mathematical truths. Mechanical Universe: The Astrarium of Giovanni de Dondi. it must be supposed and held that he does this without disturbing the common course of nature more than the least that is necessary» (II. Le Goff. Madison. Denomy. Augustine to Galileo. Richard of Wallingford. in «Deutsches Museum: Abhandhungen und Berichtc* XXII (1954). pp. A. 25) (»). in ^Smithsonian Institution Bulletin* CCXVIII (1959). C. pp. D. 7-8. Bedini and F. 2].

For if we consider God as the author of the universe. What he created he also disposed. A New English Dictionary. that the engine being once set a moving.] is like a rare clock. sects. Descartes and the Creation of the Eternal Truths. God as «the supreme and absolute Lord. Funkenstein. he thought that God's agency in the world [. by which again God could make it untrue that twice four was eight (37).. as those upon which all the phaenomena depend (}8). Robert Boyle likewise was to be in no doubt that «if we suppose God to be omnipotent. pp. If it were asked «what has necessitated God to create these truths [... Boyle.] I say that he has been as free to make it untrue. we cannot but acknowledge. the wise Author of it does seldom manifestly ()3) R. Oeuvres.. F. Some Considerations about the Reconcilableness of Reason and Religion. Omnipotence. Ill. 515. that it should be done)*.] But I comprehend them as eternal and immutable. 1630. by Ch. Tannery. pp. a law being but a notional rule of acting according to the declared will of a superior. H. A. ed.] yet his power is incomprehensible* (35). We could not comprehend that divine power. cf. 27 and 27. For «to speak properly. ed. p. (that is. in Oeuvres.84 Science. As these were established. in the conduct of that far greatest part of the universe which is merely corporeal. As for the term law. that. (1904). cf. Oxford 1903: Law. in «Studies in History and Philosophy of Science* VI (1975).. vol. Birch.. 97 (note 4 above). cf.. 185-99. such as may be that at Strasburgh. that nothing but an intellectual being can be properly capable of receiving and acting by a law*. he may invalidate most. pp. H. For «it is God who has established these laws in nature. A.. 1. VI. vol. Bradley. Klaaren.. the possibility of human science depended entirely upon his freely chosen constancy. although for brevity and by custom he spoke of «the laws of motion and rest* as «the laws of nature*. V.. Descartes. 2. whose general concourse is necessary to the conservation and efficacy of every particular physical agent. or changing these laws of motion. IV. Covenant. pp. (J6) R. in «Philosophical Review* LXXXVI (1976). Responsio ad sextes objectiones (1641). Eternal Truths. [. 151-2. Oakley. cit. Religious Origins of Modem Science: Belief in Creation in Seventeenth-Century Thought. that all the lines drawn from the centre to the circumference were equal. London 1744. Pliny... H. Nat. I. just as a king establishes laws in his kingdom*. letter of 27. it is plain. where all things are so skilfully contrived. which depend perfectly upon his will. E. MI 1977. in Oeuvres.. M. gave them to matter. Frankfurt. J. 36-57. [. (") Idem. ed. pp. as not to create the world* (36). II.] when he made the world. Adam and P. [. 3 (1675). and the free establisher of the laws of motion. according to the artificer's first design. cit. Works. Descartes. hist. 5. and likewise «he could change them just as a king does his laws. Meditationes prima philosophia. not to himself*... Murray et Al. and though I think it probable. Paris 1897. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought as do all other creatures*. and especially the established laws of motion among the parts of the universal matter. that. 436. vol.. T. if not all the axioms and theorems of natural philosophy: these supposing the course of nature. all things proceed. by withholding his concourse. 145-6. and established the laws of motion.] But his will is free [. VII.. Descartes to Marin Mersenne 15. 1630. Grand Rapids. (38) R.. this like Suarez he regarded as «but an improper and figurative expression*. 516. to be able to do whatever involves no contradiction. . and Divine Omnipotence.

either seemingly or really. in Works. cit. and much less to the strange care and skill of that questioned being called nature. 7 (1666-82). pp. IV. he most wisely instituted. 2. but yet that this is done so seldom. that «after the first formation of the universe.] that he did not from the beginning foresee and think fit to permit. an intelligent and free agent is bound to regulate its actions.. not a physical cause. that God doth sometimes. are produced by real power. Boyle insisted that God's special providence was evident above all in «the first formation of things*. and make worlds of several sorts in several parts of the universe* (42). 5. and especially from the most catholic laws of motion yet where men were concerned I think it becomes a Christian philosopher to admit. Besides. which cannot incite or moderate their own actions. in a peculiar though hidden way. (41) I. But inanimate bodies are utterly incapable of understanding what a law is. Philosophiae naturalis Principia mathematica. 398. in general. at the beginning. Only «on some special occasions. at least in a way that we can certainly discern. if it may be probably accounted for by mechanical laws. For «the laws of motion. though perhaps unexpected. did not necesarily spring from the nature of matter. A Free Inquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 85 procure a recession from the settled course of the universe. in Works. all things are brought to pass by the settled laws of nature». that. 4th ed. 6.] as Lord over all*. or what it enjoins. Against the deist use of the argument against God's special providence. if intelligent. interpose in the ordinary phenomena and events of crisis's. vol. and therefore the actions of inanimate bodies. 362. and the ordinary course of things. but the long tradition behind his insistence on the utter dependence of human science upon God's omnipotent will received an interesting extension by Isaac Newton. and who «knows all things that are and can be done* (41).. in this or that particular case. happen. 403. or when they act conformably or unconformalby to it. query 31. p. as being indeed but a notional thing. Scholium generale. Londini 1687. has been violated* (}9).. but depended upon the will of the divine author of things*.. could as easily if he so chose «vary the laws of nature. V. sects. 367. without which the present state and course of things could not be maintained. («°) Idem. 385. 1. since they are but genuine consequences of that order of things. though the agents. (1744).. For God who created the world. The Christian Virtuoso (1690). London 1730. cit. that we are not hastily to have recourse to an extraordinary providence. I look upon a law as a moral. may regulate the exertions of their power by settled rules ( °). according to which. vol. this instituted order. pp. . [. who «governs all things [. Newton. vol. 379-80. Boyle. which he constantly maintains.. (39) R. 46. Opticks. and established in it the laws of motion. For the omniscient and almight author of things having once framed the world. Ill. («) Idem. not by laws. or anomaly. Boyle's attempt to restrict the term law to its proper human and moral context did not succeed. (1744). there can no irregularity. he repeated.

It was not until the 17th century that systematic measurement was (43) Cf. Logistics and the Theory of Functions. Oxford 1940. A. Idem. and so on. ed. J. L. pp. It may be argued that the concept of functions can be found implicitly but effectively in antiquity: in tabulated correspondences of celestial motions in Babylonian and Greek astronomy. Steps towards the Idea of Function. Berlin 1923. Secondly the concept of laws of nature became quantified by association with that of mathematical functions expressing the quantitative dependence of effect on cause in concomitant degrees (43). albeit of a nature still with moral attributes. pp. New York 1956. The Origins of Analytical Geometry. Das Erkenntnisproblem in der Philosophic und Wissenschaft der neueren Zeit. D. Schramm. Idem. in the linkage made by musical theorists. 29-50. Idem. 147-66. 37-85. Boyer. . 231-50. By the time of Newton the term laws of nature had come to designate the object of all scientific inquiry: the principles or axioms to be discovered by experimental and theoretical exploration. Idem.. Youschkevitch. History of Analytical Geometry. On the Threshold of Exact Sciences. First the analogy of natural with human art offered an invitation to simulate natural effects with artifacts made by and therefore understood by man: by discovering how to control hypothetical models of his own contrivance man could thus gain insight into the laws controlling nature itself. A. in «History of Science* IV (1965). Robert Grosseteste. M. PA 1982. and trans. cit.ptiv: Hypothetical Modelling. E. Proceedings of a Conference on the Development of the Concept of Function. The Concepts of the Calculus. 70-102. C. Thus changes in an effect (as the dependent variable) expressed as an algebraic function of the conditions necessary and sufficient to produce it (as the independent variables) could be precisely calculated from those conditions. 9 with E. The concept may seem to be implied also by the Aristotelian principle that a cause must be adequate to produce an effect. C. History of Geometrical Methods. That practice was to develop first in the technical arts. pp. cit. my Styles of Scientific Thinking. Geschichte der Mathematik in Mittelalter.. P. What made it scientifically effective was its amalgamation with two matching concepts. in «Isis» LII (1961). by S. The theological concept of ordained law became transformed into the scientific concept of natural laws. m. Philadelphia. without the systematic practice of measurement that was necessary to incorporate it effectively into experimental science. 7. in Ptolemy's systematic correlation of the degrees of refraction of light with increasing angles of incidence. pp. By itself the concept of laws of nature could scarcely have been a guide to how to conduct such an inquiry. 5. Grant. A Source Book. and therefore that there must be a quantitative proportion between a cause and its effect. in «Divus Thomas» XIX (1946).. not as moral imperatives sanctioned by right reason but as physical principles.. Yet it was evidently not until the 13th or 14th centuries that the implied notion of functional dependence between variable quantities was explicitly recognized in the West. or postulated for experimental control. Quantification in Medieval Physics. Oberwolfach Mathematisches Forschungs — Institut. Der Funktionsbegriff in der Physik des 14. pp.86 Science. O. Then it was developed first only in principle. A.Cassirer. New York 1939.. Basel 1975. of different sensations of pitch with variations in the speeds of the motions producing sound. Leipzig 1964. Maier. Crombie. in «Archive for History of Exact Sciences» XVI (1976). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Within this intellectual context the essentially theological concept of laws implanted by God in the creation of nature came to offer an invitation to man to discover and draw out these laws of nature by scientific observation and analysis. The Concept of Function up to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century. in «Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences* XXIV (1974). and for the concept of functions 'cns. vol. Jahrhunderts.. B.. Coolidge. Pedersen. Sargent. p. in «Osiris» I (1936).. cit. 145-60..~ 3. from Archytas of Tarentum and Plato to Boethius.

3-68. Galileo's Natural Philosophy (forthcoming). Neither side grasped clearly the difference that mathematical thinking made to the possibilities of apodeictic proof as envisaged traditionally in Aristotelian logic. defining general relations of dependence within which the specific phenomena were included. Crombie. Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy. L. ed. but theologians thought that by asserting that the discovered constitution of the universe could not be otherwise. 303-5. Favaro. Righini Bonelli and W.. All this can obviously not be seen as a consequence simply of a theological concept of infinite power. (45) Cf. These appeared most dramatically in the cross-purposes that bedevilled Galileo's controversies with theologians. A. (") Le Opere di Galileo Galilei. New York 1975. 20 vols. ed. When Galileo in his first letter about the sunspots (1612) announced his hope to discover «the true constitution of the universe. Florence 1890-1909. Crombie. By this time the mathematically defined general laws of nature had come to be seen to offer possibilities not given by the Aristotelian specific natures or forms or causes as the object of scientific inquiry. A. What can be seen as its consequence are expectations about the possibility of certain scientific knowledge. But that is another story discussed elsewhere (43). in Reason. to the mathematical logic of linear demonstration. 2 (1983). he used the language Aristotle used for a completed and closed system of scientific knowledge. C. V. pp. . replacing the inhibiting Greek conception that the properties of substances were present and had to be expressed as pairs of opposites. pp. real way. C. To achieve his goal Galileo in fact relied on the open-ended criterion of range of confirmation. M. A. The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and of Nature. 102) (44). by his telescopic observations and dynamical arguments. and with the analytical formulation of functional dependence by means of increasingly precise and powerful mathematical symbolism.Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature 87 to be made essential to all physical research. Experiment and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution. Shea. in «Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze» VIII. That was the constitution of the universe that must follow from true and certain knowledge of the First Principle. he was imposing limitations on divine omnipotence. It was combined then with a rational theory of quantity expressed in linear scales. Carugo and A. Crombie and Carugo. for such a constitution exists. true. It was the mathematicization alike of the form and the content of scientific argument that brought about an essential change in natural science from the syllogistic logic of subject and predicate. R. and exists in only one. 157-75. within which the causal conditions for specific phenomena were defined. that could not possibly be otherwise* (Opere.

the mathematician and architect Orazio Grassi.Galileo Galilei. . The brilliantly witty rhetoric of his argument in this work delighted the newly elected Pope Urban VIII but infuriated the Jesuit object of his irony. from II Saggiatore (1623): frontispiece.

C. 6 vol. Old and New. Cecil Grayson (Opere volgari. A shorter version of this present paper was given at Williams College. 7 (i) (1981).. pp. Crombie.D. in October 1984 on "Art and Science in Related Revolutions. pp. vol. while Visiting Bernhard Professor. i. 1960). vol.. Charles C."1 A man of virtu in Renaissance Italian. 3 (Halle an der Salle: 1917). Shirley and F. David Hoeniger (Washington. John W. Scientist. Leonardo Olschki. . 19-51: these and other papers are included in A. 1981). ed. Jaakko Hintikka. 1994). vol. vol. David Gruender. 133. at the conference organized there by Professor Samuel Y. 133-46. Crombie. Edgerton. Agazzi (Dordrecht. Gillispie. p. (New York: Harper Torchbooks. pp. Ancient Axiomatics and Galileo's Methodology: Proceedings of the 1978 Pisa Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science. Reidel. Hedley Rhys. cf. 1990). Jr. 15-16. William P. "Artist. 1970-80). 1961). for full documentation of this paper with bibliography Alistair C. i (Heidelberg: 1919)." Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze. 16 vol. vol.. 1985). and Evandro F. ^ (Leipzig: 1911). ed. Italy: Laterza. (Florence: 1891-1900). I libri della famiglia. Genius: Notes on the 'Renaissance-Dammerung'" in The Renaissance: Six Essays by Wallace K. ed. coming from the Latin virtus meaning power or ^on Battista Alberti. DC: The Folger Shakespeare Library. and Shirley and Hoeniger. Geschichte der neusprachlichen wissenschaftlichen Literatur. Erwin Panofsky. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner and Sons. MA. Ferguson et al. pp. Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition (London: Duckworth and Co. which Leon Battista Albert! used in the fifteenth century for "those excelling gifts which God gave to the soul of man. Wightman. ed. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (London: Hambledon Press. NJ: Princeton University Press. and for most of the persons named the Dictionary of Scientific Biography. and in Science and the Arts in the Renaissance. Holland: D. 111-81. Science. 1961). i. Ban." History of Science 18 (1980). also "Science and the Arts in Renaissance: The Search for Truth and Certainty. 171—186. eds. Seventeenth Century Science and the Arts (Princeton.7 Experimental Science and the Rational Artist in Early Modern Europe T HE ESSENTIAL TERM IS THE ITALIAN VIRTU. "Historical Commitments of European Science. "Philosophical Presuppositions and Shifting Interpretations of Galileo" in Theory Change. Storia del metodo sperimentale in Italia. greatest and preeminent above all other earthly animals. Science in a Renaissance Society (London: 1971). pp." For the relations between the arts and the sciences in this period there are Rafaello Caverni. Science and the Arts in the Renaissance.

and actions and also of his surroundings. and painting and music each structured mathematically to make their aesthetic or dramatic effects. historians. It was surely no accident that the same culture produced sciences and arts based alike on stable expectations. at the cultivation of private or public good by habit guided by right reason. at artistic composition. mathematicians. or as an expedient politician at calculating from the regularities of human experience the most effective form of machination. and moral life alike and it generated a common style in the mastery of self. the virtuoso aiming at reasoned and examined control alike of his own thoughts. by contrast with someone at the mercy of fortuna. and dramatists who provided the models equally for the medieval and early modern scientific movement. unforeseen and hence out of control. designing his intentions first by antecedent analysis in the mind. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought capability. which we could call the blind idiot syndrome. social. as for the contemporary visual. Also diagnostic is a particularly rational form of being blinded by reason. whether physical or moral: a mathematically and causally structured science of nature. to do as he intended. The program presupposed the stability of nature and mankind and of their relations. The conception of the man of virtu. a morally structured drama. whether he was aiming at mathematical or experimental investigation. The virtuoso was then the rational artist in all things. It was asked to translate from English into Russian. We could take the virtuoso in this sense as diagnostic of Western civilization. and literary arts. points to the essence of the moral and intellectual commitments by which the Western scientific movement was generated. intentions. This refers to a computer programmed to make translations. or nature and of mankind alike by the rational anticipation of effects. was a man with active intellectual power to command any situation.90 Science. To understand that common style we must take a long view reaching back to the Greek philosophers. musical. medical men. it entailed a commitment to an examined life of reasoned consistency in intellectual. like an architect producing a building according to his design. The conception of virtu embodied a program for relating man to the world as perceiver and knower and agent in the context of his integral moral. practical. of chance or luck. of the accidents of fortuitous circumstance. and cosmological existence. and then back again into . as distinct from other civilizations of comparable or greater age and magnitude. before executing them through the hands.

number and calculation" (Republic. pp. MA: MIT Press. out of mind.. 3 Cf.' and the 'Strange Spottedness' of the Moon. Voyage into Substance: Art. 1960). Science. 225-32. or the South Pacific. Stafford. 52. European Vision and the South Pacific: A Study in the History of Art and Ideas (Oxford: Oxford University Press.. In every culture at any time men have experienced their world through the mediation of a particular vision of existence and of knowledge. Thus wrote Plato: an architect used technical theory. Edgerton Jr. Florentine 'disegno.2 Failures of scientific comprehension have regularly accompanied the revelations of such new scientific instruments as the microscope and telescope. "Do We See Through a Microscope?" Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 62 (1981). For "all arts and forms of thought and all sciences employ . pp. as a "directive science" (Statesman 2." Art Journal (Fall 1984). "The Microscope as a Technical Frontier in Science" in Proceedings on the Royal Microscopical Society 2 (1967). Gerard L'E Turner. in this case what existed in the English language." The phrase came back from the Russian: "Blind idiot. Barbara M.60 A—B) to control the construction of a building by means of measurement and calculation. 168-97. the phrase: "Out of sight. or the Americas. Shirley and Hoeniger. The style common to the Western sciences and arts may be illustrated by a collage of examples. and "The Renaissance Development of Scientific Illustration" in Science and the Arts. and the Illustrated Travel Account. conceptual frontiers put them out of mind. providing antecedent analysis and design.. "Galileo." Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia delta Scienza di Firenze 5 (i) (1980). vii. Bernard Smith. 1984). Nature. 1760-1840 (Cambridge. 305-22. This defines their cultural style. Samuel Y. Ian Hacking. appeared in abundance in the intellectual and pictorial records of European expansion overseas. "The Influence of Theoretical Perspective on the Interpretation of Sense Data: Tycho Brahe and the New Star of 1572. . Any artist or craftsman in making something "has before his 2 Cf. which could not exist within their powerful theoretical vision.Experimental Science and the Rational A rtist 91 English. Failures of European vision to comprehend what existed. Technical frontiers may leave phenomena out of sight. pp." Problems of this kind have arisen from perceptions that oversimplify or in other ways fail to comprehend what exists. because it was unexpected.3 The history of scientific thought is strewn with examples of even the most original scientific minds failing to comprehend or even to acknowledge certain phenomena.2 C). Bernard Cohen. 175-197. 3-13. and Galileo and the Mountains on the Moon. pp. ed. pp. whether into various parts of Asia. through which will become evident the pattern in which in a diversity of contexts virtu imposed structure eventually even upon fortuna itself.

. Visual art then was like sophistry. if you are to proceed scientifically. This was his model. On one side was "the making of likenesses.0-36). But when for example the true proportions of a large sculpture were distorted to make them appear correct when seen from below. Sometimes in our perceptions "we are satisifed with the judgement of our senses" (Republic. The sophistries of rhetoric were aimed not at truth but only at persuasion. reason takes control" (x. had to discover the true nature of its object. in order to reach its goal. 602. as when apparent size varied with distance or when a straight stick partly in water looked bent. but sometimes the senses alone could not resolve the apparent contradictions or illusions produced by nature or by art.25D-6C)." For "a certain type of hearer will be easy to persuade. or by proper discourses and training to give to the soul the desired belief and virtue.92 Science. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought mind the form or idea" (x. We are no longer at the mercy of the senses. Each. like scene-painting and conjuring. but a master of persuasion might share common methods of argument with a true scientist seeking a different goal. and why. counting and weighing. Plato likened the methods of rhetoric to those of medicine. and the various ways in which souls are affected. not merely by practice and routine." At the end of his analysis the scientific rhetorician "will classify the types of discourse and the types of soul. Rhetoric had to grasp the nature of the soul in order to see how it was persuasible.. exhibiting images [eidola] of all things in a shadow-play of discourse so as to make them believe that they are hearing the truth" (2346). just as the divine maker modelled the world from the eternal forms (Timaeus 2. 536).8A-3oC. medicine had to grasp the nature of the body in order to see how it was healthy or curable: "In both cases you must analyze a nature. to impart health and strength to the body by prescribing remedies and diet. which imposed upon its listeners "by means of words that cheat the ear. this only "seems to be a likeness" but is in fact merely "a semblance [phantasma]" produced by art (Sophist 2. vii. explaining the reasons in each case: suggesting the types of speech appropriate to each type of soul. or in "many tricks of illusion. by a certain type of . 52. 596 B) of what he was to make.36). But such illusions can be dispelled by measuring. as in creating a copy that conforms to the proportions of the original in all three dimensions with every part properly coloured": this was fairly called a likeness [eikon]. and what kind of speech can be relied upon to create belief in one soul and disbelief in another. 466-480. Art then lay across the boundary between true representation and deceit.

Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 93 speech. they would be made in just the same way . and if things made by nature were made also by art. Man alone "lives by art and reasonings. The would-be master of persuasion must then suppress or substitute facts according to need and say "goodbye to the truth forever. Physical engineering and social engineering had the same form. i. Art. entailing the ability to invent by rational deliberation and choice and to learn..." Then he will be "equipped with the art complete" (Phaedrus 269D-73A)." Hence man alone could progress. to take such and such action. for such and such reason. Plato delineated very clearly in this account the goal of rational power over its subject matter that was to define the whole Western rational tradition. while another type will be hard to persuade. whether in seeking to find the truth or to persuade to belief or action." There was "absolutely no need for the budding orator to concern himself with the truth about what is just or good conduct" or "who are just and good men In the law courts nobody cares about the truth in these matters. Art by contrast imposed an external principle of change." When the student of rhetoric. and partly completes what nature cannot complete.. According to Aristotle." Thus "if the ship-building art were in the wood. ii. everything constituted by nature "has within itself a principle of motion and of stationariness" (Physics. Aristotle distinguished "mere experience" of particular sensory perceptions from "connected experience" where memory of particulars . distinguished man from other animals. it would have been made just as it is now by art. but "art imitates nature" and hence was part of natural science (ii. and persuasion of the scientific (as of the artistic) acceptability of whatever was proposed or done became as much part of the scientific tradition as demonstrative proof. having grasped the theory. "then and not till then he has well and truly achieved the art. b28).1943 22-23). could place any individual person in this classification of characters. and next he must watch it actually taking place in men's conduct. 1993 12-17. but only about persuasion. in general art partly imitates nature. it would produce the same results by nature" (ii. 8. and could know how to seize the occasion for the appropriate tricks. 2. He set out systematically for the first time in his various writings the historic fact that mastery of rational scientific understanding brought with it power to manipulate matter and mind alike. For "if a house had been made by nature. i92. All this the orator must fully grasp.b 14-15). and that is concerned with what seems most likely" for the purpose.

1032.32. it was in nature not in art that things existed "by necessity" (vi. i i39b4~5).. Thus. through practice guided by right reason. men acquired skill to control every aspect of their lives. 7. i. with contriving or considering how something may come into being which is capable of either being or not being. By art then. iv. eye. Hence "choice is either desiderative reason or ratiocinative desire. The "with things made the principle is in the maker. and artists are wiser than men of mere experience. involving a true course of reasoning. 13. productive. and hand man was the animal alone equipped for technical advance. Thus by mind.. because the former know the cause. 2. 686a 27-29). whether in the practical. 4. and could. Likewise in his moral behaviour man alone could choose and initiate his actions. the other is the discovery of the actions that will bring it about In all the arts and sciences both the end and the means should be within our control" (Politics.. vi. but really science and art come to men through experience. cultivate skill in virtue or vice as in any other art. In the latter sense "experience seems pretty much like science and art.11403 1-16).. 10. and whose origin is in the maker and not in the thing made". or in managing the plants and animals and their own bodies or their fellow men... but the latter do not" (Metaphysics." For "knowledge and understanding belong rather to art than to mere experience. and such an origin of action is a man" (Nicomachean Ethics. by practice guided by reason. For "art is identical with a state of capacity to make. or theoretical arts and sciences. or in cultivating moral virtue or vice. The fulfillment of human intelligence in the arts and sciences was made possible by the fact that "of all animals man alone stands erect. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought led to knowledge of general regularities. whether in making material artifacts. i. i.94 Science. that is. i33ib 25-37). iO25b22-3). in accordance with his godlike nature and essence" (De partibus animalium. two things were essential: "One is the choice of the right end or aim. from art proceed the things of which the form is in the soul of the artist" (vii. vii. and liberated his hands as an instrument for making both artificial things and other instruments. All art is concerned with coming into being. There was an analogy between the rational art of nature and the rational art of man: "Our wonder is excited first by phenomena which occur in accordance with nature but of which we do not know .5^1). 980025-981328). and "all makings proceed either from art or from a faculty or from thought . for this raised up with his head the most exact senses of vision and hearing. it is either reason or art or some faculty" (vi.

he did the same as the god of Plato who built the world in the Timaeus. 25. Now. i. so in politics..: Mastered by nature. the compound should always be resolved into the simple elements or least parts of the whole" (Politics. One could say of anyone who had grasped the revolutions of the heavens that "his soul is like that of whoever fashioned them in the heavens. 12523 19-24). As in other departments of science. Hence philosophical conceptions of the relation of natural science to art. the difficulty of it perplexes us and we must call art to our aid. mostly through the translations made during the previous hundred years. Tusculanae quaestiones. neither could Archimedes have been able to imitate those same movements upon a sphere without divine genius" (Cicero. The original insight by which the Greek mathematicians had . i. Apart from the Timaeus. especially Archimedes. Plato's main works became known to the Latin West only with Marsilio Ficino's Latin translations made towards the end of the fifteenth century. practically all of Aristotle was known by the middle of the thirteenth century. Thus he applied to politics as to physics "the method that has hitherto guided us. i. Later during the sixteenth century came the influence of Plato and with that of Greek mathematicians. who had provided a model of scientific argument since the twelfth century. he made one revolution of the sphere control several movements utterly unlike in slowness and speed. 61-3). c. when therefore we have to do something contrary to nature. and of the structure of scientific argument. Nature often operates contrary to human expediency. 18439^1). followed by editions of the Greek. To investigate all the diverse subject matters of art and science upon which Aristotle imposed a similar rational form. the complex whole must first be analyzed into its elementary constituents. For when Archimedes fastened on to a [metal] sphere the movements of the moon. were in early modern Europe at first predominantly Aristotelian. and the five planets. .Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 95 the cause. i. so with the state and human society. As with physical phenomena. By contrast. we overcome by art" (Mechanica. whether leading to scientific understanding or beyond that to artistic construction or engineering. the sun. he employed a likewise similar method of argument by analysis and synthesis.. so that it could be reconstructed from those elements and so scientifically understood (Physics.. and secondly by those which are produced by art despite nature for the benefit of mankind." Then by "mechanical skill. if in this world this cannot be done without a god. in addition to Euclid. 8473 lo-b 16). i. i..

in natural bodies. mechanics. and acoustics. as did Ptolemy in his Optics.. in the Sectio canonis. It was already in the twelfth century envisaged as a program by Domingo Gundisalvo. agree . to be seen in the thirteenth-century West as one of experimentally controlled postulation. searches for principles. of which the measures are expressed and demonstrated in mathematical theory." Likewise for music.. the phenomenon must follow. .." whether true or illusory. and for engineering: "The science of engines is the science for contriving how one can make all those things. accepting his postulates. The sciences of engines therefore . From this he developed in the Optics a geometrical theory of what must be seen in specified situations. optics. which took the eye as the point of origin of straight lines of vision.. that in exploring complex phenomena postulation must be controlled by observation and experiment. optics "assigns the causes by which these things are brought about... Euclid and other Greek mathematicians aimed ideally to develop their research into the phenomena purely theoretically within their geometrical or arithmetical model.. Then. and from effects to causes. Thus they exploited the speculative power of geometry by imposing upon phenomena at once its deductive logical structure and an appropriate model delineating for each its form in space. and likewise later through Alhazen. and this by necessary demonstrations. Their inquiry into the explanation of a phenomenon became a search for the simplest and fewest principles that would produce it. Euclid had established the classical postulational style first by developing in the Elements a rational theory of geometrical space. when the principles were postulated. following the tenth-century Arabic philosopher al-Farabl: "The artist" he wrote "is the natural philosopher who.96 Science." Thus for "what appears in vision. Similarly. as in the mathematical sciences of astronomy. which they had developed most successfully. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought discovered an abstract order behind the chaos of immediate experience was into a realm of simple relations. in order to decide whether a possible theoretical model yielded the consequences found in the actual world. proceeding rationally from the causes of things to the effects. he developed a theory of acoustical perception from the postulate that sounds were produced by motions standing in a numerical ratio to each other in which pitch was determined by frequency. This was to be the style of Renaissance art. The style of scientific argument in optics came thus especially through Ptolemy. Later they came to realize.

A. Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100-1700 (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1953. iv." it must be kept in high regard by anyone "who wants to know how each must work. 19 (3) Miinster: 1916). 5 Robert Grosseteste. we may see in them a style of rational justification to be repeated again and again. Alpharabius. No one was to argue more insistently than Roger Bacon for "the power of mathematics in the sciences and in the affairs and occupations of this world. in building and making machines. . so that the use we are looking for may come from them. folios iv. Handloser (Vienna: 1935). cf. Yet there are many things subject to the rule of reason which we 4 Dominicus Gundissalinus. Of these sciences the gate and key is mathematics" (Opus maius. fr. Likewise. H. Baeumker (ibid. 60. Baur (Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters. L. cf. ed.. ed. De divisione philosophae."4 Again. . De lineis. if he lacked care with his hands." Then "he will be able in a short time to correct an error which he could not do in eternity by natural philosophy and mathematics alone. pp.. C.C. iiz. That effective natural philosophy required also practical experimental art was eloquently stated by Bacon's contemporary Pierre de Maricourt in his letter of 1269."6 Without going into the questions of precisely what these general programmatic utterances meant in particular practice. 4 (1-3) Miinster: 1903). 6 Villard de Honnecourt. angulis et figuris in Die philosophischen Werke. De magnete. . without which we can usually accomplish nothing perfectly. Crombie. 19093 der Pariser Nationalbibliothek ed. L.Experimental Science and the Rational A rtist 97 teach the ways of contriving and finding out how natural bodies may be fitted together by some artifice according to number. angles and figures. ed. 1971). For in hidden operations we greatly need manual industry. De ortu scientiarum. Kritische Gesamtausgabe des Bauhuttenbuches ms. and "in order to work easily. 9 Miinster: 1912). i). For he wrote "while the investigator of this subject must understand nature ."5 Hence the need for mathematics in all natural philosophical investigations. 10. . and of what mathematics meant in different contexts and periods. in design and portraiture alike "the art of geometry commands and teaches". according to the French architect Villard de Honnecourt a generation later. i8v. Baur (Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters. i.17. p. for otherwise it is impossible to have knowledge of the reason [propter quid] concerning them.. 122. R. he must also diligently use his own hands. i9v. Robert Grosseteste wrote in the thirteenth century: "All causes of natural efforts have to be given by means of lines.

We will now go on to instruct the painter how he can represent with his hand what he has conceived with his mind.. Thus moral like scientific virtu was to be cultivated by reasoned analysis of personal and contemporary experience. 2. 9 Alberti. in the art of ciphering as in De componendis cifris. a contemporary asked of Alberti "in what class of learned men" to put him. p.. first take from mathematicians those things which seem relevant to the subject. Grayson in On Painting and On Sculpture (London: Phaedon Press."8 Alberti himself explained in 1435: "In writing about painting . . in the anatomical variations of the human body as in De sculptura. . in the relation of Italian vernacular to classical Latin as in the Regule lingue florentine. or in his theory of moral life. Commento. 36.. Neudriicke von Schriften und Karten iiber Meteorologie und Erdmagnetismus 10 Berlin: 1898). arithmetician. Certainly . De pictura book i.. And what kind of mathematics does he not know? Geometer.. sections i and Z4.. he was born only to investigate the secrets of nature. He answered: "Among the natural scientists [physici]. to make our discourse clearer... He looked everywhere also for the issue of theory in practice and thereby its confirmation by observation. we will. spora la Comedia di Danthe Algheri (Florence: 1491). ch. he wrote marvellously better than anyone for many centuries on perspective."7 Matching this rather with practical art than with natural philosophy in view. astronomer. 58. technique. 8 Cristpforo Landino. i97z).."9 Alberti exemplified in his account of the painter the active self-conscious man of virtu.. we will go on. and by discourse with other men both present and past who recorded the experience and reflections of mankind. in surveying as in the Descriptio urbis Romae and Ludi rerum mathematicarum. to explain the art of painting from the basic principles of nature. he wrote on sculpture . G. to the best of our ability. ed. ed. the rational artist who made himself effective by means of knowledge. whether in perspective painting. The ultimate aim of man in his natural life on this Earth 7 Petrus Peregrinus Maricurtensis.. Hellman (Kara magnetica. De magnete book i. He searched in all his work for an economy of explanation and of practice reached by thinking out the general principle behind each subject.. and continual practice. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought cannot investigate completely with the hand...98 Science.. and he not only wrote but also made with his own hands. Governing all his thinking was his perception of analogy within diversity. musician. He wrote on painting. in architecture as in De re aedificatoria. When we have learned these. . folio iv1..

God had endowed man with an inborn virtu. prologue. and this it was our duty to cultivate both for our own sakes and by our work "so that times past and those present will be of service to those that have not yet come" (Profugiorum ab aerumna i. and letters as a wellcomposed and controlled work of art.10 All the practical arts proceeded then from a rational analysis of the subject matter and objectives of the art to their achievement in an appropriate representation or manipulation or use of the products of the analysis. Georg Peurbach." for: "To man alone among mortals is it given to investigate the causes of things. to examine how true are his thoughts and how good are his actions" (De iciarhia i. Grayson. 2 (1966). technique. above all for "justice and truth" (ii. 3). E. Hence the necessity both for education and for that continual effort of practice in virtu. 1955).Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 99 was to cultivate himself by reason. . which alone could restrain the hazards of "unjust and malevolent fortuna" (I libri delta famiglia. When Diirer wrote that "a good painter is inwardly full of figures. optics and painting alike. Nicolaus of Cusa. 280. For Alberti it was the basis of both the personal and the social responsibility that all human activities and works entailed. pp. NJ: Princeton University Press. and again later uniting Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Diirer. Lodovico Fogliano. 122-3). 286). Opere volgari. Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli. This was the intellectual bond uniting Alberti with his contemporaries. Panofsky. vol." which pour forth "from the inner ideas of which Plato writes. pp. p. and Piero della Francesca. but its principle of reasoned control in an examined life had long been made part of traditional Christian moral theory. The Life and Art of Albrecht Diirer. 198. (Princeton. This was an Aristotelian humanist ideal viewed perhaps with skepticism by some contemporaries engaged more roughly with the real world. Practical art like natural science became at once both highly intellectualized and precisely controlled. and likewise the musicians Franchino Gaffurio. and their successors in their search for an arithmetically quantified music that accommodated the requirements of the human ear. ed. i (1960) and vol."11 he was presenting the aesthetic theory of an artist with both philosophical education and technical knowledge of 10 n Alberti. in their common search for a quantified geometrical space and techniques for its measurement in astronomy and cartography. p. At the same time he must live responsibly for the benefit of others. 4th ed. "Our first and proper use is to exert the power of our soul towards virtu. 212). p.

"15 "There is no effect in nature without reason: understand the reason and you do not need experiment. Theologica Platonica. ch. pp. McMahon (Princeton. 3 (Opera.. (Venetiis: 1501). is put together. folio 55r (Paris: Institut de France. 3. book i. book 13. fashions and forms it inwardly. Les manuscrits . 12 . NJ: Princeton University Press. artistically constructed.. De expetendius et fugiendis rebus opus."16 "Oh speculator on things. 16 Leonardo da Vinci." Since therefore man had seen and measured the order of the heavens."12 Marsilio Ficino: "What is a work of art? The mind of the artist in matter separate from it. but only he who has the same power of artistic genius [artis ingenium]. // Codico Atlantico nella Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano.." But "not just anybody can discern by what principle and in what way the work of a clever artist. human arts construct by themselves whatever nature herself constructs. 15 Leonardo da Vinci. The program became a commonplace. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought practical mathematics. 14 Leonardo da Vinci. 1956): a posthumous compilation. 19.. ch. Charles Ravaisson-Mollien. de la Bibliotheque de I'Institut.95-7... I say. "who will deny that he has a genius (so to speak) almost the same as that of the Creator of the heavens and that he could in a certain way make the heavens if he obtained the instruments and celestial matter. yet very similar in arrangement.100 Science. transcribed by G. 35 trans. for us it is necessary to proceed the other way round. Codex Urbinas Latinus 1270. ed. 2. and accordingly makes an image for himself of everything that is to be portrayed. Piumati.P. from experience and with that to investigate the reason. Thus Giorgio Valla: "the artist reasons when he wants something for himself. A. ch. i. 13 Marsilius Ficinus. chs. but. Basilae: 1576). but painting cannot achieve its perfection without manual operation.."13 Leonardo da Vinci: "Astronomy and the other sciences proceed by means of manual operations."14 But "although nature starts from the reason and finishes at experience. I do not praise you for knowing the things that nature through her order naturally brings about ordinarily by herself. Treatise on Painting. though of other matter. that is starting. book i. provided materials were not lacking. And he who discerns on account of similarity of genius could certainly construct the same things when he had recognized them. book 4. which is first in the mind of him who theorizes on it. rejoice in knowing the end of those things which Giorgius Valla. 1x3. but first they are mental as is painting. What is a work of nature? The mind of nature in matter united with it. as if we were not slaves of nature but rivals. And what is remarkable. since he makes them now.. . 1888). folio i47v (Milan: 1894-1904). Codex E...

mechanic or mechanical operator."18 "Machina Mechanics. Les manuscrits Codex G. and . in order to make more certain of the success of the works.. ed.. 4) exemplified in the celestial revolutions. Proclus's neoplatonic commentary on the first book of Euclid's Elements. And that furthermore . 9. Vitruvio. Thus Vitruvius on the architect: "His works are born from both construction and reasoning" (i. Ravaisson-Mollien.. vulgare. will proceed first with the design and the model. "A proposito di un errore dei traduttori di Vitruvio nel '500. commentati. stratagem. Men learned to devise the machines [machinae] and instruments [organi] necessary for improving the material arts by imitating the "devised nature [natura machinata] " (x. folio 47' (Paris: 1890). traducti de latino in.. p.. see Paolo Galluzzi. he will imitate nature. 20 See the preface of Daniele Barbaro. De architectura libri dece. 18 Marcus Lucius Vitruvius Pollio. thinking."19 Daniele Barbaro in the principal sixteenth-century Italian commentary on Vitruvius wrote of Michelangelo that "the artist works first in the intellect and conceives in the mind.. and Vitruvius's De architectura.. and matter so to speak is deaf... is commendable whether for its basic imitative resemblance to the divine work of the construction of the world.. book 10. ibid.. Yet he will not search for Leonardo da Vinci. 78-80. I deliberate. or for the great and memorable usefulness reached. I think out.Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 101 are designed by your own mind... i). and then signs the external matter with the internal habit. 17 . whence undertaking.."17 Four ancient works that were to propel in this same direction conceptions developed in the sixteenth century of the relations between the arts and sciences were the Aristotelian Mechanica. i... tradutti e commentati (Venice: 1556).. .. has been put into practice through a burning desire to produce in sensible works with their own hands that which they have thought out with the mind. ch. An exegesis of these terms given in the philological commentary on the earliest Italian translation (in 152. . pp."20 But "the intellect of man is imperfect and not equal to the divine intellect. book i. Hero of Alexandria's Automata.' " Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze i (z) (1976)." Hence "the architect must think very well and. 3 (Como: 1521) folio 18: begun by Cesare Cesariano and completed by Benedetto Giovio and Bono Mauro. affigurati. and the hand does not respond to the intention of art. ch.. machine and . which does not do anything against its maker.1) made the essential point: "Machinatio .... i. i commentary folio i6zv.. may be derived from I cunningly contrive. 19 Vitruvius. I died libri dell' Architettura di M...

either as to the matter or as to the form. changing. Pappus. he offered as a method of antecedent analysis in any undertaking the construction of "small and large models [modelli]. seems to be striving designedly to produce every hour more ingenious instruments [artificiosi organi]. for "I remembered. or the degree of the proportions." Thus he could conveniently bring together the "numerous observations" that had to be made and kept "in the mind in order to achieve some new and important effect. Archimedes.102 Science. required it. and removing many things according to whether the condition of the material. or the coming together of many far and near causes. insisted that "I am accustomed to practice both with the mind and with works". that no science or art aimed at action can be perfectly possessed by anyone who may know its precepts but does not then confirm them with a variety of experiments [esperienze] many times and finally succeeding. p. adding. i (3). as if become mechanical [quasi divenuta mecanica] in the construction of the world and of all forms of things." There was a powerful precedent for "putting into execution so many beautiful mathematical and physical reasons. engineer and scholar of Greek mathematics. and other Greek mathematicians from the collection made at Milan by Giorgio Valla. or the variety of means. as was well said by Aristotle and Galen. Putting theory into practice. Thus Giuseppe Ceredi. seeing that nature herself. by so arranging things as nature herself would do if she 21 22 Ibid. which neither he nor others can accomplish. or the force of motions. z6.. . or many other impediments that one can encounter. Tre discorsi sopra il modo d'alzar acque da' luoghi bassi." For in order "to bring them properly together and to direct them firmly to the prescribed work."22 Again Guidobaldo del Monte pointed out that "art with wonderful skill overcomes nature through nature herself. book i (Parma: 1567)." errors had to be recognized "from experience and so corrected by reason that at last one comes to the perfection of art and to the stable production of the effect that is expected." Theory had been opened up for Ceredi by his being sold some manuscripts of Hero of Alexandria."21 The limits of the possible in nature were brought into sharp focus by these rational artists whose essential purpose was to succeed in the practical execution of their projects. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought impossible things. Giuseppe Ceredi.

Antonio Favaro (Le Opere z Florence: G. In duos Archimidis Aequeponderantiutn libros paraphrasis scholiis illustrate. ed. Galileo was defining the identity at once of nature and of natural science when he commented on engineers who "would apply their engines to works of their own nature impossible: in the success of which both they themselves have been deceived. as if. trans. . the navigation of a ship across the ocean. p.. delighting in painting. but impossible And. art was seen to deprive nature of her mysteries and to achieve its mastery by reasoned foresight.Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 103 decided that such effects should be produced by herself. "and all the arts subordinate to 23 24 Guidobaldus e Marchio Montis. by Adriano Carugo. sculpture. by means of which alone was it possible to penetrate any of the infinite mysteries of nature. f. 317'."23 Art then could not cheat nature. p. and manipulating natural laws. the design and control of a machine. architecture. the composition of music. Robert Payne (1636): transcribed from the British Museum MS Harley 6796. with increasing quantification and measurement.. or optimistically the diagnosis. 1968). the "main doors" through which it entered in order to do so were "observations and experiments. but by discovering. obeying. and control of a disease or even of the affairs of state."24 Galileo's last pupil and first biographer Vincenzo Viviani wrote significantly that for him "the book of nature" was "always open to those who enjoyed reading and studying it with the eyes of the intellect. showing in the First Day of the Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638) "a marvellous understanding of" the theory of music. Galileo Galilei. and others also defrauded of the hopes they had conceiv'd upon their promeses .." Viviani drew attention to Galileo's training both in music (through his father Vincenzo Galilei). which could be opened by the noblest and most inquisitive intellects by means of the keys of the senses. 155. z." and in perspective drawing (at the Florentine Accademia del Disegno). with their engines they could cosen nature" and her "inviolable laws. it were not only absurd. If the intellect did the reading. Preface (Pesauri: 1588).. all wonder ceases in us of that effect which goes not a poynt out of the bounds of nature's constitution. Le mecaniche. figures. whether in the representation of a visual scene." For "this is according to the necessary constitution of nature Nay if it were otherwise. Barbara. prognosis. national edition. and conclusions of geometry." He said that the letters in which it was written were the propositions..

"The Primary Properties and Secondary Qualities in Galileo Galilei's Natural Philosophy" in Saggi su Galilei (Florence: G. 625. That is what emerges from our collage of examples stretching from Plato to Galileo. pp. Styles of Scientific Thinking. This then led him to the experiments by which he decided whether that possible motion was realized in the actual world. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought design. plastic. Le Opere 19). cf. cf. Barbera. The common element in these intellectual movements and the channel of their mutual influence seems to have been their common form of argument: their common use of postulation controlled by practical experience and experiment. A. 9-11. It extended much more widely than those examples. "The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and of Nature. pp. Le Opere 17. A. to the whole conduct of life by the man of virtu. Thus Galileo wrote of his law of falling bodies: "I argue ex suppositione. following the example of Archimedes. whether in the mechanical. But we should not confuse Machiavelli's moral intentions with his analysis of the technique that would enable the political virtuoso to succeed as a blackguard if he so chose. or musical arts or in the experimental sciences. pp. preprint 1969). 627. imagining a motion"26 that might be possible. ibid. 11-13.1637." Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze 8 (2) (1983). 1639. or by modelling a theory with an artifact 25 Vicenzo Viviani. Galileo marks the transition between two great European intellectual movements each in its own way dominated by mathematical rationality: the transition from the world of the rational constructive artist to that of the rational experimental scientist. quantified as the subject matter allowed. to Giovanni Battista Baliani. June 5. 90-1. who knew how to proceed with rational intent in the control at once of argument and of a variety of materials and activities. 1-68. visual.104 Science. January 7.C. In the same style the rational artist achieved a common mastery of his materials. Carugo and Crombie. The experimental philosopher as rational artist might make his antecedent analysis by means of theory alone. This was the style also of the right reason of Aristotelian ethics. . by an antecedent analysis providing a rational anticipation of effects. Chs. exemplified by the moral and political philosophy of Thomas More and more ambiguously of Machiavelli. Crombie. "Racconto istorica della vita di Galileo" (1654."25 Living from Michelangelo's death to Newton's birth. 18. pp.. 26 Galileo to Pierre de Carcavy.

they also provided models for the physiological operation of the eye. Crombie. They were both in different ways creating theoretical models. "The Mechanistic Hypothesis and the Scientific Study of Vision. Painters from the time of Alberti used scientific optics to carry out an analysis of visual clues. The invasion of science by art through the method of hypothetical modelling went very deep during the seventeenth century. Galileo was behaving in a way just like his exact contemporary Shakespeare. "Mathematics. had first to learn how to make. . Les questions theologiques. ou la naissance du mecanisme (Paris: J. morales. which inhibited a purely geometrical physical analysis. as one can demonstrate in considering mathematics. at least when they tackled some problems. by means of which they could construct a painting by simulating those clues: that is as a perceptual model imitating the natural clues in true perspective.27 To know then we might say that physiologists. cf. when he offered an analysis of human character in his imaginary world which we recognize at once as true of our real experience. He treated the eye as a camera obscura containing a lens. 1971)." Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society ^ (1967). nor other sciences than those of which he makes the principles himself. and it is through the model in its various forms that the interpenetration of art and science can be seen at its most telling. Marin Mersenne. et mathematiques. Robert Lenoble. Vrin. question 22 (Paris: 1634) in. Optics and Music. Blanchard. in explaining the technique of perspective painting. Thus wrote Marin Mersenne: "One is constrained to acknowledge that man is not capable of knowing the reason for anything other than that which he can make." Actes du XIIe Congres International d'Histoire des Sciences. 195-310. Marin Mersenne. To make then they had first to know.C. Kepler solved the problem of the formation of the retinal image by first isolating the geometrical optics of the eye from the questions of causation and perception. For some natural philosophers indeed art seemed to have taken over the epistemology of natural science altogether. pp. At the same time their perceptual models affected the way people looked at the natural world and what they saw in it. Conversely. Music and Medical Science."28 Again in examining physical things "we must not be surprised if we cannot find the true reasons for the way they 27 28 A. 1943). Scientist and artist alike were creating possible worlds that would in some way explain the real world of experience. inherited within the package of ancient and medieval theories of vision. republished in Science. 3-111. pp.Experimental Science and the Rational Artist \05 analytically imitating and extending the natural original. Paris 1968 (Paris: A. Crombie. physiques.

Les raisons des forces mouvantes avec diverses machines tant utiles que plaisantes. 125—32. "Galileo. 1972). IL: Chicago University Press. . At the same time it generated expectations in those familiar with it of what they should be seeing to produce a given set of clues received. 30 Edgerton. to name only two. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought act or are acted upon. The immediate effects were apparent in the views and in the sixteenth-century plans drawn of cities. Florentine 'disegno. Salomon de Caus. Harmonic universelle. 2. and in the depiction of the external and internal structures of animals. Eg. we cannot make a single one. vol. Leon Battista Alberti: Universal Man of the Early Renaissance 32 (Chicago. 1969). and because.32 29 Marin Mersenne. designed their machinery by inventive drawing before construction. p. 168-97. As Images Unwind: Ancient and Modern Theories of Visual Perception (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.' and the 'Strange Spottedness' of the Moon. The analysis of visual clues carried out for the purposes of perspective painting showed what must be seen when these were present. because we know the true reasons only for things that we can make with the hand or with the mind. "The Renaissance Development of Scientific Illustration. of all the things that God has made. in cartography.106 Science. whatever subtlety or effort we bring to it. cf. "Nouvelles observations physiques et mathematiques" (Paris: 1637). and of machines. Willem van Hoorn. plants. aus quelles sont adoints plusieurs desseigns de grottes et fontaines (Frankfurt.31 and that Descartes expected to find in the animal body a kind of mechanism analogous to mechanisms made familiar in printed illustrations. minerals. It seems that the engineers Mariano di Jacopo. and Francesco di Giorgio Martini." pp."29 The experimental natural philosophers and the rational artists were creating possible worlds for themselves and each other and for a wider public in more ways than one. 31 Edgerton. Germany: 1615). besides which God could have made them in some other way. Thus Galileo with training in perspective and chiaroscuro saw and drew through his telescope in 1609 mountains and valleys on the moon." pp.30 Likewise the exact measurement and true scaling required by linear perspective completely transformed the communication of information in the sciences and technical arts through pictorial illustrations. 8. also Joan Gadol. called Taccola. Depiction became an instrument of scientific research. just as they could be seen and touched on an indented stone ball. Thomas Harriot with no such training saw through a comparable instrument in the same year only strange spots.

The 33 Mersenne. 295-310. 91-137. effects and properties of sounds. and of everything that belongs to them. "Marin Mersenne (1588-1648) and the Seventeenth-Century Problem of Scientific Acceptability. The judgements of the ear could often differ from the expectations of mathematical theory. 59-73. pp. like that of perspective.Experimental Science and the Rational A rtist 10 7 Matching perspective painting within the mathematical and experimental arts and sciences. which are the movements. cf." Physis 17 (1975). "Music as a Model in Early Science. Rhys. the Traite de I'harmonic universelle (1627)."33 He developed his science of music as a program of systematic measurement of the acoustical quantities effecting hearing. "Mathematics. pp. 1984). 9-. Music and Medical Science." pp. 3. for music Claude V. Reidel. concerts. all attempts to establish a scientifically rational control over musical composition foundered on the pecularities of auditory as of visual perception in providing aesthetic pleasure through art. of composition through a calculus of permutations and combinations of notes." History of Science zo (1982). Again he aimed to show how through scientific analysis to achieve rational control: of musical perception and its effects on the emotions. The science of music. section 4. Shirley and Hoeniger. was music. ed. and of information communicated through sound leading to a theory of language. which established a unique style of thought and action in early modern Europe. "The Science of Sound and Musical Practice" in Science and the Arts. 2. tunes. Kassler. and the other bodies that produce sound. Perkin Walker. book i. ch. combined with an analysis on one side of the physics of sound producing these external quantities. "Empiricism and Musical Thought" in Seventeenth Century Science. Traite de I'harmonie universelle. Styles of Scientific Thinking. "and consequently a science that shows the causes. ed. Jamie C. and on the other of the internal processes mediating sensation and its effects on the soul. "Music is a part of mathematics" he opened his first musical essay. pp. Palisca. It was Mersenne who finally developed the science of music as a systematic exploration of a whole subject matter. 1580-1650 (Dordrecht: D. was concerned primarily with the identification and quantitative analysis of clues to sensations: the acoustical quantities expressible in numbers which stimulated the diversities of auditory perception. . 103-39. 186-204. Crombie. Floris Cohen. the air. Studies in Musical Science in the Renaissance (London: Warburg Institute." The science of music depended then on arithmetic and geometry "but also on physics from which it borrows knowledge of sound and of its causes. As in painting. Quantifying Music: The Science of Music in the First Stage of the Scientific Revolution. H. Marin Mersenne and the Science of Music (forthcoming). 1978). pp. D. theorem i (Paris: 1617). pp.

Thus to investigate the acoustical phenomena of vibrating strings (fundamental in musical theory since Pythagoras) he stretched two strings on a monochord. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought science of music. Palisca. Beyond that. et des mouvemens de toutes sortes de corps. and adjusted the remaining variable quantity in this string until it sounded in unison with. 34 . but he exemplifies once more the rational artist in his aim to stabilize all auditory experience by scientific theory covering sounds and sensations. Quantifying Music.34 Mersenne recognized this. notably in exploring the relation of aesthetic pleasure to mathematical proportions and physical motions in consonance and dissonance. Cohen. by measuring the actual frequencies (as distinct from their ratios) producing different pitches and intervals he demonstrated experimentally for the first time that the musical intervals were determined by frequencies of vibrations of the air. In this way he completed the work 'of Giambattista Benedetti. difference. and the effects of cultural habits. Walker. and their changes. In the other he kept all the relevant quantities (length. their aesthetic effects. 167. and their functions in human and animal communication. Vincenzo Galilei. the control. specific weight) constant except one. He went on to explore. clarified this important question. "Scientific Empiricism and Musical Thought". Studies in Musical Science in the Renaissance. and measure further acoustical quantities: the upper and lower limits of audible frequency and pitch and their variation in different individuals. the speed and loudness of sound. "Traitez de la nature des sons. i. familiarity. the Cf. and hence vibrated with the same frequency as. and the relation of loudness to distance. One was the control. even though there might be general agreement among knowledgeable persons within any particular period or culture. 35 Mersenne. Styles of Scientific Thinking. developed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He based his experimental analysis on the logic of agreement. whatever their source. Harmonie universelle vol. the expectations of the ear. Through his systematic conception and practice of acoustical "experiences bien reglees et bien faites"35 Mersenne became a major architect of the modern experimental argument. Aesthetic judgements thus differed essentially from those of science. distinguish. Crombie. p." Book 3.108 Science. and others in establishing the relations of frequency (hence pitch) to these quantities. Isaac Beeckman. proposition v (Paris: 1636). and concomitant variations with an explicit use of experimental controls. tension.

36 Mersenne's style as a rational artist is well illustrated by two examples concerning in two different ways the control of information. cf. prop. "Mathematics. "Traitez . 140-6. xxii.. Les questions theologiques. and his rethinking of the physiological coordination of behavior. consonance.37 Thus he could generalize experimental information beyond its receipt by a particular sense. 10 (Paris: 1625). xvi-xx. Again Mersenne's model was music. his attempt to account for the reception and communication of information in men and animals firmly by empirical and experimental investigations. 2. xvii. "De Putilite de Pharmonie. pp. xii." prop. physiques. z." without hearing anything. des sons . i. 38 Ibid. vol.. props. 36 . and would reunite mankind whose common understanding of meaning through a common reason had been disintegrated by the diversification of languages following the diverse and separate historical experiences of different peoples. pp. 316-22. 39-41. props. especially props.. By treating the ratios of the frequency of strings to the quantities determining it as in effect an acoustical function. 3. xlvii-1. vol." vol.." book i. and so on. Basing his linguistic experiments on a calculus of permutations and combinations of a given set of elements that he had already developed for musical composition. harmonics. or machines. animals. pp. pp. 548.." book i. prop.. Even more generally. Harmonic universelle vol. also La verite des sciences. 65-77. pp. 43.. by adjusting these quantities in accordance with the "general rules" embodied in this function. led him to look for the common elements in all human languages and beyond these in all forms of communication whether by human beings. he showed how a "deaf man could put them at any consonance he wished. ch. xxiv.. This would redeem the scandal of Babel. Marin (1588-1648)" in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography 9 (1974). 37 Mersenne. "Traitez des instrumens. he proposed to devise a system of notations that could be expressed symbolically in music. "Traitez de la voix ." and "Mersenne. temperament. vii (1637). Music and Medical Science. pp. vol. 544-80. 123-6. pp. i. book 3. In this analysis he saw a possible means of inventing a new universal language for communication among all mankind. dissonance.. 42-52. 12-13. For the benefit of the deaf he drew up a table showing the quantities that would produce the different notes of an octave.Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 109 phenomena of resonance. his conception of human and animal language as both biological and social phenomena.38 Increasing European awareness of the diversity of the cultures of the world and of the relativity of human values and expectations directed attention in the seventeenth See for these investigations Crombie. ix.

however clearly defined by some leading scientific virtuosi in the seventeenth morales. 79-81. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought century to the diversity of the perceptual worlds inhabited by different peoples. 47-55. 7." "Marin Mersenne (1588—1648) and the Seventeenth-Century of Scientific Acceptability. Music and Medical Science". and also by animals. When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf (New York: Random House.110 Science. lii.. ch. Crombie. Within a general and conventional agreement that trial by experiment was the ultimate test. cf. Der Turmbau von Babel: Geschichte der Meinung iiber Ursprung und Vielfalt der Sprachen und Volker. Theoretical expectations could open inquiry in certain directions and close it in others. pp. Les questions theologiques. 3. pp. Crombie. From Locke to Saussure: Essays on the Study of Language and Intellectual History (Minneapolis." book i prop. ou la naissance du mecanisme.. (Stuttgart: 1957-63). and Traite de I'harmonie universelle. Thomas Willis. pp. pp. Following his analysis of music and the voice he proposed a method (already used in Spain by Pedro Ponce of Leon) of teaching the deaf to speak by showing them how to form the tongue and lips in appropriate positions and then associating these with written words and with the things they signified. Marin Mersenne. 1984). 158-65 (expurgated edition). David Wright. props. England: Cambridge University Press.40 Thus the science of music. 39 Mersenne. Hans Aarsleff.. 77-9. morales. physiques. could restore personal dignity and bring about the unity of mankind within the rational and stable harmonic universelle that God had chosen to exhibit. Les preludes de I'harmonie universelle. created expectations of what could or what could not be found by experimental inquiry. including in it all the phenomena of sound. MA: Harvard University Press. section 4. Music and Medical Science. both in the structure of his physical creation and in the information about it that men were able to discover and communicate. section i. cf. cf. 150-7. The Deaf Experience (Cambridge. Lenoble. et mathematiques question 34 (Paris: 1634). both in general and in particular. "Mathematics. "Mathematics. 7-15. Harlan Lane. . 1969). 11-12. Deafness (London: Allen Lane. Questions harmoniques.. The boundaries of rationality either of nature or of scientific knowledge. De anima brutorem (Oxford: 1672). xxxviii-xli. 4 vol. a diversity of theories of what existed or could exist in nature.. et mathematiques. question 6 (Paris: 1634). x-xi.39 Deaf mutes likewise raised the question of the mental world of persons deprived of a sense." and Styles of Scientific Thinking. Universal Languages and Scientific Taxonomy in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge. li. 40 Mersenne. Antecedent theoretical analysis could direct the experimental argument in different ways. 1982). Mersenne. 1984). v-xiv.. questions 1—3 (Paris: 1634). pp. Mary Slaughter. ch. "Traitez de la voix . MN: 1982). Arno Borst." book i props. "Traitez de la voix . Harmonie universelle.

His quarrel with Robert Fludd. 86. 1652 in The Circulation of the Blood. Kenneth J. even though the evidence was available. who formed in his mind a conception of what he would represent in Cf. p. Kepler. Wolfgang Pauli. Thus experiment and mathematics could have different meanings within inquiries directed by different preconceptions of what was discoverable in nature. William Gilbert's theoretical expectations obstructed for a generation recognition that the declination of the magnetic needle from true north varied in the course of time. Between the absolutely different mental worlds they inhabited. Jung and Pauli. and their results could give different satisfactions according to whether what was supposed to be discoverable could be interpreted as having been discovered. for example. 43 William Harvey to Robert Morrison. England: Cambridge University Press. The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. "The Influence of Archetypal Ideas on the Scientific Theories of Kepler" in Carl G. and that "nature never does anything thoughtlessly. trans."43 Harvey was well aware of the analogy between the rational artist. The Mathematical Practitioners of Tudor and Stuart England (Cambridge. 42 Cf. 1955). there could be evidently no communication.R.41 Theory well supported by experimental argument could also blind even the most rational natural philosophers to unexpected experimental novelties. Taylor. was that Fludd would not agree to acceptable experimental criteria for believing rather in one kind of world than in another. who shared something of the same vision. were never accepted within all the diverse intellectual and social contexts concerned. and he insisted throughout that the proportions postulated must agree with observation. they could not agree even on what was being measured. Eva G. 1955). April 28. looked with neoplatonic vision for harmony in nature expressed in simple mathematical proportions supported by sound metaphysical reasons. Franklin (Oxford: Oxford University Press.42 William Harvey refused to accept that the lacteal vessels and thoracic duct discovered by Gasparo Aselli and the receptaculum chyli discovered by Jean Pequet had any function in the transport of nourishment from the intestines to the body: he objected theoretically on the grounds that these vessels were not found in all animals whereas the necessity for such transport was universal. 41 .Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 111 century. that the mesenteric veins were sufficient. 1957). so that when Fludd cited measurements made with his weather glass (a kind of thermometer). the one as a scientific rational artist and the other as a Hermetic magician.

and the rational experimental scientist who proceeded likewise by an antecedent theoretical and quantitative analysis of his subject matter. that positive reasons must be required for ^Harvey. . precision. implanted in the artists minde. and range of techniques of logical. translated as Anatomical Exercitations Concerning the Generation of Living Animals (London: 1653). led to the conclusion that scientific art alone could yield the only certainly true science of nature available to us. or science by the other. by the very same we attain any kinde of science or knowledge whatever: for as art is a habit whose object is something to be done. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought his painting and how he would do so. And in the same way by which we gaine in art. mathematical. without a direction from ideas. so this latter. Exercitationes de generatione animalium. Scientific thinking has nearly always been guided or stimulated by ideas or beliefs coming from outside the strict boundaries of scientific demonstration. 1651). For "art itself is nothing but the reason of work. scientific experience itself brought about a recognition. so science is a habit. The response in scientific method was a dramatic increase in the «power. The response in epistemology was a stricter and stricter examination of what scientific investigation could be accepted as having established. the contrast between the acknowledged successes of the mathematical and technical sciences and arts in solving specific and clearly defined problems. within an increasingly professional scientific community. and instrumental analysis.112 Science. Preface (London. achieving their objectives by a similar intellectual behavior. Within the ambience of a certain general philosophical skepticism. from the knowledge of things naturall. scientific and epistemological. mastering their subject matters by an analytical anticipation of effects."44 Experimental scientist and rational artist were then both alike exemplary men of virtu. "since it is impossible that art should rightly be purchased by the one. and committed to an examined life of reasoned consistency in all things. In this context the rapid extension in the seventeenth century of scientific experience of the exploration of nature generated its own critical response. whose object is something to be known. This was twofold. Through the seventeenth century. The source of both is from sense and experience" (with the Aristotelian meanings respectively of particular sensory perceptions and connected experience of their regularities). and as the former proceedeth from the imitation of exemplars. and the disputed claims of metaphysicians to true and certain knowledge of the whole essence of existence.

and reconciling what seemed contraries."46 Scientifically that may be said to have removed some aspects of the game of life from the long accepted realm of irrational fortune and personal luck into that of impersonal calculation. The scientific movement. Crombie. "Contingent Expectation and Uncertain Choice: Historical Contexts of Arguments from Probabilities" in The Rational Arts of Living. joining mathematical demonstrations with the uncertainty of chance. republished in Crombie. taking its name from both.C. . 1987). of contingent expectation and uncertain choice? One aspect of that realm was mastered by reason through the calculus of probability. that it participates in its certainty and now boldly progresses. Historical Studies in Scientific Thinking. A. Thus as Pascal wrote "what was rebellious to experience has not escaped the dominion of reason.Experimental Science and the Rational Artist 113 accepting such beliefs as valid or relevant within a scientific argument. 1986). 1963). But what about those other seemingly irrational aspects of 45 Cf. came then to base the acceptability of scientific explanations on a criterion of art: the range of experimental confirmation on an open frontier.C. A. MA: Smith College Studies in History. Crombie and Nancy G. Siraisi (Northampton. The triumphal march of rational virtu towards control of scientific ideas of all kinds received at this point a check. pp. propelled by a deliberate combination of a theoretical search for common forms of explanation with a practical demand for accurately reproducible results. Paris: Editions du Seuil. Louis Lafuma (Oeuvres completes. developed first in the context of commercial insurance and partnerships from the fourteenth century in Italy.C. ch. ed. it justly arrogates to itself this stupendous title: the geometry of chance [aleae geometria]. capable of yielding not certainty but only probability to a degree increasing with its range. "Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature: A Medieval Speculation" in L'infinito nella scienza (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana. Styles of Scientific Thinking. And so. Indeed we have reduced it by geometry with so much security to an exact art. from experienced scientific skepticism supported by theology: the doctrine of the omnipotent Creator which reduced the world from the human point of view to contingent regularities of fact. 101-3. A. 18. "Adresse a 1'Academic Parisienne" (1644). the realm of untidy accidents and unfathomable motivations. cf. ed. Crombie. indicated by Mersenne. and reduced by Pascal and Christiaan Huygens to an exactly calculated expectation at any point of time. cf.45 What then about the realm of fortuna that virtu aimed to master. 46 Blaise Pascal.

the dramatic irrationalism of our time has sensitized our minds to its counterparts in earlier periods. . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought human motivation that have always been recurrently part of our culture: the temptations of magic or demonology for example. too long. commitments.114 Science. however irrelevant it may seem to the history of the problems solved by science or art. in the past as in the present. getting to the viewpoint of its motivations. It has reverberated through our century like a Wagnerian opera: too loud. in the minds of its historians as of their subjects. and expectations. How should a historian of virtu treat it? Certainly not like a blind idiot. Rather he can use his rational judgement as a kind of comparative historical anthropologist. or the apparently deliberate cultivation of evil or the desire to destroy or deconstruct from whatever motive but for no evidently positive end? Out of sight in ages of reason.

8. vii (1791) 107 sqq. Carguo. other major chairs were in philosophy. . 2 Bortolotti. 173-4: 'Seguica la filosofia di Aristotele a dominar nelle Scuole della Romana Universita. and Girolamo Cardano (1501-76) worked there on mathematics while holding a lectureship in medicine from 1562 to 1570. . Tiraboschi. . Domenico Maria Novara (1454-1504) of Ferrara held a lectureship in Bologna in astronomy from 1483 to 1504. nascevano specialmente dal non accopiarvi lo studio delle matematiche. 'Histoire des universites'. 151 sqq. and for Cardano at Rome during 1571-76 see pp.. il Vives al principio del secolo XVI. 3 Bortolotti. 5 Renazzi. ' (1933). Carugo for nn.8 Mathematics and Platonism in the Sixteenth-Century Italian Universities and in Jesuit Educational Policy1 Chairs or lectureships for different parts of the Arts 'quadrivium' seem to have existed from the end of the fourteenth century in Bologna (arithmetic 1384-5. The use by the original publisher of inverted commas instead of italics in the titles of books and journals has been left unchanged. Bortolotti. e illustrarle con 1 . segnato le dritte vie. 6 and 95. Luca Pacioli one in mathematics in 1501-2. 24-33. 219-20. 61-6. astronomy and medicine. astrology with the duty to teach Euclid and algorithm 1405. . For mathematics in 16th-century Italy cf. 'Geschichte' . dTrsay.C. ' (1928). che cominciavano altrove a lampeggiare sul vasto campo delle filosofiche discipline. 'La matematica in Italia . egli e vero. Information has been supplied by Dr. . Crombie and A. 'Storia dell' Universita . . non erano ancor giunti a penetrare nelle Scuole Romane. 165-7. Que' raggi di vivo splendore. iii (1840) 101 sqq. che batter conveniva per rettamente filosofare. nel suo eccellente libro 'De corruptis disciplinis'. ne ancor sorto era alcuno a contrastarle 1'antico suo impero. 44-51. . ii (1935) 2-3. 4 Renazzi. Aveva.'ii. 'La storia delle matematiche nell' Universita di Bologna' (1947) 22.4 The Roman philosophers according to the historian of the university5 were predominantly This paper is based on A. e della geometria. . What follows is based on published sources: there is a great need to pursue these questions in university archives. 'Histoire des sciences mathematiques'.3 At the reform of the University of Rome by Leo X in 1514 two professors of mathematics were appointed. Galileo's Natural Philosophy (forthcoming). For the name Sapienza revived for the university by Gregory XIII in 1568 see pp. Olschki.. esp. Libri. Gio mosse nel secole XVI parecchi profondi ingegni a coltivarle. one being Pacioli. 24. 74-6. Gia secondo il consiglio di Platone. 'La storia . su cui noi qul c'aggiriamo. 'Studi e ricerche sulla storia della matematica in Italia . ' (1947) 20. allo studio della filosofia i piu accorti e saggi facevano agl'iniziandi premettere quello degli elementi dell'algebra. che i difetti degli studj sin'allora usitati. Imperciocche si era da quelli capita. cf. ii (1804) 24-30. arithmetic and geometry 1443)2 and perhaps elsewhere in Italy. i. . 'Storia della letteratura Italiana'. 50-1. di Roma'. i (1933) 240. ibid. .

XI. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought medical and Aristotelian. 8 Fabronius. 174-7. cl. 'Relatione della corte di Roma e de 'riti da osservarsi in essa e de'suoi Magistrati et Officii. MS Add. Pisa had a mathematical chair in 1484. where he is remembered as having 'belli pensieri circa la doctrina di Platone. ff. continuassero a spiegar. no.B. 'Storia . Giambattista Raimondi (c. .. e se nel tempo di cui qui trattiamo. fu il sostanzioso e utilissimo frutto. adjungendumque illius usum ad physicas res. Under his supervision. xx 515. et di Aristotele.8 With the renovation of the impegno maggior. e rimettervi il gia abbandonato Platone. ac praesertim Archimedes vir prope divinus contulissent ad amplificandos geometriae fines.116 Science. In fatti la giustezza di pensare. di Firenze. including Avicenna's 'Canon' (1593) and Nasir addin's edition of Euclid (1594). e si dimostrano. Raimondi see Girolamo Lunadoro. Persian and Turkish dictionaries and his learning in theology. che le astratte verita. 177: 'Un'altra cosa pure del Raimondi deesi qui accennare. che il dilatamento. 1536-1614). is said to have led the way through his lectures in toppling Aristotle from the philosophical throne and replacing him by Plato. mathematics on the contrary was cultivated on Plato's advice as the best introduction to philosophy. in the famous 'Stamperia medicea' attached to the Collegio Romano. che cioe fu esso un dei primi ad alzar nei suoi discorsi bandiera contro Aristotele e a preparar in Roma la letteraria rivoluzione di rovesciarlo dal filosofico trono. Lo spirito geometrico nato da tale studio e di maggior importanza e giovamento. e sostenere dalle cattedre Aristotele con indefessa fatica. 'uno delli libri necessarii per la intelligenza della scienza resolutiva. cf. che in seguito s'introdussero a poco a poco in tutte le scienze. 107. 7 Renazzi. He also mentions his work on Arabic.6 appointed to the mathematical chair in 1576 and also an oriental linguist. Ma tra noi i filosofi troppo altamente erano prevenuti per le dottrine peripatetiche. Raimondi was in great favour with Pope Clement VIII (Ippolito Aldobrandini) and especially with his nephew Cinzio Aldobrandini.7 From the middle of the sixteenth century an effort was made to foster the mathematical sciences by establishing chairs or lectureships in other Italian universities. in ambi due questi auttori'. quern quod ni Euclide continentur'. '. et qui hanc profitebantur scientiam. la precisione dell'idee. and for his dedication to mathematical sciences. . This passage from Lunadoro's book was excerpted by John Pell. 85. 1635) 63-5. e con ardente entusiamo? La maggior parte dei Romani Maestri erano medici di professione come andremo divisando nel produrne qui ora il catalago. e dotti. On G. Raimondi left an unprinted commentary on Pappus. che e nelle mathematiche'. e oltre modo imbevuti delle scolastiche sottigliezze. 6 Ibid. likewise had Platonic affiliations. i (1791) 326-7: 'Difficile est reperire quid de illius aetatis mathematicis dicas. 4458. and from Arabic. who taught mathematics at Rome about 1600. pp. di che diremo a suo luogo': cf. iii (1805) 36. 95-96. G. poiche allora congiungevansi quasi sempre gli studi prattici di medicina cogli astratti della fiosofia'. such as of Euclid's 'Data'. le quali dalla geometria propongonsi. MS Magi. 'Historia Academia Pisanae'. 1'esattezza del metodo. e i progress! dello studio delle matematiche felicemente produssero. such as of Apollonius's eight books 'De Conis' (!).O. Notable achievements were his Latin translations from Greek. Lunadoro adds that Raimondi 'ha commentato i cinque (!) libri di Pappo' (books 3-5 ?) and 'Ha scritto poi Comentari. se persistessero tenacemente attaccati ai vecchi loro pregiudizi. Mus. now in the Bibl. et esquisiti sopra tutti i libri di Archimede'. were printed many important works in Arabic. Naz. e per tal'opportunissimo fine circa la meta di quello 1'intermessa lettura di matematiche ricomparve nella Romana Universita. Prorsus illi ignorabant quid Graeci omnis praeclarae artis inventores. Cent. in an autograph memorandum now in the Brit. per essere versatissimo. con la loro distinta giurisdittione' (Venezia. Galileo's friend Luca Valeric (1552-1618). Chi si maravigliera percio. . nullum aliud praeceptum artis esse putabant.

During 1559-60 Catena was joined briefly by Francesco Barozzi. . op. 'Intorno alia vita . Schmitt. 'Le matematiche nello Studio di Padova' (1880). quibus in explicandis logicis usus fuit ipse presertim hoc tempore quo publicis lectionibus mathematicis in Paduano Gimnasio incumbebam . i (1883) 30-2. . Neque id ostenditur per inductionem Topicam quae a particularibus ad universalem procedit. Crapulli. ser. 'Cronica' (1707) 112. cf. Gioseffe Moleto. He followed this with another work: Petrus Cathena. after he had failed in the previous year to get a similar position at Bologna. Baldi. 71a 19-22 (= text 3) to make the contrast: ' .9 and two others to positions as 'mathesis praeceptores'. Baldi' (1783) 9. Affo 'Vita di . 'De Pisano Gymnasio . see also Favaro.11 The mathematical chair at Padua. Anal. had been initiated in 1520 by Federico Delfino. . x 42. . ' (p.Mathematics and Platonism 111 university begun in 1543 under Duke Cosimo I three mathematical appointments were made in the same year 1548: Juliano Ristoro. 'Giuseppe Moletti' (1917). Fabronius. artium et theologiae doctor.i. 'Cronologica Galileiana' (1892). id autem tarn comode apte fieri putabam. to which Galileo moved in 1592 with the help of Giovanni Vincenzo Pinelli12. 'Scampoli Galileiani. esp. Baldi. op. a Carmelite described as having already professed mathematics in Siena and Florence. 'Storia .13 who held it until his death in 1576. pp. cit. ix' (1894). 'Super loca mathematica contenta in Topicis et Elenchis Aristotelis'. 'I lettori di matematiche nella Universita di Padova' (1922) 61-7. . for example in recognising that all bodies should fall with the same speed and dealing with the contradiction between this conclusion and Aristotelian physics.. 'Galileo Galilei e lo Studio di Padova'. 133-6. . who at his death in 1547 was succeeded by an undistinguished logician. Tiraboschi. . 14 Boncompagni.14 Catena's successor from 1577 to 1588. i. 392. to a chair in astronomy with a view to facilitating astrology. Catena was much concerned with mathematical demonstration in Aristotle. . p. 13 Favaro. 'Cronica' (1707) 122.' He went on in commenting on 'Post. op. . . 100-36. . Favaro. professor publicus artium liberalium in Gymnasio Patevino. 'Galileo Galilei e lo Studio di Padova'. . ' vii (1791) 657. si mathematica exempla sua expressiora redderem. 135-6. . writing in one of his books. 21-36. ' (1960) 112-6. ibid. 135-6. cit. . etiam si exiguas (nam apprime novi quam sit mihi curta suppellex) expederem in eruendo Aristotele ex illo obscuro. di Prosdrocini de'Beldomandi' (1879) 46-55. was a man who showed some originality. nunc et non antea in lucem aedita (1561). 47-60. qui fit ab universali and particularia . . 'Galileo Galilei e lo studio di Padova' i. 9 . 48-53. 'Mathesis universalis' (1969) 42-62. xix 111-2 117-25. 11 Fabronius. 'Intorno alia vita ed ai lavori di Francesco Barozzi' (1884) 796-7.15 He and Galileo were in Fabbruccio.10 It was to one of these latter posts that Galileo was to be appointed in 1589 through the interest of Guidobaldo's younger brother Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte. cit. 25). 15 Favaro. 10 Fabronius. . The Faculty of Arts at Pisa at the time of Galileo' (1972).' i. et contrariatur huic posterioristico processui. 'Universa loca in logicam Aristotelis in mathematicis disciplinas hoc novum opus declarat' (1556) 4:' . . ii (1792) 385-6 470. 12 G. ii 385-6. Favaro. Pietro Catena.O.

Ignatius to Diego de Mendoza. and Borelli's pupil Lorenzo Bellini (1643-1704) who succeeded Malpighi in the chair of theoretical medicine at Pisa. One of Castelli's pupils in Rome. In the same year Marcello Malpighi (1628-94) went from a lectureship in logic at Bologna to the chair of theoretical medicine at Pisa. i. Farrell. 19 'Constitutiones Soc.' iv. hist. was to be appointed about 1635 to a mathematical lectureship in Messina. Bonaventura Cavalieri (1598-1647).118 Science. 'The Jesuit Code of Liberal Education' (1938). : La naissance de 1'humanisme moderne' (1940) (note p. . Soc. were to be primarily responsible for carrying the Galilean mathematical programme into biology. . 46 eh). His pupil and friend Benedetto Castelli (1578-1643) was to be appointed at Pisa in 1613. The Jesuit 'Constitutiones' (1556) laid down that 'the end of the Society and of its studies is to aid our fellow men to the knowledge and love of God and to the salvation of their souls'. x. Dainville.20 From Ignatius Loyola himself came the injunction: 'Logic. iv. 'Les Jesuites et 1'education . . being more remote from this end. 21. and 'the arts or natural sciences' since they 'dispose the intellectual powers for theology. ii. but a full range of other humane and useful subjects was to be taught: literature and history. 'Les Jesuites . A convenient summary of Jesuit hisotry is 'Synopsis hist. 77. preface by Groetstouwers (1950). Renazzi. 183-5. 1553. 75.O. 12 (1936) 470. (1583) 160-1. . paed. 12 ('Mon. Ganss (1970) 50-4. 86-8: Favaro.19 The principal emphasis of Jesuit universities was to be placed upon theology as the most appropriate means to this end. Soc. 'Dell'educazione cristiana e politica dei figliuoli' (1926). 30. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought contact through correspondence during the year before he died in 1588. xix. 'Constitutiones'. physics. both members of the Accademia del Cimento. ed. 12. It was however the Jesuits who made the teaching of mathematics most explicitly part of an educational policy. 606. Jesu'. iii. Ignatius of Loyola. (1965) 482.' iv. For Jesuit education see Antoniano. The Constitutions . 404-9.17 Another pupil. was to succeed Galileo as mathematician to the Tuscan court in 1642. 'Mon. SJ. iv. classical and oriental languages.18 Borelli and Malpighi. were not to be taught in Jesuit universities or at least not by members of the society. Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608-79). G. 'La vita di Benedetto Castelli' (1961). . Soc. finally returning by way of the main medical chair at Messina to that at Bologna in 1666. and to move from there to the mathematical chair at the Sapienza in Rome in 1626. lesu' i. Jesu'. transl. Fabronius. op. metaphysics and moral science should be treated and also mathematics in the measure suitable to the end proposed'21. 17 16 . 18 For these authors see the 'Dictionary of Scientific Biography' (1970). cit. Jesu'. cf. and are useful for the perfect understanding and use of it. . 42. 12 (1583) 15961. cf. 20 'Constit. cit. 111.16 From both Padua and Florence. cf. 1936) 468. whence he moved in 1656 to the chair at Pisa. 'Benedetto Castelli' (1907-8): Zannini. the greatest influence on mathematical teaching in Italian universities was eventually to be that of Galileo himself. another. above n. and also by their own nature help towards the same ends'. op. Evangelista Torricelli (1608-47). was to hold the chair at Bologna from 1629 until his death. 213-4. Medicine and law. Lukacs (1965) 281-5. : La geographic des humanistes' (1940). 21 Ibid.

Soc. cf. with interruptions. paed. the Collegio Romano founded by Ignatius in 1550. 515. op. 'II matematico Francesco Maurolico e i Gesuiti' (1949) 132-4. ' (1954) 7-8. cit. iii (1892) 1810-2. 26 'Mon. After him it was held more or less continuously by Christopher Clavius from 1565 until his death in 1612. 187-99. Clavius developed a closer relationship after visiting him in 1569 and became largely responsible for the appearance of his major posthumous mathematical and optical writings. op. 24 Villoslada. . 571. 504. . op. paed. for Torres also 'Mon paed. seem unable to be attracted to the mathematical disciplines. Sommervogel. Francisco de Toledo and Achille Gagliardi (1537/8-1607). Scaduto.. 'Manu P. 99. . Soc.. Jesu' (1901) 150-62. 326-7. cf. Jesu' (1901) 471-3: autograph. 500. 187-8. . Christophori Clavii'. 728. cf. 23 22 . and by creating a mathematical school at the Collegio Romano where most of the society's scientists studied. Baldi. 'Le origini dell' Universita di Messina' (1948) 9. : La naissance de l'humanisme' (1940) 88 sqq. His 'Modus quo disciplinae mathematicae in scholis Societatis possent promoveri' indicates the kind of doubts he had to overcome within the society and gives his arguments for mathematics on the grounds of both intellectual necessity and practical utility:26 The way in which the mathematical disciplines could be promoted in the schools of the Society. was principally responsible for establishing Jesuit policy and eventual achievements in the mathematical sciences. see Dainville. 335. iii. Jesu . 'L'enseignement des mathematiques dans les colleges jesuites . . until 1633. 335. Phillips The correspondence of Father Christopher Clavius S. 338. Soc. cit.137-41. . Galileo and Guidobaldo del Monte (1588). with Possevino (1585). 331. 153-362. paed. 1095-9. for if either of these is absent the pupils. another of Galileo's future friends. cit. 51-2. as experience shows. paed. 329. 44. 343. a chair of 'Mathesis (cum Geometria et Astronomia)'22 was established in 1553 with Balthassar Torres as the first professor.I. cf. for these professors see below nn. 25 Villoslada.. . esp. 370-1. (1901) 477-8. 'Mon. These two chairs as well as that in logic were also held at different times between 1559 and 1567 by Benito Pereira. The debates about mathematics can be found in 'Mon. 'The Jesuit Code of Liberal Education'.23 Clavius was joined at the Collegio Romano in 1595 by his pupil and eventual successor Christopher Grienberger (1561-1636). First a master must be chosen with uncommon erudition and authority. whence he moved in 1554-5 to that in 'Physica (seu Philosophia Naturalis)'. 491-3. Soc. Now in order that the master should Villoslada. lesu'. Rosen.Mathematics and Platonism 119 In the central Jesuit university. i (1965). 'Les Jesuites . who likewise taught mathematics there.24 In 1553-4 a Balthassar Torres also initiated the chair in metaphysics. 78-9. Soc. Both were in touch with Francesco Maurolico (1494-1575) in Messina: Torres corresponded with him about Jesuit mathematical teaching. He gave a number of his manuscripts to Clavius on a further visit from him in 1574. 522. ' ed. . 'Storia del Collegio Romano' (1954) 59. and other mathematicians down to 1611. Cosentino. Jesu' (1901) and 'Mon. over a long period. Farrell. 139 sqq. Sommervogel. Gomez Rodeles et al. 'Bibliotheque' . (1939) 205-20. 'Maurolico's attitude towards Copernicus' (1957) 179. 'L'insegnamento delle matematiche nei collegi Gesuitici nell'Italia settentrionale' (1971) 207 sqq. pp.25 It was Clavius who by his defence of mathematics within the context of Jesuit educational goals.

winds. . although they are a great ornament to the Society and are very frequently the subject of discussion in colloquia and meetings of leading men. that they were in no way necessary to physics. the ebb and flow of the sea. It also seems necessary that the teacher should have a certain inclination and propensity for lecturing on these sciences. so that one may acquire perfect erudition. now let us add a few words about his students. the master must be invited to take part in formal acts in which doctors are created and public disputations held. in such a way that if he is capable he too may sometimes put forward arguments and help those who are arguing. Now in order that the Society should have capable professors of those sciences. not without great shame and disgrace. and should not be taken up with many other occupations. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought have greater influence over his pupils. the preceding does not lead immediately to what follows (p. as they truly are. the effects of the stars which depend on the various conjunctions. comets. otherwise it does not seem possible that these studies should last long in the Society. as we shall show a little later. For if these sciences were taught at another time. 472). 471). a habit which has always been retained in the Society's schools hitherto. Secondly then. passions and reactions etc. as those to whom this very thing has happened have often reported. let alone be promoted. I do not mention the fact that natural philosophy without the mathematical disciplines is lame and incomplete. the rainbow. qualities. it will be necessary first that students of physics should at the same time study mathematical disciplines. For this to happen. the multitude of intelligences. concerning which 'calculators' write much. and the mathematical disciplines themselves be of greater value and the pupils understand their utility and necessity. So much for the master of mathematical disciplines. actions. the proportions of motions. Whence it comes about28 that our members necessarily become speechless in such meetings. the halo and other meteorological things. the division of continuous quantity into infinity. oppositions and other distances between them. and so very few would want to understand them. where they might understand27 that our members are not ignorant of mathematical matters. will be convinced that philosophy and the mathematical sciences are connected. especially as regards that part which concerns the number and motion of the celestial circles ('orbes'). and that they are at the same time a great ornament to all other arts. which can by no means be understood without a 27 28 Reading 'intelligant' for 'intelligunt' (p. though it is agreed among experts that physics cannot rightly be grasped without them. otherwise he will scarcely be able to help his pupils. indeed these sciences and natural philosophy have so close an affinity with one another that unless they give each other mutual aid they can in no way preserve their own worth. Plato and their more celebrated commentators. I do not mention the infinite examples in Aristotle. it is necessary that the pupils should understand that these sciences are useful and necessary for rightly understanding the rest of philosophy.120 Science. As the editor points out. and understandably. students of philosophy would think. especially because pupils up to now seem almost to have despised these sciences for the simple reason that they think that they are not considered of value and are even useless. For by this means it will easily come about that the pupils. since the person who teaches them is never summoned to public acts with the other professors. some men should be selected apt and capable for carrying out this task who may be instructed in a private school in various mathematical subjects. seeing the professor of mathematics together with the other teacher taking part in such acts and sometimes also disputing.

at least moderately. (1586). 'Le matematiche nella 'Ratio Studiorum . cit. and indeed not the last. moral science. not only because without mathematics our academies would lack a great ornament. (1954) 7-8. Barbera. 21. especially since teachers can hardly teach them without bringing these sciences into ridicule (which I do not just know from hearsay). and those most grave. do not have demonstrations. C: There will be treated. iv. : La naissance de 1'humanisme' (1940) 71-88. ch. physics. op. Now it seems no little conducive. . iii. Pachtler.. 256. meteorology. 'La Ratio Studiorum .'. ' (1942) 126.. and also mathematics but only in so far as it is conducive to the end proposed to us. pp.'. 'Ratio Studiorum'. indeed. 31 'Rat. By the same token teachers of philosophy should be skilled in mathematical disciplines. 32 Above n. 'Republic' vii. through the elements. if they understood that they treated as they deserved the passages in Aristotle and other philosophers which concern the mathematical disciplines. and op. but much more because the other sciences also very much need their help. for the Analytics examples of solid Cf. Stud. ii (1887) 125 sqq. 348 (1599). 'De mathematicis'. Villoslada. cit. Both outlined a full programme of philosophical and mathematical studies. Plato. The influence of Clavius is evident in the first Jesuit 'Ratio Studiorum' of 1586 and in the definitive version of 1599. cit. I do not mention the fact that the professors would hereby gain great influence over their students. . metaphysics. generation and the soul. logic.30 The course of natural philosophy set out in 1586 covered the whole range of Aristotelian subjects from the heavens and their motions and influences (to be treated by a philosopher when there was no professor of mathematics). 12. 33 'Rat.31 Quoting Loyola's injunction from the 'Constitutiones'32 the section 'De mathematicis' went on:33 Constitutions. ed. they say. for poets they supply and expound the risings and settings of the heavenly bodies. Stud. 'De studio philosophiae' (1586) 171 sqq. such as those in which they teach that the mathematical sciences are not sciences. . indeed they would even be mutilated. Pachtler. ed. (1971) 2078-11. 30 29 . part 4. and what is worse they have even committed them to writings some of which it would not be difficult to bring forward. because of their ignorance of these. ' (1970). Whence it will also come about that the pupils understand better the necessity for these sciences. 533-4. It will also contribute much to this if the teachers of philosophy abstained from those questions which do not help in the understanding of natural things and very much detract from the authority of the mathematical disciplines in the eyes of the students. . with great disgrace and loss of the reputation which the Society has in letters. some professors of philosophy have very often committed many errors. Pachtler. 'Ratio Studiorum'. Aristotle was to be followed except where detracting from or repugnant to faith. ii (1887) 141-2. lest they run onto similar rocks. (1954) 96 sqq.Mathematics and Platonism 121 moderate understanding of the mathematical sciences. iv (1586) 198-9. abstract from being and the good. for historians the shapes and distances of places. . 198 sqq. place. . cf.. 'Les Jesuites . op. cf.29 etc. since there is almost no fairly celebrated academy in which the mathematical disciplines do not have their own. for experience teaches that these questions are a great hindrance to pupils and of no service to them. iii (1586) 193-7. ii (1887) 138-41. Dainville. Cosentino. because. ed.

The second professor in Rome. 35 34 . in navigations.122 Science. Among the reasons given were that this kind of demonstration was the goal of mathematical resolution. and who would be summoned from various provinces. which can scarcely be understood without mathematical examples'. 36 Cf. who in their first year were 'preparing themselves for the Posterior Analytics. Stud. Therefore we must try to bring it about that. for physics the forms and differences of heavenly revolutions. who are at least moderately intelligent and not unmathematical and have studied philosophy. if you except one or two. especially as. light. ii (1887) 142-3. for theologians the main parts of the divine creation. On the power of mathematical demonstrations he agreed with Francesco Barozzi. Christoforo Clavio' (pp. discords. if possible one from any one'. In their second year they would be studying physics. sounds.e.34 Two professors of mathematics were to be appointed. not to mention what advantages redound to the state from the work of mathematicians in the care of diseases. At Rome too. when 'the remaining part of the mathematical compendium which is to be completed by Father Clavius will be expounded'. just like the other disciplines. One should teach students of logic. and in the pursuit of agriculture.35 But Jesuit views on mathematics were by no means uniform even after these dates. I however can in no way approve it: for I think that most powerful demonstration which is I. 'but only if he can be Father Clavius. is to provide a fuller knowledge of mathematical things over three years and is to teach privately about eight or ten of our students. for politicians admirable arts for good administration at home and in time of war.36 The philosopher Benito Pereira in his 'De communibus omnium rerum naturalium principiis' (1562. so mathematics too may flourish in our schools. is to be found either nowhere.1576) had agreed on the contrary with Alessandro Piccolomini. which is treated in the Posterior Analytics i.' iv (1586) 199-210. 831-7). for law and ecclesiastical custom the accurate computation of times. ed. the calendar. or surely above all in the mathematical disciplines'. Boncompagni (1884) appendix i: 'Lettera di Francesco Barozzi al P. He wrote: 'It is the opinion of many that the kind of most powerful demonstration ("demonstratio potissima"). and that mathematical demonstrations did not suffer from the variety and disagreement of opinion found in those of physics and metaphysics. we lack professors who can give the teaching of mathematics that is needed for so many and excellent uses. so that from this too our students may become more suited to serving the various interests of the Church. 'But although this opinion is very common and accepted by many. For example Clavius had maintained in his commentary on Euclid (1574) that mathematics offered the most certain demonstrations but that these were not syllogistic. to our great disgrace. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought demonstrations. scarcely anyone will be left who is qualified either to profess these disciplines or to be at hand at the Apostolic Seat when there is discussion about ecclesiastical times. Pachtler. 'Rat. for metaphysics the number of spheres and intelligences.

and of the question whether mathematical entities have any existence outside {he mind. The proof depended on a construction projecting one side to make an external angle. and in treating their demonstrations proceed not scientifically. 7). In these lectures given at Cambridge during 1664-6 Barrow continued the 16thcentury discussions of the relation of mathematical demonstrations to the theory of demonstration set out in the 'Posterior Analytics'. cf. Cantab. as the most exact Types of Things. Acad. therefore the Mathematician treats of those Ideas which of themselves are primarily intended. 'Containing answers to the objections which are usually brought against mathematical demonstration'. and are true Beings" ': Barrow. 38 37 . 1734. Blancanus. p.38 To illustrate the use by mathematicians of non-causal demonstrations Pereira cited from Proclus. nor treats of its affections. 24. Dom.4 (1576) 72. Barrow in his second published series of 'Lectiones' (1684) also cited Clavius on Euclid (see Lect. yet because their Ideas do exist both in the Divine and Human Mind. 2767). Kirkby. Isaac Barrow in his 'Lectiones . v. iii. transl. who was no mean Peripatetic' ('Mathematical Lectures'. but only acquiring knowledge ("cognitio"). nor makes his demonstrations from proper and "per se" but from common and accidental predicates'. or only with difficulty. i 12. pp. but from certain suppositions. the well known contrast between the axiomatic ideal of Greek geometry and the demonstrations possible in physics made by Huygens in the preface (1690) to his 'Traite" de la lumiere'. be found in mathematical sciences'. citing those 'who will have Mathematical Figures to have no other Existence in the Nature of Things than in the Mind alone. . 'Opticks'. who are otherwise most excellently skilled in the Mathematics: Among whom we may reckon Blancanus ('Libro de Natura Mathem. He confirmed this from Plato who had written in the 'Republic' vii that 'mathematicians dream about quantity. MDCLXIV.37 'My opinion'. in .. vi. 1734. Pererius. And it is wonderful to me that this Opinion should be embraced by Persons. as Piccolomini had done. his 'Aristotelis loca mathematica ex universis ipsius operibus collecta et explicata' (1615). but this did not make the property demonstrated of the internal angles: 'Who does not see that this middle term is not the cause of that effect which is Pererius. he wrote. v (1683) 89 quoted these 'Words of Pererius. ibd. To have science ("scire") is to acquire knowledge of a thing through the cause on account of which the thing is. 1683. 76.' p. query 30 (1706). 80) in discussing the same question. 'De mathematicarum natura' (1615) 7.Mathematics and Platonism 123 described by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics i can in no way. also Newton. p. Therefore he does not want to call their doctrine intelligence ("intelligentia") or science. but the mathematician neither considers the essence of quantity. 85. on which judgement Proclus wrote much in book i of his Commentaries on Euclid'.. 'De comm. . 'De communibus'. Euclid's proof that the sum of the internal angles of a triangle equals two right angles. nor declares them by the proper causes on account of which they are in quantity. . An. . whose words are these: "Though Mathematical Beings have no real Existence. and science ("scientia") is the effect of demonstration: but demonstration (I speak of the most perfect kind of demonstration) must be established from those things that are "per se" and proper to that which is demonstrated. p.'. as they flow from such essence. Giuseppe Biancani was a Jesuit pupil of Clavius and professor of mathematics at Bologna. 'is that mathematical disciplines are not proper sciences . p. Cf..

1142a 12-19. Pereira went on to argue: 'mathematical things are abstracted from motion. ibid. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought demonstrated'. except perhaps in brevity. These views remained unchanged in later editions of his book. 'De comm. for quantity is the most sensed ('maxime sensata') since it is perceived by all the senses. and is the middle or principle of mathematical demonstrations. for in astronomy. 39 . because quantity is not tied to and dependent on any fixed and determinate matter.40 mathematics. as Proclus had said. 3. such as geometry and arithmetic.124 Science. . These differences of opinion.'. namely quantity. 42 Aristotle. iii. are indicated in the 'Bibliotheca selecta qua agitur de ratione studiorum' (1593) by the Jesuit scholar and diplomatist Antonio Possevino (1533/4-1611). vi (1683) 108 ('Of the causality of mathematical demonstrations' ed. gave several demonstrations of the same conclusion of which one was no better than another. and what is easily abstracted from matter is also easily understood. And Aristotle in the sixth book of the Ethics42 gives this as the reason why boys can become mathematicians but not physicists or wise. abstract quantity. and of the very beautiful order and wonderful connection of the demonstrations with each other. which cannot be done in natural or divine things. Next we must see whether knowledge of all the causes which a thing has is necessary to the understanding of that thing . 69-70. i. But that is enough for the present question. vi.39 This literal insistence on the identity of reasoning and causation in true science measures the gulf separating the logic of Aristotelian physics from that of the mathematicians. 'Elements'. We are speaking at present of purely mathematical disciplones. and easiest. most evident. Barrow. 73-4. 40 Pererius. as a synonym for disciplines. 'Ethica Nicomachea'. 32) in a discussion comparing geometrical and syllogistic demonstration. . a friend of Clavius and one of the authors of Jesuit educational Pererius. . 41 Pererius.'. most evident and easiest for us wherefore they are called by philosophers perfect or absolute demonstrations. as well as the scope of the Jesuit commitment to mathematics.. 'De comm. by reason of the subjectmatter. Hence too it comes about that mathematical things are called by Aristotle beings from abstraction ('entia ex abstractione'). pp. mathematical demonstrations owed their certainty primarily to their subject-matter. 8. and therefore it can easily be abstracted and conceived by the intellect. but on account of the very great ease of learning them. They can be expounded and declared in such a way that they lie open to the senses themselves. It remains then that for these reasons mathematical demonstrations are the most certain. Now mathematical demonstrations are the most certain. 4. doubtless because of the ease of abstraction. Again like Piccolomini. cit. pp. 24. iii. perspective and others called middle or mixed. therefore from all kinds of cause'. He concluded:41 Now they are called mathematical sciences. Lastly mathematical things afford very easy abstraction from matter. as are other physical accidents. Moreover the principles of mathematics do not require long experience and diligent observation like the principles of physics or medicine. things are otherwise. op. 1734) again cited Pereira's comment on this theorem (Euclid. not on account of the excellence of their demonstrations.

Pierling. 253-438. 'Mon. une dexterite a traiter les affaires les plus epineuses. methods and content of education in Jesuit universities throughout Europe. une facilite prodigieuse a apprendre les langues' as well as by 'un zele apostolique. 438-94. Possevino's reports of this mission. 1577-80) involved further travels in Germany and Poland. Sommervogel. .49 according to his biographer well fitted for these tasks by 'un savoir eminent. see next note. cit. cit. Coloniae Agrippinae. iii. curante Pierling (1882). 48 Vilnae 1586. revised ed. and for the following discussion of the Jesuits in Padua. Pierling (1882) 109-20. 'La vie du Pere Antoine Possevin' (1712). sel. see also Dorigny. 105-6. 45 Dorigny. 13-65. 'Les Jesuites ..48 Papal policy aimed to bring about an alliance of these Christian princes against the Turks. un courage a 1'epreuve des plus grandes difficultes. and an account of a discussion of the Catholic religion held with Czar Ivan on 21 February 1582. 'La vocazione alia Compagnia di Gesu del P. This he introduced with a brief history of Christian philosophy. 2 partes (Romae. 1095-9. cit. op. 50 Ibid. . Jesu' (1950) 86. 'Un nonce du Pape en Moscovie' (1884) 146.44 Apostolic and diplomatic journeys in Savoy and France led to three years as first rector of the new Jesuit college in Avignon. op. the Terrible. pp. For the Gagliardis see Sommervogel. 114-5.43 Possevino entered the society in 1559 with the three brothers Achille. Leonetto and Ludovico Gagliardi. 4. Peace was concluded with both Poland and Sweden in 1582.50 His intervention played an important part in the introduction of the reformed Gregorian calendar into Antonii Possevini Societatis lesu 'Bibliotheca selecta'. cit.180 sqq. op. 1593). Soc. i (1593) i..Mathematics and Platonism 125 policy. 2 torn.. 259. ed. with descriptions of political and religious conditions in Russia and neighbouring lands. Castellani. 'La Russie et la Sainte-Siege' (1896) 375 sqq. 46 Vicenza. op. for negotiation of an end to the long war between himself and the King of Poland. 496. and religious unity on the basis of the Council of Florence. Dainville. 43 . Soc.. 108. des manieres tout a fait engageantes surtout avec les grands. vi (1895) 1061-93.'. were published in part in his 'Moscovia' (1586). republished Antverpiae 1587. 135-6. op. lib. 'Bibliotheque' . Possevini 'Missio Moscovitica'..47 Another mission took him in 1581-82 to Moscow. 1568. a Latin version was published in his 'Bibl. 1607. Possevino continued his diplomatic missions during 1583-7 in Poland and Hungary. 27 sqq. Antonio Possevino' (1945) 102-4. 166-252. 'Galileo Galilei e la societa veneziana' (1968) 10-14. . lesu' (1965) 107. 25-7. cit. paed. 115-6. Cozzi. further documents in the Vatican archives were published as Antonii Possevini 'Missio Moscovitica'. 'Synopsis hist. des interets et des coutumes de toutes ces nations'. 47 Dorigny. cit. une connoissance parfaite des cours du nord. op. For Possevino see Dorigny. Two periods as Papal Nuncio to the King of Sweden (1568. 44 Dorigny. who had been horrified by the suspect and atheistic tendencies of the Averroist philosophy they had heard at the University of Padua. cf. 499. 13-18.45 at the end of which he published in his 'Coltura de gl'ingegni' (1568)46 an account of the aims. 127. where Pope Gregory XIII sent him in response to a request from Czar Ivan IV. 49 Dorigny. . : La geographic des humanistes' (1940) 47.

multa ex Archimede desumens. Gioseffe Moleto. 52 51 . ac quidem merito reprobat. Graecis potius adhaeret. .' xiii. Averroem saepe. 53 Paolo Gualdo. Sane vero ut viri eruditissimi. 'De philosophia' (1593) ii.52 He was one of G. qui decem libros De Motu emisit: quo sat magno volumine generalia naturalis philosophiae principia continentur. sel. 54 Dorigny.126 Science. and the art of writing letters. vi. 55 Possevinus. Cardano.54 This major work is an encyclopaedia and bibliography of current learning covering education. quam plerique fecerint alii. the history of philosophy. reproval of Averroes. in quo tamen unum id fortasse cavendum est. Pinelli's Jesuit friends in a circle which included Robert Bellarmine. the 'Gymnasium Patavium Societatis Jesu'. Caietanus.53 In Padua during 1587-91 he wrote the 'Bibliotheca selecta'. cf. theology. Graece enim novit.18-19. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Poland. Francisco Valles and Ibid. 206-7.51 In 1587 he returned to Padua to teach at the Jesuit college. 104: 'quae ad Aristotelem intelligendum. schismatics and heretics. Dorigny. vii (1791) 243-5.V. 38-40. Simplicii. sensus explicat liquidius. 106-9 (107 on Averroism in the universities). 56 Ibid. atque ad textum Graecum plura revocat. idque agit. 'Galileo Galilei e lo Studio di Padova'. quatenus qui eius labores non legerunt. misce pulchra problemata. ac satis tutus. the beliefs of the peoples of India. jurisprudence. apte explicat.73. 512-4: cf. the Jews. et Platonicam.103. 802. uti et aliorum Graecorum. ut offendat. licet mihi de facie ignoti. avidius excipiant. medicine and the mathematical sciences. op. 'Storia'. et septimum Physicorum interpretatur copiose. 481-4. Pythagoricamque philosophiam cupiditate omnia percipiendi avidissime versavit'. cit.56 He praised among Christian interpreters Aquinas. 497-9.29. Possevino commended Francesco Bonamico for his adherence to the Greek text of Aristotle. the ancient and modern secular history of the world and its chronology since the creation. 115. cf. haec possum dice re: modestus philosophus est. 99-101. critical knowledge of ancient.100.55 He warned frequently against the Arabic interpreters. 117. Luca Pinelli was a Jesuit: Sommervogel. 57 Ibid. Japan. medieval and modern authors. an recte concludat Aristoteles'. Ibid. Sperone Speroni. Favaro. painting. 499-502. cit. Mark Welser and Girolamo Fabrizio d'Acquapendente. Hebraeaque volumina. sextum. atque ad veram philosophiam e tenebris eruendam pertinent. ubi agit de gravibus et levibus. 'Bibliotheque . Scriptural history. 512-4. . 45. 'Bibl. op. Domingo de Soto. religious orders. '. poetry. 483 on Clavius. Guidobaldo del Monte. the Gagliardi brothers. Book xiii on philosophy reflects current Italian preoccupations and controversies. Tiraboschi. and the Cardinals Cesare Baronio and Ippolito Aldobrandini (to become in 1592 Pope Clement VIII) as well as Gabriele Falloppio. ne quoniam perspicasissimo fuit ingenio. Francisco de Toledo. 120-1: 'Franciscus Bonamicus Florentinus primarius Pisis Professor. the Mahometans. i (1883) 75-99. testimonium catenus praebeam. and use of Archimedes in dealing with heavy and light bodies. and above all in recent times Chrisostomo Javelli. 'Vita Joannis Vincentii Pinelli' (1607) 14-15. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (with caution)57 for drawing out true philosophy from Aristotelian shadows. with a massively eclectic. China and the New World. Albertus and other scholastics.

and these included not only Cicero and Plutarch. 31-2. 113-4. quod omnes sentimus. many for.58 But the religious end to which he saw philosophy leading gave him a preference for Plato. p. ' (1966) 586-7. 88: 'Sed et Sebastianus Foxius Morxillus magna cum laude Platonem interpretatus est'. 200. instrumentaque noscendarum rerum homini collata a Deo'. cf.70 But Augustine both in The City of God' and in the 'Retractationes' confessed that he had been deceived by Plato and came to reject his doctrines: they were against both Catholic faith and natural reason. 82. Javelli. existence from eternity or from the beginning of time. . 106. 127 seq. 181. ibid. . lib. sel. and presence not as the true form of an individual but like the pilot of a ship) and the origin of the world from a chaos of already existing elements. 59.59 Among a full range of recent Platonists he cited with general though qualified approval Marsilio Ficino60 and Giovanni Pico. 74. 84. 71 Ibid. from whom Socrates and Plato learnt so many doctrines. 75-8. as a guide to knowledge. . 79-80. Augustine.63 and for specific points Francesco Patrizi64 and Jacopo Mazzoni. also 97. 115-9. more from Aristotle. 70 Ibid. 104. 181. 62: 'Origo philosophiae. 86-8.3. 67 Ibid. p. xiii. 225. ibid. cf.66 Many had received the light of philosophy from Plato. but Jerome.72 Possevino shared the 58 Ibid. By the time Possevino was writing reconciliation of Plato and Aristotle seems to have lost much of its charm in Padua: cf. 59 Possevinus. 68 Ibid. 63 Ibid. Basil and Clement. 78-9. caput iii. cf. .67 many had been against Plato. 65. had been the disciple of a Nazarine Jew. Plato himself could have consorted with Jews when he was in Egypt. cf. 'Storia . For the conciliatory policy of the 16th-century Dominican Aristotelian. Those who vindicated him called him the wisest and holiest of philosophers and the Attic Moses. 1.68 Plato's chief errors concerned the human soul (belief in its transmigration to and from the brute animals. 69 Ibid. 69-72.. 78. 60 Ibid. 79. 100.69 It was agreed by Christian scholars that Pythagoras. 64 Ibid. 82-4. 'Comm. 112. praefatio (1601) -16.65 The main source of his view of the history of philosophy was Pereira. see Garin. i. . below nn. 113-4. so he would separate the correct use of him from the abuse. 87-8. Nardi. 'Saggi' (1958) 363. with a very definite caveat. 88. 66 Possevinus. 72 Ibid. 117. 98. 65 Ibid. . 104. philosophique ipsi sempte inculcarunt'. 68. 61 Ibid. Pererius. who held Aristotle valid for the natural sciences but Plato better for morality and religion. cf. 104. c.61 with special praise Javelli62 and Fox Morcillo. below nn.71 The gentile philosophers had to be read with caution. in Genesim'. 62 Ibid. 88. 109. 'Bibl. 59.Mathematics and Platonism 127 'Benedictus Pererius noster'. (1607) 28. Philosophy had arisen from man's natural desire to find God. Naturale homini desiderium ad sciendum a Deo inditum est.' (1593) 72-4. 50 where he cited also Mazzoni's 'De comparatione Platonis et Aristotelis' (1597). 104. 120-1. 225.

74 Ibid. c. Vidimus apud duo genera hominum. cf. reliqui neque haeretici. 75 In Greek. and it also provided a means of exegesis of the abstract ideas of the Creator:74 Since this is so the necessity. Possevino added a new c. and for the history of mathematics 175 sqq.73 In Book xv on mathematics Possevino made it clear that mathematics and Platonism mutually reinforced each other in Jesuit educational policy. whether natural or supernatural.77 let nobody without geometry enter. 1. haeretici quidam adhuc sunt. 41D . a parry to scepticism. 'Scholarum mathematicarum'. the energiser. 'Mathematica generatim'. above n. i.130-5. 14. neque interiturum. 175-9.76 For in the Timaeus Plato makes God construct the soul of the world from arithmetical ratios and proportions and its body from geometrical shapes. vision. 'Opusculum' (1560) f. pauca praemonenda sunt.37C. . worth and utility of the mathematical disciplines are shown by the fact that Plato and Aristotle have included them in the principles of contemplation and of action. is arithmetical and geometrical. In the 1607 ed. fecere. and it certainly cannot be understood by those ignorant of geometry. et Naturam nihil interesse docerent: atque eodem tempore libellos obtruderent. And indeed the Timaeus of Plato and the Physics of Aristotle are very great proof of how much light mathematics itself sheds on philosophy. ut alii inter Deum. cf. xv. In fact all that Aristotle says about motion and rest. comm. not sophistical shadows. by reason and conducted it to its end. De anima Aristotelis'. away from the senses. ac solida caussarum contemplatione avertebant. Hence it came about that there was fixed by Plato over the entrance to the Academy that saying: 'Let no-one ungeometrical enter'. cf. the second atheistic. also 1812. excites. being made from numbers and lines. followed by Latin translation: this remark occurs in Philoponus. taking the whole mathematical genus. et eiusmodi reliquis pergerent Mundum ita vocare Universum. neque catholici. but the logical action of the mind. 45 (1535) sig. followed by Latin translation. 77 In Greek. 90. Timaeus' 35A . the leader. And by these words he means. in his own words calls them 'the drawer. such that it draws. See Phillips. others that the natural world was all there was. 'De mathematicis'. ut videlicet ipso nihil praestantius. Therefore Plato's physics. whereby the demonstration of truth is more purely and more accurately considered. lib. The first was heretical. maius. ut plerique ex philosophiae studiis felicitatem in eo constituerent. (1593) ii. sic in prolegomenis agi. the summoner. qui specie pietatis fucati. 76 The lines following come almost verbally from Ramus. sese demonstraturos pollicebantur. Mathematics was practically useful. including arithmetic and geometry. reasoning. Thus. mentes ab interiore. Aristotle and the Stoics agreed that God governed all. quem neque ortum fuisse. 217-8) in which he cited Alessendro Piccolomini and Pereira in agreement on this question. he wrote. He had been helped in writing this book by Clavius. Alii vero dum una cum Plinio. ii. contemplation and truth. cf. for Clavius's help 173. 39 r. Against both errors Plato. 2. truth':75 that is. 'Disciplinarum mathematicarum certitudo quaenam' (torn. 'Comm. and in Franciscus Barocius. cf. and 73 Ibid. necessary for physics. sed potius ad atheismum vergentes'. Prioris generis. about time and the heavens. in lib.99-105. thought. So Plato. 'The correspondence of Father Christopher Clavius' (1939) 205 (with Possevino. 114. the turner of mind.128 Science.44B. ii (1569) 46-7. 117-8: 'Antequam ad Elenchum interpretum Physices accedam. melius esset. 1585). D iii. arouses and turns intelligence. some had held that God was indifferent to nature. cum ab eorum magistris in haec studia inducerentur. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought contemporary belief in the concordance of all authorities in an essentially theological truth. impells.

e. 83 Marg. in Herone Alessandrino'De gli automati'. citing Aulus Gellius. the motions of the Sun and Moon and the five planets. 'Schol. 12. x. or that the Nuremberger82 exhibited a fly and an eagle fitted with geometrical wings. 22. voice and song of a little bronze bird. For in the first book78 he brings forth the tetragon of Antiphon in order to refute it. i-iii. 25. 81 Cicero. not only with examples but also with foundations drawn from geometry. so closely imitated the truth. and the whole of his physical discussions abound. Aristotle too taught mechanics. that anyone who has called it artificial deserved to be thought rash. because they have not studied the mathematical disciplines deeply enough . i. i. so Cicero81 says. . In the third book he mentions certain points about the construction of gnomons.: Claudius Galius. when he brought it about that by the soft and placid falling of water the motion. so Plutarch says in his life of Marcellus. 82 Cf. they enriched geometry with a variety of demonstration not only logical but practical. . to examples of sensible and corporal things. . besides what he did in the Posterior Analytics. opportunely pausing at the arrival of a night owl. pp.8. and by publishing it made it common knowledge.'Discorso'. Baldi(1589)ff. In the second book he quotes examples concerning the two right angles in a triangle. namely that 'God above I. and from things falling within the contemplation of thoughts alone. 1-112. 'Noctes Atticae'. . Baldi. 14. Tusculanae quaestiones'. Nor indeed were these the only fruits seen to result from this: that Archytas80 gave flight to a wooden dove which he had suspended with weights in such a way that it was propelled by hidden wind of breath. Ramus above. although it does not survive in his dialogues. . 80 Cf. they brought about the same effect as that god who built the world in the Timaeus. that God was to be praised for having given such acumen to human brains. were it not that two other things add to their reputation: the one said by Plato. And these things would certainly seem more than enough to excite minds ('ingenia') towards those disciplines.79 when they had transferred geometrical contemplations from the mind. 79 78 . 'De republica'.63. . trad . Archytas too and Eudoxus. . math. rather than anyone judging it real deserved to be thought too credulous (he also added a water-organ from which a most sweet and harmonious sound was heard). cf. . motion and time. The lines following come almost verbally from Ramus. i (1569) 16-19. which (so Plutarch says) smacks of Plato's character . or the new near-miracles of nature that Claudius83 seems to have performed in recent years in the gardens of Cardinal Atestinus84 by the Tiber. or that Archimedes and Posidonius fashioned those spheres by attaching to which. 5°6r. and that (a thing that was indeed still more remarkable) at his will he so elegantly and truthfully projected a heavenly rainbow which the Latins call 'iris'. of the Physics.'. In the remainder he mentions the infinity of magnitude. so that learned men have formed the opinion that a complete exposition of those books should be left out by most people. namely that one revolution ruled motions very dissimilar in slowness and speed. even in a matter of this kind . 84 I have not found the source of this story. and more opportunely being resumed on its departure.Mathematics and Platonism 129 about the progression and history of animals.

as being a viewer is the goal of a mystery-rite? For the nail of pleasure and pain. 87 Plutarch. and God the best of causes. the advantage of geometry was dissipated and destroyed. the cosmos. Therefore. for the safety and presentation of all.'. Being continuously involved in becoming and shifting and all kinds of events. Minar ('Moralia'. geometrised so much that he made up this geometrical problem: given two figures.if indeed this statement is to be attributed to Plato. Now God's intention was. seems to have this as its greatest disadvantage. and one form. being. consider what he had in mind when he asserted that God is always doing geometry. by which alone the divine may be contemplated. It was for this reason that Plato himself reproached Eudoxus and Archytas and Menaechmus for setting out to remove the problem of doubling the cube into the realm of instruments and mechanical devices. as Philolaos says. by the most appropriate of names. these two being given. to construct a third equal to the one and similar to the other. One of them we call. has been said by Plato to govern and control this universe by geometrical proportion.718C-E. I remarked that while this statement is not made explicitly in any of Plato's writings. 97.C. below nn. by which he represents the soul as fastened to the body.1. for they have spread down from the most ancient patriarch Abraham86 to other men. worth thousands of eyes [Plato. I replied. ix. 527E]. leads the understanding upward and turns it in a new direction. ed. as it undergoes. and transl. Pereira above n. let us on Plato's birthday take Plato himself as partner in the conversation.that light within the mind. And indeed Plutarch says that God. the understanding is blinded to truth and loses that organ . if you recall the threefold division. God. of the first principles from which the cosmos came to birth. Plutarch 'Quaest. when he sang the praise of geometry for drawing us away from the world of sense to which we cling. 1061) 118-21: 'Diogenianus. one matter.4. since it slipped back into the realm of sense-perception instead of soaring upward and laying hold of the eternal and immaterial images in the presence of which God is always God'. 178). because of its congenital forced association with its body. there appear traces and ghost-images of the truth about objects of intellectual knowledge. to leave nothing unused or unformed. the source and mother-city of the rest. but geometry especially. and still creates and preserves throughout all time that which is equal to matter and similar to form. 128-31: 'You will easily see the point. 86 Cf. by whose divine mind everything is providently administered. 66. pp. as if they were trying to find two mean proportionals not by the use of reason but in whatever way would work.2. Matter is the least ordered of substances. Indeed He. In this way. as in smooth and undistorted mirrors. a complete purification and a gradual deliverance from sense-perception. viii. and Tyndares immediately took up the argument: Do you think. according to Plutarch. in the creation of the world. cf. Being habituated. This. said: If you please. so to speak. having set himself this problem. and not merely to what he himself said and wrote many times. namely. the cosmos is assisted by the Father and . not only that which consists of contemplation but also that which comprises the building and administration of the world. and forces the understanding to judge by emotion rather than by reason. making a new start. conviv. through the experience of intense pain and pleasure. and turning us toward the intelligible and eternal level of existence. it is well enough attested and is in harmony with his character.2. as though they were true being. was that very celebrated problem upon the solution of which Pythagoras or Thales87 is said to have sacrificed. 127 sqq. but there was 85 (p.130 Science. 720A . and since we have spoken about the gods. in the Timaeus. seeing that every function of God is included in it. form the most beautiful of patterns. ibid. he created a third. Now in all of the so-called mathematical sciences. Diogenianus. vii. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought all geometrises'. so far as possible. that is makes the objects of sense-perception clearer than those of intellectual knowledge. the contemplation of which is the goal of philosophy. that this saying conceals a reference to some recondite or difficult doctrine. viii. making a unity out of all the materials which would have the quality of the form and the quantity of the matter. he thought.85 the other having regard to their origins. 'Republic'. but to reduce nature to a cosmos by the use of proportion and measure and number. to paying heed to the shifting and changeable aspects of physical things.

Therefore if anyone mentally conceives God as wisest and as Geometrical Architect for all. optics. catoptrics.' props. God. . pure and mixed. Federico Commandino's editions of Apollonius and Archimedes. gives limits to that which exists.25. cf. 182-200. and with reference to the pattern. Francesco Barozzi's work 'De numero Platonis' and Mazzoni's 'De triplici hominum vita'. 92 Ibid. Michael Psellus's 'Compendium mathematicum'. 181-2. loanne Pena Regio Mathematico interprete (Parisiis. that is where in a right-angled triangle the square of the side opposite the right-angle is proved equal to the squares of the other two sides.). Gioseffe Zarlino. Euclid. measurement and number (for nothing was to be fairer than the world or more excellent than its maker). 48E sqq. .90 The large range of authors cited points to Clavius's excellent guidance to the mathematicians and Possevino's own scholarship and eclectic concern with their relation to philosophical and theological issues. Euclidis 'Rudimenta musices. Archimedes and Ptolemy as preeminent. but since he wished to leave nothing discordant and unordered. pp. geodesy. but to adorn it with ratio. and on the other hand Gianfrancesco Pico. 426 sqq. Latin and Italian.92 On geometry and the subordinate sciences of astronomy. God. 'In primum Eucl. 90 Possevinus. Elem. equal to the other. Timaeus' 27D .91 On music he cited among many others Aristoxenus. who. similar to the one. that is.47 (= ed. . . Possevino (pp.Mathematics and Platonism 131 also that other problem which is ascribed to Pythagoras by Proclus88 and by all the ancients. 176. Francesco Giorgio ('sed qui sit expurgatus') and Mazzoni.ii. 179-81) also cited the divisions of mathematics made by Boethius and Hugh of St Victor. therefore the Craftsman of the world ('Opifex mundi') imitated the fairest and eternal exemplar.200. matter and idea. 'Apologia pro Creator. and idea as the fairest of all examples. 'Elements'. Ptolemy's 'Almagest' and 'Geographia'. cf. he will understand that the world has been joined together by God from all substances and from the whole of matter. vi. His authorities included Euclid's 'Elements' in Greek. eiusdem sectio regulae harmonicae'. ibid.34 B. Proclus's Euclid. painting. For that of which the first origin of the world consists Plato89 divides into three. cf. In such a way then. and published a revision of Jean Pena's edition of Euclid's 'Musica' made from further Greek manuscripts. 1557). . 91 Ibid. Thus on arithmetic he cited. constructed the world. mechanics. sculpture and architecture he again cited Mazzoni and named Euclid. . Possevino essentially followed Geminus's division as reported by Proclus. Therefore he formed the world in such a way that it should be a copy of that eternal exemplar and form which we call the Idea . 200. . Giorgio Valla. Friedlein. Thus the aspect of measure in things is even more beautiful than their symmetry'. for example. in Plato's opinion. Copernicus's 'De revolutionibus'. on the one hand Clavius himself. In his discussion of the mathematical sciences. Clavius's commentary on Sacrobosco's 'Sphaera' (1593). for whom matter and idea are proposed as two dissimilar figures and who has to construct the world as a third figure from the two proposed. God as the most excellent of efficient causes. Vincenzo Galilei. Ptolemy. matter as the most unordered substance of all things. 173. 89 Plato. Cardano and Pacioli. 88 Proclus.179. 87-8. by means of reason.

nihil a nobis hoc in libro dictum esse: nam cum de principiis rerum plurimae atque gravissimae quaestiones et controversiae sint inter Platonem et Aristotelem nequaquam satis adhuc explicatae. maintains that Villalpando's discussion of the centre of gravity reproduces a treatise on local motion by Leonardo. 20 (1576) 164: 'De veterum igitur opinionibus. Vitruvius's 'Architectura' in the editions of Philander and Daniele Barbaro. Villalpando's discussion on the centre of gravity was set out again by Mersenne in the 'Mechanicorum libri' included in his 'Synopsis mathematica' (Paris. After Prado's death in 1595 Villalpando carried on the work. 6788. above n. De Platonis autem opinione mirum nemini videri debet.94 His account of the origins and parts of architecture was based on Vitruvius. 95 Ibid. 1596-1605). Villapando's massive commentary on the building of Solomon's temple. Its sources range from Girolamo Cardano to Giovanni Battista Benedetti and Clavius. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Kalendario' and 'Euclid'. 'Symmetria' etc. sed verbis tantum dissidere affirmantibus. et opinio Platonis simul cum aliorum 94 93 . 104. 207-12. quae pertinent ad principia rerum naturalium (ut aliquis tandem huic libro terminus et finis imponatur) ita sit a nobis non (ut opinor) indiligenter. etc. a large folio of 655 pp. 109-11. Palladio and Daniele Barbaro but included a discussion of the building of Solomon's Temple. 'De comm. Hero's 'Spiritalia'. to work in the Collegio Romano. 'In Ezechielem explanationes et Apparatus urbi et templi Hierosolymitani. learned in mathematics and philosophy. geometry. had joined Jeronimo Prado. containing a series of treatises of arithmetic. Juan Batiste Villalpando (1552-1608). Duhem. Ibid. Albrecht Diirer's 'Geometricae institutiones'. 'De machinis bellicis' and 'Automata'. Pereira had made it plain in his preface to 'De communibus'97 that he was looking for a Possevinus. nee ineptem disputatum. weights and measures. Excerpts from Villalpando's treatise 'De ponderibus et mensuris' ('Apparatus'. Pererius. Mus. commentariis et imaginibus illustratus'. opus tribus tomis distinctum (Romae. 200-2.) are to be found in Thomas Harriot's papers. c. which was published as vol. Egnazio Danti's Trospettiva d'Euclide'. 215-8. 96 Possevinus. in 'Etudes sur Leonard de Vinci'. 3 of a large commentary on Ezechiel's prophesies: Hieronymi Pradi et loannis Baptistae Villelpandi e Societate lesu.. aliis quidem hos duos philosophos non rebus. 202-7. Niccolo Tartaglia's 'Nova scientia' and 'Quesiti'. non debuit tanta quaestionum moles in hunc libellum intrudi.132 Science. in the ambitious task of preparing such a commentary and for this purpose they both moved to Rome. MS Add. Giuseppe Ceredi's Tre discorsi sopra il modo d'alzar acque'. Euclid's 'Optica' and 'Catoptrica'. Alhazen's and Vitelo's 'Opticae'. 66. and Leon Battista Alberti's 'Architectura'. ff. and managed to publish the first three volumes.96 Sympathy for Platonism such as that shown by Possevino and Pereira should not obscure the basically Thomist character of Jesuit philosophy.95 Cosmography and geography he again based on Biblical. ibid. Guidobaldo del Monte's 'Mechanica' and 'Aequeponderantium'. Cf. works of Ctesibus and Philo of Byzantium in the Vatican Library. among other excerpts and notes on specific weights. i (1906) 511 sqq. finding support from Pereira's commentary on 'Genesis'. Allesandro Piccolomini's Taraphrasis'. Athenaeus's 'De machinis bellicis'. aliis autem contendentibus eos inter se omnino discrepare. now lost. as well as ancient Greek and Latin and modern sources. 1626). 249 sqq. cf. 176. Aristotle's 'Mechanica' in Niccolo Leonico's version. pp. the third being the 'Apparatus urbis et templi Hierosolymitani' (Romae. iv 'De antiquis philosophis'. mechanics.. ibid..93 He went on to give a refutation of judicial astrology. Brit. largely devoted to mathematical sciences and mechanics. another Spanish Jesuit. 1604). Alberti.'. written in 1604-1605. 97 Cf. a Spanish Jesuit. Daniele Barbara's 'Perspectiva'.

above nn. Inter Platonicos autem. In the same year he was called to Padua. propositiones. where he transferred in 1591: G. 127 sqq. liquidiorem lucem ex ipso Platone. cf. 98. et communi iudicio cognosci. deinceps causas. and 'Bibl. 'Saggi sull' Aristotelisrno Padovano' (1958). Part of the attraction towards Platonism came from repulsion from Averro'ist interpretations of Aristotle. Achille Gagliardi . 'Storia . in 'Ensayos' (1948) 82. qui sunt hi': a list follows beginning with 'Mercurii Trismegisti Pimander. i (1963) 287: 'Bened. quod collegit loannes Baptista Bernardus. . ordinemque collegit: rei nempe cuiusque. si quid dilucidius agendum sit. turn divisiones. 99 Villoslada. vel attentarunt. 323-4. cf. 'Iter Italicum'. Kristeller. Some unpublished lectures on 'De anima'98 given in Rome in 1566-67 show the same policy of reconciliation. (16 cent. 79-80. sed satius fuit ea destinato in id libro aliquo. Ambrosiana.12 (1607) ii. e quibus illud Seminarium confecit (licet Platonis dialogos non redegerit in eas classes. quae in earn in universum cadunt. another occupant of the theology chair. 101 Cremonini studied philosophy at the University of Ferrara with Federico Pendasio and became there a friend of Patrizi and of Torquato Tasso. . .Mathematics and Platonism 133 concordance of Plato and Aristotle in truth as known by reason and revelation. op. Favaro. et labore universum philosophiam per locos.15. et subtiliter ac proprie diiudicari'. ' (1966) 558 sqq.. . The proposal made in 1602 by Gagliardi 'with some gentlemen' of Venice to found an 'Accademia della dottrina Platonica'102 indicates a general concern about the social consequences of the university's philosophorum sententiis involui. Pereira himself became regarded as unorthodox in the Collegio Romano. . 429-30. Nardi. inde definitiones. 'Bibl. see Cozzi. Achille Gagliardi. 'Galileo Galilei e la soceita veneziana' (1968) 12. sel. who was also prefect of studies.' xii. . and was called to the chair of philosophy in 1590. below nn. 74. 'Storia del Collegio Romano' (1954) 78-9. 100 Castellani. 580. Asclepius' and including at the end Patrizi. 31-2: 'Quinam conciliare Aristotelem cum Platone. cit.101 Possevino's book no doubt reflects this hostility between the two institutions. 'II P. Another effort at concordance is indicated by Possevino.' XIII (1593) ii." Gagliardi went from Rome to teach during 1579-80 at the Jesuit 'Gymnasium' in Padua. A year or so later. 'Lo Studio di Padova e la Compagnia di Gesu sul finire del secolo decimosesto' (1878). ' (1945) 33. 1566-67)'. vir. sel. . et Platonicis afferens. 98 Mendendez Pelayo. 86. et ortus. took the lead in opposing publication of Pereira's writings on the grounds that he was inclined to Averroi'sm. del Possevino' (1954) 105 n. On 16th-century Averrosim and its background cf.). 87: 'Accedit ad haec perutile sane Seminarium Platonicae simul et Peripateticae philosophiae. qua de agitur. 'Gesuiti e politica sul finire del Cinquecento' (1963). 327. vel polliciti sunt'. 10° By that time the Averroi'sm of the University of Padua had gained strength from the appointment in 1590 of Cesare Cremonini (1550-1631) from Ferrara to a chair in philosophy at Padua. XX. Villoslada. Lectiones super libros de anima (Rome. 'De las vicisitudes de la filosofia platonica en Espana' (1889/90). The Jesuits were expelled from the Venetian Republic in 1606. atque ad extremum. 'La vocazione . in quas supra redactae sunt) philosophos tamen. qui summis muneribus in Republica Veneta perfunctus.O. Garin. Bibl. separatim explicari. et alios auctores Christianos numeravit. In 1567 he was moved from the chair in metaphysics first to that in scholastic theology and then in 1576 to that in scripture. 102 Pirri. MS D 497 inf. Pererius. and after various other postings returned to the region in 1599 as superior of the Jesuit house in Venice. 66. Milan. mirabili ordine. Fox Morcillo and Piccolomini.

On its part the Pinelli circle.O. wrote on 2 December 1589 to the Florentine Baccio Valori (1535-1606) :103 . . (1968) 13n. . Platonic philosophy seems to have been first officially recognised in university teaching at Pisa. . . xvii. 'Storia .. xi. Vieri had been active in the Florentine Academy. 'Historia Academia Pisanae'. Campanella on Valori. I am afraid that the chair will still be vacant this year. . Pinelli' (1607) 29. and for a brief account of the introduction of Platonism into Italian universities.' in McMullin (ed. 366-8. 'Verbali. op. The Florentine background . for the date 1576. 'II problema metologica . Cozzi. xx. 614. . Bandini. Nelli. xx.105 But the university introduced no chair in Platonic philosophy.' (1893). 133 sqq. . Cochrane. 'La vita di Jacopo Mazzoni' (1790). Rossi. 'Galileo' (1967) 126-7. as distinct from that of Cremonini. Fabronius. ii (1792) 96 sqq. 107 See Fabbruccio. In 1588 the Grand Duke of Tuscany had in fact brought Mazzoni to teach Platonic philosophy at Pisa. 323 n. ibid. 298. ' (1966) 607-8. and 290 n. . in which I should like on my part to see the study of Plato introduced.O. discussed Galileo in connection with the vacant mathematical chair and at the same time the possibility of introducing the study of Plato at the university. Mazzoni.. dalla prima Accademia Lincei (1603-1630)' (1927).' (1972). the name of which Signer Contarini and I kept alive in the memory of those who govern the University. 469. I heard about Galileo from Signer Pinelli. esp. i (1793) 25. and from 1553 had taught first logic and then natural philosophy and medicine at Pisa. x. G. . Favaro. . After Galileo had accepted the mathematical post at Pisa. cit. 561. Kristeller. 'Vita . . Serassi. Garin.104 When Galileo eventually did go to the Paduan mathematical chair in 1592 Pinelli's friendship drew him into his circle. below nn.108 and was opposed to the kind of Aristotelianism taught at G. and I am pleased that the way has been opened to that man to show his learning publicly in a University. . 479. . . for Valori G. . 'Studies . ' (1760) 132-4.136-7. (1968) 14. 551. 'I. On Galileo and the Jesuits at Padua cf.O. 295. 'Memorie per servire alia vita del senator Pier Vettori' (1756) for his acquaintance at Pisa with Cesalpino. iv. Gualdo. after Moleto's death in 1589. . cit.O.134 Science. . 72-99: Favaro (pp. i (1883) 4.O. 65. 'De Pisano Gymnasio . 115. as I believe that His Highness is likely to bring it back in Pisa.). 'Per la storia .106 He was a friend of Baccio Valori107 and of Antonio Persio. 446. 104 103 . . . iii. di Galileo'.O. especially its anticlericalism. and cf. Benedetto Zorzi. . 1: Mazzoni . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought philosophy. and I would be glad if you would kindly let me know how this goes. x. 106 See Fabbruccio. 292 n. ' (1959). Kristeller. 134. 108 Cf. 'Notizio . . . . .112. cf. Viviani. 'Jacopo Mazzoni. ..e. for his correspondence with Patrizi. Crescini. Cf. 'Vita ed opera di Andrea Cesalpino' (1922) 170-1. . when in 1576 the Grand Duke Francesco I authorised Francesco Vieri ('il Secondo Verino') to give extraordinary lectures on Plato in addition to his ordinary ones on Aristotle. . 98-9) rejected Nelli's opinion that Jesuit hostility to Galileo began at Padua. a Venetian patrician who was an admirer of both Plato and the Jesuits.' (1972) 365 sqq. 352 (1638). 105 Cozzi. . ibid. 'Vita . G. 42. of competent people] especially in this subject. G. above n. see for Zorzi G. 'Galileo Galilei e lo Studio di Padova'. op. Purnell. 346 sqq.. di Antonio Persio Linceo' (1933). Gabrieli. because there is a lack [i. Corsano. ' (1956) 291-3. xx. . 301-3.

in subject-matter divine science came first in excellence and perfection. for 'mathematics is a science of quantities considered without matter and substance (although always existing in some matter and substance) in order to give us knowledge in the factive things of the arts and of human activities governed by action. p. natural science concerned with natural corporal substances came next. . teaching the theory ('ragione') and mode of construction of different instruments. as it is defined by the divine Plato. 'Rep. le matematiche sono utili anzi necessarie alle scienze specolative'. 73-4. he saw mathematics and natural science as essentially means by which the mind rose up to the science of the divine. those of'quantity.:'.112 Within this scheme mathematics had a central place. camps and fortifications.Mathematics and Platonism 135 Pisa by Bonamico109 and Girolamo Borri. indeed necessary to the speculative sciences'. ii. 136-7. 112 Vieri. Fabbruccio and Fabronius. he wrote again. proclaiming the usefulness to be got from this mathematical science'. nn. 72-75. which in all these things concerns either continuous or discontinuous quantity.' vii and Polybius. 114 Ibid. their Creator. 'are useful. ibid.115 Among these. his similar definition to Valori in 1590. Aristotle and orthodox Catholic theology initiated by Ficino. such as architecture and military art. 111 Vieri. 133. Cochrane. . 115 Vieri. ibid. .m Of the three contemplative disciplines. ibid. op. 48. when he says that "philosophy is a knowledge of divine and human things through which man makes himself similar to God so far as is possible for him" '. ibid. all that. 84 sqq. military formations. and more open to human reason than the divine obscurities Fabbruccio. 79-80. cf.114 'Mathematics'. . and mathematics came last because it was concerned with accidents. 52. and their rules as set out in Aristotle's 'Posterior Analytics'. Again it can be defined with other words. .. in the contemplation of whom consists the supreme human happiness in this mortal and earthly life . measurements of heights of towers and so forth. But in certainty and exactness of demonstration mathematics came first because it was more abstract than natural science. ibid.110 He manoeuvred in various ways to follow the tradition of concordance between Plato. The essentially moral and religious aim of his Platonism is indicated by his definition of philosophy in the educational scheme set out in the 'Discorso' (1568): 'Speculative philosophy is a habit of the human spirit by which all those things become known which depend on God and on nature.113 It made known true demonstrations as illustrated by Euclid's geometry. cit. Fabronius. . 353 sqq. citing Plato. cf. so that in St Paul's words 'through visible creatures it ascends to the invisible God'. 'Andrea Cesalpino' (1922) 170. 75. and which guides us finally to knowledge of the intelligences and of God himself. . . 110 109 . Hence it served all the demonstrative sciences and the f active arts using machines. Viviani. 113 Ibid. 341 sqq. and in the natural and divine substances speculated about in natural and in divine science. 'Discorso' (1568) 9.

che si richiede'. Whence it can be defined from the subject and from the end in this way. and for other similar arts which use machines. the astrologer cannot prescribe as in those more simple and more general effects because. judical astrology. 96-7. Ibid. which could be calculated from observations with good instruments.136 Science. and lastly metaphysics.118 One subalternate of geometry to which he gave attention was astronomy and especially its derivative. but serves also for the understanding and contemplation of the whole universe and for skilful operation. nevi. based on Augustine and the councils. Its subject is all the factive things such. e altri simili. usi buoni stormenti. e piu semplici. he wrote. that they depend on our operations which always terminate in the completion of something material outside ourselves'.119 But as for more composite effects. 118 Ibid.117 Reason meant the mathematical sciences. although man in many operations depends on the heavens nevertheless in voluntary and free acts he is not subjected to the heavens. so to speak. to build buildings with rule and measure. and so in his free acts man is not necessitated or constrained. or else very indirectly in so far as the intellect and will make use of the senses and corporeal power. 119 Ibid. lastly that of Trent. e certissima. natural and civil laws would be banished away. then natural science. 99. He held that it was possible to predict general and simple effects such as rain. e dal lume suo. offering fit reward to whoever acts well and penalty to whoever does the contrary. in cotal dotrina e'sia ancora diligente in calculare bene. which can serve later for sensible things'. 106. come pioggie. di maniera che di cotali effetti si apporra sempre 6 il piu delle volte il buono astrologo ogni volta. 'is nothing other than a habit of our spirit which proceeds with a right reason concerning those things that we call factive and which are all those which serve the body. being simply open to grasp by reason. should be taught first. He accepted the Platonic argument that in education mathematics. 6. Thus he Ibid. by saying that it is a speculative science of continuous quantity. and in sum serves for everything where in some way there is continuous quantity. embracing the arts and natural philosophy. vend. Otherwise divine. For his reference to Augustine and the Councils see p. such as are those which can happen to man. pigli el pun to vero. he wrote concerning the proposition that astrology 'predice le cose avvenire: la quale scienza quanto agl' effetti piu universali. all of which command him to act well and forbid him to act badly. He made no reference to Copernicus. even though he may be influenced. without being applied to anything natural and sensible. 88-96.116 Vieri's view of the arts and sciences exemplifies the strength of the rational Florentine tradition specified by Leonardo da Vinci and Ficino. snow and so on depending immediately on the heavens and their light. 117 116 . e in somma. Thus 'geometry is not only useful for knowing how to measure the Earth. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought made known to us only superhumanly. 'Art (to start from the first and lowest grade)'. His attitude was traditionally Catholic. purche oltre all'essere eccell. winds. e vera. i quali immediatamente dependono dal cielo. osservi tutto quello.

120 He made an interesting choice of topics. cf. or that is the boundary of the image of the thing which starts from the thing itself and terminates in the eye. When we are so far away that the apex of the species or image of the thing does not arrive at our eyes. . Otherwise justice would be taken away . Perhaps the images of the thing unite with each other when they arrive at the eye for the one reason or the other. He illustrated his argument (p. and the Catholic and Roman Church. linking the arts and sciences through mathematics. teach that man is free and that the heavens cannot constrain him. vision' (1967). speaking however in the manner of the perspectivists. astronomy.Mathematics and Platonism 137 does the contrary. . master of all truth and unable to err. 121 Ibid. 108-10. cosmography. and according to whether we are more or less near the things. .121 120 Ibid. and yet it is evident from experience that those who take council act much better than those who act by chance.102. 101) with the story of the Stoic Zeno's slave. 100. to which Zeno replied that he chastised him by necessity. so that the thing appears larger or smaller according to whether it is seen through a larger or smaller angle. which colour has power to unite. whence by the teaching of Euclid in the first book of the Elements the base which terminates at the thing seen will be larger if the angle is larger and smaller if the angle is smaller. these lines of sight are boundaries of the species ('specie') of the thing seen. who think that we see things because rays go out of our eyes and come as far as the things seen in the shape of a pyramid of which the apex would start from the eyes and the base terminate at the surface of the thing seen. Enough that perspective is a science which reasons from a line that goes out from the eye and comes from that. this for the present does not matter. Thus he would not take council in his acts because everything would happen of necessity. The perspectivist then considers that the line from our eye either goes out from it and comes to the thing. drawing together by virtue of the blackness of the eye. But speaking in the manner of Aristotle and of the truth. which species or true image starts from the thing seen. After stereometry. . and it is seen through a larger angle if it is nearer to us and through a smaller one if it is farther away. . in his brief discussion of optics and music. geography and chorography came another part of mathematics concerned with continuous quantity called perspective because it applies lines to seeing. or comes from the thing to the eye. terminating its apex in our eye. as is seen in convex and round mirrors in which our face appears very small and foreshortened and by contrast in concave mirrors much larger. . and the angle of the said apex opposite to the base and to the thing is larger or smaller. we cannot see. who claimed that he had broken his master's vase by necessity. considering them in so far as they go out from the eyes and come to things. Finally our most holy and true Christian religion. or by virtue of the eye's round shape which shape also unifies it. Crombie The mechanistic hypothesis and .

. will and power is so far ahead of men and every other creature. so with 'arithmetic. with how much greater harmony had God. and the Dorian the contemplative. and to act in short virtuously according to moral and to speculative virtue'. high-pitched and low-pitched'. Archimedes. Vieri published another work aiming at concordance: 'Compendio della dottrina di Platone in quello che ella e conforme con la fede nostra' (1577). 91-2. mathematical and divine things. Aristotle. . ibid. 126 Ibid. considered Plato to be another Vieri. 419b 25-35. the ancient Lydian and loniam modes excited the concupiscent and amorous appetite. which is divine. and the echoing of the voice from a cavern 'down to the last syllable'. and music treats the same numbers while applying them to sensible things.8. and thirdly of the teaching of Plato. reflected and refracted visual lines. 125 Ibid. which is more certain than music. 123 Vieri. Through these practical music played in various ways could excite the concupiscent or irascible appetites of the senses shared with the animals. problems of natural philosophy such as the shape and colours of the rainbow. Pecham and Witelo. citing also the 'Republic' vii and the 'Laws'. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Going on to discuss the three divisions of perspective. viii. the bouncing of a ball from a wall. who in knowledge. such as the appetite and longing to know natural. would rise to think that if man has been able to form notes of such proportion. ii. ibid. 117-8. citing Plotinus and Aristotle's 'Polities'. the Phyrigian mode the irascible and warlike. he wrote in the preface. Ill. '. composed this universe and such marvellous orders of creatures. 114-5. all directed to the services of man . esp. embellished the spirit in three ways: with knowledge above all of divine things. having read the books of Moses and of Plato.124 Thus speculative music applied the science of discrete quantity to notes which together could produce harmony and consonance. Arithmetic like geometry was also both speculative and practical: 'the speculative is called by Plato in the Philebus the arithmetic of philosophers. as are sounds.138 Science. 115-6. secondly of visible things. As with geometry and its subalternates.122 Perspective explained illusions such as a stick appearing bent in water.125 This last was that understood by the divine Plotinus which led men to transcend 'the eye of the body' so that 'the intellect. or in man alone a third 'rational appetite for those things which help and delight the soul. as used by merchants. 118-9. Josephus had said that Plato imitated Moses: 'Numenius the Pythagorean. True 'virtuosi'. 'De anima'.123 So likewise was music. For perspective Vieri (pp. and the other that of the common people'. because arithmetic treats numbers which it does not apply to any sensible matter. dealing respectively with direct. ibid. 124 Vieri. and the foreshortening used by painters.126 A year after he had begun his lectures on Plato at Pisa. see 113-20. he drew attention to Aristotle's analogies between the reflection of images from a mirror.7. 112-3) cited Euclid. 122 .

op. Saitta. This was a polemical reply to his Aristotelian colleague Borri's 'De peripatetica docendi atque addiscendi methodo' (1584). . 'Studi . . c.97.. and grew with the Greeks and Italians under Pythagoras and with the Athenians through the care of Plato'.ll (1577) index. 292. Kristeller. cit. . concerned about concordance with Christian theology but not with Aristotle. 'Studies . The Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino' (1943) 13 sqq. 131 Solerti. (1956) 191-2. Walker. iii (1805) 31-2. above nn. i (1927) 298. Studies .130 Meanwhile in Ferrara Patrizi is listed as lecturing on Plato's 'Republic' in 1578 and on Platonic philosophy in a number of subsequent years down to 1587. 'Storia . In the University of Rome the Platonic impetus given by the mathematical scholar Raimondi was strengthened by Patrizi's appointment to a new chair in Platonic philosophy there in 1592. . Cosimo de' Medici. . Ulisse Aldrovandi e lo Studio Bolognese (1907) 90.133 But in that year he joined Vieri at Pisa. .. Storia . ibid. Yates. A. Garin. Fabronius. cf. 130 Cf. . for Numenius Pythagoricus of Apamea in Syria (2nd cent. 'L'umanismo italiano' (1953) 108 sqq. . and pp. and thereby of Pico della Mirandola. 224-5. and his family. but Platonic courses seem to have continued in the university. ibid. Augustine and Ficino confirmed the conformity of Plato's doctrines with Christian theology. .132 A chair for the introduction of lectures on Plato in Bologna had been discussed in 1588 and Mazzoni proposed for it. Studies . The Ancient Theology' (1972). Dewish.Mathematics and Platonism 139 Moses who spoke in the Attic tongue'. 66. cf.127 Justin Martyr. see for Algaophenus etc.3. where he 127 Vieri. . 'Antiquities' i. for Josephus.. had by the will of Divine Providence resurrected there in Tuscany the pious and divine philosophy of Plato: 'which had originated from Zoroaster with the Persians. ii (1950) 75 sqq. and also by Hermes Trismegistus in the 'Pimander'. cf. . 85 sqq. . (1966) 587-8.. 'Against Apion'. ' (1958) 153 sqq. . succeeded among the Egyptians thanks to Mercurius Trismegistus and among the Thracians through the work of Orpheus and Aglaophemus. . who had in that year become Pope Clement VIII. From Vieri's dedicatory preface to Baccio Valori it seems that he had been obstructed by the Aristotelians in giving his lectures and had been forced to abandon them. of Ficino and the formation of a Platonic Academy.. . Gran Duchessa di Toscana (1577) sig. In that year he left. Kristeller. ' (1939) 113 sqq. through his encouragement of Gemistus surnamed Plato because he was 'almost a new Plato'. Wind. 'Giordano Bruno' (1964) 14 sqq.. Kristeller.' (1967) 241 sqq. Kristeller. Kieszkowski.. 'Studi. 86. ii (1792) 347.131 Patrizi was an all-out Platonist. L'umanismo italiano (1952) 165. Garin. a4+3. ii.' (1966) 358 sqq. 'Pagan Mysteries . advocated in the 15th century by Georgius Gemistus Pletho. 233.129 His last effort at concordance appeared in his final year at Pisa: 'Vere conclusioni di Platone conformi alia dottrina Christiana et a quella d'Aristotile' (1590). . 128 Vieri. 'Introduction'. (1956) 292. 216 sqq. Kristeller.. 469. 132 Renazzi. 133 Costa. a4-2.128 Vieri paid attention in this work to concordance over the whole range from moral teaching to accounts of the creation: 'God has produced the whole universe as is said by Moses in the beginning of Genesis and by Plato in the Timaeus'. 15-17. citing these three ancient authors. (1956) 233.2.. dedicatory preface to Giovanna d'Austria. Storia dell'Universita di Roma.) Sarton.D. and for his Hermetic Neoplatonic view of intellectual history. ibid. ' (1956) 36-7. 129 Vieri.. . through the Neoplatonic interests of Ippolito Aldrobrandini. . 'Compendio'. this Cosimo was 'Padre della Patria' (1389-1464). . Studies . 'Documenti riguardanti lo Studio di Ferrara' (1892) 32-48. sig. 'II pensiero italiano'.

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'Giuseppe Moleto' in Aristotelismo veneto e scienza moderna. Olivieri (Padova. dal suo inizio (1551) alia soppressione della Compagnia di Gesu (1773)'. et della dignita et ordine degl'habiti deH'animo. 1964).1824. Francesco Vieri. a cura di U. xii (Toulouse.D. D. Zaccagnini. 'Vita ed opera di Andrea Cesalpino' (Arrezzo. ed. with Christophe Clavius. G. U. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought C. 'Bibliotheque de la Compagnie de Jesus'. Jardine. sa vie et son oeuvre'. 'Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance'. del numero. Walker. Francesco de Vieri cognominato il Secondo Verino. C. 'Christopher Clavius and the scientific scene in Rome' in Gregorian Reform of the Calendar. Wind. 267. Lattis. 2a ed. Crombie. a cura di L. 131. 8 torn. J. cognominato il Verino. Coyne et al. Garcia Villoslada. G. 1968). G. 'Le Pere Christophe Clavius.148 Science. A. .P. Wohrle (Wiesbaden. 1922). 'The Ancient Theology: Studies in Christian Platonism from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries' (London. 766 n. Baldini. Sommervogel. x-xi (Paris.M. Naux. del soggetto. (Citta del Vaticano. R. 1961). ed. 1992). Styles of Scientific Thinking . 1983) 137-69. 1981). Francesco de Vieri. scienze specolative. 1908). La 'ratio studiorum': Modelli culturali e pratiche educative del Gesuiti in Italia tra Cinque e Seicento (Roma. Masetti Zannini. N. 1577). 'Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (London. 2nd ed. Clavius and the Sphere ofSacrobosco: The roots of Jesuit astronomy on the eve of the Copernican revolution (University of Wisconsin doctoral thesis. 'Bernardino Baldi nella vita e nelle opere'. 1990). . 1989). i-ix (Bruxelles et Paris. Yates. 'La vita di Benedetto Castelli' (Breschia. G. Correspondenza. 'Christoph Clavius: ein Astronom zwichen Antike und Kopernikus' in Vortrage des erstens Symposiums in Bamberger Arbeitskreises Antike Naturwissenschaft und ihr Rezeption.L. Ch. liv (1983) 55-68. Brizzi (a cura di). 1568). E. 'Storia della letteratura Italiana'. dell'uso.V. Carugo. dottrine morali. Legem impone subactis: Studi sufilosofia e scienza del Gesuiti in Italia 1540-1632 (Roma. 1930). cioe dell'arti. Baldini e P. M. Viviani. in 14 (Pisa. (Pistoia.A. x (1979) 141-73. 1967). hrg.P. (Modena. e facolta stormentali' (Fiorenza.1826. Further References See A. nouv. (1994) 763 n. . 1992). 1909-32). F.C. G. 'Discorso di M. Revue des questions scientifiques. 1972). Doring and G. 1890-1930). 'The forging of modern realism: Clavius and Kepler against the sceptics'. Tiraboschi. K. U. E.. Aux sources de la pedagogic des Jesuites: Le 'Modus Parisiensis' (Roma. 1983) 509-17. Codina Mir. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. 7 vol. Napolitani. 1787-94). (London.181-94. 'Compendio della dottrina di Platone in quello che e conforme con la fide nostra' (Fiorenza. 'Storia del Collegio Romano. Knobloch. 'Analecta Gregoriana' Ixvi (Romae. 1954). G.

xix. nor is his preceding remark that. and for his method of writing and composing in dialogues. and not to seek a general theory of the universe'. and he called him his master'. He seems to refer to the range of content or subjects Galileo was prepared to consider. I shall respond to the invitation given to me to discuss briefly some 'wider issues' relating to Stillman Drake's very interesting paper. their bearing on cosmology. The omission of Aristotle's name from this honours list by Galileo's second seventeenthcentury biographer. precisely at establishing not only true methods of natural philosophy. 645). is no surprise. Galileo praised his marvellous writing on literature and ethics but found that 'this great man's way of philosophising did not satisfy him. Professor Drake make a point of stressing Galileo's alleged decision 'to limit the scope of his inquiries to separate and well-defined areas. whether through the science of motion and mechanics or through telescopy. This was a theory comprising matter and its properties as discovered by both terrestrial and celestial inquiries. But going on to say that this is 'an extremely important part of his scientific methodology'. the relation of . First Galileo's very effective method of limiting problems in order to solve them was nearly always aimed in the end. but above everyone else he praised Pythagoras for his way of philosophising. he cites the Dialogo and // Saggiatore for examples of Galileo's limit being place on the expectation of certainty rather than the range. Niccolo Gherardini.9 Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 'He exalted Plato to the skies for his truly golden eloquence. by taking up just one question on which I shall argue that Aristotle had a far more profound influence on Galileo's scientific thinking than remarks such as Gherardini's might suggest. Galileo's performance in scientific inquiry was undoubtedly guided by his policy of selecting acceptably answerable questions as much as by his criteria for acceptable answers. but also the true general theory of nature. far from following current fashion in running Aristotle down. But whether Professor Drake means that Galileo limited the range or the certainty he expected science ultimately to achieve. Opere. I should argue that the opposite is true. and that there were in it fallacies and errors' (Galileo. but in genius he said that Archimedes has surpassed all. Nevertheless.

Galileo wrote continually of finding 'true and necessary demonstrations' (Opere. 44. and that he retained this ideal from his earliest to his latest writings. 74b5 = text. We might say that by attempting to prove so much so powerfully Galileo got himself scientifically and personally into a lot of unnecessary trouble. was the . Both sides had been exposed in different ways to a mathematical rationalism imposed on art and nature through mathematical theories of painting. he looked forward not un-typically to solving 'the greatest and most admirable problem there is. well known in Galileo's day to every educated person. the words of Aristotle's Posterior Analytics (i. music and machines. v. Mathematics became an antidote to the threat of scepticism. Most relevant was the well-known difference between the philosophers on the one hand. made much sixteenth-century philosophy notably eclectic. throughout his scientific inquiries and debates. 10. that the fact could not be other than it is' (i. circling in the habit of scholastic disputation.6. Opera omnia. real way. 76a31-b31). 102). 1552. and even when he recognised that demonstration truly scientific by Aristotelian criteria eluded his grasp. But the recovery of alternatives to the academic Christian Aristotle. the true constitution of the universe. In this he was certainly encouraged by early influences to make a characteristic response to the striking variety of current intellectual attitudes and aims. and exists in only one. i. in fact. even as he rejected the methods and destroyed the content of Aristotle's physics. themselves the products of successive European responses to successive recoveries of ancient thought. and of mathematics as a stage in the education of the mind for theology. For such a constitution exists. We have unqualified scientific knowledge of something. and the mathematicians and artists on the other. f. and the bearing of all on theology. and especially of this new Plato. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought perceiver to perceived and of knower to known. it was very natural for him to see beyond the solutions of particular problems to a general philosophical reform to which they would effectively contribute. seeing mathematics as a means of moral education rather than of solving scientific problems.2. But given his background and education in sixteenth-century Italy.150 Science. to say nothing of his own quite specific intellectual vision. and on philosophy through Neoplatonic visions of a morally normative and therapeutic numerological harmony. further. and on one famous occasion. in his First Letter about the Sunspots (1612). true. 330) of his conclusions. 74b5-6. v. tolerant of opposing systems. that is was Aristotle and no other who provided him with this ideal of truly scientific certain knowledge. friend of Galileo's father and professor of both Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy at Pisa from 1588 to 1597. 'Demonstrated knowledge must rest on necessary first principles.!42v). I should argue that Galileo aimed in the end at total certainty. ii. Secondly. 7. seeking concordance between authorities.2. f.!30v). Strong words. Jacopo Mazzoni (1548-98). 155. 71b9 = text. Aristotle had written. that could not possibly be otherwise' (Opere. as the cause of that fact and no other and. 71b9-72a24. for the object of scientific knowledge cannot be other than it is' (i. when 'we know the cause on which the fact depends. 6.

and by his friends among artists and mathematicians. MS Galileiano 27. as an eminent practical as well as theoretical musician. I shall summarise our conclusions about the sources. of types of scientific demonstration. This is the Disputationes de praecognitionibus et de demonstratione (Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. and the fragmentary Tractatus de alteratione with the Tractatus de dementis concerned with the theory of elements and qualities put forward by Aristotle in the Physics and the De generatione et corruptione. Out of this. nor Platonic but conservatively Aristotelian. His earliest surviving philosophical writings show however an influence on his intellectual formation that was neither mathematical. 273).) and the physical causes which he never ceased to look for. and demonstration of actual existence. Moreover. Discorsi on two new sciences. 197 sqq. for some process of physical causation. Fig. To these I must now turn. as distinct from those accepted by conservative contemporary Aristotelians. each in two parts.g. above all under the guidance of Archimedes. The Florentine ambience provided by Galileo's father. engineers and mathematicians concerned with their problems were obliged by the practical crafts to make clear limited decisions. describing it as 'some scholastic exercises' (Opere. He was to carry the consequent decisions of his natural philosophy into theology. and I solved the main problem of the sources of Galileo's early writings in his own hand. came the distinction he made between what he called the mathematical 'definitions' (e. . on major Aristotelian themes: the Tractatio prima de mundo with the Tractatio de caelo concerned essentially with questions of cosmology and cosmogony raised for Christian theology by Aristotle's De caelo. published by Favaro as Juvenilia (Opere. Opere. viii. again incomplete and in two parts. We could say perhaps that Galileo Galilei tried to carry the decisiveness of the mathematical arts into natural philosophy through the discovery of true processes of physical causation.Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 151 most obvious and intelligent philosophical contemporary giving mainly this meaning to mathematics. was strongly scientific in this sense and unsympathetic towards the more numerological and cosmic aspects of Platonism. and of the relation between mental assent. These comprise two incomplete treatises. i). not artistic. a commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics with a detailed analysis of questions of the logic connecting cause with effect. During 1969 and 1971 my colleague Adriano Carugo. then working at Oxford and now at the University of Venice. 1). We have also studied a third autograph treatise. 1520-91) in his experimental analysis of the mathematical basis of music looked beyond the Pythagorean proportions. and then briefly discuss some of the philosophical views Galileo expressed in them and their relation to those he expressed in later life. ix. which Galileo left in manuscript but of which Favaro published only a small section. dates and nature of these three treatise. 1638. as in a mathematical proof. By contrast the artists. like Aristotle. Vincenzo Galilei (c.

4r). MS Galilaiano 27. .152 Science. f. 1 Beginning of Galileo's autograph Disputationes de praecognitionibus et de demonstratione (Biblioteca Nazionale Centrals di Firenze. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Fig.

Averroes. By that date I had become interested in a further range of ancient. In Sphaeram loannis de Sacro Bosco commentarius (published at Rome. The next stage in this story was that in 1968 Adriano Carugo began to suspect and in 1969 showed conclusively that many of Galileo's citations of ancient and medieval sources in the Tractatus de alteratione et de elementis and the Tractatio prima de mundo came from the textbooks of two Jesuit professors of philosophers at the Collegio Romano. 1589). but organised and often rearranged the materials for his own sharply independent arguments. and Toletus's commentaries on Aristotle's Physics (published at Paris.Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 153 I myself began studying the Tractatus de alteratione et de elementis in 1964 when I was looking for the sources and earlier thinking behind the famous distinction which I discussed in my article. including the earliest appearance in Galileo's hand of the name of Copernicus (Fig. Julius Caesar Scaliger and other ancient. made in order to explore and understand Galileo's intellectual background and its relevance to his own thought. he named Clavius only once and Toletus not at all. but of course they were based essentially on considerable and sometimes tedious reading of sixteenth-century natural philosophy. in the same way for his discussion in his Lettera a Madama Cristina di Lorena (1615) of the exegetical rules for relating demonstrated science to the authority . first edition with a different title 1562). whose location of the Earth in an orbit round the Sun is there rejected. medieval and more recent sources cited in Galileo's treatise as well as in the Tractationes de mundo et de caelo and the Disputationes. or Toletus (1532-96). both completed in 1968 (see the Bibliographical Note). published at Rome. all came from a well-known textbook by another Jesuit professor at the Collegio Romano. for the Saggi su Galileo Galilei and in more detail in the unpublished volume Galileo's Natural Philosophy in which Adriano Carugo collaborated. These identifications required some luck as well as cunning. But he did not simply copy. 1579). Then in June 19711 discovered that important parts of the Tractatio de caelo. Carugo showed that Galileo used Pereira's book as his main source of information for his discussion in De motu of the dynamical theories of Philoponus. 2). Sometimes Galileo took from his sources whole passages verbatim. not always copied accurately. Hipparchus. Avempace. 1535-1610) and Francisco de Toledo. These textbooks were Pereira's De communibus omnium rerum naturalium principiis et affectionibus libri quindecim (published at Rome. of which I began to make a preliminary study and got a microfilm in the autumn of 1967. who became a Cardinal. I have shown that he used another work by Pereira. 'The Primary Properties and Secondary Qualities in Galileo Galilei's Natural Philosophy'. 1581) and Degeneratione et corruptione (published at Venice. So Galileo's basic sources were three prominent contemporary Jesuits of the Collegio Romano. 1581) by the German mathematician Christopher Clavius (1527-1612). 1576. both Spaniards: Benito Pereira (c. including lists of references. medieval and more recent authors. a commentary on Genesis (first volume. Sometimes he went through these to the ancient or medieval originals. for although Galileo clearly indicated Pereira as a source.

Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Fig. Copn: in op. . 2 Autograph page of Galileo's Tractatio de caelo with the earliest reference in his hand of Copernicus's great work: 'Nicol. 22r). f. MS Galileiano 46.154 Science. de revolutione orbinum caelestinum' (Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze.

and that while he himself was not convinced by Copernicus' arguments he would thank heartily anyone who could produce a better system than any so far produced. We have a complete transcription made during 1970-71 by Adriano Carugo of the unique manuscript of the Disputationes (MS Galileiano 27). 76. pp. All three treatise comprise closely reasoned arguments. and so on. deriving from a combination of Biblical and ancient Greek chronology total of 5. Favaro's editorial comment on p. 434-437). followed by Aquinas and the Thomistae' (Opere. cf. for example for the world created being the best possible.4. medieval and more recent authors. 12). i. the highest rates of citation are scored by his commentator Averroes. which he himself thought was the same as terrestrial fire. . cited continuously. . libros Posteriorum Analyticorum Aristotelis castigatissima commentaria (published from 1505 in many editions. had any real physical existence (In Sphaeram. 299-300). that it was only the syllogistic form that made the dialectical rule that truth can follow from falsehood seem plausible. viii. 144). Clavius gave a brilliantly lucid exposition of the criteria for deciding whether or not the spheres and epicycles. 21.748 years from the creation. . pp. but again he seems to have used intermediate sources. . and we are publishing with an English translation the parts of this most relevant to scientific thought. with 1584 years from the birth of Christ 'down to the present time' (Opere. that Copernicus himself had postulated his new arrangement of spheres and epicycles not as fictitious but real. The chronology in the Tractatio prima de mundo. but we may see a kinship between his later position on Copernicus and Clavius's insistence that celestial like terrestrial science must argue from effects to their real physical causes. but from the fact that no one had ever produced if (De communibus. What are these writings? We have derived a possible order and dating from their content and from the paper used. This is matched by agreement with Thomist opinions especially on cosmology. In the Disputationes he cited some two dozen ancient. i. If we look at Galileo's Jesuit sources themselves. 117-118. c.Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 155 of revealed Scripture. for the heavens being probably incorruptible but not necessarily so because no natural power could limit God's absolute freedom. even . argued that the disproof of alchemical gold came not from the theory that alchemists had no access to celestial fire. scholastic in form. logica et naturalia (available in various editions including one published at Venice in 1563 with his commentary on the Posterior Analytics). natural causation and natural philosophy very like so many later expressions of his own. Apart from Aristotle. 27. He was equally sceptical of magic and astrology. we find an astringently rational view of nature. might be thought to make this at least its earliest date of composition. here mainly the Dominican philosopher Thomas de Vio Caietanus's In . for example. Galileo did not discuss this in the Tractatio de caelo. Pereira. chiefly Italian and Spanish. including one at Venice in 1565) and the sixteenth-century Averroi'st logician Girolamo Balduino's Quaestia aliquot. making often fine distinctions between opposing opinions. postulated in astronomical theory to account for the observations.

so it seems to be fragile evidence. Galileo contrasted both with his own new mathematical method. they seem to belong to the same period. which could have been Clavius's. 36). pp. Galileo corrected mistakes in writing down this total chronology (MS Galileiano 46. corrected in Opere. He wrote the Tractatus de alteratione et de elementis on the kind of paper. a year after he had returned there as lecturer in mathematics. who sends you greetings'. but neither criticism is incompatible . x.!0r) and when repeating it later wrote it as 6. watermarked with a faint CT or CL. Should both be placed at the end of Galileo's period as a student at Pisa. He visited Clavius in Rome in 1587 and evidently discussed astronomy. Since the Tractatio de caelo is written on the same kind of paper. on different paper however) or as a young lecturer at Pisa. which he used also for the Inferno and for another part of the Tractatus de motu. In his letter of 15 November 1590 (Opere. Since here he does not mention Archimedes. 840-847) and thereafter of the lectures on the Inferno. Of these La bilancetta. In this letter he told his father that he was 'studying and having lessons with Signer Mazzoni. the dialogue and treatise De motu. he awaits the arrival from him of 'la Sfera'. The Disputationes is written on paper without watermark. watermarked with a device of a lamb and flag (Fig. and La bilancetta (dated 1586 by Favaro on Vincenzo Viviani's not always reliable testimony.!5v. the Dialogus de motu and part of the Tractatus de motu were written on similar paper without watermark. before his return to Florence in 1585? But. Must we then conclude that the Tractatus de alteratione et de elementis was a study of these questions of Aristotelian natural philosophy written by the young lecturer in mathematics under the influence of Mazzoni. that he wrote both the dialogue and the treatise De motu after his return to Pisa in 1589. x. but plausibly later on other evidence to be discussed in our forthcoming book). Moreover. So perhaps we should date the Tractationes de mundo et de caelo from his period either with his father at Florence (when in 1588 he wrote his cosmographical lectures on Dante's Inferno. It has been argued. for in a subsequent letter of 8 January 1588 (Opere. it was Galen the philosopher whom he cited. 22-23) he referred to the Jesuit's still unpublished defence of the new Gregorian calendar. 1958. Some years after giving up medicine. 3). as William Wallace has pointed out to me. side by side with the critique of Aristotle he was developing in De motu under the influence of Archimedes and Plato? The targets for criticism are also indicated by Mazzoni: Aristotle's lack of mathematics and his uncritical reliance on the senses. 44-45) to his father from Pisa. it seems that the Disputationes must probably precede these works. f. If the paper is a guide to the date of the Tractatus de elementis. mainly from the doctrines proposed. this would connect the sudden appearance of citations of Galen in this work with the seven volumes of Galen which Galileo said in the same letter of 15 November 1590 that he was expecting from his father with the Sfera. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought if it was all copied from another source. in the Tractatio de caelo he quoted Clavius. explicitly the new enlightenment of his Theoremata circa centrum gravitatis solidorum (dated late 1587 or early 1588: see Carugo's edition of the Discorsi.156 Science. i.748 years without correction (f.

In the unpublished volume I have already mentioned. with his making at the same time a serious study of Aristotle's theory of the elements and qualities and its ancient rivals. ff. MS Galileiano 46. 74: the paper is folded and bound across the middle of the circle). 3 The watermark showing a backward-looking lamb with flag enclosed in a circle: Briquet no 48 (Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. I suggested that Galen's exposition of atomist doctrines in his De elementis secundum Hippocratem could have been a source of Galileo's later distinction between primary properties and secondary qualities which he had known from that time. This was also suggested by William Shea in his article 'Galileo's Atomic . 71.Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 157 Fig.

1591) with the Juvenilia. patristic writings and the decisions of Councils of the Church. 144145. It seems likely that Galileo used other secondary sources not yet identified. Galileo was to take him on years later in his Discorso (1612) on floating bodies. but saw them only among others through a glass darkly and failed to identify them as sources. suggests some common source. Nevertheless these early writings impress by their scholarship. of mechanical forces. The full integration of his new mathematical method with a new theory of matter was something he brought about only much later. But that is another question. Was he lecturing on these subjects and were they his own lectures? Were they simply for his own edification? For that matter why. and interestingly was to cite from him the logical rule for discovering the cause of effects through presence or absence. still providentially designed.158 Science. had identified any of these sources. Perhaps someone. and this was confirmed in 1969 by Adriano Carugo's further comparisons of Bonamico's De motu (Florence. precisely through a further critique of Aristotle. density. 1965. but meanwhile we thought it might be useful to make authorised information available. 23). 124-127. has in any case been shown by Eugenio Garin (Scienza e vita civile. Francesco Bonamico. and indeed over what years. They show Galileo then as indeed he appears in his later writings (despite his biographers) as the highly literate. pp. iv. cf. 19. and in fact William Shea did independently discover Galileo's use of Clavius a couple of years after me. 165-166) to be impossible. heat and so on. medieval and modern philosophers and astronomers but also to points of theology in Scripture. Bonamico was no Thomist and he disagreed with Galileo too often. well-read man of his time and ambience . William Wallace noticed certain similarities with Pereira and Toletus. will look further. no one we had been in touch with or whom we knew to be working on Galileo. Full details of our work will be published in our forthcoming book. p. 22. and at the same time to begin replacing the whole Greek theory of pairs of contrary qualities with quantitative linear scales of weight. We may then dismiss the hypothesis that Galileo's three earliest treatise were notes he took of philosophical lectures heard as a student at Pisa. But someone was bound to identify them fairly soon. The long-standing candidate for the lecturer. Moreover in De motu itself Galileo retained scholastic forms of argument alongside the mathematical form learnt from Archimedes. xvii. did he write De motul Before we made the discoveries I have described no one known to us. Already in De motu Galileo used Archimedes and Plato to replace Aristotle's ideological structure of the universe with a structure that was the resultant. and continued not only citing philosophical commentaries but also using Pereira as an important source of information. 27). not me. 1970. 52. which he used in experiments for that work (Opere. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Hypothesis' (Ambix. I do not think it possible to say what Galileo wrote these treatises for. The sheer number of references. or indeed exactly when he wrote them. not just to ancient. It seems that we looked back across nearly four and a half centuries to something known before perhaps only to Galileo himself.

He went on to analyse at length Aristotle's criterion that truly scientific demonstrations must-proceed from true causes.5v).Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 159 that he was. But whereas in nature an effect must necessarily follow from its sufficient cause. f. This leads to a discussion in the Tractatio de demonstratione (disputatio i. primary and immediate in not being themselves demonstrated from any prior principles. not per se. real being. as that fire is hot. quaestio i. The sciences subordinate to mathematics (as astronomy.!7v-18r). by the first principles we grasp (disputatio ii. and related to their conclusions as cause to effect (Post. f. The proper object of true knowledge in ens reale. wanted also the support of the truest ancient model.4. It is significant that he should have written it as one of his earliest philosophical essays. MS Gal. as in medicine. Demonstrations of true conclusions from false premisses can only be per accidens. f. 353). The theory of the truly scientific demonstration expounded by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics was a model on which everyone in Galileo's time had been educated and which was widely accepted as the ideal goal of knowledge. music etc) do not have truly scientific demonstrations because they must proceed ex suppositione from principles assumed from the superior science (ii.!3r) of Aristotle's criteria for the first principles of truly demonstrated knowledge: these must be true. f. 1. because true knowledge of things is had through the causes by which they exist. as that the whole is greater than its part.22v-23r). . Anal.4r). x. f . others through various forms of inductive or hypothetical argument.2. and we cannot actually know such things as the void and the infinite for they are nothing. but mathematical entities do not exist (ii. but we come to rest most agreeably in knowing a conclusion because it follows from true premisses (ii. as those of moral science which we cannot understand unless we practice them (ii.20v). He famously asked to be entitled 'philosopher' as well as 'mathematician' to the Grand Duke on his return to Florence in 1610 (Opere. though we have first to discover these from our more immediate knowledge. not just ens rationis (ii. We are caused to have knowledge. Galileo's Disputationes de praecognitionibus et de demonstratione was his account of that model. a match for anyone in learned dialectical debate. ff. The premisses of mathematics cause knowledge and are as immediately knowable to us as their conclusions. ff. We may know these in various ways: the most universal only through knowledge of terms. others through experience. others only through habit.22™). quaestio.6. i.2).l. Let me conclude by looking briefly at its place in Galileo's thought. Galileo argued that only true propositions can actually be known. 27. others only through the senses. or without evidence as in our faith. Galileo wrote in De praecognitionibus.6. man is free and cannot without his assent be made to have knowledge (iv. f. for example through the senses.!2v). and a philosopher who in wanting to show forth the true system of the universe and of knowledge. We may give our certain assent with evidence as to knowledge through the senses.

opere. ii. 393. Parts of the Disputationes (despite its containing no precisely scientific illustrations of the logic) resonate with many of Galileo's well-known later practices and sentences. 443. This is not the occasion to discuss the organisation of his experimental argument. 1612. it demonstrates the reason for that effect. mechanical and Copernican debates of 1610-16 and down to the Dialogo (1632). for example in De motu and in the Discorso (1612) on the floating bodies.31v). that the connection is naturally necessary when it always occurs we know by the light of our intellect. But it is relevant to note that he continued to carry on about 'true and necessary demonstrations' and 'the necessary constitution of nature' (as he put it in Le mecaniche. 318.470-472). 67). 22. as well as Averroes and other authors whom he named.!3r). Demonstration ad impossibile is not truly scientific because it proceeds by raising questions from false premisses in order to find the true ones (f. The scientific argument. the demonstratio propter quid which demonstrates both the cause and hence the existence of the effect (f. 189). That demonstratio quia is truly scientific is proved on the authority of Aristotle and all commentators. from effect to cause and vice versa. it can be truly demonstrated by intrinsic. especially in the physical sciences where we began by not knowing the physical causes. 19. extrinsic or other kinds of cause (f. firs put forward in 1616. This seems to be the origin of Galileo's later designation of demonstration both from observation and from theory as 'necessary demonstration'. 67). f. iv. The complete true cause and the effect entail each other reciprocally and uniquely (f. he went on. intrinsic and total cause' (Discorso.3.29r-30r. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought He concluded with a discussion of the recognised kinds of demonstration: ostensiva. i. 284-285.30r). but he took an independent line. Galileo hedged by claiming . 155.160 Science. 260-265. potissima (iii. demonstratio quia which demonstrates the existence of an effect and from that a posteriori its cause. In mathematics the regress is little needed because premisses are as immediately known as their conclusions. propter quid.30rv). and those effects must entail this cause and no other (Opere.1-2. vii. the methodo resolutiva. and because like demonstratio propter quid it proceeds from true and necessary premisses to true and necessary conclusions. v 377-381. on the logic of la progressione demonstrativa. ff. iv. That an attribute is connected with a subject we know from experience. for otherwise nature would have been improvident. 1593. and 'true demonstrations' from 'the true. quia. from the tides to the Earth's motions seems to have been that here he had a truly scientific demonstration by Aristotle's criteria: this cause must produce those effects. as elsewhere. Truly scientific demonstration could be reduced to two kinds. cf. Here. alternated in a 'demonstrative regress' (iii. f. i.30r).31rv) in both directions. starting from an effect which one knows better than its reason. Opere. ad impossibile. 27. he seems to be using Proclus' commentary on Euclid. from his earliest writings and throughout the telescopic. and so generates knowledge and not probable opinion (f.29r).l. The great attraction for him of his argument. and the reductio ad impossibile or ad contradictionem (Opere. In any case it is not circular because.

Crombie and Adriano Carugo. vii. But it seems to me that we have here in the slow general understanding of the difference that mathematical thinking made to traditional logic and to scientific explanation. Galileo's necessity surely belonged to a conception inherited from Greek philosophy. Pisa. effectively killed the scientific ideal of necessary truth imposed by Aristotle's logic. (Florence. In his scientific practice. 316-321). 628-629. that of the possibility of a completed and bounded knowledge of all that does and can exist. All citations of Galileo's published writings refer to Le Opere di Galileo Galilei.Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 161 this as perhaps only the most probable cause advanced so far. in European scientific methods mediated through cultural habits and inherited preconceptions. . ed. xviii. the open-ended character of mathematics and experiment and of the Archimedean argument ex suppositione (as in his letter of 7 January 1639 to Baliani: Opere. for phenomena could not uniquely determine their causes. What are we to make then of Galileo's apparent blindness to this in expressions of continuing hope? Perhaps just words. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE The subject of this paper (which has been checked by Adriano Carugo and is presented as a result of our joint researches) is discussed in detail in our forthcoming book to be published as: A. 128-131.. 12-13. God's omnipotence made this existentially untenable. Favaro. Dialogo: Opere. Galileo's Natural Philosophy (1968). 488-489. and that he was claiming to demonstrate something necessary not just about the world that existed but also about its omnipotent Creator (cf. vii. Averrois Cordubensis In ea opera omnes qui ad . a phenomenon in European intellectual history. 699-700). aptly quoted by Stillman Drake). Galileo's Arguments and Disputes in Natural Philosophy. found after all in sixteenth-century attempts to put Euclid into syllogisms. Antonio Rocco in 1633 on the Dialogo: Opere. notably of the new cosmology. by distinguishing his arguments about the world God had in fact created from any suggestion that God could be bound by any natural necessity (cf. 1890-1909): cited in the text as Opere. 20 vols. References are made to the major Latin edition Aristotelis Stagiratae Omnia quae extant opera . but he exposed himself of course to a double accusation: that he was committing the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. and this Galileo was to be careful to accept.C. . that greatly merits attention. which was awarded the Galileo Prize and is deposited in the Domus Galilaeana. A. his appreciation of the complexity of natural causes themselves in such phenomena as light and heat. above all his use of range of confirmation as the test of a theory. Lettera a Madama Cristina di Lorena: Opere v. This work is a considerably revised version of our unpublished volume.

a cura di A.43-60. Tractatus de alteratione etde elementis (MSS Gal. ff.. Scienza e vita civile nel Rinascimento italiano (Bari. Cent. ff. 71. The study of the paper used by Galileo for these early autograph writings was begun by Adriano Carugo and extended with certain precisions by myself. ff. 1965). Plutarch. ff. 1974) 293-330: an innacurate note on p. i. Geymonat (Torino. 14-111). MSS Galileiani 27. Procissi p. Opere. Galileo Galilei. A. Galileo. 48): Due lezioni all'Accademia fiorentina circa lafigura. insertion 19. Procissi p. G. 34-42. The watermarks. Fragment of Greek-Latin vocabulary (MSS Gal. always consistently related to the wire lines. 279-282. 3 On paper with watermark showing a backward-looking lamb with a flag enclosed in a circle: Fig. ff. 1-29. . 1958). 46. . Discorsi e dimostrazione matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze. published 1972). 106. Tractatus de motu (MSS Gal.O. 'Galileo'. ff. A. cf. 45. Opere.M. 71. La collezione Galileiana della Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze. 1-54. 215-20. di Firenze. 1972). Procissi p. Naz. 115-124. Bibl. i. Procissi p. 46. A Procissi. compilata da Angiolo Procissi (Roma. 151. 123. Opere morali (MSS Gal. Crombie. 289-290).162 Science. Procissi p. 123. Procissi p. 106. ix. Opere. (Amsterdam. 27. Les filigranes: Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier des leur apparition vers 1282 jusqu'en 1600. 45. 70. Opere. 1550-52). Saggisu Galileo Galilei. Procissi p. 326-340). 27. 1959). ix. i. Carugo e L. 31-57). 1969. 148). 'Anteriori'. 3-31.C. Ill-Ill. 285-290). f. Opere. Opere. 2 On paper showing a mark CT or CL (cf. appear on the folios at fairly regular intervals according to the foldings. Procissi p. a facsimile of the 1907 edition with supplementary material. Relevant secondary publications are C. 'Galileo and the Thomists'. 133). ff. at right angles to which are fainter parallel textural lines about 1 mm apart. The Primary Properties and Secondary Qualities in Galileo Galilei's Natural Philosophy'.9553): Tractationes de mundo etde caelo (MSS Gal. Opere. Dialogus de motu (MSS Gal. i. ix. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought nos pervenere commentarii . f. Opere. 120. 71. All the paper is made with parallel wire lines 28-30 mm apart. 367-408)' Tractatus de motu (MSS Gal. 225-8). Briquet no. in St Thomas Aquinas 1274-1974 Commemorative Studies (Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. Galileo's Intellectual Revolution (London. a cura di C. 1968). Procissi p. Briquet. Garin. 291-292). William A. Sonetti (MSS Gal. ff.55. ix.4. 107. 151. MSS Filza Rinuccini 21. By this criterion the writings may be grouped as follows: 1 On paper without watermark: Disputationes de praecognitionibus et de demonstration (Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. ff. 3 (Briquet no. 344-366). 57-100. Stevenson. 11 vols. William R. i. Galileo seems to have used a reprint of 1573-76. E. Isocratis ad . 4 vols. sito e grandezza dell'inferno di Dante (1588. 60-62. 435. i. 330 about the discovery of Galileo's early sources is to be corrected. 151. Maccagni (preprint. Procissi p. i. Toronto. Opere. Shea. La bilancetta and Tavola delleproporzioni delle gravita in specie del metalli e delle gioie pesate in aria ed in aqqua (MSS Gal. ed. Firenze. Wallace. (Venetiis apud luntas.

Carugo. 123: Opere. Further References A. i. 102. 375-378. 151. 10. Clavius and the Sphere ofSacrobosco in Further references to ch. Opere. 6 On paper with watermark showing a ladder in a shield. 104V and 105r and 7 on ff. 312-326). i. 248). 102-104: Procissi p. Procissi p. Ch. 151. 1987) 321-33. 46. ff. cf. For an up-to-date discussion of the dating of Galileo's writings see below ch. 46. 71. Procissi p. 'Les J6suites et la philosophie naturelle de Galilee: Benedictus Pererius et le De motu gravium de Galilee' in Science: The renaissance of a history. 121-126. 114V and 115r. Opere i. Memoranda de motu (MSS Gal. ff. Dialogus de motu (MSS Gal. 8. Opere. 283-284). 409-417). P. 123. 46. and this appears also on blank ff. iv. with Appendix (a). 5926). 71. 133-134. 113 continuing the vocabulary has a watermark showing a star above the shield with the ladder (Briquet no. Procissi p. 123. 151. Redohdi (History and Technology. J. This paper is whiter than that of the preceding and succeeding folios. i. Corrections and some repeated words throughout the Tractatus de motu suggest that Galileo was making a fair copy on different kinds of paper. Italian-Latin vocabulary (MSS Gal. 246). 341-343). London. 12550): Tractatus de motu (MSS Gal. Procissi p. f. 112. ix. 46. 5 On paper with watermark showing a swan on three semicircles (Briquet no. ff. 71. Lattis. Procissi p. 61-104. Opere. Opere.Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy 163 demonicum admonino (MSS Gal. ff. . 105-114. In fact all the longer of these autograph writings show such mistakes. 125-132. 251-312. ff. 104-110. ed. 4 On paper with watermark showing a forward-looking lamb with flag enclosed in a circle with a cross above: Tractatus de motu (MSS Gal.M. MSS Gal. There are linking marks H on ff. i. f.

Dialogo III: diagram of the Copernican system with the Sun in the centre. and Saturn.Galileo Galilei. surrounded by the orbits of Mercury. Venus. the Earth with the Moon. Jupiter with its satellites. Mars. Dialogo (1632). .

I Gesuiti e Galileo (Verona. because these have already been adequately discussed by the Jesuit Fathers Adolf Miiller (1909) and Bellino Carrara (1914)'. La S. Carugo 1. Nor are we concerned with any questions about the relation of the medieval * This paper was presented in briefer form at the Novita Celesti e Crisi del Sapere: Convegno Internationale di Studi Galileiani Pisa-Venezia-Padova-Firenze 19-26 marzo 1983. Galileo Galilei und das Kopernikanische Weltsystem (Freiburg im Breisgau. i SS. Let us begin by saying first what is not the subject of this paper. We will not discuss the personal relations between Galileo and the Jesuits. 1914). CARRARA. 1909). 1914). it is published instead here in the Annali. 1 A. Scrittura. Since it is too long for the Atti of the Convegno. Padri e Galilei sopra il moto delta terra (Verona. MULLER. .10 The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and of Nature with A. B.

P. "Sources of Galileo's early natural philosophy" in Reason. The present paper is based on our independent researches. against what were perceived as two current threats from within the Catholic world. MAEYAMA und W. M. Our subject is the relation of the ideas developed by Galileo of science and of nature to the scholastic revival of Aristotelianism and Thomism. G. J. CARUGO e L. Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze. de observatione somniorum et de divinitione astrologica. WALKER. de magia. id est. and their problematic character is further emphasised by our not always agreeing on all the possible solutions suggested. and CARUGO. promoted by the Council of Trent and articulated in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries by the Jesuits. "Mathematics and Platonism in the sixteenth century Italian universities and in Jesuit educational policy" in Prismata: Naturwissenschaftsgeschichtliche Studien: Festschrift fur Willy Hartner. YATES. a cura di P. Hermeticism and magic launched especially into Italian philosophy mainly by Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and sustained more recently in different ways by Francesco Patrizi and Giordano Bruno. ed. Firenze. which contains full documentation and bibliography.E. a cura di L. hrg. Here we have brought together some of these researches into a coherent argument. and with this to establish the possibility of rational knowledge for men both of God and of nature. and Galileo's Methodology: Proceedings of the 1978 Pisa Conference on the History and Philosophy of . 3 Cf. I (Dordrecht etc. BENEDICTUS PERERIUS. 1983). Ancient Axiomatic*. The policy of this scholastic revival was to defend a rational philosophy of science and of nature. 1958). L. Adversus fallaces et superstitiosas artes. as will be specified in our book. Spiritual and Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella (London. I (Padova. GEYMONAT (Torino. R. The whole of existence was a pattern of occult powers. Experiment and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution. "Philosophical presuppositions and shifting interpretations of Galileo" in Theory Change. RIGHINI BONELLI and W. CROMBIE and A. D. GALLUZZI (Firenze. . 1981). wrongly dated 1967). see for various questions discussed therein CROMBIE. AGAZZI. The other threat 2 A. F. OLIVIERI. GRUENDER and. 1591). with also his extensive notes in Galileo Galilei. Y. ed. 1983). libri tres (Ingolstadti. SALTZER (Wiesbaden.. a cura di A. CARUGO. One threat was seen to come from the conglomerate of Neoplatonism. The Ancient Theology: Studies in Christian Platonism (London. 1958). and through these man could know God3. "Giuseppe Moleto: mathematics and the Aristotelian theory of science at Padua in the second half of the sixteenth century" in Aristotelismo Veneto e scienza moderna: Atti del 25° Anno Accademico del Centro per la storia della tradizione aristotelica nel Veneto.. Galileo's Natural Philosophy (forthcoming).. 1977). HINTIKKA. "The primary properties and secondary qualities in Galileo Galilei's natural philosophy". Their aim was to bring about a truly Christian reform of education and religion through the knowledge and cultivation of occult harmonies believed to exist between the creation and the human soul. It is one of the main subjects treated in our forthcoming book on Galileo's natural philosophy2.166 Science. D. Saggi su Galileo Galilei (preprint. 1969. We have presented the dating of Galileo's writings as a series of problems. C. "Galileo in Renaissance Europe" in Firenze e la Toscana dei Medici nell'Europa del Cinquecento. 1975a). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought philosophical tradition to sixteenth and seventeenth century natural science. 1972). SHEA (New York.Science.

ed I. theology. H. Mazzoni etc. 35. A. and Clavius. PROCISSI. Doubts Boundless Sea: Skepticism and faith in the Renaissance (Baltimore. Physis. and the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century" in Problems in the Philosophy of Science. sometimes copied word for word. we do this henceforth simply if a little inelegantly by using the name of the author concerned. 29 sqq. XVII (1975b) 186-204. Calif. below nn. scientific or theological or otherwise4. LENOBLE. LAKATOS and A. CROMBIE. A. 1593). 1964). above n. 1959). "Scepticism. 2. "Marin Mersenne (1588-1648) and the seventeenth century problem of scientific acceptability". 4. B. FAVARO. The question of Galileo's relation to this neoscholastic philosophical policy arose from our discovery of the sources of Galileo's misnamed Juvenilia. C. (Firenze. by three well-known Jesuit professors at the Collegio Romano. Mersenne ou la naissance du mecanisme (Paris. while revising parts of the monograph on Galileo's natural philosophy for which we were awarded the Galileo Prize in 1969. . 4 Cf. which denied the possibility of any certain human knowledge. 1943). direttore A. Le opere di Galileo Galilei. R. XXVII (1972) 363-84. D. Galileiano 46) 5 . Bus SON. Le rationalisme dans la litterature franqaise de la renaissance (1533-1601) (Paris. ANTONIUS POSSEVINUS. and the fragmentary Tractatus de alteratione with the Tractatus de elementis concerned with the theory of the elements and qualities put forward by Aristotle in the Physics and De generatione et corruptione (both in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze.. SCHMITT. At the same time we were making a study of another autograph scholastic treatise left unpublished by Galileo. R. 1933). 1968) 1-39. Carugo then established during 1968-69. Bibliotheca selecta qua 'agitur de ratione studiorum.. 20 vol. CROMBIE (1975a) 165-6. MUSGRAVE (Amsterdam. C. POPKIN.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 167 was seen to come from the revival especially in France of Greek scepticism promoted notably by Michel de Montaigne and Pierre Charron. 43-45. We were concerned first with the short closely reasoned essays in Galileo's own hand on Aristotelian natural philosophy comprising two incomplete treatises. each in two parts: the Tractatio prima de mundo with the Tractatio de caelo concerned essentially with questions of cosmology and cosmography raised for Christian theology by Aristotle's De caelo. below nn. XV: "De mathematics" (Romae. the logical Disputationes de praecognitionibus et de demonstrations to be discussed below. La pensee religieuse franqaise de Charron a Pascal (Paris. 76. We showed that the two autograph treatises on natural philosophy which he published as Juvenilia were based on textbooks. C. 1964). Since in this joint paper we need sometimes to distinguish its two authors. 1957). and The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Spinoza (Berkeley and Los Angeles. 1890-1909). Md.. which Antonio Favaro did not include among the Juvenilia. Ms. I (Roma. ristampa 1968: all references to Galileo's published writings are given simply by volume and page in this edition. H. ALLEN. 76. 1979). Rivista critica di storia della filosofia. that the Tractates Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (London. La collezione Galileiana della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. 5 Cf. "The recovery and assimilation of ancient scepticism in the renaissance".

See above n. 273. showing that important parts of the Tractatio de caelo all came from his In Sphaeram loannis de Sacro Bosco commentarius. Crombie gave an authorized account of our discoveries. and for these Jesuits and their writings C. 160). in 1974 in his paper "Sources of Galileo's Early Natural Philosophy". XII (Toulouse. have "solved the main problem of the sources of Galileo's early writings in his own hand" (p. the different forms of scientific demonstration in physics and mathematics. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought de alteratione et de elementis and the Tractatio prima de mundo were based on Benito Pereira's De communibus omnium rerum naturalium principiis et afectionibus libri quindedm and Francisco de Toledo or Toletus's commentaries on Aristotle's Physics and De generatione et corruptione. . cf. and related questions. 19091932). 7.. It contains a detailed analysis of such topics as the model expounded by Aristotle and later commentators of truly scientific demonstration as that which makes us know. 1890-1930). Toletus's commentary on the Physics was published first in 1581 and that on De generatione et corruptione in 1579. His commentary on Sacrobosco's Sphaera was published in 1581 in its second enlarged edition which includes the addition used by Galileo. 1930). I-IX (Bruxelles et Paris. 2. 2. 164). the arguments for establishing the connection of cause with effect and the existence of causes postulated. Our identifications. published in 1975 7. Crombie discovered Christopher Clavius as a third source in June 1971. 8 Section headings were published by FAVARO as "some scholastic exercises" in IX. More than that. CROMBIE (1975a) above n. essentially a commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics. below nn. Carugo solved the major 6 7 Cf. they have provided an entirely new and unexpected perspective both on Galileo's intellectual biography and on its context in the contemporary European scene.168 Science. and of the bearing of our studies on Galileo's attempt to construct a conception of scientific inquiry and scientific knowledge. SOMMERVOGEL.. We had not then solved the problem of the sources of the unpublished logical Disputationes. X-XI (Paris. to quote from that paper. by showing that "Galileo's basic sources were three prominent contemporary Jesuits at the Collegio Romano" (p. the various kinds of first principles and ways of knowing them. Bibliotheque de la Compagnie de Jesus. 11. Like the other two scholastic treatises this is again incomplete and in two parts: De praecognitionibus and Tractatio de demonstration 8. Benito Pereira's book was published first with a different title in 1562 and as De communibus. All three sources were republished in several later editions 6. of their relation to the work of other scholars. 279-82. in 1576.

supponuntur tanquam vera.6 eth. propria scientiae demonstrativae principia actual!ter sunt praecognoscenda. first published in 15979. scientias participates non solere praecognoscere talia principia. cognitis principiis per se notis. of Ludovico Carbone's Additamenta ad F. 3) hoc docet. when he established similar word-for-word direct copying by Galileo. 6° eticorum cap. apud Georgium Angelerium. In discussing them Carbone. in the first part of his treatise. dum ait. debet esse dispositus ad assentiendum primis principiis (f. The following are some examples of correspondences between Galileo and Carbone in single passages: Galileo. 2° post. non quia illorum notitia non sit necessaria. post tex. Most of the particular questions discussed by Galileo in De praecognitionibus were not commonly included in books on logic at that time. quod eorum notitia non sit aliquo modo necessaria. (Venetiis. Toleti Commentaria una cum Quaestionibus in Aristotelis Logicam.6 ultimo. cum sint per se nota. quibus locis docet Aristoteles non posse cognosci conclusionem aliquam nisi praecognitis illius Carugo announced in April 1975 at a conference held at Santa Margherita that he had made this discovery. 1597) "Tractatio de praecognitionibus et praecognitis" particulares scientiae. Additamenta ad commentaria D. Turn quia ita docet Aristoteles p. t. 9 . sed quia. with the accusation that in them their author had plagarized his lectures. 5°. 4v). In the prefaces to both volumes of Delia Valle's book we read that he had lectured on logic at the Collegio Romano in 1587-88. and later the Jesuit Paolo Delia Valle (Latinized as Paulus Vallius) in his Logica (Lugduni. where we show how closely Galileo followed point by point some long and complex arguments developed by Carbone. nisi intelligantur propria principia eius quod cognoscitur. cap. Probatur ex Aristotele qui variis in locis (Lib. No such lectures are extant.ult.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 169 problem of its sources in April 1975. 42va). principia propria demonstrationis praecognoscenda sunt actu.. He named the Additamenta in the second of these prefaces. nihil posse cognosci. Disputationes de praecognitionibus et praecognitis in particulari (Ms. c. In the same prefaces he referred to publications on logic identifiable as Carbone's. Galileiano 27) Ludovico Carbone. but there is no evident correspondence between Delia Valle's much more diffuse text and that of Galileo. non ideo non cognoscunt ista principia. illis assentiatur (f. Francisci Toleti in logicam Aristotelis. A complete list of textual correspondences will be presented in our book.6 3°.ca. adde accendetem ad scientias debere esse ita dispositum ut. Secundo. poster.. were exceptional. 1622). 16°. I. Quia is qui docendus accedit ad aliquam scientiam.5 et 15. sed quia per se nota supponuntur ab illis.

. Philopono in tex. Dices: si conclusio nullo modo pendet ex his dignitatibus. 5v). Respondeo. qualis est ilia quae ducit ad impossibile. principia) sunt cognoscenda actu. Dignitates quae ingrediuntur demonstrationem aliquam imperfectam.. prima principia. 42vb-43ra). quia licet conclusio non pendeat in esse ab illis. ergo non est necesse. eadem ratione qua superiori. sunt tamen caussae in cognoscendo.170 Science. sed potius quorundam principiorum particularium et propriorum illius conclusionis (f. 16°. non possunt probari a priori. quoniam si possent demonstrari a priori non essent prima. t. quaenam scientia ilia demonstrabit? principiis. Dices: Quid dicendum quando principia prima sunt ignota et non possunt ostendi a posteriori? Respondeo: pertinere ad scientiam subalternantem probare talia principia .. ut actu praecognoscantur.. principia prima et immediata nullo modo posse probari.12) et alii. Sed dices. a quibus intrinsece pendet conclusio. praecognoscenda sunt actu. dicta principia non ingrediuntur actu demonstrationem. quia haberent ilia priora ex quibus penderent. Primum patet haec positio ex doctrina Aristotelis. cum res non pendeat intrinsece ab illis. ut est probatum? (ie.6 12°. qui hoc aliquando docuit (I. pendet tamen in cognosci aliquo modo. Deinde confirmatur eadem ratione. a quibus conclusio proxime dependet. ut est ilia quae ducit ad impossibile. ut possimus protervos convincere (f. Themistius (cap... Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought horum principiorum notitia. cum non sint propria... neque virtu te. Secundo.. quia alias non essent prima. cum illae neque actu neque virtute ingrediantur demonstrationem. atqui ab hoc principorum genere (sett. 42va). non habent propriam dignitatum rationem... nisi eius principia actu cognoscantur (f.. t. primo. 5v)..2). Temistio passim cap. sed a dignitatibus conclusio non pendet intrinsece. 11. est caussa efficiens proxima conclusionis: ergo non potest actu cognosci conclusio. ergo non potest haberi cognitio scientiae actualis nisi praehabeatur ipsorum principorum (f. 2°. Turn quia ilia principia sunt causa efficiens scientiae. si prima principia et dignitates actu ingrediantur aliquam demonstrationem saltern imperfectam. Quod si petas. quia darentur priora illis per quae probarentur. ilia principia actu sunt praecognoscenda. ante demonstrationem. quia licet non sint caussae in essendo. quare habitualiter sunt praecognoscenda? Respondeo. si ita est. Probatur ex Aristotele tex. prima principia) ignota fuerint et non possint probari a posteriori. ergo. 43ra). quod si ilia (soil.26): cui consentit Philoponus (I. qua probata fuit prima conclusio. quare necessario praecognoscenda sunt aliquo modo. 5v6r). Secundo. ilia (sell. nam dignitates quae ingrediuntur aliquam demonstrationem sunt principia tanquam propria illius (f. Caeterum quando prima principia ingrediuntur demonstrationem.Post. a dignitatibus) non dependet proxime cognitio conclusionis. actu praecognosci debent..Post. Adde etiam quod praecognoscenda sunt ad convincendos protervos (f. dignitates seu prima principia ante demonstrationem cognoscenda sunt saltern habitu).

Primo.. an de subiecto semper praecognoscendum sit esse existentiae. 47vb-48ra). 7r). si spectemus rationem formalem ipsarum. (f. cum omnis nova cognitio ortum habeat ex sensu. Tertium. in acquisitione scientiae opus fuisse subiectum esse in rerum natura. Primum. quia. Tria esse genera rerum. et quid Aristoteles intelligat cum ait etc. non egent probatione. Si sint prioris generis nullo modo probari queunt. est.. non possunt considerare subiectum ut formaliter existit. quia demonstratio est instituta ad probandum ignota. genere aliquo demonstrationis. quae tamen non semper existunt. qui versatur tantum circa existentiam.. aut sunt omnino ignotae.. cuius nullum esse praesupponatur (f. sequitur etc. quae reperiuntur in scientiis.. partim notae et partim ignotae. non possunt ilia ut existentia cognoscere. in ipso etiam scientiae progressu praecognoscendum esse. scientias abstrahere ab esse existentiae. de quo loquitur Aristoteles (f. a Metaphysica vero ex communibus (f. 6v). quae enim per se notae sunt. 46rb). Omnes scientiae abstrahunt ad existentia. et haec. aut enim sunt res omnino notissimae. 46vb). 7r). Secundo. Si vero tertii.. et haec. si autem attendamus conditionem sine qua non. Differre autem quid nomine huius esse secundi intelligendum sit. Quaedam sunt ignotae. an de subiecto semper praecognoscendum sit esse existentiae actuale.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature quoad propria. cum videamus de multis esse scientiam quae non semper existunt.. Tertio. an aliqua possit esse demonstratio de subiecto. licet non possint 171 Respondeo. ad dialecticam quoad probabilia. quare in aliquibus demonstrationibus non sit necessarium praecognosere an sit subiecti (f. quia cum versentur circa universalia formaliter. vel a priori vel a posteriori saltern probari possunt. Respondeo. Tria sunt genera rerum quae in aliqua scientia reperiuntur. non possunt probari. Scientiae abstrahunt ab existentia. Secundum. Respondeo. sed si consideremus conditionem sine qua non ipsius subiecti. probari potest eas existere vel a priori vel saltern a posteriori. cuius ratio. Sed dubium est. cur de aliqua re non sufficiat tantum praecognoscere esse essentiae. Primo. nego illas abstrahere ab existentia (f. Si secundi. Tria esse quae quaestionem hanc perdifficilem reddunt. Quaedam sunt omnino notae. aut. 7v). quid nomine esse intelligendum sit. Sunt autem duo in quibus omnes conveniunt. quia nostra scientia habet ortum a sensu. et haec non possunt demonstrari. Tria sunt quae hie difficultatem faciunt. nam demonstratio ad ignota tantum probanda exigitur. Secundo. Quaedam sunt quae partim notae sunt. 44ra). in principle adquisitionis scientiae fuisse necessariam actualem existentiam rei. Secundum. igitur non praecognoscunt illam de suis subiectis. quia multa sciuntur a nobis semper. qui solum versatur circa ea quae actu existunt. subiectum esse. probari debere a subalternante sive a superiore scientia: et a Dialectica ex probabilibus. illas quidem abstrahere ab existentia subiectorum: cum enim considerent universalia. sed . Primum. si spectemus rationem formalem scientiarum. authores in hac quaestione in duobus convenire. ergo non poterunt praecognoscere existentiam suorum subiectorum. ad Metaphisicam quoad communia (f. quare non sufficiat praecognoscere esse essentiae tantummodo de subiecto. nego abstrahere ab existentia (f. in progressu scientiae esse praecognoscendum de subiecto esse. partim ignotae.

ra Sestilia Bocchineri Galilei il di 23 e 24 Genn.172 Science. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought solum aliqua inductione vel syllogismo hypothetico (f.] Besides the Juvenilia etc. [.." 10 . The available evidence comes mostly from such conceptual and material connections as can be found between these and the writings that are dated n. 8v).] So far as the sources of the Juvenilia are concerned. when Galileo was at Padua as a mature man of thirtythree. demonstrari aliquo genere demonstrationis. Crombie wrote: "You may not know that in a volume entitled Galileo's Natural Philosophy. 4°" in the "Inventario di tutti i libri trovati serrati in uno scaffale del salotto terreno dell'abitazione della Sig. 78. A copy of an unspecified edition of Toletus's commentary was among the books owned by Galileo 10. tamen vel inductione vel silogismo ipotetico ostendi possunt (f. but he had been educated in Jesuit colleges and had attended lectures at the Collegio Romano." was completed in 1974. Gal. 1596): see A. 168). establishes 1597 as the earliest possible date for the Disputationes. This means that we must reexamine the traditional dating of Galileo's main undated writings. A copy of Toletus's commentary on Aristotle's logic was entered as "Logica del Toleto. The discovery that Galileo's source was the Additamenta published first in 1597.. Carbone was not a Jesuit. XIX 11 (1886). entry no. his father's and his own contributions to scientific musical theory. his using Bonamico. and have proposed some revision of the accepted dates.. sometimes copied word for word. we went into considerable detail in the study of Galileo's so-called Juvenilia as well as of his Disputationes de praecognitionibus et de demonstratione (Ms. Pereira's De communibus omnium rerum naturalium and Toletus's commentaries on the Physics and on De generations et corruptione.. 308. which we had not yet done when Crombie's article on "Sources. and there is negative evidence against. 1668 ab Inc. We have a complete transcription of the text of the latter work of which we are publishing a substantial section with English translation in our book. FAVARO.. Galileiano 27) into the sources he used. we have a lot of new material on Galileo's Platonism and its background. ' La libreria di Galileo Galilei' in Miscellanea galileiana inedita (Venezia 1887). and other matters..] We have in fact gone into the question of dating of most of Galileo's early writings in some detail. the sources of his distinction of primary and secondary qualities. written by myself with the collaboration of Adriano Carugo. Certainly there is no evidence for. using watermarks as well as other evidence. Hence we are forced to make a radical reexamination of Galileo's intellectual biography. [. and Bullettino di bibliografia e di storia delle scienze naturali e fisiche.. 48rb). and reprinted several times thereafter as an appendix to Toletus's commentary. cosmology of light. 486.. specified for no apparent reason the edition Toleti Francisci Commentaria una cum quaestionibus in universam Aristotelis logicam (Coloniae Agrippinae. are Clavius's commentary on Sacrobosco's Sphaera. in his reconstruction of the list of books owned by Galileo. we have shown that three main sources." (Ms. entry no. Favaro. In 1969 this book was awarded the Galileo Prize [. f. We announced our discoveries for the first time to anyone else in a letter written by Crombie on 31 March 1972 to William Wallace in response to a letter of 16 July 1971 from him with information about his own work and a typed copy of his paper on "Galileo and the Thomists".

p. After promising to set the record straight at the earliest opportunity. and also with some borrowings from Christopher Clavius's commentary on the Sphaera of Sacrobosco" (p. He agreed not to publish this. Pererius and Toletus" (p. Ind. he had begun to look in the right direction. Newsletter. He added to the published version of his "Galileo and the Thomists" (1974) a misleading footnote about our discoveries. 327). Thomas Aquinas 1274-1974 Commemorative Studies (Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. writing that our "work confirms the thesis only tentatively advanced in this study. without consulting us. a paper based on our discoveries and evidence with the title: "Christopher Clavius: a source of Galileo's early notebooks" (History of Science Society. but he failed to identify any specific sources. II. 1977). 329) was in fact to ask for support for a proposal to the American National Science Foundation for a study of the natural philosophy of the Juvenilia and their background and the identification of their sources. Toronto. between his two periods at Pisa. His association with the Accademia Fiorentina del Disegno was the beginning of a life-long fascination with the techniques of perspective painting and sculpture12. directions suggested very naturally by his own earlier work and the residue of accepted beliefs: cf. 133). n. for the first part of his programme W. 3a. Crombie sent him at his request the relevant typed sections of our book setting out our evidence. with little or no direct use of primary sources but with a recognisable dependence on the writings of Pererius and Toletus. Boston Studies in the Pilosophy of Science. A. and first to relate this to his background. His father's Francesco Bonamico had of course been proposed as Galileo's source by Favaro on the supposition that Galileo's essays were lecture notes taken as a student at Pisa. which contains no thesis about these Jesuits and no reference to Clavius. 10). 1973. and he did not mention Clavius at all. Jesuit authors and the Collegio Romano were not mentioned in the copy of this proposal which he later sent us (noted as received by the National Science Foundation on 30 September 1971). he proposed to send it with his report to the National Science Foundation. Galileo's Early Notebooks: The Physical Questions (Notre Dame. But he did not identify these two Jesuits as Galileo's sources. Galileo developed a strong interest in mathematics and the mathematical sciences and arts.. The purpose of his letter enclosing his paper with these suggestive but "largely negative results" (p. and gave in the public domain of the Annual Conference of the American History of Science Society at San Francisco on 29 December 1973. In his paper "Galileo and the Thomists". 330. he compounded the error yet further in a footnote to another paper: "Galileo and reasoning ex supposition: the methodology of the Two New Sciences".The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 173 We need then to establish some fixed points in Galileo's intellectual biography. In his concluding discussion of different hypotheses about the sources of the Juvenilia. This is contradicted by the paper itself.3. he had noted some resemblances between parts of the Juvenilia and commentaries by various scholastics including Pereira and Toletus. We know that especially during the years 1585-1589 when he was living with his father Vincenzo Galilei in Florence. Before we informed William Wallace of our discoveries which focussed attention on the Collegio Romano. In the following year he announced. Here he stated he had requested funds from the National . 1974). he wrote that "there is no evidence of direct copying from any of the Thomist authors mentioned in this study". XXXII (1976) 100-1. Carugo gave him also for his private use a copy of his transcription of Galileo's logical Disputationes. n. After Crombie's letter of 31 March 1972 and after Wallace had visited both him and Carugo later in that year. published in St. which specified quite other directions of search for Galileo's sources. WALLACE. He observed perspicaciously that if the source were a professor at Pisa. namely that the Juvenilia were probably composed by Galileo himself. he "would appear to be sympathetic to the writings of two members of the newly-founded Society of Jesus.

set the record straight. ed.174 Science. H. RHYS (Princeton. A.S. and he insisted that an explanation of musical experience must reach beyond Pythagorean conceptions of musical harmony and proportion and look with Aristotle for some process of physical causation13. in this small affair. because for Galileo there is nothing specific to discuss. H. 2. 1954). even in a sea of possibilities. Following the lines of research then going on independently. More recently. CROMBIE. III (Halle a. Geschichte der neusprachlichen wissenschaftlichen Literatur. II (Leipzig. D. WALKER. Actes du XIIe Congres International d'Histoire des Sciences Paris 1968 (Paris. There are evidently no specific resemblances between Galileo's writings and any of these manuscripts. of Jesuit university teaching. II. VIVIANI in XIX. 1961). C. CROMBIE. 1922). P. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought unpublished manuscripts indicate that some of the acoustical experiments to be reported in the D iscorsi (1638) were carried out by Vincenzo during those years. Galileo as a Critic of the Arts (The Hague. "Some aspects of the musical theory of Vincenzo Galilei and Galileo Galilei". 627-8. Wallace has tried to show that Galileo used different Jesuit sources from those we have identified. ed. 1971) 295-310. It is strictly relevant to Galileo's intellectual biography that Italian mathematicians and mathematical scholars in the Science Foundation in 1971 to enable him to check the texts of these three Jesuit authors: their names do not appear in the copy of his proposal which he sent to us. GALILEO. "Mathematics. XVIII (1980) 233-46. DRAKE. with notes by CARUGO (1958) 702-14. PANOFSKY. Thus Galileo would have been introduced by his father through the art of music both to experimental science and also perhaps to a conception of natural philosophy. "Renaissance music and experimental science". 13 Cf. and (1981) above n. 2. This has enriched our knowledge of sixteenth-century scholasticism. and that books and manuscripts alike have a general resemblance to each other and to Galileo's scholastic writings. in the printed books. 1981). followed a similar pattern with similar contents. "Scientific empiricism in musical thought" in Seventeenth Century Science and the Arts. S. 1927). We do not propose to discuss this line of speculation. This has provided the useful and interesting information that Jesuit treatment of natural philosophy. PALISCA. XXXI (1970) 483-500. William Shea did independently discover Galileo's use of Clavius about two years after us. V. old and new". 599-605. L. which cannot be found also. E. Studies in Musical Science in the Late Renaissance (London & Leiden. and the forthcoming Marin Mersenne: Science. and of the European intellectual scene. 1919). no doubt someone was bound to have identified these Jesuit sources. Discorsi. 607-8. "Science and the arts in the Renaissance: the search for certainty and truth.. C (1973-74) 33-47. Journal of the History of Ideas. since it seems unlikely that Galileo would have spent time chasing up in obscure manuscripts what he had already found in well-known publications in print.. in lectures as in books. 1978). . 12 Cf. We trust that these precisions will finally. Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association. Vincenzo became strongly antipathetic to the more numerological and cosmic aspects of Platonism. cf. Music and Language. 645. C. He has made a study of manuscript reports or summaries of lectures given at the Collegio Romano during the last decades of the sixteenth century: see his Prelude to Galileo: Essays on medieval and sixteenth-century sources of Galileo's thought (Dordrecht etc. But it proves nothing about Galileo's sources. C. A. OLSCHKI. This is not surprising. I (Heidelberg. and more closely. without knowing of our work. music and medical science". 36. History of Science. (1983) above n. 2. 636-7. above n.

or easily datable. 22-36. genius: notes on the ' Renaissance Dammering'" in The Renaissance: Six Essays by W. 4. PANOFSKY. At Padua Galileo had been drawn into the Pinelli circle which included Guidobaldo del Monte and several prominent Jesuits. now in the Ambrosian Library. Also in this collection. the Ambrosian Ms. His mathematical treatises on fortification and on the compass of proportion can be dated by the inclusion of copies in the collection of manuscripts made by G. 1962). 206-7. above n. 22-3). A. 1560: cf. music and mechanics shared then the Aristotelian conception of a rational science of nature. 16 Cf. with notes by CARUGO (1958) 840-7. 2. 18 II. 2. writings were mathematical. 2. starting in 1587 or early 1588 with his theorems on centres of gravity for which he used Archimedes 1?. GALILEO. These mathematical treatises copied for Pinelli were written at Padua and must date therefore from the years 1592-1600. X. cf. (1981). VII (1982) 29-51. is being edited by Carugo. K. V. Cozzi. To be analysed in our book by Carugo. (1980).The Jesuits and Galileo 3s Ideas of Science and Nature 175 sixteenth century were deeply rooted in Aristotelian science. FERGUSON et al. Giuseppe Moleto opened his unpublished discourse (in the Ambrosian Library in Milan) on the mathematical sciences with an account of the Aristotelian idea of a demonstrative sciences as presented in the Posterior Analytics15. 1994). Pinelli. We could say that Galileo and others were later to use the decisiveness of the mathematical arts in order to replace the Aristotelian causes by discovering the true physical processes of nature 16. for a science of physical causation. In writing to GuidoPublished at Padua. Thus Francesco Barozzi in his translation of Proclus's commentary on Euclid tried to bring out its basic Aristotelian structure by marginal references to the Posterior Analytics 14. ed. Also in 1587 he visited Clavius in Rome (X. Annali dett'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze. Writers on mechanics from Alessandro Piccolomini to the Galileis's friend Guidobaldo del Monte all looked. (New York. "Galileo Galilei e la societa veneziana". E. 17 I. for which Clavius contributed help on mathematics and its history 19. and Styles of Scientific Thinking (London. below n. different from that published by Favaro which in one of its copies is dated 1606 18. 12. Carugo discovered a purely mathematical treatise on cosmography (an extensive summary of the first book of Ptolemy's Almagest). One was the remarkable Antonio Possevino. G. 46. with the Aristotelian Mechanica. scientist. Saggi su Galileo Galilei 15 14 . CARUGO (1983) above n. The tradition of the rational arts in perspective painting. "Historical commitments of European science". Discorsi. Galileo's earliest dated. CROMBIE (1975b). "Artist. (1983) above nn. 19 Cf. 179-208. who died in 1601. a friend of Clavius and author of the encyclopaedic Bibliotheca selecta rationum studiorum (1593). and excerpts will be published in our book.

"Galileo's contribution to astronomy" in Galileo: Man of Science.. Archive for History of Exact Sciences. 28 sqq. "Galileo and the emergence of a scientific style" in Theory Change etc. 1597): Galileo's figures for the dimensions of the world in II. To Kepler he wrote with congratulations on his Mysterium cosmographicum (1597).. J. "Galileo on the sizes and distances of the planets".176 Science. From these distinctions much of his future conception of science was to follow20. "Galileo's scientific method: a reexamination" in New perspectives on Galileo. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought baldo del Monte in 1602 with his first reference to the isochronism of the pendulum and on the descent of bodies along the arcs and chords of circles. C. below nn. rejoicing "to have such a companion in the search for truth" when there were so few "who do not follow a perverted method of philosophizing". in his letters to Jacopo Mazzoni and to Kepler. Archivum historicum Societatis lesu.. VAN HELDEN. that since "I lacked a totally indubitable principle which could be taken as an axiom in order to demonstrate the accidents I have observed. ed. W. below n. 21 II. In Sphaeram loannis de Sacrobosco commentarius (Romae. BUTTS and J. A. 20 Cf. 45. sive De comparatione Platonis et Aristotelis (Venetiis. R. referring to JACOBUS MAZONIUS. HARTNER. W. . W. I have been reduced to a very natural and evident proposition (ha molto del naturale et deU'evidente}" (X. 1972). reprinted in his Paolo Sarpi tra Venezia e I'Europa (Torino. WISAN. PHILLIPS. He would read the book the more willingly "because I came to the opinion of Copernicus many years ago and the causes of many natural effects have been found by me from such a supposition ( post'tto) which are without doubt inexplicable by the generally accepted hypothesis. 115). 201 are the same as those in CHRISTOPHORUS CLAVIUS. 2. To Paolo Sarpi he wrote in 1604 of his earliest (mistaken) law of free fall. Galileo's Intellectual Revolution (London. 1967). 1978). Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze. L.. The purpose of his letter to the former was to refute with a mathematical demonstration (using figures the same as in Clavius's Sphaera) an argument just published by Mazzoni against Copernicus. XIII (1974) 103-306. PITT (Dordrecht etc. 1581) 209. C. E. "The new science of motion: a study of Galileo's De tnotu locali". ed. 100). 1978). VII (1982) 70. GRUENDER and AGAZZI (Dordrecht etc. R. 198. McMuLLiN (New York. he commented that "when we begin to have to do with matter. whose Pythagorean opinion Galileo held to be "much more probable" 21 than the opinion of Aristotle and Ptolemy.. Crombie (1977) above n. E. cf. VIII (1939) 193-222. HINTIKKA.". In 1597 Galileo made his first dated references to Copernicus. "The correspondence of Father Christopher Clavius S. because of its contingency the propositions considered in the abstract by geometry begin to alter". which he promised to read. . 211. 1981). E. I have written down many reasons and refutations of counter arguments which (1968). ed. In universam Platonis et Aristotelis philosophiam praeludia. so that they could not be regarded as "certain science" such as was mathematics itself (X. SHEA.

below nn. If this were true. It seems clear that Galileo's serious commitment to Copernicus came with his telescopic discoveries of 1609-1610. HARTNER (1967) above n. 28-29. VAN DYCK und M. it was to be considered a celestial body beyond the Moon. Clavius had argued already in his Sphaera (1585 ed. but also about its substance and generation. he gave his own explanation. it was up to the Aristotelians to find arguments for Aristotle's opinion on the matter of the heavens. W.. that the new star was not a star at all but an effect produced by the reflection of sunlight from condensed vapours rising from the Earth to the celestial sphere (II. 117-9. on which Clavius wrote to him at the end of the year (X. being frightened by the fortunes of Copernicus himself. 70).. hence he would not himself "publish my thoughts" (X.. cf. He supposed that probably we should say that was not a fifth essence but a mutable body. . though less corruptible than sublunary bodies. Another correspondent Leonardo Tedeschi sent him an account of this and mentioned also Clavius and his opinions (X. He showed in his remarkable response to the new star of 1604. and 22 KEPLER. 344a5-37). He thought that the new stars and comets might be generated in the celestial region. CASPAR . Only fragments remain of Galileo's autograph public lectures at Padua on the new star of 1604. 343al-23. c. almost an aversion to the new cosmology23. since the new star of 1572 had no observable parallax. F. He cited observations he had made to locate the phenomenon. He cited also a list of authors who had written on new stars.7. who had published a recent commentary on the Meteorologica (1588) with another optical explanation. 137-41). pp. with his strange Aristotelian explanation. 269-72). Cf. 130-2. hrg. 121. cf. Galileo wrote to a further correspondent in 1605 that the planned to publish his lectures. 124-9.. Kepler replied urging Galileo to have confidence and asking for further information (X.. 68). This was scarcely compatible with the immense distance of the fixed stars cited in his refutation of Mazzoni's argument against Copernicus. but not wanting to expose "to the censure of the world what I think not only about the location of this light. but Galileo did not answer.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 177 however I have not dared until now to bring into the open. 277-84. Gesammelte Werke. cf. 191-5) in agreement with Tycho Brahe that. 136). or Vallesius. including the Spanish scholastic philosopher Francisco Valles. resembling one given of comets by Aristotle (Meteorologica 1. Copernicus had been derided by an infinity of "fools". HAMMER.6. our master". XIII 23 (1945) 192-3. 133. After stating some disagreements with Tycho Brahe and Kepler. 21. He guessed that Galileo had in mind proofs from the tides a.

227-8. have made it mobile" (II. 18-19 (1889) 98-103. size and distance and motions found therein. celestial region was immutable except for its eternal circular motions (II. 211-2). or from lack of interest. Secondly there are hypotheses (ipotesi). I must for my own security go slowly" (X. repeated on 1 March 1610. He wanted to make more observa that what he had already written applied likewise to the new star of 1604. XIX.178 Science. We could distinguish in the world as a whole two regions. to publish a work entitled Astronomica denuntiatio ad astrologos24. "Intorno alia licenza di stampa del ' Sidereus Nuncius' di Galileo Galilei". Was this his projected work on new stars and comets? Again as late as 1606 in his Trattato delta sfera ovvero Cosmografia. written for his students at Padua. Galileo published nothing. The consideration of their "substance and quality" was left to "natural philosophy". from the properties of the circle and the straight line. FAVARO. Lastly there were arithmetical calculations which reduced the results to tables for practical convenience. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought believing that I have come upon an opinion that has no evident contradictions and that on that account could be true. As to "method. Thirdly there were geometrical demonstrations by which. 223). that is "suppositions (supposizioni) concerning the celestial orbs such that they agree with the appearances". First there are "sensory observations (osservazioni sensate)" of the appearances of phenomena. and the Earth was at rest at the centre. 24 A. but we know that he was granted a licence on 26 February 1607. In one there were mutable elements always in a process of generation and corruption and with a natural rectilinear motion. or because of specific teaching duties. 134). . despite a reference to "the greatest philosophers and mathematicians who. considering the Earth to be a star. he seems to have paid little attention to Copernicus. and because "it is true that our intellect is guided to knowledge of the substance by means of the properties". cf. n. usually cosmography proceeds in its theorizing with four". as that the heavens were spherical and moved in circles with diverse motions. the particular properties (accidenti) following from the hypotheses were demonstrated. Whether or not from motives of prudence. He wanted to make more observa own security go slowly" (X. The "subject of cosmography" he wrote was the "description of the world" (mondo). Rivista delle biblioteche. below n. but only that part of the theory (la speculazione) dealing with the number and arrangement of its regions and their shape. we found between these two regions notable differences. 37. 134). he offered a purely traditional astronomy with the standard Aristotelian and Ptolemaic arguments against such a proposition. the other.

Later in a letter of 16 July 1611 asserting that we knew that the Moon had mountains and valleys like the Earth "no longer from imagination but from sensory experience and from necessary demonstration (per sensata esperienza et per necessaria demonstrazione}". astronomy and geometry. he would "demonstrate the Earth to be a wandering body". three books De motu locali. 351-3). The contrary was the sounder opinion (147). he added: "But why do I use probable arguments. two relating to demonstrations of its principles and foundations and one concerning its problems". that is round the Sun itself". as the Pythagoreans had held. an entirely new science in which no one else.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 179 All this changed with the Sidereus nuncius (1610). 142). He referred here again perhaps to De systemate mundi. when I can decide and demonstrate it with almost necessary reasoning?" (II. that is from the telescopic "observations from which I deduce (deduco] my demonstrations" (XI. he wrote that "as I show elsewhere" Aristotle had not demonstrated that the heavens were immutable and in substance "quite different from our inferior substances". ancient or modern. and "this we will confirm with an infinity of physical reasons (naturalibus rationibus)" (75). vision. His Highness will add that of philosopher. he listed the works which he proposed to complete there: "two books De sistemate seu constitutione universi. He concluded with his request concerning his "title and function" in the service of the Grand Duke: that "in addition to the title of mathematician. This list raises some problems. animal motion and other subjects. All this he would treat more fully in his book De systemate mundi where. In writing then with new celebrity on 7 May 1610 to Belisario Vinta to apply for a return to Florence. Should we suppose that he had already begun the philosophical work on cosmology which became the Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo. So. was "the Moon like another Earth" (65). against "those who exclude the Earth from the dancing whirl of stars". 56-7). has discovered any of the most remarkable laws which I demonstrate to exist in both natural and violent movement: hence I can reasonably call this a new science and one discovered by me from first principles. the tides. Describing in his dedication to the Grand Duke Cosimo II of Tuscany how Jupiter with its satellites revolved "round the centre of the world. an immense conception full of philosophy. Besides these he had various opuscoli on sound. Galileo's situation also changed. three books on mechanics. Tolemaico e Copernicano (1632)? We know that during the years 1602-1609 he was developing the theorems on the isochronism of the pendulum and on falling bodies and related problems on which he was to found his new . for I claim to have studied more years in philosophy than months in pure mathematics" (X. the continuum.

and Articles on Aristotle. BARNES (Oxford. we should not take Galileo's claims about himself too literally. XVIII (1973) 44-68. L. above n. the true constitution of the universe. in addition to the task of somehow saving the appearances. 1975). real way. Storia del metodo sperimentale in Italia. Sosio. These. was "beginning to be moved by the force of so many novelties and to give ear and assent to the true and good philosophy. as distinct from demonstrative argument. IV (1895) 267 sqq. Studi Veneziani. J. 1973). A decade later when in II Saggiatore (1623) Galileo was defending himself against the accusation by another Jesuit opponent that he was ignorant of logic. Anal. presented in the Topics and the Sophistici Elenchi. He dated this acquaintance from the time when he "was young and still under a pedantic tutor" and used "to engage with pleasure" in logical Cf. 1975). 1. "I ' Pensieri' di Paolo Sarpi sul moto". 10. epicycles etc. KOSMAN. 2. especially in that part which concerns the constitution of the universe". But he had not freed himself from certain beliefs to which the intellect became "accustomed by long habit to give assent". CARUGO (1958) 694 sqq. explanation and insight in the Posterior Analytics" in Exegesis and Argument. and the analysis of fallacies. as where "he continues to keep as true and real" those eccentrics. LESHER. 102) 26. BARNES. His Jesuit opponent Christopher Scheiner concerning these phenomena. 21. CROMBIE (1975a) above n. CAVERNI. For such a constitution exists. R. but not to be maintained as such by astronomers who are philosophers (astronomi filosofi). 76a31-b31. 6. 71b9-72a24. "The meaning of NOUS in the Posterior Analytics". 26 Cf. N. H. 74b5-6. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought kinematics and dynamics. XIII (1971) 315-92. I: Science. WISAN (1974) above n. Pbronesis. "Aristotle's theory of demonstration". also BARNES. L.. but we have an indication of his philosophical knowledge and commitments two years later in the First Letter about Sunspots (1612) published in his Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno die macchie solari e loro accidenti (1613). ed. M. Discorsi. 20. XIV (1969) 123-52. 2.. true. he displayed a considerable acquaintance with the methods of another part of Aristotle's logic: the probable and persuasive. ed E. "supposed by pure astronomers (posti da i puri astronomi} to facilitate their calculations. and which were to be published in the treatise "De motu locali" in the Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche. 25 . But what were these three books on mechanics? As for his philosophical studies. intorno a due nuove scienze (1638) 25 . "Understanding. GALILEO. (Assen. that could not possibly be otherwise" (V. R. ed. try to investigate.2. a man he wrote "of free and unservile mind". see translation with notes by J. In these words he stated with great force the goal of truly scientific demonstration as presented by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics2?. as the greatest and most admirable problem there is. SHEA (1972) above n. and exists in only one. Phronesis. 27 Post. A. SCHOFIELD. LEE et al. SORABJI (London.180 Science.

28 . We may suppose that Galileo was given the normal foundation in logic at Pisa. question 12). 13). q. paralogisms and fallacies" (VI. stellar movements perceived through our senses". 67-8) while still opposing his views. but it does not follow from this that the said circles are found in nature. 234. cf. 245. 65. 659. This treatise as we have said cannot be dated before 1597. for perhaps all Compare I. and that nothing absurd or inconsistent with natural philosophy can be inferred therefrom". so too in astronomy.The Jesuits and Galileo }s Ideas of Science and Nature 181 "altercations" (VI. 21. Clavius insisted firmly that "just as in natural philosophy we arrive at knowledge of causes through their effects. XVIII. Clavius in the 1594 edition of his book referred to "Nicolaus Copernicus Prutenus. 41-7. 17). which has to do with heavenly bodies very far away from us. 55-7. how they are arranged and constituted. Hence it was "highly rational" that astronomers should "search out" the circles and their arrangements that would carry the planets round in their observed motions "on condition that causes can be thereby suitably assigned to all the motions and appearances. we must attain to knowledge of them. q. 23. IV. 18. CROMBIE (1975a) above n. above nn. who said that "they concede that all the phenomena can be saved by postulating eccentric circles and epicycles. 47-54. and that he was made as familiar as any educated person with the standard types of Aristotelian argument (cf. 134-43. Galileo in this Tractatio de caelo refuted Copernicus's location of the Earth in an orbit round the Sun with the same arguments in the same words as Clavius in his Sphaera (1581)28. on the contrary they are entirely fictitious. Spbaera (1581) 42-6. cf. We may look briefly at the conception of true science expounded by Clavius. He described one argument made by his opponent as not even "a good topical argument for persuading anyone" (VI. 273. He set out then to rebut the sceptical argument of "Averroes and his followers". 2. that is. What he did not cite in organising the case against Copernicus was Clavius's lucid exposition of criteria for deciding whether or not the circles and their arrangement. 68-70. nostro hoc seculo astronomiae restitutor egregius" (pp. who remained an evident influence upon Galileo to the end of his life. 248). 15. VII. We are still left with the problem of when he resumed his logical studies in order to write the Disputationes. 16. 2. postulated in astronomical theory to account for the phenomena. 63-4. It was indeed "possible to reach true conclusions through false arguments. had any real physical existence. but he wanted to do so through true demonstrations. 257. 59. through the study of their effects. 48-50. 50-4 respectively with CLAVIUS. 38-41. 14.

deduced as it is from such a variety of phenomena. I will say just what my opponents do. VI (1908). can be furnished from those effects". "he did not reject eccentrics and epicycles as fictitious and contradictory to philosophy". that of Ptolemy was to be preferred. and we shall be satisfied and thank them heartily. 434-7) for disputation with always something left over. 53b4-57bl7). let them show it to us. Thus "the appearances may be truly saved" by circles that were "themselves entirely fictitious. It was something quite different from accounting mathematically for the phenomena by means of eccentrics and epicycles. This refers to the Priori Analytics (II. reprinted 29 . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought appearances can be saved in a more suitable way. at present unknown to us. For whenever anyone infers some cause from its visible effects. But if they cannot show us a more suitable way. so that men would never cease to inquire admiringly into his works 29. and also seemingly to the Holy Scriptures. just as one may reach a true conclusion from a false premise. Essai sur la notion de theorie physique de Platon a Galilee". then they should at least accept this one. But since Copernicus's supposition did contain many absurdities and errors contrary to the established natural philosophy. such as the occurrence of an eclipse. God had perhaps handed over "the constitution of the heavens and their motions" (pp. the time of which is altogether unknown"..182 Science. "SOZEIN TA PHAINOMENA. though it is not yet known to us". Moreover "by the assumption of eccentrics and epicyclic circles not only are all the appearances already known preserved. so that "eccentrics and epicycles are not necessary for saving the phenomena". because it was only the syllogistic form that made this kind of inference possible. but also to bar the way to all the other arts which discover causes through the study of effects. P.. should rather be adhered to (as regards saving the phenomena of this kind)". 1-4. who "saves all the phenomena in another way" than Ptolemy. namely that perhaps another cause. and in no way the true cause of those appearances. but it was "irrelevant". Annales de philosophic chretienne. DUHEM. Indeed "if the supposition of Copernicus involved nothing false and absurd it would certainly be doubtful which opinion. that of Ptolemy or of Copernicus. unless they wish not only utterly to destroy natural philosophy as it is expounded in the schools. as is evident from Aristotle's Dialectics". Clavius first strengthened the Averroist argument from Copernicus. Cf. As for Copernicus. but also future phenomena are predicted. that "if they have a more suitable way of saving the appearances. Then he countered with a complex rebuttal beginning with a challenge to his opponents. The dialectical argument that "a true conclusion can be drawn from false premises" would ruin natural philosophy.

There was then no reciprocal implication between the phenomena and such principles. Theories of Scientific Method: the Renaissance through the nineteenth century (Seattle. 35) that astronomers "suppose the existence of these circles as principles" and deduced from them consequences corresponding precisely to what was observed. question 32. He must "go further and examine in how many different ways it is possible for these phenomena to be brought about. M. Aristarchus of Samos (Oxford. for phenomena could not uniquely determine their causes. C.6. Without taking sides on this astronomical issue. including the consideration of "its being better that things should be as they are". 1913) 275-6. Aquinas in the Summa theologicae (I. comm. 181-94. so that comparisons between them were irrelevant and misleading31. Wash. Averroes wanted to undermine the Ptolemaic epicycles and eccentrics in order to establish the Aristotelian homocentric spheres as the true basis of an astronomy consistent with the true physics. 30 Cf. so that we may bring our theory concerning the planets into agreement with that explanation of the causes which follows an admissible method". Revue des questions scientifiques. "Le Pere Christophe Clavius. the mathematical astronomer investigated external qualities and invented hypotheses using epicycles and eccentric circles by which to save the phenomena. . above n. Averroes wrote of the epicycles and eccentrics in his commentary on Aristotle's De caelo (II. To assert that they did would be to commit the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 183 Clavius thus decided between rival hypotheses in astronomy by means of two criteria: the variety of phenomena covered. art. CROMBIE (1977) above n. JARDINE. NAUX. but "they demonstrate in no way that the suppositions which have served them as principles are necessitated in return by these consequences". Another was his failure to meet the central logical point made by Averroes. The physicist looked for causes inherent in the substance of bodies by which to demonstrate effects. H.2. Thus "a certain person" had even postulated that the Earth moved round the Sun30. X (1979) 141-73. 1) refined the logical point by distinguishing the kind of "principle as in natural science where Paris. C. 28. sa vie et son oeuvre". HEATH. J. N. One notable feature of Clavius's argument was his insistence that the form of reasoning in mathematical science was quite different from the syllogism. T. The distinction indicated between mathematical and physical astronomy had of course been made in the well-known passage of Geminus quoted by Simplicius in his commentary on Aristotle's Physics (11.. L. MADDEN. 43. 1960). Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. 1982. "The forging of modern realism: Clavius and Kepler against the sceptics". below n. DUCASSE and E. LIV (1983) 55-68. 2. A. comm. BLAKE. and agreement with accepted natural philosophy. 31 Cf. 12).

"L'astronomia del Cardinale Bellarmino" in the Atti of the Convegno (1983).. 357-61. WESTMAN (Berkeley & Los Angeles. ed. Galileo pursued essentially the same strategy. AUGUSTINUS NIPHUS. 2. 1905) 560-99. "TITHENAI TA PHAINOMENA" in Aristote et les problemes de methode. "Bellarmin et Giordano Bruno". G. 35 XII.. 33 MONTAIGNE. LE BACHELET. S. cf. R. In Aristotelis libros De coelo et mundo commentaria (Venetiis. and looked in the manner indicated by Geminus to natural philosophy to decide between equally accurate mathematical hypotheses. 1955). which is convertible with them. De communibus omnium rerum naturalium principiis et affectionibus libri quindecim (Romae. LLOYD. P. until another better cause is discovered. BARRAL avec P. The Crime of Galileo (Chicago. MITTELSTRASS. for these appearances can be saved both in this way and in others not yet discovered" 32. R. 32 . cf. "Bellarmin" in Dictionnaire de theologie catholique. Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Mathematik. IV (1923) 193-201. MANSION (Louvain. E... XXVIII (1978) 202-22. E. "Note sur le caractere geometrique de 1'ancienne astronomic". Moritz Cantor (1899) 275-92. 1962). 90vb. M. L. they must be regarded as "provisional. J. U. Here accounting for the phenomena "is not sufficient proof. G. 34 BENEDICTUS PERERIUS. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought sufficient reason can be brought to show that the motions of the heavens are always of uniform velocity" from the kind where the reasons adduced "do not sufficiently prove the principle". 351. BALDINI. ed. OWEN. "The solid planetary spheres in post-Copernican natural philosophy" in The Copernican Achie vement. CROMBIE (1977) above n. W. Gregorianum. 1975). because possibly another hypothesis might also be able to account for them". Hence their proponents are mistaken. 1576) 47-48. Classical Quarterly. MICHEL (Oeuvres completes. DONAHUE. S. cf. Clavius ignored the logical point. IX: Festschrift. DUHEM (1908) above n. Pereira used it in De communibus. DE SANTILLANA. and who knew but that one day a third opinion might overthrow both33. 1553) f. G. 29. texte etabli par R. 171-2. so that it did not matter whether one believed Ptolemy or Copernicus. "Saving the appearances". Essais. Paris. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine was to use it in advising Paolo Antonio Foscarini and Galileo in 1615 to be prudent in their advocacy of the Copernican system35. MANSION.. This argument became a commonplace. where he also gave an account of demonstration in mathematics and in the Posterior Analytics strongly contrasting with that of Clavius 34. 1967) 237-8. because they argue from a proposition having several causes to the truth of one of them. Montaigne used the same argument to illustrate how undecidable were such questions. as with the astronomical system of eccentrics and epicycles. first to argue in the Trattato delta sfera and Tractatio de caelo against the Earth's motion.184 Science. II (Paris. It was repeated by the sixteenth-century Italian Averroi'st Agostino Nifo in contrasting different kinds of demonstration: "a good demonstration is one in which the cause is convertible with the effect". X. 1961). XII: "Apologie de Raimond Sebond". H. But since the epicycles and eccentrics were not reciprocally implicated by the appearances. V. Die Rettung der Pbdnomene (Berlin.

since they are shown to us by the senses themselves" (V. It was an ambitious attempt to extend the Archimedean method. Thus Ptolemy supposed "not as pure astronomer but as purest philosopher" that the celestial movements were all circular and uniform. Hoping to persuade above all Bellarmine. but certainly not as fictions. He used Clavius's two criteria in the anxious years 1615-1616 to argue for Copernicus from the new evidence of his telescopic discoveries and from his new dynamics and mechanics. by means of an hypothesis "that seemed reciprocally to harmonize the mobility of the Earth with the tides. "if discursive reasoning is not enough to make us understand the necessity of having to put the eccentrics and epicycles really in nature. 357-60). "have made two sorts of suppositions: some are primary and concerned with the absolute truth in nature. for in the Copernican system the orbits of Venus and Mercury like those of Jupiter's four satellites were literally epicycles and the orbits of Mars. his Considerazioni circa I'opinione Copernicana. "they must be admitted in our time with absolute necessity. the true astronomical system. and the latter as an indication and argument for the former" (V. Galileo then made the remarkable assertion that. Jupiter and Saturn literally eccentrics. At the same time it was an attempt to give a truly scientific demonstration in the Aristotelian sense. 298). taking the former as the cause of the latter. and they show how these appearances are in a certain way not concordant with the primary and true suppositions". he set out these arguments in his letter of 23 March 1615 to Piero Dini. and his Discorso del flusso e reflusso del mare finished in January 1616. and so on. 393). Then cause and effect would be convertible: this cause must necessarily . as that which was uniquely possible within a single uniform system of terrestrial and celestial dynamics. Copernicus likewise put the mobility of the Earth "among the primary and necessary positions in nature (posizioni prime e necessarie in naturaY'. Far from these having been introduced as fictions. from terrestrial to celestial phenomena. and these have been imagined to provide the reasons for the appearances in the movements of the stars. others are secondary.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 185 and then later to argue for its motion. This seems vindication of Qavius indeed. Astronomers. that the Earth was immobile at the centre of the celestial sphere. with its use of models. his Lettera a Madama Cristina di Lorena. Galileo's final argument from the tides in the Discorso was again remarkable for its criteria of decision. He introduced with this a new physical criterion for identifying. with which he aimed to destroy Aristotelian physics and to replace it with a true system. he wrote in the Considerazioni. Then he introduced his secondary suppositions as epicycles and eccentrics to account for the phenomena. we must be persuaded of it by the senses themselves" (V.

Since there were several ways of saving the appearances. the Aristotelian philosopher Antonio Rocco. and no one will contradict you" (VII. but are very sound arguments for the Copernican" (328). fell into the error of the consequent". Galileo by "putting forward only one. evidence not available to Copernicus himself (VII. One of Galileo's most hostile critics. This was "indubitably demonstrated" by this "single experience" (199). 363). Then if those were eliminated one after the other. Galileo noted in reply: "You are mistaken because you do not understand what you are saying. that their different logical form led to different logical consequences from the Aristotelian truly scientific apodeictic demonstration.: but the structure of the world is just .186 Science. Hence the cross-purposes so evident in the later stages of these disputes. The criterion of range of confirmation gave to the experimental and mathematical sciences their open-ended character. leave persuasion to rhetoric. a former student at the Collegio Romano. Thus he insisted in his First Letter about the Sunspots (1612) that his discovery that Venus had phases like the Moon "will leave no room for anyone to doubt what the revolution of Venus is. that the rotation of Venus is round the Sun. his telescope had provided through "sensory observations that can in no way be adapted to the Ptolemaic system. if there is a necessary truth and conclusion such that it is also evident as you say. 99). in conformity with the positions (posizioni] of the Pythagoreans and of Copernicus. show the evidence.. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought produce those effects. as the centre of their revolutions.. round which. at least in his Copernican disputes. The search for convertibility presupposed the framework of the syllogistic modus ponendo ponens and modus tollendo fattens. revolve all the other planets" (V. but will decide with absolute necessity. 349-50. Nor did his opponents. were convertible: the substance was defined uniquely by those properties and those properties were uniquely properties of that substance. it was necessary to know exhaustively all the possible substances of which they could be properties. what remained must be the one true substance and definition concerned. Bellarmine had demanded such a demonstration of the Earth's motions. Mersenne and Newton were to object to this form of argument in science. Hence. 629). Here the aim of true demonstration was to discover definitions in which cause and effect. dismissed his arguments in the Dialogo (1632) from tides and telescope alike with the challenge: "But come on. But Galileo never came to see clearly. and those effects must necessarily entail this cause and no other. beginning with the observation of properties. Galileo's scientific originality in the great cosmological debate lay in his use of range of confirmation as the decisive test of a true theory. In this way he wrote later. or substance and properties. bring in the reasons and the causes.

Necessity was a central theme alike of Galileo's logical Disputationes and of his scientific writings to the end of his life. Cf. If this letter was by Galileo. so that it seems to me that I would not have as many copies as could be sold..The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 187 one.. I. f. 23-24. 187rv. Furthermore by experience I can affirm this. (Codice Pinelliano).. not only into the apparent motions of the fixed stars and planets. This is an unaddressed. Since it is among the Pinelli manuscripts it should date from before his death in 1601. But he left there a gross scale of useless revolutions and fictional motions alien to reason and to the nature of things and to the necessity of appearances" 36. will be published in a short time" (I.. The figures will be rather numerous. but also the calculations of the distances and motions of the comet: a thing considered impossible by previous writers. and it has never been otherwise: therefore someone looking for something other than this one that exists is looking for something false and impossible" (699-700). The unidentified letter shared Galileo's preference for theoretical simplicity and belief in natural as well as mathematical necessity. He continued: "Concerning my treatise De motu celesti. what was the treatise De motu celesti? Could it have been a Copernican revision of a now unknown work to which Galileo referred in De motu gravium as "our lost commentaries on the Almagest of Ptolemy.. but unlike both Galileo and Clavius it seems to accuse Copernicus of introducing fictions. but also the necessity of physical (naturali] operations The treatise is by way of introduction. Nothing has been established.. I may say that it is in three books which make twenty-one folios. 314)? Could it have been the projected Astronomica denuntiatio ad astrologos? We know that Galileo once projected a work on comets.. The author was writing to replace an earlier letter with "notes on mechanics" which had gone astray. if authentic. In my doctrine I show not only the necessity of lines and numbers. In this way an easy route is opened. would be profoundly puzzling for the history of Galileo's Copernicanism. that those who feel uneasy with the usual theories of planets do not find any difficulty whatever in our Pythagorean theory but on the contrary great satisfaction. . An account 36 37 Biblioteca Ambrosiana Ms. We may introduce at this point a document found by Carugo in the Pinelli collection in the Ambrosian Library which. above nn. The same hypotheses have been followed by Copernicus. which were in fact discussed at length by Clavius in his Sphaera37.. 231 inf. as in Sacrobosco's Sphaera . a truly singular man to whom I am much indebted. which. unsigned and undated letter in handwriting resembling Galileo's but not clearly identifiable.

but the intellect together with the knowledge of principles is a natural . Principles could be known in various ways: the most universal solely through their terms. division and hypothetical arguments. We have done this in detail in our book on Galileo's natural philosophy. 6r). 6v) whose objects must exist. 4. quaestio 1. not in the abstract but in something individual". f. He insisted that principles in\ essendo. Galileiano 27. they must all in the end be concerned with existence. as those of moral science which we cannot understand unless we practice them. as that the whole is greater than its part. 1. "The principles in a demonstration a priori are known beforehand. others solely through the senses. as that fire is hot. to the development of the general conception of scientific knowledge within which he always presented his solutions of particular problems. 8r). Primary and immediate principles were those that could not be proved in any way. a series of questions on the Posterior Analytics.188 Science. operates by necessity. They were concerned not with the contingent existence of individuals. But he insisted that while the sciences. others by experience. as in medicine. This was "the existence that follows universal nature. 6v). in order that the conclusion itself may be perfectly known" (disputatio II. Here we can only indicate some relevant points. principles of knowledge) could be proved in the particular sciences a posteriori from their effects. f. II. abstracted formally from the existence of their objects. f. but with the existence of species of things "which. for otherwise "the question of existence would be excluded from all sciences except metaphysics" (II. he distinguished scientiae redes which began with actually existing objects from scientiae rationales concerned only with objects of knowledge (f. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought of his intellectual biography should include an examination of the relation of this treatise. the universe being supposed. 4r. 5v). Galileo started in De praecognitionibus from the fundamental Aristotelian doctrine that it was principles that gave us knowledge: "The primary principles must be in some way presupposed as known. Mathematics likewise abstracted from existence. is more completely realized by species than by individuals" (f. is necessary at least in its time". in which we are publishing relevant sections of the Latin text with an English translation. others by induction. because they considered universals. Throughout he used the Aristotelian analogy between the causation of knowledge in man and of effects in nature: "for every natural cause sufficient to produce its effect. Ms. whereas in a demonstration a posteriori they are sought" (f. but it demonstrated the properties of existing objects (f. Accepting that "all new knowledge originates from the senses" (III. f. 7rv). 7v). 3. For indeed "nature. provided that its requirements are given. cf. that is existing in the objects of knowledge (as distinct from in cognoscendo. others solely by habit.

This kind of demonstration "makes us know a thing without qualification (simpliciterY. To know was simply "to assent certainly and evidently to the conclusion". demonstrated the cause a posteriori from its effect known through the senses. 17v-18r). better known than. immediate. since it supposes its primary principles to be proved in a superior science. as astronomy and music to mathematics. not just ens rationis. prior to. follow from known principles. Thomas. de dem. therefore demonstration propter quid must proceed only through such causes". But there was a difference for. 1. which are virtually contained in them and are suited to be inferred. 12v). The premises of truly demonstrated knowledge according to the Posterior Analytics (I. True conclusions could be inferred from false premises only per accident. therefore. Still. "because there are some things that necessarily. ' demonstration because '. 2. cannot have perfect demonstrations. while demonstratio propter quid. f. 2) must be "true. The Tractatio de demonstratione was a critical analysis of the account given by Aristotle and later Greek and medieval commentators of scientific demonstration and its kinds according to the subject-matter. 1. Hence of the void and infinite and suchlike "there can be no science. not per se. Immediate meant that the primary premises were not themselves demonstrated. because they are nothing" (II. are necessarily known" (f. Hence "a subordinated science. which itself could not be otherwise. "because man is free" (f.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 189 and sufficient cause to produce scientific knowledge". Scientific demonstration gave knowledge of "a thing through the causes by which it exists". 13v). a thing of reason. 13r). Galileo argued that since "only those causes by which a thing exists are true and proper causes in being (in essendo]. and the causes of the conclusion" (Tr. he might not assent even when all the requirements were given. once these are known. Galileo argued. the conclusions. This was not so when a science was subordinate to another. and . ff. Demonstratio quia. but were self-evident. "why must we necessarily assent to the conclusion once we know the premises?" He replied with Saint Thomas. that only true propositions could be actually known. gave us scientific knowledge of the effect by demonstrating it a priori from its discovered cause. but such assent required that the premises were not only true but immediate. ff. primary. I. but this was not so with "demonstration which proceeds from virtual causes. with Averroes and St. as imperfect. and the cause must be of that effect alone. and to know something required not only inference but demonstration from true premises. ' demonstration that' in the scholastic terminology used by Galileo. for these are ex suppositione and therefore do not make us know things without qualification" (II. 18v-19r). The proper object of knowledge was ens reale. something real.

quia and propter quid: for "we know a thing either a posteriori or a priori: we know it a posteriori by demonstration quia. ff. 29r). That demonstration quia was a true kind of demonstration was proved "on the authority of all commentators" as of Aristotle himself. or where the conclusion could be better known than the premises as "by the senses or by faith". Ostensive demonstration was that which proved from true principles that something was true (f. 6. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought therefore it generates knowledge ex suppositione and only in a certain respect (secundum quid)" (II. as of demonstrative science. 29r-30v. for it "proceeds from necessary . As for the requirement that the premises should be better known than the conclusion. Thomas and others who had maintained that there were two. and that these should be known per se (II. to their certainty. 1. 22rv). but because of knowledge of the principles" (f. Galileo concluded his scholastic treatise with a discussion of the main kinds of demonstration distinguished by Aristotle and the commentators: ostensiva. but only two kinds. cf. 21v-22r). though such demonstrations are not the most powerful (pottssimae)". This was not contradicted by cases where we might assume premises in order to prove something else. This could be either intuitive evidence through knowledge of the terms alone. 29v. Galileo agreed with St. 29r. 20v). 30r). 1-2. cf. as the divine was more perfect than the perishable. 13r. since it proceeds from false propositions and. ad impossibile. ff. The former "required that a resolution should be made into all its principles and causes. potissima (III. 22v). so that subordinate sciences were imperfect. 4. 13r). as in mathematical demonstrations. 30r). or discursive evidence through the cause. "the causes are better known than the effects both to us and in nature. f. he agreed with St. as of first principles. by raising questions. whether better known to us or in nature. As a form of inference "a demonstration that leads to an impossibility (ad impossibile) is not a true and perfect demonstration. either simpliciter and absolutely. f. Sciences were the more perfect according to their object. 23r. as is clear in subordinated sciences and even clearer in our faith" (II. 13r). but we could assert with "certainty without evidence. even the primary and most universal". Thomas that for an absolute demonstration they must be better known in nature. or secundum quid and within a determinate genus". propter quid. Thus we could have "scientific knowledge (scientia) of something in two ways.190 Science. 1. Avicenna was said to have held that there was only one kind of demonstration. Evidence always carried certainty. or where. propter quid (f. a priori by demonstration propter quidn (f. to their independence. f. I. quia. and to their evidence. comes to deny both premises" (III. cf. ff. 5. cf. In any case "we come to rest in knowledge of the conclusion.

our intellect understands that it is natural. This can be confirmed by the consideration that otherwise nature would have badly provided man with universal properties. secondly.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 191 propositions and infers something necessary (ex necessariis procedit et insert aliquid necessarium). whereby it will then be possible in the demonstration to give the reason why this connection exists in the subject". he wrote: "we know the connection of the attribute with the subject by experience: for from the beginning of the world up to now the ability to laugh has always been known to be connected with man.. for it proceeds from particulars" and "by itself does not lead to any necessary conclusion". by Latin writers "demonstration from the effect. we do not know the cause of the effect. but not formally in the same way. 30v). since it would not have provided things with their necessary conditions and properties. by induction.. 30r). by the . But there were within demonstration propter quid itself " something like two kinds of demonstration. by Averroes "demonstration of evidence (demonstratio evidentiae).. And. the other showing through intrinsic causes the attribute of its primary and adequate subject by means of principles that are actually indemonstrable.. and does not generate opinion (opinio)\ therefore it generates scientific knowledge (scientiaY'• By contrast "induction is not a demonstration at all.. since it proceeds from things that are better known to us". and the latter can with perfect right be called potissima".. thirdly. By comparison demonstration quia might seem to be "a topical or probable syllogism". cf. 29r). but in itself it was a true demonstration which " infers from necessary premises a necessary conclusion" (f.. The demonstration of the cause of some effect showed us by its very nature at the same time the existence of the effect: thus "demonstration propter quid. One and the same conclusion could be demonstrated by either. Continuing his analysis with an example. 30r. hence. so far as it is in its power. Demonstration propter quid and quia were then analogous. Hence demonstration quia was called by Aristotle "demonstration of sign (demonstratio signi)n and "it proves the existence of a thing". which knows that this connection is necessary: for in most cases those things that always happen are natural. the one proceeding through extrinsic causes. In a demonstration propter quid "it must be known either in the premises or before them that the cause has a necessary connection (necessaria connexio) with its effect. for both "proceed from true and necessary propositions". but the connection of the cause with the effect" (f. by the light of our intellect. man's ability to laugh. makes us know the cause and the existence of a thing" (f. since the ability to laugh always belongs to man. or a posteriori-.. Hence it was useless of Averroes to add a further kind of demonstration potissima of existence as well as cause.

as it is better known. JARDINE. 1975). denies that a perfect circle can be permitted in a demonstration. as by Aristotle of primary matter and the first mover. VI. Aristotle. secondly: the cause and the effect can be taken in three ways. we should note. above n. in so far as they are different things. 470-4. they can be considered in so far as the cause is necessarily connected with the effect. the demonstration could proceed also "from one effect to another. "such as: it is hot. 2. and demonstrations a posteriori of more complex propositions. so that it is possible to know perfectly both the conclusion by the premises and the premises by the conclusion38. N. Another distinction came from considering the middle term of the syllogism. in the second way. For example when it "proceeds from an effect to its cause" as "there is smoke. where the demonstration might consist of "convertible terms. 31rv): Whether a demonstrative regress can occur. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. 27.. that which proves. Post. Discours de la methode. ARISTOTLE. He argued that a demonstrative regress was not possible in the first way because one relative thing is not better known than the other. 1947) 181-91. Within it various distinctions could be made. 3. otherwise it would not be possible to infer one necessarily from the other. should come first in the demonstration.. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Greeks conjectural (conjecturalis}". and without their help "we cannot know anything at all about abstract and divine things" (III. These were especially useful. Finally Galileo came to the question (III. such as: there is an eclipse.. Anal. In the first way. Secondly. "since the principles of a science are sometimes unknown and cannot be proved except by demonstrations of this kind".. therefore there is fire". DESCARTES.. under the formal relation of cause and effect. In order to understand it. or from a sign or whatever accident is necessarily connected with its cause to the cause itself". in the third way. 1. We should note.3. yet he admits an imperfect circle. VI (1976) 277-318. and would not be circular in the second way if the things were necessarily connected: for "the demonstrative regress is the progress of reasoning in a demonstration which goes from the effect to the cause Cf. or not. BARNES (Oxford. f. We consider this opinion as most true. that what proves and what is proved should be connected with each other. therefore there is an interposition of the Earth".192 Science.. "Galileo's road to truth and the demonstrative regress". first: two things are required for a demonstration. 30v). f. therefore there is fire". First. The first opinion was that of those more ancient philosophers who are reported by Aristotle to have claimed that in a demonstration a perfect circle is given. Gilson (Paris.. 38 . translated with notes by J. texte et commentaire par E. Yet another distinction was between demonstrations of "simple being".

. For "it could happen that someone knows the effect but not the cause". But a regress was possible in the second way only "provided that it takes place in a different kind of cause.. but it is most frequent in the physical sciences.. You will object: then it would follow that the demonstration propter quid is useless. On the other hand. therefore there is the Sun. or in the same kind but not in the same respect (ratio] and does not lead to the same thing".: that in it there should be two progressions of demonstration. Fourth: that once the first progress has been completed. Fifth condition: that the demonstrative regress should take place through convertible terms. and then "from the existence of the effect he proves the existence of the cause".. "vapour is the material cause of rain and rain is the material cause of vapour" was circular. This is the reason why demonstration propter quid cannot take place unless we know beforehand the cause formally. for it has a necessary connection such as that of the reason for the effect with the cause. Second: that we should start from demonstration quia.The Jesuits and Galileo }s Ideas of Science and Nature 193 and vice versa". they are these. From this it follows that a regress is not properly a circle. as it is made for the very purpose of knowing the formal cause. for example. but it can be propter quid. Now this can be proved through a demonstrative regress. the other from cause to effect. since it proceeds from the effect to the material cause and from the cause known formally to the reason for (propter quid] the effect. it would make the first progress impossible.. To an objection that. and one of the two can be assumed as better known in order to prove the other".. so there was no circle. but we should wait until the cause. if the cause has a wider extension than the effect. I reply. for we demonstrated rain by condensation and vapour by rarefaction. To the question whether the progress from the cause to the reason for the effect showed the existence of the effect. one from effect to cause." Then: You will ask secondly: in which sciences do we think that there is such a circle. yet he does not know it actually unless he makes a true demonstration. In mathematics there is almost no use for such a demonstrative regress. Third: that the effect should be better known to us. Thomas that here "indeed existence cannot be proved by a perfect demonstration absolutely and simpliciter. For if the effect had a wider extension than the cause.. You will ask thirdly: what are the requirements of a demonstrative regress. he replied with St. becomes known to us formally. but still "he does not know the reason why it belongs to the effect. I deny this consequence: for although someone who knows the formal cause knows virtually the reason why (propter quid] the attribute belongs to the subject. Therefore the following inference is not valid: there is light. we should not immediately start the second. because in such disciplines the causes are better known both by nature and to us. he replied that here the causes were different. The explanation for this is that in most cases the physical causes are unknown to us.. I reply: the demonstrative regress is useful to the completion of all sciences. it would make the . which we know materially.

75. I. and as in the Tractatio prima de mundo (I. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought second progress impossible. He followed in 39 E. By this strategy he aimed to establish a new identity at once for natural philosophy and for nature. 40 Ms. for breathing requires many organs. After Aristotle. with Galileo's other scholastic treatises.45. art. 1. 111. 25. 6. in the debate whether the most powerful demonstration was that described in the Posterior Analytics or that provided by mathematics. CASSIRER. 30r. he cited Averroes and Aquinas more than any other authorities in the three treatises together. for example in the Disputationes on there being only two kinds of demonstration. yet the reverse is not valid. Galileiano 27. Summa theologica. give biographical substance to Ernst Cassirer's perception that Galileo shared with his Aristotelian opponents a fundamental agreement on the object of truly scientific knowledge. 7v. All three of Galileo's scholastic treatises showed an explicit agreement on many questions with Thomist opinions. Summa contra gentiles. I. 29-31) on the perfection of the world and its realization rather through species than individuals40. despite his rejection of their syllogistic methods of trying to reach and form of expressing such knowledge39. cf. They establish the longevity and depth of his enduring commitment to their common assumption that true natural philosophy must demonstrate the necessary connections underlying the regularities of phenomena perceived by the senses. The Disputationes. 22r. Lastly it is required that it should have the form of the first figure of the syllogism. with Alessandro Piccolomini and Pereira against Francesco Barozzi and Clavius when he wrote in the Disputationes that mathematical demonstrations "non sint potissimae" (f. 29-31 where the argument corresponds almost word for word to AQUINAS.194 Science. 31v)41. 1906) 134-41. 11. As is evident: for although the following inference is valid: he breathes. q. even when he came to differ from them sharply in his specification of effective methods of scientific inquiry. 41 P.71. They establish the depth likewise of his commitment to a philosophical strategy aimed at once to solve particular problems and to lead to the apprehension of universal first principles. quia and propter quid. GALLUZZI. cf. "II ' Platonismo' del tardo Cinquecento e la filosofia di Galileo". with the latter equalled by Themistius and Philoponus in the Disputationes. He seems to be siding. therefore he has a soul. This he continued to share with contemporary philosophers. . and hence of exactly how particular solutions must make it necessary to accept the principles from which he tried to demonstrate that they followed. 29r. Das Erkenntnisproblem in der Philosophic und Wissenschaft der neueren Zeit (Berlin. ff. All three used syllogistic arguments without mathematics. 81. which the soul may lack.

a cura di P. 1983). 14r) as belonging to demonstration. 31rv). and gave an example to show that in a proper demonstrative regress this was not so. but in these another model also makes its appearance: that of mathematics. Hence both "in the order with respect to nature" and "in the order of learning and in terms in Ricerche sulla cultura dell'Italia moderna. in which the complete cause and the effect entailed each other reciprocally and uniquely. There are many resemblances likewise both in terminology and in conception of science between the Disputationes and Galileo's other writings on natural philosophy. But with Aristotle he admitted as "most true" an imperfect circle. All three scholastic treatises have the same decisive manner. 2. we searched for its cause so that we could demonstrate that effect from this. 34. With Aristotle he denied tha argument in a circle could be permitted in a demonstration. and he kept to that terminology with only a passing reference to "resolutio et compositio" (f. OLIVIERI (a cura di). Both sides claimed support from Proclus's commentary on the first book' of Euclid's geometry. At the same time he showed a strong independence. 1973). If so. Barozzi. L. CROMBIE (1977) and CARUGO (1983) above n. Galileo might have followed the traditional order of topics in which commentators began with logic and went on to cosmology and then to physics. ZAMBELLI (Bari. The sixteenth-century debate on mathematics had centred on the opposing conceptions of its relation to natural philosophy attributed to Plato and to Aristotle. Mathematics was necessary to natural philosophy because it was concerned with " mid dle essence" lying between the "sensible essence" of things and the purely "intelligible essence" of the divine. A significant condition was that the cause and effect had to be convertible.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 195 this treatise the Aristotelian tradition that made demonstration quia and propter quid the central method of natural philosophy. Aristotelismo veneto e scienza moderna (Padova. This would date them all after 1597. of which he made an analysis. This according to the accepted interpretation of Aristotle was the condition for a perfect scientific demonstration. also n. It seems reasonable to suppose from their resemblance in style and interests that they were written at nearly the same time. Descartes similarly was to follow in Les meteores (1637) the order of topics discussed in Aristotle's Meteorologica and followed by commentators. For the progression of a demonstrative argument went in two directions: starting from an effect better known that its cause. even if in subordinate sciences like astronomy and music they were not the most certain. . in putting the Platonic view against the Aristotelian Piccolomini. argued that mathematics provided in itself the most powerful demonstrations. that is coextensive (f.

This was matched by the note written by Galileo in 1612 during his hydrostatical controversies that he "being used to study in the book of nature. Eudidis Elementorum libri XV. G. 1938).431560) ff. above n. "L'insegnamento delle matematiche nei collegi Gesuiti nelTItalia settentrionale". again strongly influenced by Proclus. 1574) and I. so that there is no doubt left at all" 43. "Le matematiche nella ' Ratio Studiorum' della Compagnia di Gesu". and that dialectical arguments (as in the Topics] were very different from mathematics: "For in a dialectical problem either one or the other part of a contradiction being undertaken is only probably confirmed. cf. 22. Miscellania storica Ligure. 1960) 44 16. where things are written in only one way. GILBERT. something which we can scarcely ascribe to other sciences". Hence his argument that mathematics should be made an essential subject of study at the Collegio Romano. P. 90. "Questio de medietate mathematicarum" (Patavii. CROMBIE (1977) 65. A. Clavius made the same point. cf. but demonstrated through the formal cause and in "mixed mathematics" which "include matter and motion" also through other appropriate causes: "something 42 FRANCISCUS BAROCIUS. above n. but in mathematics. For "the mathematical disciplines deal with things without any sensible matter.I. Mathematics were thus an antidote to the Pyrrhonists. 4. N. 2. so that each man's intellect is in doubt which part of it is true. whichever part a man chooses he will prove with firm demonstration. 248). the work about which Galileo had written to him in that year. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought of utility Plato placed the mathematical not only prior to the natural but prior to all sciences " and to all arts 42. II (1970) 171-213. 38r-39v. Prolegomena (Romae. FARRELL. Opusculum.196 Science. would not be able to dispute any problem ad utranque par tern or to maintain any conclusion not first believed or known to be true" (IV. for "natural philosophy without the mathematical disciplines is lame and incomplete" 44. f. Renaissance Concepts of Method (New York. COSENTINO. From their intermediate position " they demonstrate everything they undertake to dispute by the firmest reasons and confirm them so that they truly produce scientia in the mind of the hearer. He insisted that the "linear demonstrations" of geometry were not syllogisms. W. Once more he acknowledged Proclus. XIII (1971) 205-17. Wise. maintained that mathematics was essential to all physical demonstrations. and they utterly remove all doubt. Physis. but really they are immersed in matter". Likewise Mazzoni in his In universam Platonis et Aristotelis philosophiam praeludia (1597). CHRISTOPHORUS CLAVIUS. . The Jesuit Code of Liberal Education (Milwaukee. in his own influential commentary on Euclid.. Mathematics was not concerned with the final cause. "philosophers who decided nothing but doubted about everything".

231). He took up the Copernican debate here in the context of a rejection of Pyrrhonic and other sceptical "doubts against the investigation of truth" (VII. and therewith accounting both for physical change and for the production in us of the different sensible qualities. was trying to establish criteria for science that would embrace alike the particular sciences of the diverse phenomena perceived by the senses and the "perfect science in an absolute sense. Physis. XV. because just "where good sense showed that mathematical demonstrations should be used. is opportune or not". But there was a difference of purpose between theoretical reasoning "for the sake of truth" that aimed to show the "essence" of particular existing things.. but also follows it" was astronomy (XXIV. and conversely praxis their theories" (p. But "Aristotle. concluding with the argument against the Pythagorean opinion of Copernicus (X. He replied that "Plato believed mathematics to be especially fitted for physical investigations" and he proposed to defend Plato. Then: "The question is whether the use of mathematics in physical science. 4. F. he wrongly rejected mathematics". GALLUZZI (1973) above n. CROMBIE (1969) above n. 188-90). and reasoning that aimed to "make truth a means" to some practical end. A good example to show that in both cases "experience not only precedes the grasp of universals. JARDINE (1976) above n. Mazzoni as Galileo later. By postulating geometrical bodies prior to the four elements. 41. also nn. has widely departed from the true method of philosophizing (vera philosophandi ratio)" (XVIII. for "theoria and praxis do not divide philosophy into two generically different parts. Thus in natural philosophy and mathematics "all theories have their praxis. as an instrument of proof (ratio probandi) and a middle term of demonstration. as "when a mathematician is concerned with mechanics". KOYRE. and to show that "Aristotle has run on to the rocks". "Jacopo Mazzoni and Galileo".The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 19 7 shown clearly in Archimedes's little book De insidentibus. 129-34) about which Galileo was to write. "Galileo and Plato".. but everything theoretical also has either as a side-effect or as its fruit something practical" (XXIII. PURNELL JR. 245-6). 38. Each in his own way. in which that most acute man very often completes his demonstrations by means of an active cause such as through the impulsive power which is in a liquid or in some other heavy body" (lib. Both were mistaken in separating theory from practice. 72). from failure to apply mathematical demonstrations in the proper places. pp. which understands by eternal reasons". Plato had made "not an error into which his love of mathematics drove him" but "a stroke of the greatest genius". XIV (1972) 273-94. A.. 159-60)45. 233 bis). Journal of the History of Ideas. IV (1943) 420-1. 2. 21. For the former kind of science Cf. 45 .

"in some of the questions which in the first years of our friendship we used to dispute together with such delight. In writing to his father in 1590 about some volumes of Galen and "la Sfera" which he was expecting. In his letter to Mazzoni of 1597 Galileo wrote from Padua with warm appreciation of the many kindnesses he had received at Pisa from his old mentor. for the latter Plato. 197-8). in his In primum Euclidis Elementorum librum Commentariorum ad universam mathematicam disciplinam principium eruditionis tradentium libri IV (1560)46. cf. Galileo met him. under whose discipline it seems that all who dedicate themselves to search for the truth do and must gather together" (II. Stvles. and downwards into the investigation of the detailed construction of the material 46 Latin translation by Barozzi (Padua.. but for Mazzoni surely Plato. 175-6). Mathematical existence. 627). and CROMBIE. an association evidently pleasing also to Guidobaldo del Monte and to Mazzoni himself (X. or to save "intact in every detail. above n. Proclus gave to the Platonic scheme of existence set out in the Republic the Aristotelian logical structure of the Posterior Analytics. This was a suitable distribution of favours by the incumbent of the chair at Pisa in both Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy which Mazzoni held from 1588 to 1597. colleague and friend and of the "universal learning" shown by his book. 14. a friend both of Vincenzo Galilei and of Guidobaldo del Monte. 1560). 1970): the suggestion that Galileo used Proclus was made by JARDINE (1976) 317. . MORROW (Princeton. was explored by discursive reasoning. above n. The model used in their different ways by Clavius and Mazzoni. Mathematical knowledge then could lead both upwards to the apprehension of the absolutely intelligible principles of all existence. in its intermediate position between the highest simple realities grasped only by intellectual intuition and the complex extended objects of the senses. was the account given by Proclus of the relation of mathematics at once to existence and to human understanding and practice. incline to the side that had seemed true to me and the opposite to you". 55. on his return to Pisa as mathematical lecturer in 1589. The Master must have been either Aristotle or Plato. the genuineness of the learning of so great a Master. 38.198 Science. he added that he was "studying and having lessons with Signer Mazzoni". 34-41. also n. R. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought Aristotle provided for Mazzoni the best criteria. He continued that he was greatly satisfied and consoled to see Mazzoni. and perhaps following these two preceptors also by Galileo. who showed how reason could ascend "to the principles and causes of things" (XVI. quotations below are with slight modifications from the English translation by G.. XIX. Perhaps this had been "to give scope to the arguments". 44-7. 16.

. just as it rises up from below and nearly joins the intuitive intellect in apprehending primary principles. I... holding them without demonstration. ends with the ideas that it has within. Thus "it unfolds and traverses the immaterial cosmos of ideas. 10). Mathematical knowledge was generated in its intermediary position by the internal activity of the understanding.. working in two ways. now advancing from what it already knows to what it seeks to know. 4).. though beginning with reminders from the outside world. at others assembling these diverse results for reference "back to their native hypotheses. Going upwards it discovered its own primary principles. Reaching by its dialectical power both upwards and downwards.. Mathematics "takes its principles from the highest science and. By contrast mathematics. now proceeding in the opposite direction. 3). Mathematics then "makes contributions of the very greatest value to . and its common axioms as that of equality and common methods as "the method of proceeding from things better known to things we seek to know and the reverse path from the latter to the former. sometimes exploring into diverse particulars and speculations. the methods called analysis and synthesis" (Prologue. where it touches on nature and cooperates with natural science. and again referring its results back to the principles that are prior in knowledge". 6). but its destination is the higher being of forms". This then is a second world-order which produces itself and is produced from its native principles. demonstrates their consequences" (I. The range of this thinking extends from on high all the way down to conclusions in the sensible world.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 199 universe and the operations of the practical arts. the understanding thus replicated with a cosmos of ideas the complex cosmos of existence: "All mathematical are thus present in the soul from the first. for these forms of knowing fix their attention on external things and concern themselves with objects whose causes they do not possess. but it was at the same time stimulated by and projected downwards upon the objects of the senses. Always "it is the higher sciences that provide the first hypotheses for the demonstrations of the sciences below them" (I. The function of mathematics was "discursive thinking". In its lowest applications therefore it projects all of mechanics as well as optics and catoptrics and many other sciences bound up with sensible things and operative in them. and in this differed both from pure intellectual intuition and from "opinion and perception. 7).. and when it projects its ideas. it is awakened to activity by lower realities. Hence "it advances through inquiry to discovery". While as it moves upwards it attains unitary and immaterial insights that enable it to perfect its partial judgements" (I. in establishing many of its propositions. it reveals all the sciences and the virtues" (I. now moving from principles to conclusions.

that is. 8). Mathematics thus projected upon sensible and imaginable things "its demonstrations about them existing previously in the understanding" (II. as more evident than their consequences. of one or all of them. such as geodesy. using mathematical language throughout in expounding its theory of the nature of the universe. and these arts are all included in mathematical reasonings and are made definite by them" (I. "A third is the reduction . This is the way the natural scientist proceeds.. Aristotle and Euclid common in logical form to both mathematics and natural science. which divides into its natural parts the genus proposed for examination and which affords a starting-point for demonstration by eliminating the parts irrelevant for the establishment of what is proposed". These were both used by Plato... All these I believe the Timaeus sets forth.. The "best is the method of analysis. Then it uses "demonstrations and analysis in dealing with the consequences that follow from the principles. positing the existence of motion and producing his ideas from a definite principle. 8). the species of elementary perceptible bodies and the powers associated with them. It regulates by numbers and figures the generation of the elements.. measuring and weighing. Then "when it touches on the material world it delivers out of itself a variety of sciences. rather each holds them as self-evident. which traces the desired result back to an acknowledged principle. Likewise "as Socrates says in the Philebus. 1). Geometry "makes use of synthesis and analysis. At a certain "level of mental exploration it examines nature. Principles had to be clearly distinguished from their consequences. and the number or fewness of the elements involved". showing how their powers. that is. all the arts require the aid of counting. the uniformity or diversity of their sides. Geometry like all mathematics in its intermediate position was based on hypothesis: "For no science demonstrates its own principles or presents a reason for them. always starting from hypotheses and principles that it obtains from the science above it". and explains how their causes are contained in advance in its own ideas". The same is true of the physician and of the expert in any other science or art" (II. A second is the method of division. mechanics and optics.. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought natural sciences. in order to show the more complex matters both as proceeding from the simpler and also conversely as leading back to them" (II. 2).200 Science. 3). He went on to describe methods discussed by Plato. characteristics and activities are derived therefrom and tracing the causes of all change back to the acuteness or obtuseness of their angles. by which it benefits the life of mortals" (II. It reveals the orderliness of the ratios according to which the universe is constructed and the proportion that binds things together in the cosmos.

quotations 47 . confirms the proposition it set out to establish" (I. His example was the reduction of the problem of doubling the cube to that of finding two mean proportionals. which does not directly show the thing itself that is wanted but. by refuting its contradictory. ad impossibile. This corresponds logically in natural science to a form of experimental falsification within a defined number of possible hypotheses. if known or constructed. by thus destroying its hypothesis. Notable among these was Aristotle in his physics. will make the original proposition evident" (Propositions. Alberi we use this title. 1). C. Reduction is a transition from a problem or a theorem to another which. Galileo combined in De motu gravium mathematical with syllogistic arguments in his analytical search for true relations of cause and effect. and (1975a) above n. This term meant both. This is the method which my mathematicians have taught me: but it is not adequately observed by certain philosophers. LESHER (1973) above n. since they are absolutely false" (I. indirectly establishes its truth. 1971). usually to refute some opposing opinion by leading it to a reductio ad contradictionem. 285).. CROMBIE. for which following E.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 201 to impossibility. The writings.. 2. 1953. Galileo appears in De motu gravium deeply preoccupied with the issues that dominated his scientific life: the proper methods of inquiry and demonstration in natural philosophy. reasoning and accepted theory. 27. Thus he wrote: « The method (methodus) that we shall observe in this treatise will be such that what ought to be said always follows from what has been said. In the third method he explained: "Every reduction to impossibility takes the contradictory of what it intends to prove and from this as a hypothesis proceeds until it encounters something admitted to be absurd and. Terminology in this mixture got some changed applications. nor shall I ever (if I may) assume as true what ought to be demonstrated." (I. His own characteCf.. 277-8). "because he assumed as known axioms what are not only not clear to sense. or ad absurdum47.. Galileiano 71. His style of argument came from the twin models of the postulational method of Archimedes and the Aristotelian syllogistic structure leading to either the confirmation or the falsification of the premises by confronting their conclusions with experientia or ratio. but neither ever demonstrated nor even demonstrable. are collected in Ms. 5). Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science (Oxford. and the discovery with them of the true constitution of the universe. They were first published in part by Alberi in 1854 in his edition of Galileo's Opere. A. I. But Galileo habitually put his argument in the form of a hypothetical syllogism. and later in full with the title De motu by Favaro in the first volume of the Edizione Nazionale (1890).

Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought ristic style appears in the use and content of ratio and its relation to experentia. as well as that to the condensation of the finest and most rare substances" (VIII. 302). had kept too close to superficial experience. He then introduced Archimedes in order to reduce the cosmological order of the elements to a problem of hydrostatics on the model of bodies floating here are with slight modifications from the English translation by I. 263). 374). but only with things seen through the curved sides of a glass vessel containing water (I. by DRABKIN and S. So he concluded of the continuing motion of projectiles that such "a movable body moving with other than natural motion is moved by a power impressed (virtus impressa) on it by a mover. DRABKIN in GALILEO GALILEI. When he "could not discover a cause for such an effect. but he himself would "always use reasons more than examples (for we search for the causes of the effects.. Aristotle. Galileo agreed with Plato in the Timaeus that the disposition and motions of the elements were the result of their relative gravities. by whose help we shall be sufficiently able to apprehend the motion to the rarefaction and resolution of solids. 303). Essential to the ratio of physics was mathematics. whether evaporating or condensing. An illustration was the demonstration of the falsity of one of his relevant conclusions by "the divine Archimedes" (I. and he repeated the criticism that "Aristotle was not very well versed in geometry" (I.202 Science. 1960). 105). is hidden from our knowledge". argument (discorso) must take its place. but "when sensible observation is wanting. as he wrote later of odours given off by fruit and flowers. A deleted addition continued: "And in the same way what power it is that makes strings resound is also hidden from our knowledge" (I. Sometimes our situation was the converse. For "we never can observe those odoriferous atoms". At the same time true ratio must be based on true experientia. at all with things seen simply under water. 314). . DRAKE (Madison. E. Archimedes supplied Galileo with a new model not only for scientific method. but the relation between them was subtle. But what that power is. From this model much else for physics followed. as the "common opinion" that things appeared larger under water. On Motion and On Mechanics. De motu gravium was an essay in physical cosmology. Wise. But it was not always easy to discover the nature of things. he wrote. at length turning to experience" he found that there was no such effect. which are not given in experience)" (I. but also for the primary physical problem with which he was concerned. the disposition and motions of the four elements in relation to the central Earth. Sometimes plausible but false opinions gained currency because no one bothered to scrutinize them.

XI. 362n). below nn. Annals of Science. and the motion from hot to warm is no different from the motion from warm to cold". 159). 62.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 203 or sinking in water. 167-8. G. Md. or at least from expediency. SOLMSEN. 157-8. Thus the syllogism: "The cause of a positive effect must be positive: therefore the cause of motion cannot be lightness (levitas). 416. S. so too when a body moved from being light through neither heavy nor light to heavy. 322-3. As when water becomes per accidens cold from hot it is moved with a single motion towards coldness. 157-60) and VIII. It remains therefore that it is heaviness (gravitas). Why then did "provident nature (prudens natura)" distribute the positions of bodies in the order found? It was not sufficient to say that "it pleased Highest Providence" to give them "the capacity to move to some particular place": light bodies upwards. 350. 545. 607). J. Despite the ambiguity behind Viviani's particular claim that Galileo "discovered thermometers (termometri)" (XIX. 377-8. when the movable body is moved from lightness to heaviness. 1957). and to replace it by a single linear quantitative scale by which gravity and temperature and so on could be measured and measuring instruments devised. P. For "granted that heavy bodies move towards the centre because they move towards the Earth. 12-15. "The origin of the thermometer". Tractatus de dementis (I. to make this kind of distribution. He dismissed lightness as a separate property contrary to heaviness. 1966). Aristotle's System of the Physical World: A companion to his predecessors (Ithaca. In this way Galileo came to reject the whole Greek doctrine of pairs of contrary properties. "So far then are these motions from being contraries that they are actually only one. since contrary effects depend on contrary causes" (I. which is a negative quality (privatio). I. 48 . it was simply relative to the heaviness of the medium. TAYLOR. W.. ANTON. XVII. 634-5. A History of the Thermometer (Baltimore. are moved by heaviness" (I. Polarity and Analogy: Two types of argumentation in early Greek thought (Cambridge. V (1942) 129-56. E.. F. Cf. Thus he transformed Aristotle's teleological arrangement of the universe into the resultant of mechanical forces. cf. there can be no doubt about the effects of this radical conceptual change in the very possibility of quantification upon the fundamental theory and practice of all natural science48.Y. continuous and coterminous. XV. 1966). N. Likewise for all "alterative motions" or changes in quality: for "that alterative motion (motus alterativus). and not in the place of (say) fire?" He found it "impossible to believe that nature was not constrained by necessity. MIDDLETON. 59. 506. is a single and continuous motion. 139-40. even things that are moved upwards. our next question is: why was the Earth placed at the centre. cf. XII. 1960). heavy downwards. F. LLOYD. Aristotle's Theory of Contrareity (London. K. Hence also the effects that flow from these causes should not truly be called contraries. R.

252-3). GaKleo followed his example with skill in his analysis in De motu gravium of motion on an inclined plane. cause: and indeed I discovered that it was not without the best of reasons that nature had chosen this order. cf. We must not suppose that his conclusion was false. we shall say that motion towards the centre is natural. The latter seemed sounder. therefore. In demonstrating this he used an argument from the balance for which he assumed "as true what is false: namely.204 Science. Thus. unless we wanted to call it "geometrical licence" as when . he reduced relative gravity to the relative condensation and rarefaction of matter. and in which unimportant departures from strict physical truth were ignored. when really the weights tending to the centre converge". Hence we must say either that the suspended weights do make right angles "or else that it is of no importance that they make right angles" but enough that the angles are simply equal. Covering himself "with the protecting wings of the superhuman Archimedes" who had made the same assumption. no matter how little" it "does not ascend except by force". without the application of any external force". whereas on "a plane inclined upwards. if not necessary. and those bodies are heavier that enclose more particles of that matter in a narrower space. that weights suspended from a balance make right angles with the balance. Hence "on the horizontal plane itself the body is moved neither naturally nor violently" and so "can be made to move by the smallest force of all". Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought but merely did as she fancied and as chance would have it". and motion away from the centre unnatural": the intrinsic cause of all motion was weight. Archimedes and "the ancients" (I. thus taught Galileo how he might reduce the whole physical world to a coherent uniform system of mechanics. 344-5. it was certainly rational that those bodies that contained more matter in a narrower space should also occupy the narrower places such as those that are nearer the centre" (I. which in the scholastic tradition meant the Greek atomists and Plato in contrast to Aristotle. He racked his brains "to think of some expedient and suitable. For since there is a single matter for all bodies. as suggested perhaps by the Timaeus and the atomists. Archimedes taught him also the analytical device of reducing physical problems to their mathematical essence by idealized abstractions from which all material accidents such as friction and irregular shape had been eliminated. and at the centre bodies came to rest (I. 359). 352-4). "In accordance with reason. he commented that Archimedes "did so perhaps to show that he was so far ahead of others that he could draw true conclusions even from false assumptions". for he had proved it by another demonstration. He argued that "a movable body having no external resistance on a plane inclined no matter how little below the horizon will descend naturally.

"Experience and experiment: a comparison of Zabarella's view with Galileo's in De motu". hence a continuing velocity required a continuing motive power and a change in velocity a change in effective power. These terms were common synonyms and were used by Galileo as such. "Tentare. Further. Studies in the Renaissance. vedi Esperimentare. fundamentally Aristotelian. B. His resolution was nonmathetaatical. 318-20). 52. 296-9. 318).The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 205 Archimedes assumed that surfaces had weight. Journal of the History of Ideas. 1612): "Cimentare. . The rather. XXXVIII (1977) 389-408. cannot be moved with a minimal force". 340. But since perhaps it is impossible to find these bodies in matter." he wrote in the version of Le mecaniche published by Favaro. 299-301. experiri. and in its metaphysical expectations. Esperimento" (p. SCHMITT. periculum facere" (p. For "our demonstrations must be understood of movable bodies free from all external resistance. as we show below (I. These were essential likewise to any practical science of mechanics.. 881). He retained the distinction between natural and unnatural motion. 190. 197. someone making a trial on them (de his periculum faciens) should not be surprised if the experiment fails (si experientia frustretur] and a large sphere. "Before I descend to the speculation of mechanique instruments. cf. " I have thought it very fitt to consider in generall the commodityes that are drawen from them. also Vocabulario degli Accademici della Crusca (Venezia. VIII. De motu gravium remained in much of its physical theory and methods of argument. cimento. For the surface of the Earth is spherical. if we move away from . Galileo based its dynamics on the Aristotelian principle that motion like any positive effect required an adequate cause.such a point. there was in addition the fact that "a plane cannot actually be parallel to the horizon. If Archimedes supplied the mathematical method. and so it would be impossible to move the sphere "with an arbitrarily minimal force" (I. In searching for the changing effective power bringing about the acceleration of falling bodies. on this question N. despite C. even though it is on a horizontal plane. VII. Since "the plane touches the sphere at only one point (piano in uno tantum puncto sphaeram contingente]. because (if I deceive not my self) I 49 Cf. tentare.. 202-3)49. and was in fact based on Pereira's De communibus. Most characteristic in its resemblance to the Disputationes was his search for necessary causes and demonstrations. Lat. cimentare. he wrote that "we shall use this resolutive method (resolutiva methodo) to track down what we believe to be the true cause of this effect" (I. we must be moving up". 407-8. That was not the end of the problem of relating mathematics to matter. and a plane cannot be parallel to this". Far prouva. 182). XVI (1969) 114 sqq. "Galileo and the problem of accidents". KOERTGE. without distinguishing active testing from passive observation.

155. in making the experiment (I'esperienza]. Which belief how false it is. and he tried to reduce general questions of the constitution of matter and the universe to specific problems soluble by natural science. which goes not a poynt out of the bounds of nature's constitution" (II. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought have scene all enginiers deceiv'd. la natura]. in the success of which both they themselves have bene deceiv'd. but impossible". If he contradicted so great a man as Aristotle.. 158... Force. Citing in this treatise not only Archimedes and the Aristotelian Mechanica but also Pappus's Mathematicae collectiones. 317r.206 Science. This work was his first published contribution to experimental physics. and others also defrauded of the hopes they had conceiv'd upon their promeses. "and this is according to the necessary constitution of nature (la necessaria constituzione delta naturaY• "Arguing by the converse. while they would apply their engines to works of their owne nature impossible. Harley 6976. 65). 79). "but because reasons persuaded him to it. as if. ff. 329v-30r. CARUGO from British Library Ms.. I hope by true and necessary demonstration to make most manifest" (II. all the other English translation by ROBERT PAYNE (1636): transcribed by A. he stressed the generality of mechanical principles. this was not by caprice or because he had not read and understood him. 50 . cf. cf. His first aim then was "to introduce true demonstrations" from "the true. 179-80)50. 188-9).. resistance.. 156. he wrote. cf. space and velocity "goe alternately following such a proportion and answering such a law (leggeY as they followed in every mechanical operation. So "all wonder ceases in us of that effect.. Thus he wrote of the effects of percussion. if it were otherwise. and Aristotle himself had taught him to quieten the intellect (quietar I'intelletto] by what has convinced me by reason. 57. below nn. 67. it were not only absurd. though it be in nature somewhat obscure and hard to be unfolded". whose inviolable lawe it is. As in De motu gravium he combined Aristotelian with Archimedean models both in form of argument and in physical concepts.. as with a hammer: "the cause of which. that noe resistence can be overcome by force which is not stronger than it. with their engines they could cosen nature (ingannando. His method of identifying the true cause was "to remove. shewing at last the beginning and original (// principle ed origine] of this effect to be deriv'd from no other fountaine than that from whence flow the causes of other mechanicall effects". Again in his Discorso intorno alle cose che stanno in sull'acqua (1612) Galileo continued to use the terminology of the Disputationes to point to the same scientific objectives. he would try to make "clere and sensible. intrinsic and total cause" (IV. 58. and not only by the authority of the master" (IV.

leaving only this one. "bringing to rest the mind of those who desire. 51 .. when present. from metaphysics" would. This done. by reducing the causes of such effects to more intrinsic and immediate principles. 67). also for Galileo's use of this rule and the rule of concomitant variations CROMBIE. as true and known things. cf.. For "we measure the quantity of the cause with the quantity of the effect" (X. Journal of the History of Ideas. 23r). is reached only when the reason produced as the true cause of the effect easily and openly satisfies all the particular symptoms and properties (sintomi ed accidenti) that are seen distinctly connected with this effect" (V. Galileo wrote often on the proper methods of science and the point at which they could bring the mind naturally or by force of available possibilities to rest. 1971). IV (1943) 49-56. Robert Grosseteste (1953.. During this period 1610-1616 of many disputes over the telescope. for my purposes" (IV. A "geometrical intellect with some light. because of knowledge of the principles" (Ms. the effect is removed" (IV. 248. the sunspots and the Copernican system. For the "cause is that which. Galileo continued: "By a different method and by other means I shall manage to prove the same.The Jesuits and Galileo 3s Ideas of Science and Nature 207 causes that can produce this same effect" (IV. 245)51... as he repeated in the Discorso (1616) on the tides. floating bodies. when removed. through which he articulated his campaign at once for a new physics and cosmology and for a new conception of natural science. he wrote. 52) cited Francesco Bonamico for the rule of presence and absence. to penetrate beneath the skin. as he put it in the Dispufationes. 49.. deducting from it every kind of impediment". KOERTGE (1977) above n. 20. and for the Topics etc. He Galileo (IV. Archimedes had demonstrated that floating or sinking depended on the excess in gravity of the water or of the body relative to each other. the effect follows and.. "we come to rest in knowledge of the conclusion. True scientific demonstration depended then for Galileo upon a conception of laws both of logical reasoning and of nature discovered in existence and confirmed by all experience. cf. 22). for. And since this is required by the demonstrative progress (la progressione dimostrativa\ I shall define some terms and then explain some propositions which I could use. E. in theorizing (nelle contemplezioni] about nature. f. "Some remarks on the question of the originality of the Renaissance". which had been stated in much the same words by William of Ockham: cf. WISAN (1978) above n. below. 19). understand "that when the power of the efficient cause is multiplied it is necessary that the quantity of the effect should be multiplied according to the same multiplication. 377). The quantitative relation between an adequate cause and its effect had been well defined by Luca Valeric in commenting to Galileo in 1609 on "principles of a middle science". Galileiano 27. CASSIRER. either natural or acquired. 27.

and in his letters of 1637 to Pierre Carcavy (XVII. 78). 205). 90-1) and of 1639 to G. In fact he used a variety of methods of scientific argument and exploration adapted to different kinds of problems and subject-matters. but "if experiment showed that such properties happened to be verified in the motion of naturally falling heavy bodies. and also on his personal circumstances at different periods of his life. The form of Galileo's scientific argument with problems involving simple variables was postulation or argument ex suppositione on the model of Euclid and above all Archimedes. 197. 205-8). were made then to test whether his postulated theoretical world was the one actual world. we could assert without error that this is the same motion that was defined and supposed by me" (XVII. He postulated ex suppositione a definition without asserting its existence in nature. B.208 Science. as in his reduction by purely theoretical analysis of the possible postulates that could yield the phenomena of the balance or lever to an unique set certified by self-evidence or sufficient reason. It was Archimedes who provided the ideal. and related to a variety of scientific and philosophical sources and models. His exploration might be primarily theoretical or primarily experimental according to the simplicity or complexity of the subject-matter and its problems. 12-13. and demonstrated therefrom the "many properties of such a motion". on his scientific experience in using different philosophical models. They amounted to "very little less than a very necessary demonstration" (VIII. Thus he could give a complete account of an experimental phenomenon without the need for any experiments. VIII. here with the inclined plane. Baliani (XVIII. Galileo explicitly followed this model in describing his discovery of his definition or law of acceleration of falling bodies in the Discorsi (1638. What he claimed to have been able to demonstrate truly and with certainty might depend again on the subject-matter. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought developed in print during those years all the main characteristics of his natural philosophy: his insistence that the object of natural science was the one true world existing to be discovered. the absolute truth of which we shall hereafter find established by seeing . The subject-matter did not allow him like Archimedes to reduce the possible definitions by a purely theoretical analysis to the one actually true in nature. his methods of exploring and demonstrating that one true world. Winifred Wisan in her reexamination of "Galileo's scientific method" (1976) has rightly emphasized the effect on his presentation of his scientific conclusions of the prohibition in 1616 that forbad him to teach or write anything more in defence of the Copernican system. His experiments in this kind of situation. Again in using the pendulum as an instrument of analysis he began with "a postulate. and what kind of world he expected to find and with what degree of certainty. 90).

from which then the intended conclusion is reached by the compositive method (il metodo compositivo}. until they come across one that is manifest either by itself of because it has been demonstrated. and without falling back even a single step. L. as he wrote in 1612. to correspond to and most exactly to agree with the experiment" (208) 52 . cf. 102. 38. 13-15). 1501). The main question in dispute concerning scientific method was the efficacy of mathematics in physics. 470. they take it as true. TREWEEK. They "commit the gravest mistakes" because "using mainly. Pappus and Proclus were both known in manuscript to GIORGIO VALLA. 20. (Pisauri. praefatio 1-3) of the two kinds of analysis used by the Greek geometers. and immediately they construct on it a syllogism. I say. T. A. This was a truly Aristotelian vision of a completed science. He saw the arguments developed ex suppositione by Ptolemy and by Copernicus for the much more complex motions of astronomy as likewise aiming to demonstrate. 1577). GILBERT (1960) above n. For another historical ac- . De expetendis et fugiendis rebus opus. 521. 1921) 400-1. on this WISAN (1974) 124 and (1978) 42. is the best method of discovery). XII. Pappus was cited by GUIDOBALDO DEL MONTE. It also harks back to the Disputationes. P. XI (1957) 195-233. 1588). This account of resolution and composition corresponds to that given by Pappus in the Mathematicae collectiones (VII. instead. 52 53 Cf. and hence of Archimedes against Aristotle. or resolution and composition.. 20. Scriptorium. II (Oxford. A passage in Galileo's hand published in 1615 in a work under Benedetto Castelli's name contrasts the proper method of argument in formulating problems for scientific decision with the circular syllogisms used by their opponents. 171-2). cf. they form with their imagination a proposition that squares immediately with the conclusion they intend to prove. JARDINE (1976) above n. WISAN (1978) above n. "Pappus of Alexandria: the manuscript tradition of the Collectio mathematical. HEATH. cf. Mechanicorum liber. and more briefly by Proclus as analysis and synthesis 53. but not well. of making good use of such a progression. 357-61. they take the conclusion as true and instead of going on deducing from it this and then that and then that other consequence. 148-50. VII. Praefatio (Pisauri. above n. the resolutive method (// metodo resolutivo] (which. A passage from Galileo's hydrostatical controversy specifies a change of model from the Aristotelian to the mathematical conception of analysis and synthesis. which leaves us without any gain in our original uncertainty" (IV. Matbematicae collectiones a Federico Commandino in Latinum conversae. though as false or equally doubtful as the conclusion.I (Venezia. X.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 209 other conclusions built upon this hypothesis. also n. the one "true constitution of the universe" which "could not possibly be otherwise" (V.. History of Greek Mathematics. PAPPUS ALEXANDRINUS. 351. 43. if well used. 46.

. He believed that the method by which Aristotle himself had expounded his physical doctrine was not that "by which hee investigated. F. RANDALL. and that afterwards he sought the meanes to demonstrate it. MAHONEY (1976). SKULSKY. ANTON (Albany. 1967). N. if we make use of a resolutive method. hath so absolute a certaintie as nature herself e hath.. W. I (1963) 223-31. Journal of the History of Philosophy. Of some principles "humane understanding. for that is for the most part the use in demonstrative sciences. 129)54. seeing it arrives so farre as to comprehend the necessitie. wee must have the fortune from the beginning to direct our discourse towards the way of truth by which when a man walkes. He went on to bring the resolutive method into the experimental argument: "In searching the reasons of the conclusions unknown to us. of experiments and observations.. W. and such are pure mathematical sciences. we easily encounter some proposition that hath alreadie beene demonstrated.. I (1940) 177-206. by way of senses. GILBERT. EDWARDS. 1976). ed.. "Randall on the development of scientific method in the School of Padua . But a well conducted experimental investigation on which to base a conclusive scientific argument could "make it little lesse to mee than a mathematical demonstration". 1971) 38-46. H. for I hould for certaine that hee first of all procured. "Niccolo Leoniceno and the origins of humanist discussion of method" in Philosophy and Humanism. J. C. 1971) above n. British Library Ms. CROMBIE (1953. 1634): quoted here and below. MAHONEY (Leiden. He regretted that the great magnetical experimenter William Gilbert's lack of mathematics and especially of geometry had made him so rash "in accepting of those reasons for the concluding demonstrations which hee produceth for the true causes of the true conclusions by him observed". to assure himselfe as much as might be of the conclusion. ed E. J. 47. or we arrive to some principle which is of itselfe knowne (prindpio per se notoY (VII. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought Galileo elaborated his account in the Dido go (1632) to embrace both mathematics and physics. "Paduan epistemology and the doctrine of the one mind".a continuing reappraisal" in Naturalism and Historical Understanding: Essays in the Philosophy of John Hermann Randall jr. SCHMITT (1969) above n. P.. I (New York.Y. it easily falls out that hee meets now count following CASSIRER (above n. "The development of scientific method in the school of Padua". ed. H. 49 and A Critical Survey and Bibliography of Studies on Renaissance Aristotelianism 1958-1969 (Padova.. Harley 6320 (c. 1962) 256-360 and "Paduan Aristotelianism reconsidered" in Philosophy and Humanism: Renaissance essays in honor of Paul Oskar Kristeller. 39) and its critics cf. above which I cannot see that there is greater certaintie" (VII.210 Science. 75). N. Journal of the History of Ideas. Physical principles were less certain. B. Journal of the History of Philosophy. VI (1968) 341-61. P. and this comes to passe because when the conclusion is true. 54 English translation by Joseph Webbe. . The Career in Philosophy. I beleeve that this knowledge equalls the divine knowledge in the objective certaintie. "Galileo and the school of Padua".

II. 432. Castelli in writing to Galileo in 1637 described an experimental analysis of a problem concerning the absorption of heat from the Sun's rays as "ordering all the reasoning first by the resolutive method and then by the compositive" (XVII. 145b33-6a36. II.. into comets in II Saggiatore (VI. Demonstrating this with his model of water moving in a vessel. it is necessarie that whensoever there is a firme and constant alteration in the effect. Galileo's form of scientific argument with more complex subjectmatters was a combination of experimentally controlled postulation with more immediate experimental and observational exploration. 471-2). 127bl8-25. there is a firme and constant alteration in the cause".The Jesuits and Galileo}s Ideas of Science and Nature 211 with some. 7... 6.. while if it does not follow.. 434-5). and concomitant variations. from the certaintie whereof the truth of ours getts force and evidence" (VII. and into the connection between the motions of the tides and of the Earth in the Dialogo: "I say therefore. 10. clearly the property belongs. and then drawing from the annuall moving.. Similarly to account for the regular seasonal variations in the tides "(if we will retayne the identitie of the cause) we must finde out alterations in these additaments and subtractions which make them more or less powerful! in producing these effects which have dependance on them" (VII. 339-40. VI.. 45). he argued that the motion observed was "a compounded motion resulting from the coupling together of the two proper motions whereof the diurnall whirling with its now adding to. These were the logical rules that Galileo stated for his inquiries into hydrostatics and sunspots. 160). . He conducted his experimental analysis of the causes of effects according to the "laws of logic" (leggi logicali) or "physical logic" (logica naturale) (VI.. the property does not belong. and then with other propositions knowne for true. either by discourse or by experience. Now. if an increase of the property follows an increase of the subject. is that which produceth the difformitie in compounded motion". IV. 252. See whether a greater degree of the predicate follows a greater degree of the subject. You should establish this by induction" (Topics. 114b37-115a6. q. The last was specified by Aristotle in the Topics as a rule for the predication of properties by which to "argue from greater or lesser degrees. Novum organum. cf. FRANCIS BACON. 13). that if it be true that of one effect one only is the primarie cause and that betweene the cause and the effect there is a firme and constant connection. 333).. which were the scholastic rules of inference: presence and absence. wee must of force say that there falleth out a regular alteration in the same times in the primary cause of the fluxes and refluxes". Then since annually and monthly the tides "have their firme and constant periods.

7 died libri dell'Architettura di M. In duos Archimedis Aequeponderantium libros paraphrases scholiis illustrata. and forms that matter with that idea and with that sign which is reposing in the mind of the artist" 55.. Galileo was to write likewise in Le mecaniche. Vitruvio. inspired at once by Greek mathematical thinking and by the example of "nature itself. Yet he will not search for impossible things. 1556) 26. offered in 1567 as a method of antecedent analysis in designing any desired result the construction of "models (modelli}. 1960). In this way he could bring together conveniently the many observations needed to bring about "some new and important effect". Praefatio (Pisauri. will proceed first with the design and the model. Whence art. cf. provided a distinctive intellectual model for Galileo's experimental investigations no less important than those taken from his other sources. wrote that "if art overcomes nature by imitating her so that those things which are done by art happen contrary to nature". cf. takes the matter of nature put into existence with sensible and natural form. by so arranging things as nature herself would do if she decided that such effects should be produced by herself" 57. 1567) 5-7. the Aristotelian Me55 . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought The Aristotelian rules of inference used the criterion of range of confirmation to establish that a given property belonged to a given subject. which neither he nor others can accomplish. Thus the Venetian Daniele Barbaro wrote in his well known commentary on Vitruvius (1556) that "the architect must think out very well and. either as to the matter or as to the form. adding.. 1... GIUSEPPE CEREDI.. P.. that was possible because "art with wonderful skill overcomes nature through nature herself. observer of nature. taking up ideas from the influential Aristotelian Mechantca in a paraphrase of Archimedes published in 1588. recognize errors by experience and correct them by reason. changing and removing many things" as required.212 Science. tradotti e commentati... 1588) 2. V. and so direct the whole enterprise "to the stable production of the effect that is expected" 56. CROMBIE (1982) and Styles.3 (Vinegia. and in DANIELE BARBARO. These rational arts. 16. The engineer Giuseppe Ceredi of Piacenza. The rational arts offered a distinctive method of analysis by means of artificial models imitating the processes of nature. ZOUBOV. 57 GUIDOBALDUS E MARCHio MONTIS. "Vitruve et ses commentateurs du XVIe56siecle" in La science au XVIe siecle: Colloque de Royaumont 1957 (Paris. Tre discorsi sopra il modo d'alzar acque da' luoghi bassi (Parma. as if become mechanical in the construction of the world". cf. Again Guidoba'ldo del Monte. of perspective painting and measured music but above all of mechanics and engineering. above n. wanting also to make something. Galileo extended the quantification of the argument "from greater or lesser degrees" from the example of mathematics and the practical mathematical arts. in order to make more certain of the success of the works.

If his true observations meant that celestial matter must be alterable. who surely would have agreed if he had known "the present sensory observations. cf. "though this is not enough to persuade those whose minds cannot be reached by the necessity of geometrical demonstrations" (V. without meeting any inconvenience or difficulty" (V. that "already a long time ago I had found. and then to try to demonstrate the truth of his own favoured proposal by showing that it alone was confirmed by agreement with the whole range of the known phenomena. 127). is true. but gave it first place". Thus he wrote in his Second Letter on the Sunspots (1612) of two rival suppositions. Having shown that this rival which did save a good part of the phenomena was nevertheless false. P. the concept that nature could not be overcome and cheated (defraudata) by art" (VIII. L. Studies in the Renaissance XVIII (1971) 65-104. just as any other supposition (posizione] whatsoever that might be assumed will be found false and impossible. 58 Cf. For he not only admitted manifest experience (le manifeste esperienze] among the powerful means of reaching conclusions about natural problems. "The pseudo-Aristotelian Questions of Mechanics in Renaissance culture". For all that he continued. Galileo's writings on natural philosophy were all disputations in which he combined his scholastic and mathematical methods to argue for or against the various positions or hypotheses being proposed. 1969). it seems to me. that the spots were either small circling stars or actually on the solar body. as I shall try to demonstrate by means of obvious disagreements and contradictions. and confirmed by many many experiences. "in order to remove every ambiguity. he made Sagredo challenge his opponent as represented chanica (847a). Wise. above n. 138-40).The Jesuits and Galileo }s Ideas of Science and Nature 213 criticizing "the model of a machine" proposed by an engineer. this was a conclusion closer than the opposite view to Aristotle himself. Repeating this interpretation of Aristotle in the same context in the Dialogo (1632). 118. His method of argument was to eliminate rival proposals by means of these rules of inference. All the appearances agree concordantly with the hypothesis that they are contiguous with the Sun and that they are carried round by its revolution. "this second. inspired by a superior power. VIII. S. 117. ROSE and S.. he did not want "to waste time in disproving every other imaginable supposition" (V. Mechanics in Sixteenth Century Italy (Madison. DRAKE and I. E. For "I am sure that he never held the conclusion of inalterability to be as certain as that all human reasoning must take second place to evident experience (evident e esperienza)". DRAKE. necessary methods (metodi necessarily by which we understood these phenomena. to some come. and the other false. DRABKIN. 572)58. 130). 50. . 559-61.

214 Science. or concluding demonstration. Etudes galileennes. 1965).. above n. 1958) 1089-95. III (1943) 349-65. 1956)." (VII. (1969). 23-24). these "I bring you not as lawes infrangibile (leggi infrangibili]. (1975a). 148).. but go forward. 211. above nn. JARDINE (1976) above n. 289. (1981) and (1983) above n. L. Paris.. McMuLLiN (ed. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought by Simplicio "to produce all the particular reasons. cf. CLAVELIN. English translation (New York. and Styles. for Galileo's scientific style especially L. Florence-Milan 19% (Vinci & Paris. His problems began in looking beyond that to the physical substance and causality Cf. As for Galileo's own preliminary arguments for the Earth's motion from simplicity and economy and so on. 20. 280-5. also nn. Natural philosophy he had written in the Trattato della sfera (1606) was concerned with "substance and quality" and "our intellect is guided to knowledge of the substance by means of the properties (accidenti}" (II. we must not stay heere. 16. There is a striking contrast between Galileo's apodeictic confidence about astronomy and mechanics and his much more cautious estimate of what could be truly and certainly discovered about the real world existing behind the more complex and enigmatic problems of matter and its composition and properties 59. Actes du VHIe Congres International d'Histoire des Sciences. 49. CROMBIE. Galilee devant les critiques de la posterite (Les Conferences du Palais de la Decouverte. 71. 1939).). "Galileo's philosophy of science".. but as motives (motivi] which have some appearance. Both he wanted to reduce to a linear quantitative uniformity amenable to mathematics and measurement. Philosophical Review. 298-303. KOYRE. 2. La philosophic naturelle de Galilee (Paris. which could be brought to the contrarie were sufficient to beat downe these and an hundred thousand other probable arguments unto the ground. 47-58. 38. A. nos. KOERTGE (1977) above n. Bulletin of the History of Medicine. And because I know full well that one onely experience. WISAN (1978) and (1981) above n. as well naturall as astronomicall. E. S. This corresponded to the distinction which placed the former in the mathematical middle sciences and the latter in natural philosophy or physics. 21. 1968). With his first telescopic discoveries he set out to destroy the Aristotelian division of the world into regions of celestial and elementary substances (XI. just as in De motu gravium and the Discorso (1612) on floating bodies he set out to destroy the division of properties into contrary pairs. 147. 59 . SHEA (1972) above n. experiments and observations. "The scientific personality of Galileo ». 75-6). GEYMONAT. The proper object of natural scientific inquiry was then the substances and hence causes bringing about the properties which made up the world we could observe. OLSCHKI. I-III (Actualites scientifiques et industrielles. with his researches into different subject-matters classically exemplified by A. cf. 1967). Galileo: Man of Science (New York. 8552-4. 212). M. translated in part as "Galileo: a philosophical symbol". whereby others may be persuaded" of their opinion (VII. WISAN (1974) above n. Galileo Galilei (Torino. Paris. XII (1942) 248-73. 1957). 20. C.

"in our speculating we either try to penetrate the true and intrinsic essence of natural substances. III. An attempt upon the essence I hould to be an undertaking no less impossible and a labour no less vain in the nearest elementary substances than in the most distant and celestial ones. Again in his First Letter about the Sunspots (1612) he wrote that "for me it is much more difficult to find the truth than to show convincingly what is false. and cannot know. provided that. So "we could not blame in any way the philosopher who confessed that he does not know. 2. He commented famously in the Dialogo (1632) on the assertion that everyone knew that the cause of bodies falling downwards was gravity. Perhaps Winifred Wisan (1976. One such problem arising out of the Sidereus nuncius (1610) was the nature of light. or content ourselves with coming to know some of their properties (affezioni]. De phoenomenis in orbe Lunae. But this expressed yet once more a consistent estimate of our knowledge of physical causes. for such is the weakness of our intellect that it can easily be made to fit all these categories or equally be excluded from them". when he was restored to light in due course. he wrote in his Third Letter. until we are shown the true constitution of the parts of the world" (VI. The Roman philosopher Giulio Cesare La Galla reported an occasion in Rome in 1611 when he had lamented the impossibility of deciding even on "our general classification of it. But if we wish to stop at the apprehension of some properties. He was prepared to speculate but. De luce et lumine disputatio (Venetiis. he could perfectly grasp its nature and understand it" 60.. that "we must be content with what little we can conjecture here among the shadows. Galileo agreed "and firmly avowed that he would willingly allow himself to be shut up in a dark cell and fed on bread and water. if not of geometrical structures. 187-8). GALILEO. and it seems. cf. 325-6. the means by which the telescope gave us its information.The Jesuits and Galileo }s Ideas of Science and Nature 215 behind the phenomenal world. 95). quality or relation. but of the "essence you know no whitt more than you JULIUS CESAR LA GALLA. 1612) 57-8. 60 . 99). Le opere. body or something incorporeal. 24) was correct in detecting a further nuance from the prohibition of 1616 in the Platonic imagery of the remark in the Discorso delle comete (1619) published under Mario Guiducci's name. as to whether it is substance or property. that rather "every man knows that it is called gravitie". to me that I know what the sunspots are not. rather than what they are" (V.. what the matter of the sunspots may be" (106). CROMBIE (1969) above n. it does not seem to me that we should despair of being able to reach them in the bodies most distant from us as well as in the nearest ones" (V. p.

Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought know of the essence of the movent (movente] which turnes the starres about. 208). 64). not what it was." (VII. 232). as he wrote in his First Letter about the Sunspots. Galileo's rhetorical image in // Saggiatore (q. 350. made by God with his own hands. which. cf. 87-89) methods for deciding by measurement whether or not light was a form of motion with a finite speed. Galileo's philosophical campaign was dedicated to establishing the identity at once of the true science and. Likewise in the Discorsi (1638) he refused "to inquire into the cause of the acceleration of natural motion. But from his first discussions of the nature of light. 46) and recalls also Clavius and Mazzoni (cf.216 Science. through II Saggiatore (VI. XI. measuring instruments.. nn. in all the effects of nature admired by me. His point in II Saggiatore was to distinguish the book of philosophy from books of fiction like the Iliad and Orlando furioso "in which the least important thing is whether what is written in them is true" (VI. 20). 202). It was enough at present for him "to search out and demonstrate to us some passions (passtones] of an accelerated motion (let the cause of that acceleration be what it will). XII. What he expected to find by reason in existence behind the appearances perceived by the senses was governed by the interaction between his philosophical and scientific sources and his scientific experience in exploring nature by means of geometrical postulation.. Galileo suggested in the Discorsi (VIII. to say nothing of the exigencies and expediencies of debate and persuasion. 260-1). for experience shows me that it happens in this way. 96. about which I have always been in the dark" could be applied to his physical investigations over many years: "Here I would not like to be told that I have not stopped at the truth of fact. His comment to Liceti in 1640 on "the essence of light. 42-45). analogical modelling. 6) of the mathematical book of philosophy recalls Proclus's account of the Timaeus "using mathematical language throughout in expounding its theory of the nature of the universe" and the generation of the elements and their powers "by numbers and figures" (1.. 352). as he repeated in his last account of the image to . 530. excepting the name. concerning which various opinions have been pronounced by various philosophers".8: above. assures me of the an sit but brings me no gain in the quomodo" (XVIII. down to his last correspondence on the subject with Fortunio Liceti in 1640-41 he maintained that the evidence could show us only how light behaved." (VIII.. of "the true and real world which. Galileo had quoted biblical passages comparing the heavens to a book in his Tractatio de caelo (I. and the extension of the natural senses with the telescope and microscope. the logic of experimental elimination and confirmation. n. By contrast. I could say. stands always open in front of us for the purpose of our learning" (V.

33. although they are normally either not at all or to the least degree at fault over the proper sensibles. 323-5) and likewise for other such apparent deceptions. CURTIUS. XI.. 625). La cultura filosofica del Rinascimento italiano (Firenze. I have learned from experience (experientia) that it is not an illusion that you have seen four satellites in motion around Jupiter. namely motion.. Euclid and Proclus it was essentially a geometrical. Practical difficulties in using this unfamiliar instrument reinforced the suspicion that the telescope was just another of the optical devices for producing illusions well known to theatrical magic. E. "the book of philosophy is that which stands perpetually open before our eyes.. number. Europaische Literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter (Bern. It was he wrote "asserted by philosophers and known from experience" that "the senses are deceived over the common sensibles. squares. He had been forced to defend the validity not only of his telescopic observations but also of unaided vision against sceptical doubts about the certainty of mathematics when applied to sensible subjects. for the book of nature M. 480-501. 1961) 451-65. 430-45. rest. 272-7). until with advice from Galileo himself they succeeded. English translation (New York. X. but that at length "I have examined with my own eyes the wonders you were the first to introduce to the world. cf.. XIX." and so on (XI. 295.. 323-5). the irregularities of the Moon. Christopher Grienberger wrote to him frankly that things so difficult to believe should not be accepted lightly and that it was hard to give up opinions held for so long by so many philosophers. such as colour or taste" (III. La Galla in his ambiguous defence of the telescope in 1612 linked the question to Aristotle's critique of Plato for his prejudicial introduction of mathematics into physical inquiries and to the further question of "sensible forms and qualities".. spheres. cones. but because it is written in characters different from those of our alphabet it cannot be read by everybody. pyramids and other mathematical figures fittest for this sort of reading" (XVIII. Galileo replied like Plato (Republic X. Thus. He gave as an illustration the ancient illusion of a stick half in water which appeared bent to vision but straight to touch. Clavius and other mathematicians at the Collegio Romano formed this opinion when they tried to confirm Galileo's observations in the autumn of 1610. not an arithmetical book61. size and shape. GARIN. 1953) 319-26. 1948) 323-9. and the characters of this book are triangles. Later in II Saggiatore (q. circles. cf. 48) he argued that "when I conceive of a 61 Cf. 253.The Jesuits and Galileo}s Ideas of Science and Nature 217 Liceti in 1641.. 602C-E) that such optical illusions were corrected by optical science (III. The Timaeus and related Greek sources offered Galileo also something further in his search for a rational philosophy of nature. . as in the Timaeus.

His distinction between the mere names and the real properties corresponded to the account given by Galen of Democritus's distinction between the qualities "by convention (lege}" or for us and those existing "in reality (vere}n in things 62 . Again according to Sextus Empiricus "Plato and Democritus held that the only real things were those discernable by reason" 63. 425al5-17. 1. sound etc. De elementis secundum Hippocralem libri duo. Galileo's primary properties apart from one refinement had been listed by Aristotle (De anima III. taste. 425al4-blO.6. III. 123-9. cf. Latin version by Niccolo Leoniceno in GALEN. Both recognized as real only actual as distinct from potential qualities. location in place and time.l. I. 9a27-bll.6. above n. Categoriae c. SEXTUS EMPIRICUS. touching other bodies or not. Omnia quae extant in Latinum sermonen conversa. 2rv. cf. I certainly feel myself necessarily obliged at the same time to conceive" that there must be attributed to it a set of irreducible minimum "conditions (condizioniY': shape. also nn. 157-60). Except for making irreducible geometrical shapes and not solid atoms the primary constituents of matter. SHEA63 (1972) 100-4. 418a8-19. Aristotle had criticized his predecessors for precisely these opinions (cf.8. if the senses had not escorted us. motion or rest. 1556) f. and number. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought piece of matter or a corporal substance. these qualities evidently had no place in his theory of the real physical world. He felt "no compulsion to hold that it must necessarily be accompanied by such conditions" as colour. 62 . and above all variations in speeds expressible in numerical GALEN. Adversus mathematicos. Thus the numbers of particles accounted for density and texture. their shapes and speeds accounted for the different sensations of heat. cf. 1621) 222. and variations in the speeds of motion. They "are on the side of the object in which they seem to be placed no more than mere names (puri nomi]. shapes. VIII. reason or imagination by itself would perhaps never have arrived at them". Plato in the Timaeus (56B-68D) added to the real properties listed by the atomists two fundamental items: numbers. CROMBIE (1969) above n. Having no justification by reason. 4b20-6a35. 347-50). but have a place only in the sensitive body (corpo sensitivo}" of living things. I. (Genevae. "Rather. cf." in our book. 437a4-16. 1. De sensu c. and as objects common to more than one sense rather than proper to each sense. and both agreed also in reducing all the other senses to modes of touch. 2 and his Appendix: "Sources for Galileo's accounts of the primary properties and secondary qualities etc. numbers and slow or swift motions" (VI. 21. 48. The "primary and real properties (primi e reali accidenti}" required in external bodies for exciting these sensory qualities in us were no more than "sizes. 6. c. relative size.4. Gentiano Herveto Aurelio interprete (Parish's. II. 442a30-b!7) as quantities not qualities. 1569) 184-5.218 Science. c. 59. I (Venetiis.

80A-B). Hero had aimed to find more limited explanations of specific physical phenomena of the structure of matter. By defining in this way a stable and calculable relation of perception to the world perceived. Aristotle himself (De anima II. Like Plato he was concerned to distinguish between things and sensations designated by names. Galileo like Plato (61C-62A) introduced the question of the causation of the sensory qualities by asking what we meant by heat. This was the refinement of "slow or swift motions" that Galileo added to Aristotle's common sensibles in listing his primary and real properties. above n. affection and quality (vero accidente. CROMBIE (1969) above n. In his analysis of the more complex properties of materials and of heat and light in the Discorsi he introduced yet another ancient model. He focused attention on the relevance to this question of the scientific study of the senses themselves and of sound and light as the media of hearing and vision. In keeping with these sources he shifted his focus from that of // Saggiatore to more technical and experimental aspects of the argument from observable phenomena to the inobservable structures and motions postulated by reason to 64 Cf. Galileo met one essential condition for a rational science of nature. 8. Whereas Plato and the atomists had been concerned primarily with the general problem of establishing what existed through changing appearances. . Hero of Alexandria. looking then for the "true property. It had been developed by the Greek musical theorists from Archytus of Tarentum and Plato. 419b4420b4) and Aristoxenus. 347). and possible that these were the subjects of the De sono et voce and De visu et coloribus included in his programme for Vinta in 1610. Likewise in his treatment of sound Galileo gave preference to technical over philosophical questions and authors in acoustics.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 219 ratios accounted for the different qualities of sensation experienced as the pitch and consonance of sounds (67A-C. The connection of the frequencies of vibratory impulses with musical sensations had been investigated in the sixteenth century by Giovanni Battista Benedetti and by Vincenzo Galilei probably assisted by Galileo himslef64. It seems evident that he based his treatment on the Timaeus. and against the magicians for the consistency of the information received through the senses. He provided against the sceptics for the validity. (1971) and the forthcoming volume on Mersenne etc. After considering common problems of sensation he followed Plato's order and essential ideas in explaining the five special senses (65B-68D). 13. to Ptolemy and Theon of Smyrna. and was discussed explicitly by Boethius in his influential textbook on music. affezzione e qualitd] that really resides in the material" (III. 2.

On Motion. despite any temptation there may be to play the role as Galileo put it "of someone who has conceived some perfect demonstration but who does not assent to its conclusion" (Ms. 326-40) is on paper with the same watermark as the Tractatus de alteratione et de elementis. the treatise.220 Science. like the clever Oxford scholar who proved irrefutably that Queen Victoria was the author of the Iliad. These 65 Cf. E. 247. There are more questions than answers.. Galileiano 46 which contains these scholastic treatises are filled with fragmentary notes (excerpts from books and drafts of passages) on motion. Galileiano 71. (1960) 124.. DRABKIN. f. The only evidence available comes from comparisons of contents. and the dates. 13v): to offer irrefutable proofs for what cannot be believed. 66 Cf. Much has to be probable and persuasive. "A note on Galileo's De motu". The first draft of the treatise (Ms. 20. and not any vision of a completed and demonstrated necessary truth of the essence of things. ff. and in GALILEO. CROMBIE (1975a) above n. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought produce them. The last pages of Ms. II (1960) 271-7. Hence our approach must be problematic. 46) all in Galileo's hand. 47. 2. WISAN (1974) above n. The second note was written in dialogue form for insertion in the dialogue and so must have followed it (I. little demonstrative. 3. He appeared at his most sophisticated as a philosopher who was an engineer. from references and citations. His search for the true identity of science and of nature then seems to have ended in the conclusion that in practice it was this rational experimental art. . Galileiano 71) and the scholastic Tracfafiones de mundo et de caelo and Tractatus de alteratione et de elementis (Ms. above n. All the fragmentary notes are written on paper with the same watermark as the dialogue which they follow immediately in the manuscript. The Tractationes de mundo et de caelo is on a third kind of paper66. looking not so much for the nature of things as for the way to specify precisely in defined situations how to get accurately reproducible results. his. 375-8. or while revising. I. 409) 65 . We turn now to the difficult problem of placing in Galileo's intellectual biography important undated writings on natural philosophy. The problem has two aspects: the order of composition. and from material connections in the same or related manuscripts. I. which Galileo must have written after the unfinished dialogue and before or while writing. 115-24. that could lead us most truly to the only science of nature available. Then comes a series of notes used in the treatise De motu gravium. The main problem is the dating of the Latin dialogue and treatise De motu gravium (Ms. Galil. Galileiano 27.

307-15. Again in reporting Hipparchus's theory Galileo falsely referred to Alexander of Aphrodisias instead of to Simplicius's commentary on De caelo (comm. pp. 138-9. 123-4. 410) which was expanded into an addition to the chapter on the question in De motu gravium (I. 32-37. Three passages in De motu gravium offer compelling evidence that Galileo was using Pereira's textbook here. 86) where it is to be found. 22-3)..} and in a marginal note to De motu gravium (I. In view of his very detailed use of Clavius for his Tractatio de caelo it is reasonable to suppose that he based his account on this textbook here also67. A clue is found in a fragmentary note on Hipparchus's theory (I. notes. 1) an explicit quotation from the chapter in which Pereira (XIV. Dictionary of Scientific Biography.. whose work was known to Clavius. 4-5) had expounded in order to reject. A. 411). 1543). 1. 284). cf. Galileo's account of the "horizontal plane" of the Earth (I. treatise. 412) in the form which Pereira (XIV. with in another fragment (ibid. He used it also for the Tratatio prima de mundo where he cited it for a specific argument concerning the eternity of the world (I. Pereira III. Cf. which use matches the order of composition: dialogue. and this link we have to take into account in trying to place both in Galileo's intellectual biography.151-2. The other two passages are those in which he discussed Philoponus's criticism of the Aristotelian argument for the impossibility of motion in a void and Hipparchus's theory of the acceleration of falling bodies. 3) presented it in the same incomplete and distorted form as that criticized by Galileo. "Maurolico. The former began as a fragmentary note (I. Francesco (1494-1575)". Galileo reported the argument in a way not presented by Philoponus in his commentary on the Physics IV. cf. 407-8. 1974) 190-4. 299-301. 28. for the same point with the same diagrams FRANCESCO MAUROLICO.. 49) is the same as that given by Clavius in his Sphaera (1581. 318 n. above n. 10-11. and reported it in an incomplete and distorted form which he proceeded to criticize (I. but Galileo used his textbook for some of the notes for the treatise and for the treatise itself. 340. cf. 67 . 143-6. above n. but evidently conflated from two passages by Pereira (XL 10-11). 22-24. There are no references to Pereira in the dialogue. 31920). IX (New York. X. The first is that in which he adopted a theory that projectiles were kept in motion by a virtus impressa (I. Further. De motu gravium was linked then with the scholastic treatises through these common Jesuit sources. 132-2). MASOTTI. Pereira XV) and for the Tractatio de dementis (I.The Jesuits and Galileo}s Ideas of Science and Nature 221 material connections are matched by the use made of Pereira's De communibus. Dialogbi de cosmographia (Venetiis.

it seems certain that he must have known of his extensive discussion in the Sphaera of the earlier new star of 1572 (above n. 326) but not in connection with the motions of the Earth. 132). If we assume a progressive intellectual development this would place De motu gravium after the Tractationes. but the Aristotelian dynamics of De motu gravium seems to link it more . These geocentric doctrines might seem to place both treatises before Galileo's Copernican declarations of 1597 to Mazzoni and Kepler. 244-5. and all after 1597 because of the use of Carbone for the Disputationes. but he continued after that for whatever reason to assume the old cosmology in his lectures on the new star of 1604 and in his Trattato della sfera in 1606. He cited Copernicus's De revolutionibus once in De motu gravium (I. This might not seem a specific resemblance because Galileo continued to combine scholastic with Archimedean methods in his later works. It seems likely that Galileo used figures for the dimensions of the world taken from Clavius for his letter of 1597 to Mazzoni (above n. 1624) of the version of his Trattato della sfera (1606) published by Favaro contains a "Tabula climatum" (II. cf. 47-54. when Clavius himself also wrote to him about his own observations (X. One later manusctipt (c. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Unhappily there seems to be no firm evidence for the date when he read any of these sources. for his general failure to understand mathematics and his particular theory of gravity. 207. 342-5) could hardly have been written during the period of Galileo's public campaign for Copernicus opened with the Sidereus nucius (1610). 23). Although he did not mention Clavius in what remains of his lectures on the new star of 1604. Evidence for the dating of De motu gravium is to say the least undecisive. The main physical issue with which it was concerned was the nature of gravity and hence the cosmological arrangement and motions of the four terrestrial elements. He named him also in the Tractatio de caelo (I. where he cited a series of other authors. based on Plato and Archimedes. This was mentioned by one of Galileo's correspondents at the end of 1604 (X. 209) closely similar to that in Clavius (1581. cf. Their common use of Jesuit sources might suggest composition at nearly the same time.222 Science. 43. If all three scholastic treatises were written about the same time. 252-3. 21). This is absent from the Tractationes de mundo et de caelo. All we have are some fragile hints for Clavius. So might their common syllogistic style of argument. 121). 28) explicitly to refute his opinion. above n. this would place De motu gravium still later. pp. 413-4) but not found in earlier copies or in the earlier unpublished version of the Trattato (1601) in the Ambrosian Library. He introduced in De motu gravium a critique of Aristotle. The geocentric cosmology made explicit in the introduction to the final version but also assumed throughout (I.

. 22-30). a work on weights and measures dating from about 500 AD which is the second extant source for the story of Hiero's crown. XIX. 69 PRISCIANI CAESARIENSIS.. 345. Magiae naturalis libri XX. cf. BAPT. 127rv and Libri omnes (Basileae. After examining Archimedes's treatises on floating bodies and the balance he had found his true method (I. XVIII. 1584) 863-4. Galileo's boasted reconstruction resembles a version of Archimedes's method given in the Carmen de ponderibus et mensuris. adiectis nuper praetermissis Libello de XII carminibus (Parrhisiis. SHEA (1972) 19-20. 213). Like Galileo he claimed to be offering a new discovery of Archimedes's method. 211-4). above n. 223-8). for the problems were different and so the one discussion was not a correction of the other: cf. La bilancetta is not mentioned in Galileo's earliest surviving correspondence of 1588-90 which is devoted largely to Archimedes (X. XI. 130. cf. but according to Galileo with a crude method unworthy of Archimedes's superior intellect.8 (Neapoli. Then can we date La bilancetta? The story of Hiero's crown had been told by Vitruvius. nor in fact does the discussion in the Discorso (1612) on floating bodies of a problem similar to one in De motu gravium. Galileo and Porta seem to have become acquainted only after the publication of the Sidereus nuncius. Institutiones grammaticae. 215-6. when they were put in touch by Federico Cesi and both became members of the Accademia dei Lincei (X. . It seems to have had some circulation in manuscript before its eventual publication in a work entitled Archimede redivivo in 1644 (I. 511). X. 70 lo. 244. 379) to his reconstruction in La bilancetta of the exact method by which Archimedes assessed the proportion of gold and silver in King Hiero's crown places that and hence the treatise after this work. but neither it nor Porta nor the Carmen were mentioned by Mazzoni in his discussion of Hiero's crown in his In universam. The values given here and in the Carmen and by Porta are sufficiently different for it to be supposed that he and Porta made independent measurements. 21. 368) could have been written before or after his friends's death and so does not help with dating. It was published with the grammarian Priscian's works in 1516 and 1584 69. 1589) 285-6. An account of the method closer to the Carmen than to Galileo was published by Giovanni Battista della Porta in the edition of his Magia naturalis of 1589 70. 252. 627. 12-16. 1516) f. XX. 175. 645). A reference in the dialogue De motu gravium (I. Galileo referred to Priscian in his undated commentary on Tasso (IX. PORTA NEAPOLITANUS. His autograph manuscript of La bilancetta is followed by an autograph table of relative weights of metals in air and in water (I. 508. 68 Galileo's reference to a question "amicissimi nostri Dionigii Fontis" (I.The Jesuits and Galileo}s Ideas of Science and Nature 223 definitely with his scholastic treatises on cosmology and natural philosophy 68.

In a short piece of uncertain date from Florence about a machine he wrote that he had formed "already a long time ago" (VIII. This exists in two versions. I. Marino (1566 [1568?] -1626)". FAVARO. . 51 sqq. a shorter version of lectures dated 1594 in a manuscript discovered by Favaro72 too late to be included in the Edizione Nazionale. But since the Carmen had been available in print throughout most of the sixteenth century all this throws no clear light on the date of La bilancetta. Both discussions were based on the idea that heavy bodies could be moved on a horizontal plane by any force however small. The date often given as 1586 is based on the sole evidence of a manuscript note added by Viviani in the margin of his life of Galileo in 1654 (XIX. 299. "Delia meccaniche lette in Padova 1'anno 1594 da Galileo Galilei". B. L.. "Ghetaldi (Ghettaldi). 179-80). He referred also to an earlier discussion of the problem (I. 1603). Another reconstruction of Archimedes's method resembling Galileo's with a description of the hydrostatic balance was published by Marino Ghetaldi in his Promotus Archimedis (Romae. 58) the concept given prominence in Le mecaniche that nature cannot be cheated by art. These remarks suggest composition well before he returned to Florence in 1610. writing in the preface that he had been urged to publish it by Clavius 71. This was presented in the former work as an obvious consequence of "the constitution of nature with regard to the movements of heavy bodies" and stated as an "undoubted axiom" (II. Baliani sent it to him on 17 June 1615 (XII. 211). Lettere ed Arti.). A further problem is presented by Le mecaniche. 605. But it appears that a demonstration in the work concerning the proportion of the force required to pull a weight on planes with different inclinations was unknown to Galileo until G. 72 Cf. V (1972) 381-3. From a much later letter by 71 See "Quomodo Archimedis argenti mixtionem deprehendit in auro" (pp. above n. On this rather slender evidence should we conclude that De motu gravium was written after the longer Le mecaniche? Then when was the latter written? He mentioned to Vinta in 1610 that he had in hand "tre libri delle mecaniche" (X. 50. 20. Memorie del R. Biog. Set.224 Science. 186-8). cf. 49). 232). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought (1597. 352). Istituto Veneto di Scienze. 572. XXVI (1899) and WISAN (1974) above n. p. cf. and the longer and much more developed version which he did include. CAMPEDELLI. But in the latter Galileo thought that it "seems quite hard to believe" and set out to demonstrate it from the principle of the balance (I. This longer version contains a discussion (absent from the shorter version) of the motion of a body on an inclined plane which seems less developed than that found in De motu gravium. cf. Diet. above nn. for the resemblances between Le mecaniche and De motu gravium. 296).

which the author claims to have just completed and to be about to publish (I.The Jesuits and Galileo }s Ideas of Science and Nature 225 Baliani of 1 July 1639 (XVIII. II. confirms the impression that here we have the work of an experienced scholar. 68-71) we learn that many years before Baliani had sent Galileo. In the longer Le mecaniche the solution is introduced with a criticism of Pappus (II. living in Florence. 181). it might seem to make De motu gravium even later. When in 1620 Elie Diodati wrote to Galileo saying that he had never seen any work by him on mechanics. but in the manuscript copies of Le mecaniche the author is indicated simply as "il Galileo" or as Galileo Galilei "Accademico Linceo" or just "Fiorentino". This seems to point to a later date. If this various evidence displaces Le mecaniche to a date so much later than the traditional 1590s based on Vincenzo Viviani's notoriously unreliable witness. since his many disputes over several years had delayed the completion both of "my Mechanics and my System". published posthumously in 1615. The mature style of arguing in this treatise. an improvement on a solution by Pappus concerning the inclined plane. Again this version contains a precise definition of the concept of momenta absent from the shorter version (II. Does all this place the longer Le mecaniche after Baliani's letter of 1615? Some further circumstantial evidence might support such a dating. since Pinelli was interested in the subject. There is no copy of Le mecaniche in the Pinelli collection.g. But how can composition after this date be squared with his remarks quoted above? But we could go on. The mention of an extensive commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest. of the World (XIII. from a manuscript treatise on mechanics by Francois Viete in his possession. 159). should warn us against considering it as an unsuccessful attempt by a young mathematical lecturer at Pisa or Padua to discuss traditional questions relating to the motion of bodies. 48. 53). ie. Galileo replied that this was no wonder. when he was famous. Again in Le mecaniche Galileo discussed the apparent paradox of the Archimedean screw in the same way as Guidobaldo del Monte in De cochlea. The titles of other treatises written at Padua describe Galileo as "matematico dello Studio di Padova" or "lettore di matematica nello Studio di Padova" (e. Since no such commentary is extant among Galileo's writings. We may suppose that it was written with revisions over several years. 314). 207). and a member of the Lincei. where one might expect to find it if Galileo had written it at Padua before 1601. and that Galileo had replied claiming the treatise as his own. can this refer to something that was to be incorporated in the Dialogo? We know from correspondence that it was in 1624 and 1625 that what was originally planned as a Dialogo del flusso e reflusso developed into a larger discussion of the . with its sophisticated use of Archimedes.

13-15). both citing the same example of sphaera tangit planum in puncto (cf. Can we find a date for De motu gravium? We know from correspondence that Galileo was writing a general treatise on motion in the years 1628-31. Thus two of these notes (I.226 Science. 997b34-998a6. seeing that with such science and mathematics coupled together it is possible to undertake theorizing about natural things" (XIV. This appears nowhere in Ficino's Latin translation of Plato..2. III. Was this the treatise "De motu locali" to be published in the Discorsi (1638)? Its three books correspond to his description to Vinta in 1610. 49.. but to carry on working to complete his writings on various subjects including the "knowledge of. even if mathematical demonstrations were not potissimae. In a further exchange between Simplicio and Sagredo (VII. 448). Parts of this treatise can be dated to the years 1602-9. (I. 416) on Aristotle refuting Plato's involvement with geometry became the celebrated assertion by Simplicio in the Dido go (VII. 229) that mathematics might be true in the abstract but not so true in matter. 34. the nature of all motions (la natura di tutti i moti}" (XIII. 73 Cf. 11. Galileo himself wrote on 29 November 1631 to Cesare Marsili to say that he was planning to publish the "first book on motion (primo libro del motoY (XIV. The eventual Dido go (1632) was linked again with both De motu gravium and the scholastic treatises on cosmology and natural philosophy through the fragmentary notes in Ms. Cesi wrote on 9 September 1628 urging him not to waste time in answering opponents. 16) between physics as a science based on sensory evidence and probable reasons and mathematics as a science based on intellectual evidence and necessary demonstrations. Cavalieri wrote on 3 December 1630 saying that he was glad to hear that Galileo had resumed his "theorizing on motion (speculationi del moto}. 6).. I.. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Ptolemaic and Copernican systems (XIII. CARUGO. 312) immediately after his forthcoming Dialogo. and Cf. 256) we find at least an echo of the distinction made by Pereira in De communibus.. Gli avversari di Galileo ed il loro contribute alia genesi e immediata fortuna del Dialogo. quam quoddam reminisci" (III. but is given by Pereira as a quotation from Plato saying "nostrum scire nihil aliud esse. We find a specific citation in the expression used by Simplicio for Plato's theory of knowledge: nostrum scire est quoddam reminisci. 38) are identical with those given in Clavius's Sphaera (1581. Again Salviati's criticism of Aristotle's merely probable reasons for there being only three dimensions and demonstration of the same thing by mathematics (VII.. 171). 724 .. 301) 73 . 1972) 128-207. Metaphysics. 282) 72a . above n.. pp. 236.. IIP (Firenze. Galileiano 46 and through their use of common Jesuit sources. Saggi su Galileo Galilei. 995al4-16.2. ARISTOTLE.

A stylistic feature may also relate De motu gravium to this period or later. the one to complement the other? Does the assorted evidence we have indicated justify so massive a displacement of De motu gravium from its conventional dating at Pisa or Padua to the eve of the Dido go or even later? If this seems like attempting to prove the unbelievable that is not our intention. some time between 1597 and 1610. above n. But it is a purely mathematical treatise and if the correspondence refers to a philosophical treatise on the nature of motion. and comets (1618-23). 2. science and the interpretation of Scripture (1613-15). with the Didogo through their common use of Jesuit sources. Did they all belong to the years of philosophical studies. sunspots (1612). V. To what else could it refer? Was he writing two treatises. and his writings of that period are an evident product of such a clarification. though not necessarily immediately. CROMBIE (1975a) 165. but apart from that we have no direct evidence for dating any of the other scholastic treatises. a commentary on Genesis published in 1589 which was the source of the exegetical rules for relating demonstrated science to scriptural revelation discussed in his Lett era a Madama Cristina de Lorena (1615. We know that the logical Disputationes must have been written after 1597. Galileo in one of the fragmentary notes in Ms. May we then suppose that Galileo read his other scholastic sources some time during these years 1610-1616 when his various cosmological controversies had launched him firmly beyond mathematics into philosophy? His disputes obliged him to clarify his ideas of science and of nature. 328). This may seem to belong to a context of controversy and it became a familiar complaint in his writings on floating bodies (1612). . 333-4)74. it may refer to the De motu gravium.The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and Nature 22 7 Galileo could have resumed work on it after his many years of controversy. Galileiano 46 complained of people who read his writings not to see "whether what I have said is true" but only to "undermine my arguments" (I. Alternatively his assumption that the world was inhabited largely by hostile fools and knaves may simply be an enduring diagnostic symptom of 74 Cf. Likewise he used for this letter a comment added by Clavius on the recent astronomical discoveries to his last edition of his Sphaera in 1612 (V. The answer must affect the dating also of Galileo's scholastic treatises on cosmology and natural philosophy and on logic. which is such a treatise on the causes of the natural motion of heavy bodies. We put the question for the evidence itself to reveal a believable answer. All are linked with each other and also. of which he boasted to Vinta? We can date Galileo's use of another work by Pereira. 412).

3-4. Mersenne. CROMBIE (1971) and (1975b) above nn. 488) between possible mathematical hypotheses which saved the astronomical appearances and demonstrations through true causes. "Galileo's rhetorical strategies in defense of Copernicanism" in the Atti 76 of the Convegno (1983). 369. the direction of his argument led him inevitably into often bitter disputes with the Jesuit Aristotelians themselves. ni ceder a ses droits". where Socrates's interlocutors simply raise questions and listen patiently to his answers. 13. and R. But these should not blind us to the underlying similarity of their rational policy. If we may so characterize Galileo's contribution to the promotion of a rational philosophy of science and of nature articulated by the Jesuits. LENOBLE (1943). POPKIN (1979). La libertinage erudit dans la pre75 . Together with others of similar outlook they established an J. D. B. Central to his treatment of cosmology to the last was the distinction such as made by St.228 Science. His scientific experience with a diversity of problems made him well aware in practice of the degrees of certainty. Nor was Galileo in this alone among prominent natural philosophers. Thomas Aquinas and discussed in the Dialogo (VII. Another stylistic feature relating to the Jesuits but not to the question of dating is the dialogue form used by Galileo in the Dialogo. Galileo in his disputes aimed clearly to win not only the truth but also the argument. however unobtainable. The on-going physical argument through all his major writings on natural philosophy aimed to dispute and reject the Aristotelian conception of physical causes and to establish in its place the truly certified conception which in the end he saw as uniformly mechanical. He adapted his scientific methods and his immediate expectations to the subject-matter. cf. At the same time he continued to be haunted to the end by an apodeictic vision of certainty. reason and relevant authorities. Moss. revived by the Jesuits. and all aimed to clarify the topic and reach critical assessments of the solutions proposed. analysed by logicians. Ed. PINTARD. They are an elegant form of the scholastic disputatio. 30. 1966). Gassendi and Descartes promoted the same sort of rational philosophy against the same sorts of opponents. wrote Mersenne with evident satisfaction in opening his Les mecaniques de Galilee (1634) 76 . Galileo's dialogues differ from Plato's. ROCHOT (Paris. in which each speaker put forward a definite point of view closely argued from experience. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Galileo's character. against on one side scepticism and on the other Neoplatonic and Hermetic magic. "Car la nature ne peut etre trompee. available in different kinds of subject-matter. He showed himself a master of all the dialectical and topical skills of debate and persuasion7S.

mitre moitie du XVIIe siecle (Paris. Kwartalnik filosoficzny. Des humanistes aux hommes de science XVIe et XVlle siecles (Paris. MANDROU. "Meditationes Descartes'a na tie sceptycyzmu frankuskiege XVII wieku". L'oeuvre de Descartes (Paris. but in my brain neither of them reaches a neceessary conclusion". 1971). S. 106). 1980). 1961). 1982). RoDis-LEWis. Mersenne therefore insisted upon experimental precision. "The most subtle Galileo. Etudes philosophiques.D. as well as answers. Scetticismo e empirismo: Studi su Gassendi (Bari. XIX (1950) 1-24 with French summary. Liceti wrote of him towards the end of his life in a book devoted to many questions unanswerable by Galileo's criteria. free will and other matters. R. BLOCK. A. V.virtually ignored except for the brief period of his Neoplatonic theological letters of 1613-15. La philosophic de Gassendi (La Haye. above n. H. 2. CROMBIE (1969) 23. . J. Pierre Gassendi 1592-1655: From Aristotelianism to a new natural philosophy (University of New South Wales Ph. easily the chief of the mathematicians of our time. "Doute methodique ou negation methodique? ". ed. GAUKROGER (Brighton. SCHUSTER. where only the Holy Scriptures and the divine assertions can set us piously at rest" (XVIII. 1943). into acceptable scientific inquiry. R. Galileo himself wrote no explicit critique of scepticism or magic or Neoplatonism. GREGORY. An interesting difference is that Mersenne and Gassendi were sufficiently sceptical to disbelieve that certainty was possible in the search for causes in natural science. including whether or not the universe was infinite77. B. 1972). dissertation. Galileo and Descartes still on this question stayed with Aristotle. BRUNDELL. "Descartes' Mathesis universalis: 1619-1628" in Descartes: Philosophy. which he. Perhaps in the end "this is one of those questions that happen to be inexplicable by human reasonings. mathematics and physics. 1973). DAMBSKA. by closing many still open questions through their insistence upon specific rational criteria for Admitting questions. La pensee religieuse de Descartes (Paris. Galileo in 1639 acknowledged his copy with its account of opposing opinions: "I cannot stop wondering how one single human mind can store all the doctrines scattered in a thousand books by a thousand other rare minds".The Jesuits and Galileo }s Ideas of Science and Nature 229 identity for natural philosophy in their time. COURIER. but his sharp awareness of these different kinds of philosophy is obvious in numerous comments specifying his own. As for the question of infinity: "The reasons given for both sides are very acute. and likewise a noted philosopher". This could considerably affect the relative weight given to experimental measurement as distinct from mathematical or logical demonstration in scientific inquiry. I. O. T. IX (1954) 135-62. 77 Cf. resembling perhaps predestination. G. 1971).

by Mario Leoni 1624 (Musee de Louvre).Galileo Galilei. .

2). . on quickness in replying and on better knowledge of writers. C. CROMBIE. « Annali delTIstituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze ». VIII. the conclusions of which are true and necessary.2 (1983) 3-67. and where there is no place for human judgment. CARUGO and A. has claimed that in his Lettera a Madama Christina di Lorena (1615) Galileo closely followed the conventions of letter writing developed by medieval rhetoricians and 1 The Roman and Arabic numbers in brackets refer by volume and page to the National Edition of Le opere di Galileo Galilei. C. we could rely a lot on sharpness of wit. He wrote: If this about which we are disputing were some point of law or of other human studies. C. 1983. Jean Dietz Moss. Galluzzi (Supplemento agli « Annali . CROMBIE and A. one should be cautious not try to maintain something that is false. See for a full discussion of Galileo's intellectual style A.11 Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric with A. i Despite Galileo's disparagment of rhetoric recent literary critics have claimed to have unveiled what they call « rhetorical strategies» devised by him in his battle for a new idea of science and a new philosophy of nature. For a thousand Demosthenes and a thousand Aristotles would be left defenceless by anyone of little intelligence who has had the chance of knowing the truth (VII. 2 Novita celesti e crisi del sapere. Carugo Galileo's idea of rhetoric and his attitude towards it are unequivocally conveyed by the following passage from the Dialogo (1632) on the two greatest systems of the world. 20 vol. in her study of « Galileo's rhetorical strategies in defence of Copernicanism»2. Galileo's Arguments and Disputes on Natural Philosophy (forthcoming). 95-103. which carries in the margin the note: «In the natural sciences the art of rhetoric is ineffective ». and hope that whoever excelled in these matters would make his own reasoning appear and be judged superior. where there is neither truth nor falsehood. a cura di P. (Firenze. 1994). Gerald Duckworth.. CARUGO. 1890-1910). A. The Jesuits and Galileo's ideas of science and of nature.. 78) *. also A.». But in the natural sciences. Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition (London. CROMBIE.

69-102. and a more subtle discussion of the rhetorical devices exploited by Galileo in presenting various forms of arguments. not so much to the Platonic one. are be found in Brian Vickers's essay on « Epideictic rhetoric in Galileo's Dialogo »\ Vickers claims to be the first to have noticed that «the dominant rhetorical technique in the Dialogo is the simultaneous use of praise and blame. in which a priviledged and dominant speaker exposes the limitations of his partners' thinking. but rather to the Ciceronian form. the Dialogo exemplifies a brilliant application of epideictic rhetoric as described in Aristotle's Rhetoric. Moreover. But statements like these only show that Moss seems to be unaware of the clear distinction made by Aristotle and familiar to Galileo between dialectical and rhetorical arguments and to have vague and confused ideas about the nature of rhetorical arguments. A more rigorous and systematic analysis of the rhetorical structure of the Dialogo. Vickers argues that. In other words. an impression confirmed by her random discussion of scattered passages from the Dialogo. the probable type of reasoning treated in Aristotle's Topics and Rhetorica». As far as the Dialogo is concerned. captatio benevolentiae. But Moss's own paraphrase of Galileo's letter hardly justifies the application to it of such rigid distinctions. She has also remarked that «the manner in which Galileo presents his arguments is rhetorical. Hence Galileo's adoption of the rhetorical concept of persona or mask. which protected him from being identified with his characters and allowed him to give a living reality to philosophical ideas.232 Science. in which distinct characters espouse distinct philosophical points of view and each speaker argues for his case. beside the encomia to God and to the acuteness of human mind. They are instead dialectical in nature. elevating the Copernican world-system and debasing the Ptolemaic » (p. 3 .2 (1983). in that they are intended to induce assent from his fictional and real audience ». in particular the an dictamini which formulated the principles of epistolary composition with its distinctions of salutatio. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought adopted by the humanists. chapter III. VIII.71). according to Vickers «the epideictic mode clearly lent itself to the dialogue form»(p:73). petitio and conclusio. narratio. book I. she maintains that the arguments presented by Galileo «are not rigorous demonstrations in the sense of fulfilling the canons of Aristotle's Posterior Analytics. Analyzing the topics that are praised or blamed in the Dialogo. which are part of the stan«Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze».

«whose theme is the heavens and the story of gods and men. This became well known in Marsilio Ficino's Latin version composed at the end of the 15th century and was echoed by Galileo as will appear later. and whose song is the noblest of them all» (259 D). He characterizes the essential human soul as «the soul that has beheld truth» and «the soul of the philosopher alone » as that which could rise on wings so that it « ever approaches to the full vision » of divine perfection (249 B-C). that persuasion depends» (259 E . since it is on the latter. Thus «those who live a life of philosophy » did honour to the music of the eldest of the Muses. Then what was good discourse? Must it « presuppose a knowledge in the mind of the speaker of the truth about his subject? » Must the intending orator know. Despite the brilliance of Vickers's arguments and the evident care with which he has studied the Dialogo. Rhetoric was regarded by Galileo as an art of speaking wittingly and brillantly on legal or ethical and political issues so as to persuade an audience to judge a case in one way rather than another. he does not seem to have paid sufficient attention to what Galileo understood by rhetoric and to what it meant for him.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 233 dard epideictic repertoire. its heroes and enemies. for example. or good or noble. what is truly just. not the former. by means of arguments that are only apparently conclusive and that lead to conclusions that are not necessarily true and may even be false. he should be exposed by those philosophers who were aiming at the knowledge of truth. Calliope and Urania. and its positive contribution to knowledge »(p. on the other hand. that is to say necessary demonstrations leading to true conclusions. were conceived by Galileo as a form of knowledge based on arguments not only persuasive but also logically sound. Therefore rhetorical arguments according to Galileo were not only ineffective. «the truly original feature of the Dialogo [is] the fact that every other instance of praise and blame concerns the new science. If any philosopher tried to resort to this sort of argument in a dispute on how nature is structured and how it operates. but had no place in natural philosophy and ought to be avoided in any philosophical discussion. The classical distinction between modes of discourse aiming at truth and at mere persuasion had been made by Plato in the Phaedrus. 81). A clear indication of this can be gathered from the passage of the Dialogo which we have quoted at the beginning. or only « what will be thought so. The natural sciences or natural philosophy.260 A)? . Socrates in his analysis of true love starts by trying «to discern the nature of soul» (245 C).

. It was the same «when a master of oratory. must discern precisely the degree of similarity and dissimilarity between this and that». and when by studying the beliefs of the masses he persuades them to do evil instead of good» (260 C). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Supposing. without being mislead himself. he might persuade his companion to buy a donkey by calling it a horse. and likewise «now good. after opening a speech with a preamble. thirdly indirect evidence. fourthly probabilities ». indirect censure » and other tricks of those like «Gorgias. How can he do this «if he does not know the truth about a given thing» (260 C . but also in private ». at will». The «art of rhetoric» was «a kind of influencing of the mind by means of words. with «covert allusion and indirect compliment and . followed by «refutation and supplementary refutation both for prosecution and defence». now unjust. for «it is because they are ignorant of dialectic that they are incapable of defining rhetoric » (269 B) or of practising or teaching it. by which « we bring a dispersed plurality under a single form» in order to define it. but the art shared certain common methods . and anyone possessing the art « can make the same thing appear to the same people now just. « next comes exposition accompanied by direct evidence. But it was not enough simply to have picked up the antecedents of the art. following the objective articulation ». The trick was «to make out everything to be like everything else ». as if people who had done that with medicine or dramatic poetry or music knew anything about the actual practice of those arts. Thus by dialectic we could « discern an objective unity and plurality» (265 D . who is ignorant of good and evil. then in addition «proof and supplementary proof». but then « anyone who intends to mislead another. not only in courts of law and other public gatherings. that neither he nor Phaedrus knew what a horse was. «The true rhetorician. who realized that probability deserves more respect than truth» (266 D . employs his power of persuasion on a community as ignorant as himself.. not by extolling a miserable donkey as being really a horse.6B) and discover the truth.234 Science.7 A).2A)? Socrates contrasted rhetoric with dialectic. Socrates continues. and now the reverse of good». and then of division. According to the manuals of rhetoric. But rhetoric aimed not at truth but at mere persuasion. the real master of persuasion» aimed at that and nothing else. but by extolling evil as being really good. the method of inquiry for the truth by means of correct question and answer using the taxonomic procedures first of collection. by which in reverse « we are enabled to divide into forms.

not merely by practice and routine. and could know how to seize the occasion for the appropriate tricks. Socrates likened the method of rhetoric to that of medicine. Rhetoric had to grasp the nature of the soul in order to see how it was persuasible. you do not ask . and what kind of speech can be relied upon to create belief in one soul and disbelief in another. and that is concerned with what seems most likely» for the purpose. explaining the reasons in each case: suggesting the types of speech appropriate to each type of soul.. having grasped the theory. while another type will be hard to persuade. Each. and next he must watch it actually taking place in men's conduct». in order to reach its goal.73 A). and the various ways in which souls are affected. these likenesses can always be best discovered by someone who knows the truth » (273 D). All this the orator must fully grasp.. Socrates rebuked Phaedrus for suggesting that « apparently it makes a difference who the speaker is. In the law courts nobody cares about the truth in these matters. The would-be master of persuasion must then suppress or substitute facts according to need and say «goodbye to the truth forever». or by proper discourses and training to give to the soul the desired belief and virtue ».. but only about persuasion.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 235 with scientific argument aiming to find the truth.. had to discover the true nature of its object. and what country he comes from. medicine had to grasp the nature of the body in order to see how it was healthy or curable: «In both cases you must analyze a nature . and why ». At the end of his analysis the scientific rhetorician «will classify the types of discourse and the types of soul. «then and not till then he has well and truly achieved the art». Then he will be «equipped with the art complete» (269 D . by a certain type of speech. There was « absolutely no need for the budding orator to concern himself with the truth about what is just or good conduct» or «who are just and good men . but we must see also if our reason agrees with him on examination».E). «but we must no.t just rely on the authority of Hippocrates. to impart health and strength to the body by prescribing remedies and diet. If « the multitude get their notion of probability as the result of a likeness to truth. For « a certain type of hearer will be easy to persuade. When the student of rhetoric. This was the method attributed to Hippocrates. to take such and such action. .. if you are to proceed scientifically. « All the great arts need supplementing by a study of nature» (269 D .. could place any individual person in this classification of characters. for such and such reason.

The «art of dialectic » transcended rhetoric because its aim was truth. words that can defend both themselves and him who planted them. twisting them this way and that. Piccolomini had acquired a great reputation as a philosopher when. Copies of some of Piccolomini's works .E).236 Science. giving the seed immortality. Someone who has thus « done his work with a knowledge of the truth. for similar ideas were commonly shared by any learned person of his time. and in it he plants and sows his words founded on knowledge. words that instead of remaining barren contain a seed from which new words grow up in new characters. and its possessor the greatest blessedness attainable by man». Subsequently Piccolomini produced a series of works covering the whole range of philosophical disciplines. The conditions were that « first you must know the truth about the subject that you speak or write about. he published in 1547 an enlightening commentary in Latin to Aristotle's Mechanical Questions. Both these works were very influencial in promoting among philosophers new debates on the principles of mechanics and on the nature of mathematics and its place among other speculative disciplines such as natural philosophy and theology. A clear and detailed picture of what was generally understood by rhetoric in the learned circles in which Galileo moved can be found in an Italian paraphrase of Aristotle's Rhetoric produced in 1565 by Alessandro Piccolomini. They were written in Italian and aimed to show that the vernacular was as powerful and as flexible as Latin in conveying philosophical and scientific ideas and arguments. Then you will become competent «as a scientific practitioner of speech. still very young. a philosopher whose works were familiar to Galileo and with whom he had many points in common.. and can defend his statements when challenged». . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought simply whether what he says is true or false » (275 C). secondly you must have a corresponding discernment of the nature of the soul» being instructed and «arrange your discourse accordingly». could fittingly be called a «philosopher ». whether you propose to expound or to persuade » (276 E / 7 C). and when the dialectician wants to persuade he «selects a soul of the right type. will rightly I suggest be called a poet or speech writer or law writer» (278 C .. pasting them together and pulling them apart. Galileo's assessment of the scope and limits of rhetoric was not particularly new and original. But a composer of merely literary works «on whose phrases he spends hours. together with a learned treatise also in Latin on the question of what degree of certainty can be achieved in the mathematical sciences.

p. si fusse mancato ». delle loro dimostrationi puo supplire in gran parte a quanto in prima. nevertheless no learned man has yet considered Plato inferior in learning. although there have been and still are many who would not agree to put Plato before Aristotle as far as sciences are concerned.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 237 were owned by Galileo. 246: «La certezza . proper and ordered manner.. per Pimperfettione che portano le cose sensate. neat. lists three of Piccolomini's works (nos. that is the way of presentation that he has followed in his books: he has presented and expounded the matters of his treatises in a clear. published with the title Copiosissima pamfrasi nel primo libro delta Retorica d'Aristotele (Venice 1565). Miscellanea Galileiana inedita. p. without enveloping them in obscure fables or veiling them with poetical imagery (senza velo di poetica imitatione) and. In the preface to the first volume. natural philosophy and cosmology as well as on ethics and politics Piccolomini produced a series of three volumes giving an extensive and detailed commentary or «paraphrase » on Aristotle's Rhetoric. and preferred it to Plato's poetic style which veiled the truth with obscure fables: If we consider carefully the reason why of the two greatest luminaries of learning. La sfera del mondo (Venezia 1566). After publishing treatises in Italian on logic. without adding further dif4 ALESSANDRO PICCOLOMINI. 982-1034. Piccolomini praised Aristotle's style or method of exposition for being straightforward and free from rhetorical embellishments. « Memorie del R. Plato and Aristotle. the latter has for so many centuries predominated and is still predominating in the schools of sciences.. we shall find that undoubtedly this is so not because he is superior in learning: in fact. 384-386) including La sfera del mondo. lastly. without masking them with rhetorical ornaments (senza maschera di retorico omamento). FAVARO. Istituto Veneto di Scienze. Lettere e Arti». . free from superfluities. their intrinsic and natural difficulty should be enough. Aristotle's unrhetorical style of writing was regarded by Piccolomini as the most suitable for the study of nature. whose style of writing in Italian show sometimes a striking resemblance to Piccolomini's. He warned natural philosophers against using rhetorical trappings which would unnecessarily increase the natural difficulty of discovering what is hidden in nature: « Nature has unfortunately concealed and hidden its things more deeply than man would wish or need: therefore > for learned men. xii: La libreria di Galileo. But we shall clearly see that the true reason for Aristotle's superiority is none other than the method. 4: « E mancando le frequent! sensate esperientie tnanca ancora la certezza delle conclusion!». who struggle to discover and explain them. XXII (1887). A. For instance a phrase such as «sensate esperienze e certe dimostrazioni» which is recurrent in Galileo's writings was coined by Piccolomini4.

This is the way in which the translators paint the passages which they are aware that they do not understand. As a result. by adding things or leaving things out. since most of the passages had been either painted (depinti) or misunderstood (contro il vero sentimento intesi}. 7-8). being aware that they do not understand them. On the other hand. transpose from one language to the other by using the same number of words in the same order. but rather corrupted the whole text. and by doing anything that could show more clearly the author's meaning and mind and make the matters easier »(pp. as we shall see later. and of Ptolemy's work on astronomy. natural philosophy. « writing as it pleased me. in which he had given accounts of Aristotle's treatises on logic. as far as those passages are concerned which they presume that they understand though they do not. by explaining and clarifying. besides being misunderstood by the translators themselves. they depart from the author's true meaning (p. Piccolomini denounced the inadequacy of existing translations of and commentaries on it. For the time being we stay with Piccolomini and we follow his competent guidance in order to get a proper understanding of Aristotelian rhetoric. Piccolomini soon realized that he had to adopt a different method of exposition from the one that he had used in his previous works. I found that they had really not translated. Piccolomini's warning against the use of rhetoric in natural philosophy was clearly echoed in the passage from Galileo's Dialogo which we quoted at the beginning. whereas for the method he had adopted a freer style.238 Science. since different languages require different arrangements of words and different forms of locution. ethics and mechanics. To justify why he thought it necessary to produce and publish his own account of Aristotle's rhetoric. The same note was struck by Galileo over and over again in his writings. by expanding or abridging the original. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought ficulty by resorting to poetical and rhetorical complications (con poetici e retorici involgimenti)» (p. 3).. those passages which are translated so closely to the original are rendered unintelligible. . By « painted » I mean those passages which the translators. Faced with the task of expounding Aristotle's Rhetoric.. He argued that previous translators had corrupted and made a mess of the Aristotelian text either by producing an unintelligible word for word translation or by giving a misleading interpretation of their own: When I examined those who have translated these books into another language to see if I could find in their translations anything that could throw light on some passage . In those works be had faithfully followed the opinions of the authors so far as the substance of the matters treated was concerned. 2).

but from common life. 14).}. In rhetoric as well as in dialectic «propositions. Knowledge of rhetoric as well as of dialectic is so easily accessible to everyone that anyone can understand and practise these arts without difficulty. By doing this Piccolomini was explicitly following the example of the ancient commentator Themistius and particularly of his commentary on Aristotle's De anima. premises. «Rhetoric and dialectic are different from particular sciences in that. . Rhetoric. and by means of such propositions they form probable arguments and proofs. concepts and arguments that are adapted to the common knowledge of men rather than belonging to any particular science or to the deep and precise knowledge of a specialist» (p. to penetrate. The kind of paraphrase adopted by Piccolomini was one that allowed him to make long digressions in order to strengthen and clarify Aristotle's opinions by adding arguments and examples of his own without abandoning his footsteps. 8). But whereas dialectic concerns equally all sorts of subject-matters. «rhetoric deals more usually with civil affairs» (ibid. but also «to explain step by step Aristotle's meaning and mind». and are adapted. says Piccolomini at the beginning of his paraphrase closely following Aristotle's text. In fact they use propositions that are not scientific and precise. 13). whereas the latter treat their subject-matters with a precise scientific method which is proper to each of them. causes and arguments are derived not from specific sciences and arts. and in using «propositions. terms. to expand and to disentangle its substance and its pith and marrow». since this was «most suited to express the auther's mind by sometimes freely expanding the original in order to unveil and show the substance of his ideas without ever departing from him» (p. so that their way of proceeding is entirely proportionate and suited to the judgment and understanding of men most of whom are unskilled »(p.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 239 But in expounding Aristotle's Rhetoric it was necessary not only «to show clearly. To do this Piccolomini decided that the best method of exposition was to paraphrase. 15). rhetoric and dialectic instead form their propositions and arguments in a way that is adapted to the common understanding of men». but apparently true and probable. bears great resemblance and affinity to dialectic in dealing with subjects that are not confined to any particular science. formed and used in such a way that anyone can understand them who is not mentally blind and deprived of almost all the senses» (p.

33). but he can speak in a popular manner suited to his listeners and therefore very similar to the common way of speaking that is normally used in the activities of everyday life. that is as someone who uses false and deceitful arguments. in the enthymeme one of the premises is always omitted. Therefore whether he achieves this result by means of a true enthymeme and of a . The enthymeme is different from the syllogism in that. rhetoric at gaining the listener's approval. but also with what is only apparently so. as Piccolomini called it from the Latin expression ars dicendi which was often used to translate the title of Aristotle's treatise) deals not just with what is «truly probable and persuasive ». This is so because «the speaker does not have to talk in a learned manner nor for the purpose of teaching. yet he knows it not for the purpose of using it deliberately. but also of the apparent one. but he aims to win the audience over by any possible means. And it requires knowledge not only of the true enthymeme. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought The strength of rhetoric consists in the ability of an eloquent public speaker to persuade his listeners by means of arguments that have only the appearance of demonstration. and it is left to the listener himself to supply it in his own mind. as one must do when treating or discussing some scientific topic the purpose of which is not just to persuade. But from another point of view there is a fundamental difference between rhetoric and dialectic which derives ultimately from their different aims. but to find truth itself» (p. such as that which is called enthymeme. But in the art of speaking things are different: the rhetorician or orator does not aim to win the argument in a dispute by using probable arguments in order to get as near as he can to the truth. As a consequence. Someone who uses a false syllogism deliberately must be regarded as a sophist rather than a dialectician. Rhetoric or the art of speaking (arte del dire. but also of the syllogism that is not true but has only the appearence of being so. Though the dialectician must know the apparent as well as the false syllogism besides the true syllogism. he does not need to lay out and arrange terms. but in order to be on his guard against being deceived by it and to be able to expose and demolish it if it is used against him. which is an imperfect form of syllogism lacking one of the premises. propositions and arguments according to the schemes and rules of deduction. as he must in scientific disputations. From this point of view rhetoric is again similar to dialectic which requires knowledge not only of the true syllogism. dialectic aiming at gaining the truth. whereas in the syllogism both the premises are explicitly formulated and arranged in their proper order.240 Science.

Knowledge of the various forms of reasoning and argument depends on dialectic which deals with the nature of the syllogism and therefore helps to strengthen any sort of reasoning and argument. while nevertheless remaining truly a dialectician. and what effect they have. and the third consists in being able to argue and to show that one's cause is reasonable. He maintained that when a dialectician uses apparent arguments. Correspondingly there are three ways of inducing belief and persuasion: one is based on the good opinion that the audience has of the speaker's behaviour. that is one must know what they are. and is still called by that name (p. The other two kinds of knowledge. an audience and the cause for which one speaks. derive their strength from the moral and political disciplines: it belongs indeed to the moral and civil philosopher to know what sort of actions depend on human will and produce an inclination either to vices or to virtues. one must know «the qualities and conditions of virtues and good behaviour so that one's speech may produce a good opinion of one self ». In order to master these three ways of persuading one must know three things: first. Piccolomini argued instead that «their difference lies in the thing itself: the deliberate use of fallacious syllogisms is forbidden to a dialectician. one relating to the behaviour and virtues of man and the other to the motion of the passions. how and by what they are aroused. whereas a rhetorician does not change his name because he uses such arguments. which entail either praise or blame and induce people to have a good or bad . one must be capable of arguing with good reason and of exploiting the strength of syllogisms. whereas it is allowed to a rhetorician for reasons based on the different aims of these two arts» (p. secondly.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 241 truly probable or apparently true proof. Piccolomini did not agree with other commentators who believed that the difference between a rhetorician and a dialectician in the use of apparent and fallacious arguments was only a difference of names. 41). and finally. he only changes his name and is called a sophist. or by means of an only apparently probable argument. The practice of the art of speaking required three things: a speaker. one must have «a good knowledge of all human feelings». 42): for the dialectician tries to get to the truth. nevertheless he is still essentially an orator or a rhetorician. whereas the rhetorician tries to persuade an audience. the second consists in making the audience favourablely disposed towards one's cause.

Piccolomini defined the art of rhetoric as «a branch or shoot of dialectic and of moral or political philosophy» and separated it from natural philosophy. who can easily be persuaded to take one course of action rather than another by an eloquent speaker who knows how to stir their feelings and passions. As for the feelings. which is the appetite sensitive or physical desire. From this point of view they are the concern rather of the civil or political philosopher than of the natural philosopher. He argued that whereas the natural philosopher studies the feelings from the point of view of the subject in which they are placed. the rhetorician instead considers them as the stuff of which our virtues and vices are made and as the principles of most human actions. Therefore civil and political actions are the subject-matter proper to rhetoric. that is its proper object. A rhetorical speech is addressed generally to an unlearned audience. though it belongs to the natural philosopher to consider in what part of the soul they are placed. since we are influenced by our feelings in taking a good or bad decision in our actions. but its main aim is to influence human actions. Rhetorical arguments are entirely different from scientific arguments: they are based on reasonings that are only apparently conclusive and lead to conclusions that may be false. in order to expose his opponent as incompetent or deceitful in using rhetorical arguments to support a false picture of nature. It was to this idea of rhetoric so competently described by Piccolomini that Galileo referred in his arguments and disputations every time he wanted to define as clearly and as precisely as possible what he thought natural philosophy was about. nevertheless. But a scientific argument can be followed and understood only by a learned person who is trained in the techniques of necessary demonstrations. knowledge of how they are aroused and of what their effects are belongs to the moral or political disciplines. a faculty of the soul. From what has been said so far we can draw the conclusion that Piccolomini's account of the Aristotelian rhetoric or art of speaking eloquently stresses its distinction from a speculative discipline such as natural philosophy and its close connection with a practical discipline such as political or moral philosophy. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought opinion of us. Rhetoric has nothing to do with knowledge of nature and with the acquisition of truth.242 Science. whereas scientific arguments are based on necessary demonstrations leading to true conclusions. Galileo's familiarity with and high esteem of . its method and its aim.

between the necessary laws of nature and the contingent laws of men. Niccolo Gherardini who. especially in the Dialogo where three interlocutors respectively voicing Aristotle's opinions and reasonings (Simplicio). Galileo's arguments . Nature's deliberations are good. follows necessary laws and is not influenced by the sort of probable reasons that form the rhetorical arguments by which some tried to persuade other men to follow their deliberations and opinions: Since nature does not change its operations in the least as a result of men's consultations. which he shared with such authoritative philosophers of the time as Piccolomini. Galileo derived the idea that rhetoric has no place in discussions on natural philosophy.. between demonstrative arguments leading to true consequences and fallacious arguments which. Nature. did not think very highly . though persuasive and apparently convincing. From this contraposition between nature's operations and man's deliberations. the hatred against whoever has put it forward is impious. nor do probable reasons: hence whatever argument we produce about them is either good and true. its light shines as brightly as the Sun's and dispels the darkness of falsehood (IV. 24). as some of those who profess to be his followers foolishly say .. writing in 1654.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 243 Aristotle's Rhetoric is confirmed by one of his earliest biographers. perfidious and sacriligious. we must laugh at it and demolish it. It is nonsense to say that truth is hidden so well that it is difficult to distinguish it from lies: it remains well hidden for as long as nothing but false opinions are produced. univocal and perhaps necessary.. there is a passage in which he sets nature's operation in opposition to human actions. 645). If it is bad and false. argued Galileo. This opinion. Among Aristotle's works he praised above all the Rhetoric and the Ethics. or bad and false. but as soon as truth comes forward. entail false consequences.. but we should not hate whoever has produced it. Among the notes and drafts that Galileo jotted down in 1612 while he was engaged in the controversy on the cause of the floating of bodies.. what is the point of arguing so fiercely between ourselves in order to win the argument for one of our opinions: in fact our influence on nature's deliberations is no greater than the effect that the disputes and controversies between the members of the Venetian council of nine magistrates have on the resolutions of the Emperor of China. saying that he had written beautifully on this art» (XIX.. was expressed by Galileo with strength and conviction over and over again in many different writings. If it is good and true. of Aristotle. so that our opinions and advice have no place in them. pointed out that «it is far from truth that he . leaving large room for probability.

by producing philosophical and natural reasons for the one and for the other». «What better arrangement. Simplicio relates an argument put forward by an Aristotelian philosopher. middle and end are three. 35). if Aristotle had left such plaisanteries to the rhetoricians and had proved his point by a necessary demonstration. nor do I think that the number four is an imperfection in the elements. Salviati exposes the fallacy of this apparent syllogism which turns out to be no more than a rhetorical trick: I do not feel bound by all these reasonings to grant any more than that what has a beginning. I can neither understand nor believe. the number three is perfect and has the power of conferring perfection on those things that have such a number.244 Science. the mortal from the immortal. because beginning. Again Galileo warns against mixing rhetoric with science and against entangling rigorous demonstrations with rhetorical embellishments in the second Day of the Dialogo. Scipione Chiaramonti. At the beginning of the Dialogo. as they do in the other schools. that for legs the number three is more perfect than the number four or two. above which the celestial things rise in an unin- . and that they would be more perfect if they were three. during a discussion of some of the traditional objections to the Copernican system of the world. in his book De tribus novis stellis (1628): «the Copernican hypothesis would bring a great confusion and darkness into the system of the world» by placing the Earth. for instance. since this is what one has to do in the demonstrative sciences (VII. which is «the dump of all corruptible matters». who states that they are arranged in the best order and removes from them any changeable property. than to separate the pure from the impure. gather together for the purpose of « arguing ». among the « uncorruptible celestial bodies». after Simplicio has produced Aristotle's argument to prove that the world is perfect from the fact that it has only three dimensions and that three is a perfect number. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought and ideas (Salviati) and an amateur's observations (Sagredo). as the full title reads. the Ptolemaic and the Copernican. It would have been better. therefore. « about the two greatest systems of the world. which are regarded as «noble» and «pure» even by Copernicus. and more suitable to nature and to the Divine architect himself. where they teach that those impure and perishable matters are enclosed within the narrow bounds of the concave surface of the sphere of the Moon. a middle and an end can and must be called perfect: but I cannot grant by any reason that.

let us not entwine the firm foundations of demonstrations with these rhetorical florid ornaments. right in the middle of it. who have been able to extol and praise worthless. following Aristotle. and for using rhetorical tricks to win popular applause: . Salviati agrees that the Copernican system brings disruption into the Aristotelian world. derives the essential difference between the Earth and the celestial bodies from the incorruptibility of the latter and the corruptibility of the former. according to their opinion. In a draft containing a reply to objections raised against his Discorso on floating bodies by Aristotelian philosophers such as Cristoforo delle Colombe. But we have already talked more than enough about the vanity of these rhetorical illations. and not on one side (VII. and then from this difference he pretends to draw the conclusion that motion must belong to the Sun and the fixed stars and immobility to the Earth.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 245 terrupted series» (VII. but he points out that what is being discussed is «the true and real world». and was reiterated by Galileo. He goes on then to expose the fallacy of Chiaramonti's argument: When this author. Salviati rounds off his tirade with the usual attack on the improper use of rhetoric in scientific arguments: « But. For Aristotle derives the incorruptibility of the celestial bodies from their motion. The identification of rhetorical arguments with fallacies and paralogisms which have only the appearance of demonstrations had been strongly stressed by Piccolomini. 293). Besides. whereas it is disputed whether motion belongs to them or to the Earth. placed in the middle of all the other spheres? This a new way indeed of separating the pure from the impure and the healthy from the sick by providing room for the infected right in the heart of the city! I tought that the lazaret should be removed as far away from it as possible. he is falling into a paralogism by supposing that which is in dispute. who exploited it in the many disputes in which he was involved by denouncing his opponents as being more rhetoricians than philosophers. is there anything sillier than to say that the Earth and the elements are separated from the celestial spheres and relegated and confined to the sphere of the Moon? Is not the sphere of the Moon one of the celestial spheres and. Copernicus admires the arrangement of the parts of the world because God placed the great lamp. 292). Galileo stigmatized him for behaving more like a rhetorician than a philosopher. which was to illuminate the whole of his temple with the greatest brightness. please. 292-293). and let us leave them to rhetoricians or rather to poets. and sometimes even wicked. things by means of their pleasantries » (VII.

And they do so in order that their listeners will keep to their old ideas and will not bother to listen to any of the contrary arguments. though often fallacious. try any trick that could gain them popular applause or at least could keep the crowd undecided. 445). and this task required men of great intellectual skill. Galileo's concluding remark shows the usual mixture of irony and complacency with which he scores another victory on one of his opponents: I cannot deny that I have taken particular pleasure in seeng with what skill Signer Colombo finds answers where there are none. arguments in order to influence the decision and judgment of the unlearned crowd. And he does all this with subtle smartness in order to gain from cunning the profit that he cannot hope to obtain from reasoning (IV.246 Science. 445). pointing out the apparent strangeness of conclusions which are simple and true but which are removed from the commonly accepted opinions of those who have the reputation of being learned. so that the simple reader remains confused and undecided whether to give or to refuse his assent to that which he thinks he does not understand because of his own limitations (IV. let alone studied. is that of answering all the arguments produced by his opponent. even those that are insoluble. moved by those feelings towards me that they clearly show in their writings. I said «answering». which is amazingly exploited by Signer Colombo. Galileo's disparaging comments on the use of rhetorical arguments in scientific discussions were tactical moves within a wider strategy aiming at defining with clarity and precision the scope and the methods of natural philosophy as distinct from other intellectual activities such as historiography and poetry as well as rhetoric. though neither has he in the least understood those arguments. which are not even understood by him. was to read the book of nature. I think that he has learned at a good school of rhetoricians how effective it is. One of such tricks is that of shouting frequently in to their ears. forms arguments from meaningless ideas and produces doctrines which he has never seen. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought My opponents. Another trick. in order to gain general approval. nor is there anyone who could understand his answer. The purpose of rhetoric was to choose the most effective words and to construct the most apparently persuasive. The aim of philosophy. to speak a lot and with boldness. on the other hand. The proposition that philosophy is the proper nourishment for men of great intellectual power and is what separates them from .

in the dedicatory epistle addressed to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. in my opinion. who is going to be our guide in philosophy? Name some author. if ever there was a man who surpassed everybody else in intellectual ability. please!» (VII. but in open and clear places only the blind need a guide. since it is based on sense experience and on necessary demonstrations. but those who have . among the highest natural things that can be apprehended by our mind: since as a universal container it surpasses everything else in size. it must be clearly distinguished also from historical knowledge which is based on recollection and on authority. Ptolemy and Copernicus were such men. and to look at the great book of nature. Therefore. Those who are blind would better stay at home. since it has been made by an omnipotent Craftsman. He argued that the book of nature was made by an omnipotent Craftsman and that those parts of nature are more noble and worth studying that reveal his craftsmanship to a higher degree. nevertheless that part is better constructed and more worthy in which we can see more clearly his work and craftsmanship. The system of the world can be ranked. separates them from the common people to a higler or lower degree according to the variety of such nourishment. as the rule and support of all things it must also surpass everything in nobility.. is a way of raising one's eyes: though everything that can be read in such a book is extremely well proportioned. likewise. and I regard this as amounting to being or not to being a philosopher: for philosophy. Those who look higher are separated by a greater difference. If then natural philosophy as a form of intellectual knowledge for which only a few speculative minds are suited was to be kept separated from rhetoric which is a kind of pratical knowledge accessible to common people of lower intellectual capability. The most noble of all is the system of the world. for they raised their eyes so high as to be able to read the book of nature and to philosophize about the system of the world (VII. can reasonably be said to be very similar to that between men themselves . as a nourishment suited to those who can be nourished by it. which is the proper object of philosophy. 138).. and accordingly the investigation of this subject is reserved for those who are endowed with the greatest mental powers: The difference between men and animals.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 247 common people was vigorously asserted by Galileo right at the outset of the Dialogo. however great. Salviati replies: «We need to be escorted in unknown and wild countries. Such differences depend on the different powers of their minds. 27). At the beginning of the second Day of the Dialogo Simplicio asks with dismay: « But if we abandon Aristotle.

Those who rely on Aristotle's authority and quote Aristotelian texts in the course of philosophical disputations should be called rather historians than philosophers. since they replaced arguments with compilations of text: What is more shameful than to see. someone coming in with a text written often for another purpose to shut his opponent's mouth with it? But if you want to carry on with this way of studying. that is that others give up any effort to try to understand the strength of his demonstrations (ibid. Natural philosophy aims at reaching true conclusions about the real world by means of necessary arguments based on mathematical demonstrations. This point is eloquently illustrated by Galileo in a famous passage in // Saggiatore (1623) (chapter 6) which contains the powerful image of the book of nature written in mathematical language. not as a refusal to understand his arguments: I do not say that we should not listen to Aristotle. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought eyes in their face and in their mind must use them as their guide ». you should give up the name of philosophers and call yourselves historians or doctors of memory (VII.248 Science. 139). but also from poetry. aims at creating a fictional world by imitating the style of celebrated authors. poetry. But Salviati's rejection of Aristotle's guidance is immediately qualified as a refusal to subscribe to Aristotle's statements. without looking for other reasons. such as the Iliad and Orlando Furioso. Galileo took care to define as clearly as possible the scope of natural philosophy by separating it not only from rhetoric and history. instead. And perhaps he thinks that philosophy is a book produced by a man's imagination. A more appropriate understanding of it can be obtained if it is interpreted in the light of Galileo's constant efforts to give a precise characterization of natural philosophy: I think I perceive in Sarsi the strong belief that in philosophy it is necessary to rely on the opinions of some famous author. during public disputes about conclusions that can be demonstrated. take it for granted and regard it as a decree that cannot be violated.). so that our mind would remain completely sterile and infertile if it were not married to someone else's reasoning. on the contrary. This is an abuse which entails another extremely dangerous consequence. I approve of reading and studying him carefully. and I blame only those who let themselves become enslaved to him so that they blindly subscribe to every statement that he has made and. books in . This passage is usually misunderstood as a declaration of philosophical allegiance to Platonic ideas.

Experiment and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution. M. Philosophy is written in this great book which stands always open in front of our eyes (I mean the universe). rejecting Sarsi's insinuation that « Galileo seemed to have derived something relating to the comets from the sterile and barren philosophy of Cardano and Telesio » (VI. 9 above. Science History Publications. but had to turn to the more subtle techniques of arguing developed by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics. It is written in mathematical language and the characters are triangles. ed. above. « Sources of Galileo's early natural philosophy ». show him as a skilful practitioner of the art of developing the kind of dialectical and sophistical arguments described in these two Aristotelian treatises. R. Similarly he would neither rely on quotations from authorities nor let his imagination create a fictional picture of the world like those concocted from various sources by such Renaissance philosophers as Ficino. also A. without which it is impossible for man to understand a single word of it (VI. Righini Bonelli and W. there is no evidence that Galileo devoted to them the same attention as he paid to the Posterior Analytics. Nevertheless many of his works. 27) on the nature of principles of scientific knowledge and on the structure of scientific demonstrations. circles and other geometrical figures. Signer Sarsi.As for the Topics and the Sophistical Refutations. in Reason. with the shelfmark MS Gal. CROMBIE. that is demonstrations that lead to true conclusions by means of necessary arguments'. As a natural philosopher Galileo would not resort to the kind of rhetorical arguments which he was so keen to expose in his opponents. 232). particularly II Saggiatore and the Dialogo. L. Telesio and Bruno. but it cannot be understood unless one first learns the language and the characters in which it is written. He could find little help in rhetorical tricks. C. 9). But as a natural philosopher Galileo was also constantly engaged in disputes on issues raised by his published works. 157-175. See references in note 1. I have not seen » he declared in // Saggiatore (chap. the Topics and the Sophistical Refutations. « What has been written by Cardano and Telesio. 118). Shea (New York. 303-5 : ch. 1975). 5 . and in order to fight successfully with his opponents he had to learn the art of arguing. all of whom Galileo ignored or at least claimed that he had never read. Cardano. The theory of scientific demonstration contained in the Posterior Analytics was closely studied by Galileo in a series of still unpublished logical disputations (preserved among the MSS of the Galilean Collection at the National Library in Florence. 236. this is not how the things stand.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 249 which the least important thing is that what is written is true.

390-1. Throughout the Dialogo Galileo does not miss any chance of showing off his mastery of the art of arguing and disputing by exposing fallacies and paralogisms in most of the arguments put forward by Aristotelians against the motion of the Earth. «is 6 This is the old mediaeval Latin translation of Aristotle which was still largely used in the 16th century: see for example ARISTOTELIS STAGIRITI Opera omnia. and shall ourselves. syllogismus litigiosus and paralogismus. which is based on premises that are true and immediate (demonstratio est quando ex veris et primis syllogismus erit}. it has the purpose of making the two participants. non sunt autem}.250 Science. 208). 1 on demonstratio. In other words. as was pointed out by Piccolomini. avoid saying anything self-contradictory» (methodum invenire per quam poterimus syllogizare de omni proposito problemate ex probabilibus. A knowledge of this way of arguing was part of the necessary equipment of a philosopher. the subject of the Posterior Analytics. i (Lugduni. i. Topicorum libri. when sustaining a dispute. whether the Earth moves or stands still. but are not really so (litigiosus est syllogismus ex us. Galileo followed Piccolomini's advice and learned the techniques of the dialectical and sophistical syllogisms so that he could expose any fallacy in the arguments produced by his opponents. The purpose of the Topics is «to discover a method by which we shall be able to argue from probable opinions about any subject or problem presented to us. not in order that he might himself make use of it. the «questioner» and the «answerer». but insistently claim that they are exactly as they should be in order to support their case» (VII. c. syllogismus. Salviati warns Simplicio «to be cautious in acknowledging as true many experiences produced by those who never made them. adds Salviati. quae videntur probabilia. et ipsi disputationem sustinentes nihil dicamus repugnans)6. dialectus. the shots of a piece of artillery would not show any observable variation. «The simple truth». while syllogistically correct. The subject of the Topics was described by Aristotle as «the dialectical syllogism based on premises that are merely probable» (dialecticus syllogismus est qui ex probabilibus est collectus] and was contrasted with the demonstrative or scientific syllogism. In the Sophistical Refutations Aristotle deals with the sophistical syllogism. 1580). able to sustain their parts in a dialectical discussion. . After arguing that. which is based on premises that seem to be probable. but that he might avoid it and prevent being trapped in sophistical arguments used by his opponents. fall short of the conditions of scientific accuracy. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought The Topics treats forms of reasoning which.

since it is so obvious. compares logic to an organ and argues that one thing is to know the rules of an art. Simplicio's rhetotical tirade in defence of Aristotle is effectively deflated by Salviati who. another thing is to be skilful in practicing it: . For all his admiration for Aristotle's skill in arguing. and that you have not noticed that Aristotle presupposes what is in question (VII.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 251 that the effects of these shots must be exactly the same whether the terrestrial globe moves or is at rest. Galileo does not hesitate to attack some of the most commonly established Aristotelian arguments by showing that they are based on paralogisms. This direct attack delivered against Aristotle's reputation as the greatest authority on logic and the art of arguing provokes Simplicio's immediate reaction: I beg you. but he declares: I am amazed that you need to be shown Aristotle's paralogism. to speak with a greater respect for Aristotle. How could you persuade anyone that he who was the first and only one to explain wonderfully the form of syllogism. will discern without difficulty the fallacy and equivocation which made the argument produced for the immobility seem conclusive» (ibid. and in a word all parts of logic. 209). Salviati not only does not agree with Simplicio in regarding it as a conclusive demonstration. 59). paralogisms. Signer Salviati. 59). demonstration. which at first sight appear to be true in so far as the old idea of the immobility of the Earth keeps us caught among equivocations » (VII. Salviati's argument is further supported by Sagredo who joins forces to unmask the fallacy of the traditional argument: «I understand very well that whoever will imprint in his imagination this idea of all terrestrial things sharing the daily rotation as something that belongs to them by nature. sophistical refutations. After Simplicio has presented Aristotle's argument to prove that heavy bodies move in order to go to the centre of the universe. the way of discovering sophisms. could then equivocate and make such a serious mistake as to suppose as known that which is in question? (VII. The same will be true of all the other experiments that have been or can be produced. wittingly playing on words and deliberately exploiting the equivocal or ambiguous meaning of the word organum traditionally used as the title for the collection of the Aristotelian logical treatises.). in the same way as in the old idea they thought that it belonged to them to be at rest around the centre.

one learns to paint by makins drawings and paintings all the time. is the same as the centre of the world. and what Aristotle intends to prove. 60). And do you say that this is not a manifest paralogism? (VII. Salviati. Galileo's poetical style was not a substitute for philosophical arguments. not the logical. this cannot be stated unless one presupposes first that the centre of the Earth. one learns poetry by reading poets all the time. Similarly. is the organ with which we philosophize. One does not learn to play the organ from those who build organs. as it can happen that a craftsman is excellent in building organs. 59-60). can afford to be more confident and to reassure Simplicio that « philosophy itself cannot but benefit from our disputes. we shall have gained new ac- . being the winner. In fact the simile is used by Salviati as an essential part of his argument aiming at showing that even Aristotle sometimes resorts to paralogisms: Now — he goes on — returning to the object of our discussion. for if our ideas are true. there are many who know the whole of the art of poetry by heart. I say that what Aristotle sees in the motion of light bodies is the moving away of the fire from any place of the surface of the terrestrial globe and its rising straight upwards. This is what we doubt. This stringent argument leaves Simplicio's position defenceless. as you know very well. and such are only the mathematical. from which we see light bodies rise and move away. but is not trained to play them. 62). This impressive and convincing use by Galileo of the literary form of the simile should not be regarded as an example of rhetorical ways of arguing. but from those who play them. that is to say that the terrestrial globe is placed in the centre of the world.252 Science. There are others who have learned all Leonardo's prescriptions. indeed Aristotle Jihnself makes it move towards the concave surface of the sphere of the Moon. but are incapable of composing even four lines. so someone can be a great logician but have little skill in using logic. and the whole world » (VII. his reaction is an acknowledgment of defeat: «This way of philosophizing aims to overthrow the whole of natural philosophy and to ruin the heavens and the Earth. But that such a circumference is that of the world or is concentric with it. But. so that to move towards it is also to move towards the circumference of the world. but an important aspect of them. but would be incapable of painting a single chair. This motion is truly towards a circumference greater than the Earth. but only as a document of his mastery of the art of poetry. one learns to make demonstrations by reading books full of demonstrations. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Logic. books (VII.

62). which Simplicio considers so strong as to be irrefutable: «I want also. the impulse to fly off along the tangent to the surface is overcome by the tendency to move towards the centre of the world. In them Galileo displays all his skill in the art of arguing. so that all heavy bodies lying on the surface of the Earth are kept firmly in their . only to surprise in the end both him and his audience by revealing their faults and paralogisms and thus destroying the thesis being maintained.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 253 quisitions. are in the form of disputations on specific and precise questions. Salviati brings Simplicio step by step to acknowledge that. This remark draws our attention to an important aspect of Galileo's way of philosophizing. This is particularly noticeable in those cases where he is so keen to show off his virtuosity in arguing that he first pretends to add arguments apparently supporting his opponent's point of view. in the case of the rotation of the Earth. You should instead worry about some of the philosophers and should try to help and support them. Most of his works. that is to the fact that throughout his life he produced and developed his ideas of science and of nature by engaging in disputes with his opponents. if they are false. for which different and opposing arguments are analyzed. Signor Simplicio. An example of this way of arguing is offered by Salviati when he discusses in the second Day of the Dialogo Ptolemy's objection that a rotation of the Earth would fling off everything on its surface. for as far as science itself is concerned it cannot but advance» (VII. Salviati's refutation of the argument is all the more surprising as it is accomplished through reasoning based on simple mathematical ideas which even Simplicio can understand and accept. by showing in a way which is even more obvious to the senses how true it is that heavy bodies which are turned at a great speed around a stable centre acquire an impetus or impulse to move away from this centre. by refuting them the old doctrines will be further confirmed. 216). from the Discorso on floating bodies of 1612 to the Dialogo of 1632. even though by nature they have a tendency to go there » (VII. to strengthen even further the knot of the argument. Salviati's remark about the benefits to be derived from philosofical disputes is further stressed by a marginal note stating that « philosophy can receive increment from disputes and oppositions between philosophers». At first Salviati pretends to add further support to the argument. He seemed to take such pleasure in the practice of this art that often in his disputes he aimed clearly to win not only the truth but also the argument.

nevertheless he convincingly shows that most of the arguments by which his opponents try to knock him down are fallacious. «and often in gatherings of people endowed with intellectual curiosity he produces stupenduous arguments about the Copernican opinion. and by building new arguments on the ruins of the old ones. At the end of a long and complicated discussion where all the concessions apparently made by Salviati to Simplicio turn out to weaken and finally destroy the latter's position and to consolidate that of the former. as he often does. in Signor Federico Ghislieri's house. which he believes to be true» (XII. « Galileo is here ». he put on a wonderful show. The disputational style of the Dialogo was not just a literary form based on rhetorical conventions. which aimed to provide new solutions to old problems by showing that the old solutions were based on unacceptable principles and on fallacious arguments. announced Querengo on the 30th of December. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought place. before answering his opponent's reasons. for while you try to knock it down. but was required by the nature of Galileo's scientific enterprise. That style also reflects Galileo's experience of public debates in which he was engaged at crucial moments of his life. 230). your very attacks help it to stand up and to become stronger (VII. 212). sometimes in one house sometimes in another house. he amplified and strengthened . as some recent critics believe. Salviati cannot hide his satisfaction and pride in having won: You can see now how great is the strength of truth.254 Science. A vivid portrait of Galileo in the act of disputing and of displying his extraordinary skill in arguing to overpower his opponents emerges from Antonio Quarengo's letters written from Rome between December 1615 and January 1616 to inform the Cardinal Alessandro d'Este about the developments of the discussions which Galileo was having with opponents of the Copernican system in order to persuade influental members of the Church to take a position in favour of it. What gave me the greatest pleasure was that. among fifteen or twenty people who deliver cruel assaults on him. On the 20th of January Querengo sent a description of what was going on in these gatherings that would be perfectly fitting for most of the discussions in the Dialogo between Salviati and Simplicio: You would enjoy it greatly if you could hear Galileo argue. Particularly last Monday. But his position is so fortified that he can make fun of everybody: though the novelty of his opinion is not very convincing.

when he acknowledged that his main mistake in writing the Dialogo had been to indulge in that « natural complacency which everybody has of his own subtelties. by showing that I was more clever than any common man in finding ingenious and apparently probable arguments even for false conclusions» (XIX. Galileo was after all sincere in his deposition at the trial in Rome on the 30th of April 1633. 226-7). . but only in order to destroy them later and make his opponents appear the more ridiculous (XII.Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric 255 them with new arguments which seemed very well grounded. 342).

PerGio:BatiftaLandini MDCXXXII.DVCA DI TOSC ANA. CON L1CENZA DE' SVPE^IORI. E COPERNICANO* 7rofonendo indetertninatamente le ragioni TilofoficJjc. . £ Filofofo. IN FIORENZA. Doue ne i congreflidi quattrogiornate fidifcorre fopra i due MASSIMI SISTEMI DEL MONDO TOLEMAICO. quanto per I'altrapartf. e Matematico frimario dd SERENISSIMO GR.D I ALD O G O I GALILEO GALILEI LINCEO MATEMATICO SOPRAORDINARIO D E L L O S T V D I O DI P I S A . CON PRI VILEGI. e Naturali tantoper I'vna. and made him a cultural symbol to suit many tastes. Dialogo (1632): title page: the disputation that precipitated Galileo's trial. Galileo Galilei.

iii (Opere. Discorsi e dimonstrazioni matematiche. xii). whether Duhem's conventionalist or positivist conception of science could in fact give an adequate account of the work of the great constructive geniuses who have actually created our experimental science . (Chicago. one could legitimately do so by pointing out that with the concrete philosophical and scientific Roberto Bellarmino a Paolo Antonio Foscarini. logicians. de Santillana. 1902.12 Galileo Galilei: A Philosophical Symbol Commenting some half century ago on the conventionalist view of the Copernican system put forward by Cardinal Bellarmine1. who had grasped the exact significance on the experimental method. It is an indication of the permanent philosophical interest of Galileo's writings that any historical account of his scientific activity must involve the issue of interpreting his philosophy of science. for example. De Santillana questions. Professor de Santillana has pointed out that a wider reading of Bellarmine's writings shows that his view of astronomy. moreover.. a discovery of the real physical world or a conceptual invention. the 'very new science dealing with a very ancient subject'4 upon which he pinned his conviction of the physical truth of the Copernican system. 2 P. 12 aprile 1615\ in Le Opera di Galileo Galilei. following the example of Osiander. naz. as distinct from that of critics like Bellarmine or of other.of the work of Galileo. so much in keeping with Duhem's own philosophy of science. 172-2. 3 G. Essai sur la notion de theorie physique de Platan a Galilee. naz. a fiction that enabled him to predict? If it were necessary to defend Galileo's intransigently absolute conception of verified scientific theories against such critics as Duhem. against this assertion. 4 Galileo. 'Annales de philosophic chretienne'. (Firenze. pp. Protesting. Duhem. viii). 588. ed. p. ed. 107-8. The Crime of Galileo. Was his new science of inertal motion.. in his recent study3. 190. is an isolated island of conventionalism surrounded by a sea of scholastic metaphysical realism concerning all other subjects. 584-5. and not the scientific realists Galileo and Kepler. 1 . vi (1908). more systematic. Pierre Duhem famously declared2 that it was they. intorno a due nuove scienze. 1955). pp.

A. Oeuvres. accepted for example in Whewell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840)12. (Paris. been able to find in Galileo their heart's desire. 1758). 129. cf. Biographic universelle. xii. Ch. Montucla. xv. 2nd by M. 6 5 . 379-83.. the rotation of the sunspots. ed. and by the use of mathematics he had shown how to solve them. 417. For other examples see J.. of the New or Experimental Philosophy7. clxi. Thomas Hearne. for example in the Royal Society. 2nd. Mecanique analytique. ii. I. Harmonic Universelle (Paris. 31. 10 (London. 10 S. Marin Mersenne. however much they have differed from each other. iii. 1636). ed. 9 History of Great Britain. Galileo had both practised it and married it with mathematical reasoning. It was no doubt his reputation as the founder of the experimental method. prop. Dr Wallis's Account of some Passages of his own Life in Peter Langtoft's Chronicle. Ch. 1830). §5. it was the one most calculated to be effective. Book v. In fact Galileo has been made to occupy almost every position on the line of antithesis between his and Bellarmine's contributions to the Copernican debate. 113 sqq. (Paris. Lagrange. 7 Cf. Although Mersenne failed to be able to get Galileo's results when he repeated his famous experiments with a ball rolling down an inclinical plane6. 88. Ch. (London. ii. Michaud. Ch. §3 and Book vi. have all. This was his chief reputation during the eighteenth century also. 221. (Paris. as the founder. Essai sur les moeurs et I'esprit des nations (1756). 1840).F. i. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought situation and the actual methodological and technical problems which he had to face. 121. of the experimental method. But when one looks at the many different and contradictory interpretations that have been given of Galileo's philosophy of science and of its significance in the history of thought. ed. 1939). Philosophers looking for historical precedent for some interpretation or reform of science. (London. ii. (Neuchatel. who had destroyed the Aristotelian cosmology and won the martyr's palm by his advocacy of the new system of Copernicus5. Galileo was regarded by the end of the seventeenth century. ii. i. pp. Dugas. 8 Siecle de Louis XVI (1752). 11 J. 1856). vii. Le mecanique au XVHe siecle. Histoire des mathematiques. ix. Oeuvres. The critics may safely be left to cancel each other out. i. under the House of Stuart.F. Koyre. Montucla10 and Lagrange11 asserted that the laws Galileo discovered in mechanics implied a profounder genius than the novelties he detected in the sky. with Francis Bacon. when Voltaire8 and David Hume9 pointed out that whereas Bacon had only preached the use of experiment. For his contemporaries. (London. 1759). that encouraged the strange elaboration in the R. et des mouvements de toutes sortes de corps'. p. A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy. 1811). 1725). corollaire i. Etudes Galileennes.W. Traitez de la nature des sons. 12 Book xii. (Paris.258 Science. 260. 167-8. ii. Ch. 2nd. 36-38. the discoverer of the mountains on the moon. Jupiter's satellites and the author of the mathematical law of free fall. By a direct appeal to observation he had ruined the dogmatic belief of the schools that the great problems of physics could be solved by pure reason alone. (Geneva. which they themselves are advocating. 1954).L. 112. pp. Herschel. one is tempted to conclude that no such defence is is really necessary. Galileo's fame was chiefly that of the telescopic observer of the heavens. 371-2. 412. Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences (1837). 1769). 73.

Aristotle. op. and of the gasp of surprise and indignation from the vast assembly of the professors and students gathered below when the two objects struck the ground with the same resounding blow. p. 26-7. Viviani. 28-32. 54-5. Galileo. p. He incorporated the inconsistency into his new dynamics. op. (Ithaca. But this did not upset Galileo at all. De Motu (Opere. .. Lane Cooper13 has shown that half a page written sixty years after the date of the alleged event by Galileo's disciple and biographer. An experiment of this kind had in fact been mentioned in various writings since late classical times. for the Aristotelians had predicted an incorrect proportion between the velocities of different weights. i). Comte held that the real object of science had always been 'savior. and in his De Motu. The experimental results in fact disagreed with both the old and the new dynamics. 'Oh how readily are true demonstrations drawn from true principles!'17. pp. is the origin of the full nineteenth-century version14 of the young professor toiling up the winding stair of the Leaning Tower with two different weights (in some accounts the larger one was almost as large as himself) to make his great challenge to the elderly Aristotelians. two acquaintances of Galileo claimed to have dropped weights from the Leaning Tower. op. De Motu. when in fact he was not disagreeing with Aristotle on this point. p. Lane Cooper. Galileo. as his law of falling bodies stated. The truth is that it was not on experimental grounds. exclaimed Galileo in 1590. The heavier body always reached the ground considerably before the lighter. cit. 1851). 334. In 1612. that Galileo finally parted company with Aristotle. pour prevoir'. The Orbs of Heaven. 116. written about 1590 when he was at Pisa. See Lane Cooper. viii). and to disprove the Aristotelian teaching that the speed would be proportional to the weight. and the Tower of Pisa. knowing in order to foresee. 63-5.. p. which marks the success of all his scientific inquiries.16 The results were always the same. to annex him in 1830 as also a founder of positivism. i (Opere. 334: Lane Cooper. O. equally unembarrassed by any great knowledge of the actual historical circumstances of his experiments. and foreseeing in 13 14 15 16 17 18 Lane Cooper. and again in 1641.18 In making this move he showed that genius not for pure experiment but for theoretical reasoning using experiment. but because he came to re-think the whole theory of motion. pp.Galileo Galilei: A Philosophical Symbol 259 nineteenth century of the story of Galileo dropping two different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. (London. Galileo claims to have performed it 'from a high tower'15. that all bodies fall with the same acceleration. One reason for the nineteenth-century elaboration of this story is undoubtedly that Galileo's reputation as the founder of the experimental method had led Auguste Comte. and that confidence in theoretical reasoning even in the face of immediate experimental contradiction. pp. 86-7. Mitchell. 279. and made it agree with his experiment.. by attributing it to air resistance. iv. cf. cit. cit.M. 1935). In his account of the history of this story. and Galileo predicted that the velocities would be the same. Galileo. pp. Discorsi. in order to prove.

We see thus . Comte'. according to M. the actual facts of falling'.8. (London. 1866). are termed their laws. He makes certain assumptions. 20 E. from the second German ed. transl. The fundamental doctrine of a true philosophy. always the same in the same circumstances. is the following: .S.19 Even more explicit was the positivist interpretation of Galileo given towards the end of the century by the great Viennese historian and critic of mechanics. 1847). and Whewell's views were largely influenced by Kant. The J. wholly without preconceived opinions. the grandfather of the modern school of logical empiricism. but propounds the questions. 320 sqq. and became distinctly present to the minds of speculative men from the time of Bacon. 19 . p. however. but endeavours to ascertain by trial whether they are correct or not. 2nd. (London. He does not. 'and the character by which he defines Positive Philosophy. 6. 317. who is the principal source of the modern school most opposed to positivism. Ernst Mach. 140. J.260 Science. The Science of Mechanics. The constant resemblances which link phaenomena together. i. not absolute. Mach. but investigated and established. by T. Comte claims no originality for this conception of human knowledge. 2.S. pp. Mill. cf. wrote Mill. The laws of phaenomena are all we know respecting them. but only its relations to other facts in the way of succession or of similitude. His view of the history of the matter was very clearly described by his friend J. . (London. at the very outset'. that Galileo does not supply us with a theory of the falling bodies. 2nd. Their essential nature.. rest there.. ii. 'M. 21 Prilosophy of the Inductive Sciences. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought order to gain control. 130. like Aristotle. and Galileo. McCormack. whom he regards as collectively the founders of the Positive Philosophy'. Auguste Comte and Positivism. he wrote of Galileo's treatment of the problem of falling bodies. 295 sqq. Descartes.We have no knowledge of anything but Phaenomena: and our knowledge of phaenomena is relative. nor the real mode of production. These relations are constant: that is. We know not the essence.. (Paris. either efficient or final. Auguste Comte. §§2. He avows that it has been virtually acted on from the earliest period by all who have made any real contribution to science. Ch. 1830). 'by the fact that he does not ask why heavy bodies fall. and the constant sequences which unite then as antecedent and consequent. 'The modern spirit that Galileo discovers is evidenced here. Embracing the apparent paradox that it was Aristotelian science and not Galileo's that was primarily empirical. . are unknown and inscrutable to us'. and their ultimate causes. How do heavy bodies fall? in agreement with what law do freely falling bodies more? The method he employs to ascertain this law is this.20 The great opponent of Comte and Mill in the philosophy of science and the interpretation of scientists was William Whewell21. of any fact. Kant characterised the the significance of Galileo's methods as residing in their recognition of the essentially theoretical character of scientific inquiry. 1893). Cours de philosophic positive. Premiere lecon. ed. Mill. ed.

1100-1700. and when he showed up the Aristotelian causes and substances in physics as mere names. pp. naz. but Archimedean in their mathematical form. viii) 202. with the great work of Galileo and his contemporaries. iii. and he often used different arguments for tactical reasons which cannot each be generalised into a total point of view. some modern critics have been tempted to suppose that Galileo was really indifferent to experimental tests. 23 22 . Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science. 60. must approach nature. according to which concordant phenomena alone can be admitted as laws of nature.). These were no economical summaries such as Mach conceived scientific laws to be. 285. Le mecanique au XVIIe siecle. it is clear that he was neither an early Comtean positivist nor a Machian phenomenalist nor a Kantian rationalist. Galileo's spokesman in the Dialogue. Aristotelian in that they were inherent in matter. who agrees to everything the master likes. Critique of Pure Reason. he wrote. . which she herself produces on he own plan. and in the other hand the experiment. Dugas. 25 Discorsi.C. as seen for example in Galileo's treatment of falling bodies. he wrote like a positivist. that Galileo's chief merits were rather as a theorist than an experimenter. holding in one hand its principles. neither a Millian empiricist nor an unempirical theorist. 24 Galileo. (Oxford. Cf. 'perche cosi e necessario che segua'. but as an appointed judge. It was certainly no positivist who debated so passionately the truth of the Copernican system or who claimed to be reading in mathematical language the real book of Nature and to be discovering in verified theories the real physical world of the primary qualities and their laws. Koyre. . neither an unqualified Platonist nor a wholesale enemy of Aristotle. 72-3. Etudes Galileennes. in order to be taught by it: but not in the character of a pupil. iii (Opere. but a world of real substances and causes. 'They comprehended'. 1953). Turning from this sample of Galileo's critics to his own words and deeds. pp. Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo.Galileo Galilei: A Philosophical Symbol 261 'new light that flashed upon all students of nature'. 303-10. Kant.22 Developing this line of thought. Preface to the second edition (1787). Galileo's normal method was to deal with problems piecemeal. ii. ii (Opere. which it has devised according to those principles. But this was in order to put aside irrelevant questions and isolate his problem. who compells the witness to answer the questions which he himself proposes'. said Salviati. 'that reason has insight into that only. When he decided to ignore the cause of the acceleration of falling bodies and concentrate on the descriptive law. Platonic in that they were mathematicall determined. p.25 as he said. 'whatever the cause may be'. Reason. Crombie. was their recognition that physics must determine its objects a priori.24 And indeed it is very often difficult to distinguish Galileo's thought experiments from his actual ones.23 'Io senza experienza son sicuro che 1'effetto seguira come vi dico'. 171. 80-89. ed. See A. 66-67. .

Postscript See above. Comte proposed the dangerous formula.262 Science.e. stare super vias antiquas. 27 26 . able to foresee yet unobserved results. viii). ch. when Galileo wrote cavalierly of experiment. It is not by reading our own problems backwards that historical experience is enlightening. 28 i. for the dating of Galileo's writings. and the final test of a true hypothesis was by agreement with experiment. 296. But the formula universally applied would destroy the validity of historical evidence altogether and would make all historical distinctions and precedents entirely meaningless. Faithful to the paradoxical battle-cry of reform. with Appendix (a). iv (Opere. p. as Kant perspicaciously indicated. We may disagree with his conviction that a verified theory is an absolute truth. we may treat his Neoplatonic realism as a regulative belief and his mathematical primary qualities as physical models. All these are the insights we may get into our own problems from the study of a great thinker of the past. but by exposing ourselves to the surprise that thinkers so effective should have had aims and presuppositions so different from our own. then precedent can be claimed in what he must really have been doing to be successful28. It is the utterly metaphysical character of a science that was so technically successful that is the most arresting feature of all Galileo's inquiries. ii (Opere. that if no precedent can be found in what the chosen authority states his methods and aims to be. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Similarly.27 It is clear. p. philosophers have extracted from Galileo's writings an almost endless variety of meanings suited to present objectives. But these insights are not the same as the dead man's own philosophy. what the scientist was 'really' doing according to the interpreter's view of the methods and content of science. even if he denies it. vii). Dialogo. 148. over the pure empiricist who can see only the facts already observed. he did so to assert the superiority of the theoretician. Certainly this distinction is not totally invalid. 10.26 On other occasions he wrote that one negative instance was enough to demolish a theory. Discorsi. that the method of theoretical and experimental enquiry which Galileo described in so many passages is what we should now call hypothetico-deductive. To justify this use of history. we may see his methods as a new syntax and as the origin of philosophies that developed only after he was dead.

Contact with these captivating intelligences (as I said on another occasion) was like Galileo's description of the stimulation given to the ear by the musical interval of the fifth. at once seducing and awakening. p. Physis. p. 106-108. .13 Alexandre Koyre and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne I REMEMBER vividly the occasion when I first encountered the work of Alexandre Koyr6. xii. where in the volumes for 1939 I found the three parts of Koyre"'s Etudes Galileennes. viii. Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638). Firenze. 1970. About the same time I encountered also another French wartime publication. They focused attention on the need to study in depth the particular intellectual contexts in 1. 18901909. Favaro. Barbera. in Le opere. which was published in 1947. i. Galileo Galilei. 149. and the assumptions and capabilities that made them impossible or unacceptable to earlier generations. I was checking some French publications which had arrived in the Cambridge University Library after the gap of the war years. direttore A. Robert Lenoble's Marin Mersenne ou la naissance du mecanisme (1943). By this time I had been introduced at Cambridge by CD. I had become particularly interested in the approach to the subject made by L6on Brunschvicg in Les etapes de la philosophie mathematique and by the work of Etienne Gilson on the history of medieval philosophy. and I had been much taken by the advice given by R. Crombie. ristampa 1968. 1968". 20 vol. "Premio Galileo. In 1946 I had just accepted an academic post in the history and philosophy of science. G. A. and I was completing my last biological paper. seeming at the same time to kiss and to bite. It must have been in 1946.C. among them the Actualites scientifiques et industrielles.1 They showed the enlightenment that can be gained only by looking beneath the surface of immediate scientific results and by seeking to identify the intellectual assumptions and the technical capabilities that made certain discoveries possible and explanations acceptable to a particular generation or group. Broad to the classical study of the history of philosophy through conceptual analysis.G. Collingwood to look in the study of texts for the questions assumed in the answers given..

He greeted me with his usual courage and gentleness. relevant to Koyre's own vision of the history of science. . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought which scientific changes have been brought about. as I have said elsewhere. 1986. p.C. Koyre and Lenoble. and with them the assumptions about both the nature of scientific knowledge and the nature of the world that have generated resistence to change.2 One might say that by intellectualizing the historiography of science Koyre risked disembodying the history of scientific ideas. London. and I saw him for the last time in hospital just before his death on 28 April 1964. London. p.S. as also in the U. 1963. Koyre.C. 1956. despite the perception and skill evident in all his work. intellectualized the historiography of science. but first I want to establish a viewpoint. who took up the subject professionally just after the Second World War. and of course in France. and also we should add Edwin Burtt with his much earlier Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science (1924.). p. Heinemann. xvi. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. and we said farewell. p. revised 1932). They made it part. In many long conversations I discovered this extraordinary man. and for comments on myself and on the historiography of science A. This conception of the history of science was very inspiring. "Les origines de la science moderne". and showed that it had to be often a central part. mediated through particular visions of existence from which the arts 2. C. when he was being treated for leukemia. Diogene. of a more general historiography of thought. Crombie (ed. from which with his beguiling smile he would draw some fresh and unexpected insight. Koyre. New York. 847-865. always fascinating in the intellectual perceptions deployed over his formidable range of learning. the history of men's relations with nature and their fellow beings as perceiver and knower and agent. I spent some time with him in Paris about six months before he died. not easily persuaded to change but always open to disagreement. Redondi. whom I first met in Brussels. 1973. It is true that his example may have entailed a risk.264 Science. 3-31. Oxford and Princeton during the 1950s and later. 482-490. The Western scientific movement with which we are concerned has been. although I cannot think of any damage that may have come from his particular style of deploying his insights. and "Commentary" in A. Cf. ed. This I shall illustrate briefly from some more recent work on Galileo and Mersenne.A. De la mystique a la science. and especially Alexandre Koyre. and then many times in Paris. for publications A. I knew them all. Gillispie. Alexandre (1892-1964)" om Dictionary of Scientific Biography. P. and it was especially Koyre who through his series of publications and his personal influence inspired those of us in Great Britain. Paris. 216-221. vii. "Koyre. Scientific Change. But one can both benefit and differ from even the most inspiring of examples. Charles Scribner's Sons.

within a much wider intellectual movement. Summer 1986. Annali dell' Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze. They developed with this the conception of a rational scientific system incorporating the solutions of particular problems. 2. "Experimental science and the rational artist in early modern Europe". a vision at once of natural science and of nature. By the scientific movement I mean then the history of a specific vision created within Western culture. Cf. edict. History of European Ideas. and those concerned with general systems of explanation.C. both in the perception and solution. 21-31. "What is the history of science?". . mathematics and natural science and their competence to control subject-matters of all kinds. each entailing a capacity for self-correction. pp. at once of knowledge and of the object of that knowledge. from abstract ideas to material things. of different theories of scientific demonstration. mathematicians and medical thinkers developed thereby the notion of a problem as distinct from a doctrine.of problems within the technical possibilities available. At the level of scientific thinking. revelation or some other habitual means. Scientific argument has been diversified explicitly through its history into different particular forms in accordance with the demands of different subject-matters. the history of science has been the history of argument. vii. The Greek philosophers. cxv. explain and control it. some given by nature. London. G. and some made by man. p. Daedalus. and in the justification of the enterprise whether intellectual or moral or practical. "Historical commitments of European science". A. by deploying within its discourse designed observation and 3. a system in which formal reasoning matched natural causation. 29-51. and the consequent habit of envisaging thought and action in all situations as the perceiving and solving of problems. ethical and practical as well as scientific and metaphysical. From these two fundamental matching conceptions. Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition. It has proceeded by postulating principles as in the Greek mathematical sciences. 1982. have followed all the essential character and style of Western philosophy. 49-74. of formal proof and of causal demonstration. Crombie. p. We can trace this vision to the commitment of some ancient Greeks. This specific and selective Western scientific vision at the same time closed elsewhere open questions of what kind of world men found themselves inhabiting and so of what means they should use to explore. 3. to the decision of questions of all kinds.3 It can be identified most precisely as an approach to nature effectively competent to solve problems of two kinds: those presented by particular phenomena.Alexander Koyre and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne 265 and sciences have followed. 1986. by argument and evidence as distinct from custom. 1994. Historical questions arise then at different levels. vii. and of different conceptions of the nature of things as the object of scientific inquiry. initially by the ancient Greeks. Duckworth.

Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought experiment using appropriate instruments and apparatus. with their perceptions of problems and their expectations in the uncertainty of an unknown future. by probabilistic and statistical analysis. The historiography of science is concerned then with the history of scientific argument. On this I shall make two further comments. and with their response both in accepting and in opposing innovation and change.266 Science. and upon its enduring identity in diffusion to other cultures. This is not very surprising since the tradition has had its existence both in living people and in texts available for recovery and translation. we do not likewise have to look far into the scientific tradition to see that the whole programme has presupposed the stability at once of nature and of human thinking. and whether from the one or from the other there has been an explicit continuation of education in the same styles of thought and practice. As ourselves products of a particular time and culture. and with intellectual and moral behaviour in relation to such argument. societies and circumstances. dispositions and memories that have varied greatly with different periods. expectations. These have affected both the problems perceived and the solutions found acceptable. by historical derivation as in the study of languages and of living organisms. The whole affair as I have said elsewhere is an invitation to treat the historiography of science as a kind of comparative historical anthropology of scientific thinking. we may then give ourselves the therapeutic surprise that effective scientific thinking could be based on assumptions and have aims and motivations so various and so different from our own. by taxonomy. and also the evaluations of desirable and undesirable ends and their motivations. if we insist upon the cultural specificity of the Western scientific tradition in its origins and initial development. this has been done explicitly as the revival or appropriation of an existing tradition. Secondly. we do not have to look far below the surface of scientific inquiry and its immediate results to see that the whole historical process has gone on in a context of intellectual and moral commitments. First. by hypothetical modelling and analogy. accepting all this. but whenever Western scientific thinking has been revived or refocused or transferred from one culture to another. Of course this kind of stratospheric view of nearly three millenia of intellectual history sweeps insouciantly over periods or circumstances of incompetence or indifference. Before all we must be concerned with people and their vision. But always if an argument was either to demonstrate or to persuade acceptably it has been expected to satisfy the stable criteria of logical consistency and agreement with the evidence: criteria formalized by the Greeks themselves and their successors within the scientific movement. . It has been aimed in different social contexts almost as much at persuasion as at demonstration.

published also in English in Annali. A large part of the argument within the scientific movement. in ibid. 1983.). When Galileo insisted that we cannot cheat nature. This is an historical phenomenon of the profoundest human importance of which historians and philosophers are. Propositions asserting factual regularities could be tested directly by observation and have been the most stable. p. Propositions asserting beliefs about the fundamental nature of the world have not usually been proposed for testing but have been assumed in the development of theories. J. in Le opere.Alexander Koyre and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne 267 Nobody knows what nature is. notably in the 17th century. 125-129. which has guided the reshaping of all subsequent studies of 4.. The scientific movement has comprised distinct kinds of knowledge which have had to be tested in different ways. obliged to take account. i. and of methods and techniques for acquiring and developing it. p. or should be if they have any intellectual responsibility. Koyre once said to me. p. ii. Galileo. however much we may cheat our fellow men. and motivated no doubt by some catastrophic ideology.5 The illumination given by Koyre to our understanding of Galileo came from his perception of Galileo as primarily a theoretical thinker by contrast with the dedicated experimenter then currently presented. Randall and myself: see his "Aristotelici e moderni: le ipotesi e la natura" in L. he was defining the identity at once of nature and of natural science. From whatever level of its activity. so far as one can diagnose from his somewhat undiscriminating comments on Koyre. . 3-7. until they have been replaced by the rethinking of the foundations. p. The specific history of science as a problem-solving activity is not then the same as the history of ideas or ideology lacking its identifying modes of self-correction and criteria of acceptability.. Padova. except that it is whatever it is that falsifies our hypotheses. 5 Unawareness of a specifically scientific movement seems to be exemplified by Paolo Rossi-Monti. 1. vii. Olivieri (ed. 1982. There can be no doubt of the importance and influence of that illumination. Antenore. Only someone with no grasp of scientific knowledge. has been directed towards establishing its identity as distinct from other forms of contemporary erudition. Ernst Cassirer.4 For it was impossible to solve problems in nature whether theoretical or practical by magic or by commercial bargaining or political convenience or chicanery. Lettera a Madame Cristina di Lorean (1615). (as above n. 326-327. Aristotelismo veneto e scienza moderna.H. would want to think it was. 155. that are communicable to all mankind. \. little of the history of thought. cf. Propositions asserting theoretical explanations must be tested by their observable consequences and have tended to be replaced with the development of more precise or more general theories. 3). Le mecaniche. the Western scientific movement has generated through its history a progressive accumulation of objective and reproducible knowledge.

in Le opere. "Sources of Galileo's early natural philosophy". This was ignored by Koyre. Carugo and A. 1983. A.R. . 3-68. in ibid. Reidel. Galileo's Natural Philosophy (forthcoming). and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution. notably in describing how he discovered the ratio of distance to time in falling bodies.268 Science. Galileo took the "superhuman Archimedes"7 as his model. p. In his brilliant demolition of this older image of Galileo. 1943. 5 June 1637.C. Carugo. A. he had to decide by experiment whether his postulated ratio was that found in the one actual world. Annali. in Le opere. rationally certified either by self-evidence or by sufficient reason: for what sort of world would we have if they were not true? Then.61 suppose that no one would now agree with that extreme interpretation. Koyre also showed that Galileo's principal model for mathematical physics was not Plato but Archimedes. 271-286. Maccagni (ed. Shea (ed. (as above n. G.C. D.). in J.B.). 90-91. Barbera. Crombie. 3). 400428. he could derive from these a complete account of the experimental phenomena without any need for experiments.C. p. Firenze. p. Koyr6. He went as far as he could in postulating possible theoretical worlds but. 6. Saggi su Galileo Galilei. 2. "Galileo and Plato". Theory Change. 1975. Science History Publications. Dordrecht. Archimedes.C. and Galileo's Methodology: Proceedings of the 1978 Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science. Hintikka. Righini Bonelli and W. New York. 7 January 1639. Cf.. v. Agazzi (ed. in C. but A. 157-175. 300. Galileo's Natural Philosophy. Crombie and A. but he realized very clearly that in the more complex subject-matter of the science of motion he could not reduce the postulates to the one true set by a purely theoretical analysis. 8. p. Baliani. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Galileo and of much else. Galileo to Pierre Carcavy. Galileo. (forthcoming). and to G.. in M. 7. Ancient Axiomatics. with further references. De motu gravium. 303-305. This gives us a better insight into Galileo's conception of the place of experiment in a scientific argument. Reason. but he did so even more extensively in another way: in order to explore ever more complex subject-matters by experiment. p. preprint 1969. with full bibliography. set out by purely theoretical analysis to reduce the possible postulates that could yield the phenomena of the balance to an unique set. D. 11-13. "Philosophical presuppostions and shifting interpretations of Galileo". viii. Carugo. 1981. Crombie and A. for example in his treatise On the Equilibrium of Planes. as he pointed out on several occasions. since he had so discovered the one possible set of true postulates. Journal of the History of Ideas.L. p. "The Jesuits and Galileo's ideas of science and of nature". "The primary properties and secondary qualities in Galileo Galilei's natural philosophy". xviii. cf.). i. he argued ingeniously that Galileo's Platonism had led him to believe that experiments were really unnecessary to confirm demonstrations established by reason. Crombie.8 To control theoretical postulation was then one way in which Galileo brought experiment into a scientific argument. as distinct from controlling a primarily theoretical exploration. vii. Gruender and E. A. p. i. Experiment. A.

9 which were the Aristotelian rules of inference as developed by scholastic natural philosophers: presence or absence. and into the connection between the motions of the tides and of the Earth. But Galileo retained to the end of his life the fundamentally Aristotelian expectation. Augustine to Galileo. Galileo. Paris. 12. 330. Les conferences du Palais de la D6couverte. questioni 12 and 42. coming from a conception of a completed and closed system of knowledge. in Le opere. I have discussed much of this long ago in various papers and most recently in my joint paper with Adriano Carugo on "The Jesuits and Galileo's ideas of science and of nature" (1983). 1975. 252. with a shift during the years 1612-16 from an Aristotelian scholastic conception of the demonstrative progression and of analysis and synthesis (or resolution and composition) to a mathematical conception akin to that described by Pappus and Proclus. and in relation to Koyre's image of Galileo it is interesting because here Galileo was strongly Aristotelian. v. and concomitant variations in degree. 11. into comets. // Saggiatore (1623). D. Heinemann Educational Books. Crombie. vi. cf. reprinted with revisions 1979. and Carugo and Crombie. ser.12 Clearly of the greatest significance for Galileo's intellectual biography is Carugo's discovery of Galileo's use for his scholastic essays on natural philosophy. and for De motu gravium. 333. Both led to demonstration. 1959. Both can be found together in De motu graviwn. in Le opere.Alexander Koyre and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne 269 without it any account of Galileo would be incomplete.. also Galilee devant les critiques de la posterite. In his inquiries into hydrostatics and sunspots.. together with the reductio ad contradictionem or ad impossible. and Cambridge. p. no. v. London. p. and (2) these Aristotelian rules of inference for the more complex phenomena of material change. Lettera a Madame Cristina di Lorena (1615). p. Galileo. 2nd ed. . he based his scientific practice on the open-ended conception of inquiry coming from mathematics and experiment and on range of confirmation as the test of a theory. 102. Note 8 above.11 Yet despite this apodeictic talk. . Thus Galileo used two main forms of scientific argument: (1) the Archimedean theoretical postulation controlled by experiment for the simpler phenomena of motion. 1956. of well known. with Crombie 1975 and other references. that scientific inquiry could discover the one "true constitution of the universe" which "could not possibly be otherwise"10 and could be established by "necessary demonstrations". Prima Lettera circa le Macchie Solari (1612) in Le opere. Mass. 10. 45. 1983. note 8 above. The paradox is that Galileo never seems to have recognized the difference being made to the traditional logic and epistemology of science by the mathematical thinking in physics of which he was himself a supreme virtuoso. Galileo. he conducted his experimental and observational analysis of the causes of effects according to the "laws of logic" or "physical logic".textbooks by Jesuit 9.

Galileo. ed. It was Cornelis de Waard who noted that Mersenne had published this ratio in his Harmonic universelle (1636) and Harmonicorum libri (1636) two years before Galileo published it in his Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638) and one year before he mentioned it in his letter of 5 June 1637 to Laurens React. C. essentially a commentary on the Posterior Analytics. Carugo e L. 1958. seems to take us beyond the image of Galileo presented so brilliantly by Alexandre Koyre. Marin Mersenne. note 1 above.. and is deposited in the Domus Galileana. he. 186-204. I am going to sketch a detective story about the discovery of the ratio of the period to the length of the pendulum and some related matters in the science of music. de Waard. Ed. and finally by Carugo's identification of Ludovico Carbone as a further source. disbelieving in the possibility of certainty. I shall not retread Koyre's ground. with further references. Torino. that indeed is just what he would have wished. p.C. of the Collegio Romano. A. 15. Music and Language (forthcoming). (1638). and it does nothing to dim the light he cast upon the whole subject and thereby upon the whole historiography of science. 14. and that of other scholars.15 In fact Mersenne published this ratio four years before Galileo. cf. (1588-1648)".^ I have established from correspondence and references 13. Correspondance. Carugo in Galileo. iv. Galileo's Natural Philosophy. 16. xvii.270 Science. Physis. cf. ix.. in which we are publishing Carugo's edition of the Disputationes. Mersenne as I have said elsewhere makes an interesting contrast in scientific style with both Galileo and Descartes: they aimed at certainty in physical science. In conclusion I shall move again farther from Koyre's own contributions. 1966. 316-322. 699-708. Cf. again connected with the Collegio Romano. notably Winifred Wisan and Maurice Clavelin. Presses Universitaires de France. 1974. p. This wholly unexpected new perspective focused attention on that institution. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought professors. 100-102. 1955. viie Addition. All this we have discussed in the revised version of our book. Discorsi. Rochot. Paolo Boringhieri. Marin Mersenne: Science. This book was awarded the Galileo Prize in 1969. p. cf. Geymonat.14 Hence the priority he gave to experimental measurement. p. ed. xvii. appendice iii: "Les etudes de Mersenne sur le funependule". "Marin Mersenne (1588-1648) and the seventeenth-century problem of scientific acceptability". for his logical Disputationes de praecognitionibus et de demonstratione. in Les mechaniques de Galilee. Pisa. B. notes by A. . p. aimed at precision. Crombie. Benito Pereira and Francesco di Toledo. and his criticism of Galileo's experiments. "Mersenne Marin. Paris. yet to a subject on which he again cast light: Galileo's relations with Mersenne. in Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 444-455. 1975. with an English translation. and was followed by my own identification of Christopher Clavius as another and very influential source there.13 If this new work. by 30 June 1634. Le opere.

deriving the ratio by considering bodies falling perpendicularly. even if he never received or never read Les mechaniques de Galilee. Crombie and Carugo. 368. 24. 18. . 33. ch.Alexander Koyre and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne 2 71 within their works that Mersenne must have written his theorems. i.19 But Diodati sent Galileo a copy of Mersenne's Les mechaniques de Galilee on 10 April 1635. and these in turn were in touch with over17. 225-227. 35. by the end of 1633. . 280-281. 388. on an inclined plane. 392-394. "Mathematics. Cf. 271-274 with Pieromi to Galileo. Galileo. 20. and subsequent correspondence in Correspondance. 10. Galileo's Natural Philosophy (notes 8. 134. 105. "Traite des instrumens". i. 1968. Le opere. cf. p. with other references in note 17 above. 175-177. props. 259-260. . 10. 81-82. Crombie. 181-182. See for the pendulum ratio Mersenne. Harmonie universelle. 255. . and then in a circle. . cf. Paris. p. xix-xx. Hambledon Press. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modem Thought. pp. Paris. and "Traitez de la nature des sons et des mouvemens de toutes sortes de corps".20 Galileo has left no comment. This survives in Florence as the only extant manuscript of the Discorsi. v. Marin Mersenne (note 14 above). xvi. Crombie and Carugo (notes 17. cf. The former date is established by his correspondence with Fulgenzio Micanzio in Venice who with others there commented on his progress in writing the First Day of the Discorsi (dealing with the pendulum and acoustics) as he sent him successive pages of his manuscript. 379. and there is negative evidence that he did not. 218-219.21 Both were in touch with Galileo and his close friends in Florence. xii-xvi. London. 19. 136-137. Crombie.1994 (note 3 above).C. 267-269. Mersenne had sent in advance of publication printed sections of his Harmonie universelle containing his theorems both to Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc in Aix-en-Provence and to Giovanni Battista Doni in Rome during 1634. Albert Blanchard.17 whereas Galileo seems almost certainly to have written his first statement of it between 7 April and 9 June 1635. and Mersenne to Peiresc. Mersenne. A. 10 March 1634. 240-241. p. 253-255. 186-187. Crombie 1974 (note 14 above). Styles . p. iv. Apart from these dates. ch.18 There is no positive evidence that Galileo knew the pendulum ratio before he wrote this part of the Discorsi. B. Styles . 132.13 above). Again. other circumstances and coincidences are sufficiently arresting to invite the suspicion that Galileo learnt the ratio from Mersenne. 242. Crombie. 19 above). in Actes du XII* Congres International d'Histoire des Sciences. pp. ii. 286-287. his bare announcement in the Discorsi of so important a proposition contrasts strikingly with his usual practice of offering full mathamatical and experimental demonstrations of his novelties. props. 295-310 (reprinted in Science. Crombie 1971. 1990). MS Banco Raro 31. 21. Correspondance.Galileo. the latter date is established by Galileo's letter to Elie Diodati saying that on it he had sent a manuscript including the First Day to Giovanni Pieroni in Germany. 11 and 18 August and 15 December 1635. vi. xvi. 1971. just when he would have reached the appropriate point in his manuscript. 359-361. (note 3 above). 345. Le opere. First. 300-304. ibid. music and medical science". ibid. v. Crombie and Carugo. Cf. n.

P. Lerner. Paris. and 392-394 on Harmonie universelle. and round Francois de Noailles. "Premiere observation" and "Seconde observation" inserted in the second volume of Harmonie universelle (1637) immediately following the "Table des matieres". p. On 5 November 1634.22 In Rome Michelini had formed a warm friendship with Castelli. and again to Galileo. Vrin. note 17 above. p. also in Mersenne. Michelini was known in his order as Francesco di San Giuseppe or delle Scuole Pie. Castelli to Galileo and Michelini to Galileo. Michelini could have got information about his writings from Doni. "Traite des instrumens". 267-268.21 The correspondence in particular of Magiotti shows how aware Galileo's friends were of Mersenne and his writings. J. round Benedetto Castelli which included Rafaello Magiotti. 255. round Cardinal Francesco Barberini which included Doni. 16 May 1637. xvi. but later in 1637 Magiotti directly accused Mersenne in letters to Galileo and to Michelini of both denigrating and appropriating Galileo's work. ii.24 If it was Mersenne who was Magiotti's putative plagiarist. p. Galileo. 1973. 25. who appreciated especially his attachment to Galileo. both 8 April 1634. cf. He had read his "large and numerous bad books" in French. and Les nouvelles pensees de Galilee (1639). just returning to Florence after a visit to Rome. 384-385. in Le opere. an awareness sharpened by hostility and suspicion after his criticisms of Galileo's experiments. vi. 241-243.-P. Le opere. "will talk to you more openly about this". 26. These circles included friends with whom Mersenne corresponded about his work. 23. Correspondance. 28 July 1634. in ibid. p. p. xvi. iv. 24. references in notes 14 and 17 above. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought lapping circles of Galileo's friends in Rome. claimed priority only for some of the contributions to the science of music which Galileo also announced in the First Day. Magiotti to Galileo.. Cf. p. besides Doni especially two Frenchmen. arts.. ed. See Mersenne. 17. 75-76.272 Science. xvii. There is no evidence that either he or Galileo did receive any such information from Rome. Bouchard or Michon Bourdelot. Costabel et M. cf. and to Michelini. Crombie. Magiotti wrote to Galileo urging him to get his work into print. p.23 Before he left Rome a relevant section of Mersenne's Harmonic universelle and probably also Les mechaniques de Galilee had reached Doni. 2024.26 These are a further complication of the story which I do not have 22. livre i. JeanJacques Bouchard and Pierre Michon Bourdelot. 152. He added that the young mathematician Famiano Michelini. both 25 April 1637. because there were people ready and eager to trick him out of "a great part of your long labours". in Le opere. 6364. 80-81. It also points to a possible channel of relevant information from Rome to Galileo. . Doni to Mersenne. Mersenne to Peiresc. which he read first in manuscript during the winter of 16361637. ibid.25 Mersenne himself in his comments on the Discorsi. Correspondence.

.Alexander Koyre and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne 273 space to discuss here. We have then a detective story about a possible murder without a body. The evidence points otherwise. but with strong circumstantial grounds for suspicion. So impressed was Mersenne with Galileo that he seems to have supposed that Galileo must have discovered the pendulum ratio for himself.

Dialogo della musica antica. It was he who may have introduced Galileo to experimental science by his investigations into the laws of vibrating strings. et della moderna (1581): title pageGalileo's father Vincenzo Galilei (c.Vincenzo Galilei. while Galileo was living in his house during 1585—89. and a skilled lutanist. in his DLscorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638). experimenter and scholar. 1520-1591) was a leading and controversial musical theorist. . corresponding to those described in his father's books and manuscripts. Galileo reported results.


Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language

Mersenne made language an exemplary subject of analysis into its elements and of modelling from those elements.1 There were a number of distinct questions: whether there was an original natural language of mankind, the relation of the diverse existing languages to each other and to any supposed original language, the language of the deaf and dumb, the relation of human to animal language, and the invention of an artificial universal language for communication among all men and of a philosophical language capable of representing the truth of things clearly and without equivocation. Treatment of these questions came from a variety of approaches guided by the basic principles enunciated by Aristotle in De interpretatione (c.l, 16a 4-8), that spoken sounds were symbols of affections of the soul and written marks were symbols of spoken sounds, and that although these symbols were not the same for all men, the affections and the things they referred to were the same. The question whether there was a natural original human language in which the names of things signified their natures, or whether all languages had grown up by fortuitous use in which words acquired their meaning by convention, went back to ancient Greek discussions of the origins of mankind and of civilisation. The former view was implied by the story in Herodotus's History (ii.l) of the isolation of children from birth to find out what unprompted words they would first utter, and was presented ambiguously by Plato together with the latter especially in the Cratylus. The conventional theory of language and its origin, asserted briefly in the Hippocratic treatise The Art (§2), had been developed especially by the Greek atomists and was reported by Lucretius (v. 1028-90), Diodorus Siculus (i.8) and Diogenes Laertius (x.75-6). The question became complicated by the account in Genesis (2. 19-20) of how God arranged for Adam to name all the other creatures, which led to the Patristic and scholastic supposition that the original and natural language of mankind was Hebrew, and again from the thirteenth century by the Neoplatonic and Cabalistic

1 This essay is based on my book Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition, ch. 14 (London, 1994) with full bibliography; the subject is elaborated in my Marin Mersenne: Science, Music and Language (forthcoming).


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

assertion that possession of the true name gave occult power over the thing named.2 The need for an effective means of intellectual communication among men of different languages and cultures had been stressed by Augustine (De civitate Dei, xix.7), and the problem was recognised with renewed urgency in the thirteenth century in the theological and geographical context of Western Christendom. The natural language of mankind might be Hebrew, but its pristine universality had been lost in the confusion of Babel. The universality of Latin stopped at the boundaries of the West. Christians had a religious obligation to communicate the truth revealed to them. At the same time, whether there was a natural language of mankind and whether it was Hebrew, again became disputed questions. The Emperor Frederick II was said to have 'tried to find out by experiment what language or speech boys would have when they grew up, if they could speak to no one'.3 Roger Bacon located the problem within Augustine's distinction in De doctrina Christiana (ii.2-4) between natural and conventional or given signs. Natural signs were those which, 'without any desire or intention of signifying, make us aware of something beyond themselves', as smoke signified fire, or a track a passing animal. Given signs were those which living creatures made to each other intentionally in order 'to produce and transfer to another mind what happens in the mind of the person who makes the sign'. Bacon, after citing Augustine, went on to ask what was 'the first language of Adam and how he gave names to things; and whether boys reared in solitude would use any language by themselves, and if they met each other how they would indicate their natural states of mind'.4 Dante, in De vulgari eloquentia (i.6), had no doubt that the original human language was Hebrew, for 'a certain form of speech was created by God, together with the first soul', comprising both names and grammatical structure, and this was inherited after the confusion of Babel only by the Hebrews. Others took a different view in a much more scientific spirit. Thus his French contemporary Jean de Jandun in his questions 'Super De sensu' returned critically to the case of the isolated child, which he compared to that of a deaf mute:
It has been said that because such a mute has not heard any meaningful speech, he cannot utter any. In question is: if a boy were reared in a forest, where he had never heard any kind of language, whether he would speak any language. . . . Some say that he would speak Hebrew, and that that language is natural; but this is not true, because then it would be adapted to all men and all would speak naturally that, which is false and evident to sense. Likewise there is no habit of
2 Cf. Roger Bacon, Opus mains, iv, ed. John Henry Bridges (Oxford), i, p. 395-7, Opus tertium c.26 (as below n. 4); Marsilio Ficino, De vita coelitus comparanda, iii.21 in Opera (Basileae, 1576); Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, De occulta philosophia, i.69-74 (Antwerpiae, 1531). 3 Salimbene de Adam, Cronica, a cura di Giuseppe Scalia (Bari, 1966), i, p. 510. 4 Roger Bacon, Opus tertium, c.27 in Opera quaedam hactenus inedita, ed. J.S. Brewer (London, 1859), i, p. 100-2.

Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language


any speech unless through the social intercourse of men, and hence I say that he would not speak a language; he could well from natural appetite form sounds, but no consistent expressions unless he were later to have intercourse with others 5


Later in the fourteenth century, in a commentary attributed to Nicole Oresme and Albert of Saxony, Hebrew was again rejected and the case of the isolated child analysed further:
It must be said therefore that that boy would speak a single language entirely peculiar to himself, and when he saw outside things he would have concepts naturally representing them and therefore he would be able to impose on them an idea and express them by a word; and if two boys were brought together and fed at the same time, they would speak a language common to both; the same would happen if there were several boys. But if they were placed separate, then it would be possible for them to speak a similar language and it would be possible for them to speak totally different ones. From this it seems to follow that it would be possible for there to be two men, of which one never saw nor knew the other, who would speak each in his own way, and yet they would mutually understand each other and agree in language (q.3).6

Another contemporary philosopher, Marsilius of Inghen, yet again rejected the naturalness of Hebrew as 'silly and ridiculous' and concluded 'that that boy would remain mute until he was established by other men in a definite language; but if there were two boys placed together . . . these could mutually set up between themselves a new language'.7 Renewed linguistic efforts made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries towards restoring the religious unity of Europe, and towards realising through conversion the ancient ideal of the unity of mankind, by finding a common means of communication for all nations and peoples, took two directions. One was the examination of the relation of existing languages to each other; the other was the attempt to devise a new artificial universal language. The deaf and dumb would likewise be restored to humanity by scientific knowledge and by devising means of communicating through the eyes and other senses. A new search for the common elements of diverse human languages began with the comparative studies of ancient and modern tongues carried out among others notably by Sigismundus Gelenius in his Lexicon symphonicum (1537), by
Joannes de Janduno, Quaestiones super Parvis naturalibus (Venetiis, 1589), f. A7r; cf. Agrimi as in next note. 6 Le 'Quaestiones De sensu' attribute a Oresme e Alberto di Sassonia, a cura di Jole Agrimi (Firenze, 1983), pp. 71-2.1 am grateful to Chiara Cristiani for this important reference. There are certain parallels in the story by the 12th-century Hispano-Muslim philosopher Ibn Tufail, Hayy Ibn Yaqzdn, texte arabe . . . et traduction franchise par Leon Gauthier, 2e ed. (Beirut, 1936). The story was translated first into Latin by Edward Pococke (1671); cf. Gul A. Russell,' "The Rusty Mirror of the Mind": Ibn Tufayl and Avicenna's Psychology' in Interdesciplinary Perspectives on Ibn Tufayl, ed. Lawrence I. Conrad (Oxford, forthcoming). 7 Marsilius of Inghen, Questiones De sensu et sensato, q. 3, quodlibet 1, MS Erfurt F. 334, f. 7(8)r: translated from Agrimi as in preceding note.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Conrad Gessner in his Mitridates (1555) where he applied the methods of natural history to the problem, and by Joseph Just Scaliger in his 'Diatriba de Europaeorum lingua' (1599) published in his Opuscula varia (1610). From this work emerged the recognition that languages formed groups, each united by grammatical structure and vocabulary in which it differed from others, so that all ancient and modern European languages (and Persian) formed one group, all Semitic languages another, Chinese and related languages yet another. Scaliger introduced an important principle by distinguishing in the first group more ancient matrices linguae from their more recent derivatives, an idea that was to be taken up by Mersenne's friend Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc,8 and was to control subsequent inquiries into the genetic history of human languages, into the supposed original language of mankind, and into the causes of its diversification through time and place. Parallel with this line of comparative analysis was that into the anatomy and physiology of the human and animal vocal organs and into the language of animals. Following Aristotle in the Historia animalium (iv.9; cf. De anima, ii.8), Girolamo Fabrici took up the first subject in his De visione, voce, auditu (1600) and De locutione et ejus instruments liber (1601), and the second in his De brutorum loquela (1603). In an area dominated from antiquity by philosophical disputes over sceptical doubts cast on the uniqueness of human language and reasoning by alleged examples of the same in animals, and over the alleged occult magical power of words and related issues, Fabrici introduced systematic observations of the actual ways in which such animals as the domestic hen and dog communicated with each other. The conception of a new universal language that could compensate for the division into national tongues had its dual origin in the Aristotelian linguistic principles developed by the scholastic grammarians, and the scholastic vision of the unity of truth evident in such as Roger Bacon and Ramon Lull. 'In order to convert the infidels easily and quickly from universal principles' wrote Lull, 'one should make a treatise which is universal to all sciences, and which leads by necessary conclusion to the truth, and can teach the way to find the specific object desired'.9 Lull offered in his combinatory symbolic logic an infallible art providing a universal method capable of demonstrating the one and certain truth to all who learnt to use it. The grammarians who advanced on scholastic ideas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came to offer essentially universal lexicons as means of multilingual communication. It was Francis Bacon, in the Advancement of Learning (1605), who gave a fresh direction to the project by insisting that a true universal language must be more than simply verbal, but must be capable of communicating true notions of the real world
See Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Lettres a Claude Saumaise et a son entourage (16201637), ed. A. Bresson, (Firenze, 1992). 9 Raimundus Lullus, Tractatus de modo convertandi infideles' (1292) in Opera latina, ed. Maioricensis Scholae Lullisticae, Mallorca, Publicaciones de la Consejo Superior de Investicaciones Cientificas, 1954, fasc. iii, p. 104-5.

Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language


based on a proper understanding of nature, that is on true scientific observation and reasoning. Hence his analysis of language became an essential part of his novum organum or new scientific method, and an ideal artificial language became what was to be called not simply a universal but also a philosophical language. Mersenne entered these disputes and projects in order to refute both the magical and the sceptical assertions of those whom he regarded as enemies of truth, continued Fabrici's empirical methods and a form of combinatory calculus, and developed his own theory of language. The originality of Mersenne's approach to language and its modelling by symbols or gestures lay in his combination of scientific with historical analysis, starting in his earliest publications. He encountered the question of natural human language first in the Cabalistic belief in the power of words, a doctrine which in Quaestiones celeberrimae in Genesim (1623) he violently rejected along with the whole of magic and the occult. He left open the possibility that God might have revealed the natural names of things to Adam in Hebrew, and he remained at first undecided whether language had developed by chance or by revelation. He still supposed in his discussion of Timposition des noms' in La verite des sciences (1625) that, since 'les noms ne nous servent que pour entendre et signifier ce que nous voulons dire, et ce que nous avons dans I'esprit', in our dealings with other men 'plus les noms approachent des choses qu'ils signifient, et plus les representent ils naiifvement, et meillieurs sont-ils'. Perhaps with the ancients, before they were given Hebrew letters,
du moins leurs prononciations representoient les choses: c'est peut estre pourquoy les Chinois ont quasi autant de characteres que de choses. . . . On pourroit aussi former autant de dictions diverses comme il y a de diverses individus au monde, mais on ne peut en inventer, qui signifient la nature, et 1'essence des choses, d'autant que nous ne la cognoissons pas; il n'y a que Dieu qui le puisse faire, ou qui le puisse commander aux anges: peut estre que les noms qu'Adam imposa, avoient ce privilege: mais depuis ce temps la les noms se sont tellement eloignez de leur premiere origine, que nous n'en recognoissons plus aucun vestige. Nous voyons neantmoins que les peuples inventent diverses langues a cause de leurs divers temperamens. . . . Voyla d'ou sont venues en partie les diverses langues, ce qui a commence a la confusion de Babel avec une grande perte des sciences, car s'il n'y avoit qu'une langue au monde, on s'entrecommuniqueroit plus facilement les sciences, et on emploieroit tout le temps a les apprendre, qu'on passe a etudier aus langues etrangeres (i.6).

Later in his unpublished continuation of Quaestiones in Genesim he hardened his position, insisted that spoken words were simply physical sounds made with the mouth and tongue which functioned as arbitrary signs by means of which the same meaning could be expressed in different languages, and firmly concluded that 'there is no language natural to men besides this or that which they learn from parents or teachers'.10 It was false to say that Hebrew was natural.

Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, MS lat. 17, 262, pp. 511, 536, cf. MS lat. 17, 261, pp. 3-6;


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Mersenne set out his notable theory of the origins, history and empirical science of language finally in his Harmonie universelle (1636-37) and Harmonicorum libri (1636). He insisted that a true language must be a vehicle of conscious meaning, and that this was possible only for human beings. Spoken words were physical sounds just as written words were visible symbols which had been given meanings in the course of human history arbitrarily by use. The sounds made by animals, like their visible signals, were means of communication with functions in their bodily lives, but they operated within systems of unconscious physical stimulus and response. They were no more a language in the human sense than the communications within a machine, even though the analogy of animal and mechanical communication could provide a means of analysis of true human language. He proposed to model meaning. Just as the effects of music varied with race, way of life, period and culture, so different groups of men had come to express their common understanding of meaning in a variety of languages diversified by their different historical experiences, environments, needs, temperaments and customs. Because men shared reason it was possible to translate the expression of a common meaning from any language into any other, but no existing language was naturally prior to all others. He ingeniously explored the acquisition of language in Harmonie universelle. Traitez de la voix, et des chantes', i: 'De la voix, des parties qui servent a la former, de sa definition, de ses proprietez, et de 1'ouye'. He insisted:
La voix des animaux est necessaire, et celle des homines est libre; c'est a dire que 1'homme parle librement, et que les animaux crient, chantent, et se servent de leurs voix necessairement . . . ; car leur appetit sensitif estant echauffe par 1'impression de 1'imagination, commande necessairement a la faculte motrice de mouvoir toutes les parties qui sont necessaires a la voix (prop. viii).

This led to the question: 'A scavoir si 1'homme pourrait parler ou chanter s'il n'entendoit point de sons ni de paroles'. The answer seemed to depend on a virtually impossible experiment, that was to isolate a child from all sounds and words from the day of its birth for twenty or thirty years.
C'est pourquoy il faut se servir de la seule raison, qui dicte qu'un homme ne parleroit point s'il n'avoit iamais ouy de paroles, parce qu'il ne s'imagineroit pas que les paroles peussent servir a expliquer les pensees de 1'esprit, et les desirs de la volonte: et quand il se 1'imagineroit, il ne sc.auroit pas de quelles dictions il devroit se servir pour se faire entendre. On peut done ce semble conclure que 1'homme ne parleroit point s'il n'avoit appris a parler.

Nevertheless, since birds sang naturally, and a man could imagine that high and low notes could represent different things, Ton peut dire que 1'homme parleroit encore qu'il n'eust point oily parler, pourveu qu'il eust quelqu'un a
Robert Lenoble, Mann Mersenne ou la naissance du mecanisme (Paris, 1943), p. 514-5, 517.

Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language


qui il addressast ses paroles' (prop. x). If the experiment with one isolated child was too difficult:
Suppose que Ton nourrist des enfans en un lieu ou ils n'entendissent point parler, a sc.avoir, de quelle langue ils se serviroient pour parler entr'eux. le suppose que les enfans . . . inventeroient des sons, et des dictions pour signifier leurs desirs, car nous ne sommes plus dans la difficulte precedente, qui considere un homme tout seul qui n'a personne a qui parler. Or si nous ne supposions la verite de la foy, qui nous apprend que le premier homme a este cree droit, juste et servant, nous croirions avec les philosophes payens, que les premiers hommes ont invente la premiere langue, qui peut estre appellee langue originaire ou matrice, d'ou les autres ont este tirees: . . . ie dy premierement qu'ils formerent des sons pour se communiquer leurs pensees. Secondement, qu'il est impossible de sc.avoir de quels sons ou de quelles paroles ils useroient pour se faire entendre les uns aus autres; car toutes les paroles estant indifferentes pour signifier tout ce que Ton veut, il n'y a que la seule volonte qui les puisse determiner a signifier une chose plustost qu'une entre (prop. xi).

This led again to the question of a natural language, or failing that whether through 'la science des sons dont les langues sont formees . . . un musicien philosophe . . . peut inventer la meillieure langue de toutes les possibles'. He was not asking for 'une langue qui signifie naturellement les choses', for 'il n'est pas necessaire qu'une langue soit naturelle pour estre la meillieure de toutes, mais il suffit qu'elle exprime le plus nettement et le plus briefvement qui peut se faire les pensees de 1'esprit, et les desirs de la volonte'. But by means of a combinatory calculus described in the Traitez . . . ' book ii, 'Des chants', showing how many dictions could be made with any number of letters, it could be possible 'establir une langue universelle, qui seroit la meillieure de toutes les possibles, si 1'on sc,avoit 1'ordre des idees que Dieu a de toutes choses' (prop. xii). He went on to ask:
Si nous avions une langue naturelle, . . . si nous la pourrions establir, suppose qu'elle se perdist: et parce que nous confessons que nous ne sgaurions maintenant trouver une langue naturelle, encore que nous soyons de mesme condition que celle ou nous serions apres 1'avoir perdue, il faut semblablement avoiier que 1'art et la raison que nous avons ne pourroit nous fournir les mesmes voix qui nous servent naturellement a expliquer nos passions, si nous en avions perdu 1'usage.

For no one could foresee that, among various possible signs, tears and sobs would indicate sadness and laughter joy. Moreover 'si Ton remarque les voix dont les animaux expriment leurs passions et leurs affections, on les iugera aussi indifferentes pour signifier lesdites passions, comme sont les paroles pour signifier nos conceptions, ou les autres choses dont nous voulons parler'. Thus the syllable kik, by which a hen (as described by Fabrici in De brutorum loquela) told her chickens to run and hide, had no more relation to events than the syllable glo by which she called them back. The fundamental difference between animal and human speech was not that 'la nature les auroit privez des organes necessaires a la parole', as we might have thought if we had not taught birds to speak, but that TAuteur de la nature, ou la nature intelligente


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

determine les animaux, et les conduit tellement, qu'ils n'ont nulle liberte en leurs actions' (prop. xiv). He went on to discuss in some detail how the muscles of the vocal organs of different peoples became habituated to pronouncing their own languages and refractory to pronouncing others (prop, xxxvii), and to raise again the question, presented by the comparative anatomy studied by Fabrici, of what was lacking in some birds and in all quadrupeds that prevented them from being taught to imitate human speech. As for animal language, 'il n'y a nul doute que le jargon des oiseaux, et les cris des animaux, leurs servent de paroles, que Ton peut appeller la langue, et I'idiome des bestes, car Ton experimente que celles qui sont de mesme espece s'entendent aussi bien par leur voix differentes, que les hommes par leurs paroles' (prop, xxxix). The elements of speech could be explored also by the imitation of the animal and human voice by musical instruments, and by the methodical study of comparative anatomy and physiology. For 'la langue et les autres instrumens de la voix usent de differens mouvemens en prononc,ant les syllables et les lettres, comme il est difficile de les expliquer, a raison que nous ne pouvons voir ces mouvemens' (prop, xliii). Mersenne saw in his analysis of human knowledge and of its expression through the common elements of language an opening into the possibility of inventing a perfect system of communication for all men, a new universal language capable of conveying information without error. He began experimenting with the idea of making a new artificial universal language by means of the combinatory calculus showing the number of possible permutations and combinations of a given set of elements with which he had tried, in La verite des sciences (iii.10), to devise the best tune from among the number that could be composed from a given set of notes. In 1629 he forwarded to Descartes a project by an unnamed author for a new universal language. Descartes in his reply proposed as a model for the true, as distinct from an artificial, universal language, not the generalised structure that could be extracted from existing languages, but mathematics. But Tinvention de cette langue depend de la vraie philosophic', and even if it were achieved so that it represented to the judgement 'si distinctement toutes choses, qu'il lui serait presque impossible de se tromper', this could be expected only in 'un paradis terrestre'.11 Mersenne went ahead on the assumption that such an universal language could be usefully established before the perfection of the true philosophy. He argued that the only certain knowledge of things available to us was of their measurable quantities. He proposed then to combine his linguistic with his musical investigations by using his combinatory calculus to construct a system of sounds and notation for representing such quantities. Thus he wrote in Harmonie universelle, 'Traitez de la nature des sons', i: 'L'on peut se servir des sons de chaque instrument de musique, et des differens mouvenmens que 1'on

Descartes a Mersenne 20 novembre 1629, in P. Marin Mersenne, Correspondance, edits et annote par Cornelis de Waard avec la collaboration de Rene Pintard (Paris, 1945), ii, pp. 327-8.


Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language


leur donne pour discourir de toutes sortes de suiets, et pour enseigner et apprendre les sciences' (prop. xxii). Then
Ton peut representer tout ce qui est au monde, et consequemment toutes les sciences par le moyen des sons, car puis que toutes choses consistent en poids, en nombre et en mesure, et que les sons representent ces trois proprietez, ils peuvent signifier tout ce que Ton voudra, si Ton excepte la metaphysique. . . . D'ou il s'ensuit que le parfait musicien peut inventer des dictions, et une langue parfait, que signifie naturellement les choses, et qu'il peut enseigner les sciences sans user d'autre langage que celuy d'un luth, ou de quelque autre instrument (prop. xxiv).

'Je me suis imagine une sorte d'escripture et un certain idiome universel', he wrote of this language of quantities in a dedication to Peiresc, 'en dressant un alphabet qui contient tous les idiomes possibles, et toutes les dictions qui peuvent servir a exprimer chasque chose en telle langue qu'on vouldra. II a ceste propriete que sa seule lecture peut tellement enseigner la philosophic accomodee a son ordre, qu'on ne peut 1'oublier ou si on 1'oublie, qu'on peult la restablir sans 1'ayde d'aulcun'. He hoped that it would help 'pour inventer la maniere de communiquer avec tous les peuples du Nouveau Monde'.12 He described this language in his 'Livre de la voix', propositions xlvii, where he showed that Ton peut inventer la meillieure langue de toutes les possibles', and xlviii-xlix, and in his 'Livre des chants', propositions xiii-xix, specifying that the best language must be both economical and clear, applying to languages his tables for all possible tunes, and providing tables for all possible pronunciations. Besides mathematics and music and the comparative philology of ancient and modern phonetic tongues, the discovery of Chinese characters as both ideophones and ideographs had opened European eyes yet further to the variety of human language and its potentiality for constructed innovation. Mersenne's insights into the question were to have a decisive influence on later English projects for universal languages.13 Mersenne's study both of the physiology and comparative phonetics of natural human speech, and of the imitation of human vowels and consonants by musical instruments and by animals, led him to a further question: that of deaf mutes and how to communicate with them. Here again his empirical approach promoted scientific and experimental analysis by contrast with philosophical speculation. Thus he rejected the widely accepted ancient idea that there was a sympathetic association between the nerves of the ear and the vocal organs, so that the deaf were incurably dumb. This had been questioned from the end of the thirteenth century. Thus Jean de Jandun asked in his Quaestiones super Parvis naturalibus, 'Super De sensu', q.7:
12 A Monsieur de Peiresc vers 20 avril 1635, in Mersenne, Correspondance, ed. cit., 1959, v, p. 136-7. 13 Cf. Hans Aasleft, 'Wilkins, John (1614-1672)' in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York, 1976), xiv, pp. 366-8; Mary M. Slaughter, Universal Languages and Scientific Taxonomy in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 1982).


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Whether all the congenitally deaf are dumb. Some have maintained that speech is convertible, namely that all the deaf are dumb and vice versa because, since some powers are mutually connected, if there is an impediment in one there will also be one in the other. . . . But this is not valid. . . . And therefore I say that someone congenitally deaf is necessarily dumb because anyone who cannot learn how to form meaningful speech at will is in that way necessarily dumb. This is selfevident, because knowing how to form meaningful speech at will comes about only through habit and social intercourse with people, but someone congenitally deaf cannot become accustomed to the expression of meaningful speech, because this requires that he hears speech of this kind.14 Again in the sixteenth century some medical authorities recognised that the deaf were dumb only because they had never heard speech. Girolamo Cardano insisted that deaf mutes were just as intelligent as the rest of humanity and could be educated through vision.15 Mersenne reported with enthusiasm the pioneering Spanish work in teaching deaf-mutes to speak. He cited in 'De la voix' the account given by the king's physician Francisco Valles of the method devised by Pedro Ponce de Leon: Quant aux muets, encore que plusieurs croyent qu'ils n'est pas possible qu'ils parlent autrement que par les signes ordinaires qu'ils font avec les mains, les yeux, et les autres parties du corps, parce qu'ils ne peuvent oiiir aucune instruction, a raison qu'ils sont sourds; il n'y a neantmoins nul doute que Ton peut tellement leur apprendre a remuer la langue, qu'ils formeront des paroles, dont on pourra leur apprendre la signification en leur presentant devant les yeux, ou leur faisant toucher les choses qu'elles signifient. D'ou Ton peut conclure qu'il faut commencer par 1'escriture pour faire parler les sourds, comme Ton commence par la parole pour enseigner a parler aux autres: de sorte que la parole et 1'escriture sont quasi une mesme chose. . . . Or 1'unique moyen d'enseigner a lire et a escrire aux sourds et aux muets consiste a leur faire comprendre que les caracteres dont on use, representent ce que Ton leur montre, et ce qu'ils voyent: car la pronunciation des lettres et des vocables, c'est a dire la parole, ne represente pas plus naturellement les choses signifiees que 1'escriture quelle qu'elle soil, puis qu'elles dependent toutes deux egalement de la volonte et de 1'institution des hommes, sans laquelle elles ne significient rien. . . . Cecy estant pose, il est facile d'enseigner a escrire toutes sortes de choses aux sourds, pourveu qu'elles puissant tomber sous le sens de la veue, ou du toucher, ou qu'elles puissent estre goustees, ou flairee; main il est plus mal-aise de les faire parler, dautant que Ton ne peut leur monstrer tous les mouvemens de la langue, et des autres parties qui forment la parole. . . . Valesius dit que son amy Ponce enseignoit tellement les sourds par le moyen de 1'escriture, qu'il les faisoit parler en leur monstrant premierement au doigt les choses qui estoient signifiees par 1'escriture, et puis en leur faisant remuer la langue jusques a ce qu'ils eussent profere quelque parole, ou fait quelque espece de son ou de voix (prop, li).16
Cf. above n. 5; and for the supposed irremediable link between the ear and the vocal organs Galen, Deplacitis Hippocratis et Platonis, ii.4. 12-15, 40-2, 5.1-97, De usu partium, xvi.3-4, ix.12, xi.10, De locis affectis, iv.9. 15 Cardano, Opera omnia, ii (Lugduni, 1663), pp. 72-3, x, p. 462. 16 Cf. Franciscus Vallesius, De sacra philosophia, c.3 (Lugduni, 1588), p. 78; Lorenzo Hervas y Panduro, Escuola Espanola de sordomudos (Madrid, 1795), 2t.; Abraham Farrar, 'Histrocial Introduction' to Juan Pablo Bonet, ^implication of the Letters of the Alphabet and Method of

with also A. 1984).. confirmee par une longue experience (1784).. Crombie.N. 1990). When the Mind Hears: A History of the Dea/(New York. as described by the Abbe Charles-Michel de 1'Epee in La veritable maniere d'instruire les sourds-muets. 2nd ed. 1970).Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language 285 It was especially in France that effective teaching methods were to be developed systematically. These. reprinted in Science. The Conquest of Deafness (Cleveland. Teaching Deaf-Mutes to Speak. pp. Ruth Elaine Bender. and which thus restored the deaf and dumb to the full human dignity and responsibility of which they had been for so long deprived by nature and society. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (London. .363-78. were a consequence of the empirical theory of language which he had done so much to promote. Music and Medical Science' (1971). Dixon (Harrogate. transl. Ohio. as Mersenne indicated. 'Mathematics. H. Harlan Lane. 1890).C.

-P. F. Sprachwissenschaft (Miinchen. R. . Coelho (ed. (Paris. Apel. P. Les nouvelles pensees de Galilee (Paris. 1969). Strasser. (London. 1969). P. 1967). Music and Science in the Age of Galileo (Dordrecht. . Theatre of the World (London. Die Idee der Sprache in der Tradition des Humanismus von Dante bis Vico (Bonn. Lingua universalis. 1988). Fend and P. 1967-69). 15. G. 10. Les mechaniques de Galilee. Musica scientia: Musical scholarship in the Italian Renaissance (Ithaca. chs. 1966). Freiburg.F.H. N. Science. 4 vol. Borst.C. 1639). 1982-84). Universal Languages and Scientific Taxonomy in the 17th Century (Cambridge. 1975).Jahrhundert (Anglistische Forschungen. 1991). . . 1973).R. A Short History of Linguistics (New York. Giordano Bruno (London. 13. Y. below ch.V. Heidelberg. and for language K. A. ed. 1982). 1984).G. 13.F. 1988). H. Der Turmbau von Bable. Styles of Scientific Thinking . 15 (1990). Costabel et M.. Funke. Universal Language Schemes in England and France 1600-1800 (Toronto. The Study of Language in 17th-Century England (Amsterdam.F. Jahrhundert (Wiesbaden. Yates. 1960). and above ch. (Stuttgart. V. Les sciences humaines et la pensee occidentale. M. M. 1979). H. Zum Weltsprachenproblem in England im 17'. 1992). Robins. 1955. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Further References Mersenne. 14. J. 1963. 14 (1994). Kryptologie und Theorie der Universalsprachen in 16. O. 2 vol. Salmon.M. xlix. iii. . Crombie.C. B. Arens. Gusdorf.2 (Paris. 1964). Burnett. 1929). 3rd ed.S. Collected Essays.. Optics and Music. Dear. Mounin. Quantifying Music (Dordrecht.).A. 1966). V. Moyer. und 17.E. Cohen. ii. see also A. ed. The Art of Memory (London. Gouk.286 Science. Slaughter. Paolo Rossi. NY. C.M. G. 1957-63). 9. Knowlson. 1992). O. G. Rochot (Paris. 1980). Mersenne and the Learning of the Schools (Ithaca. 2nd ed. 1967). A. Histoire de la linguistique (Paris. chs. Clavis universalis (Milano/Napoli. The Second Sense: Studies in hearing and musical judgement from antiquity to the seventeenth century (London. Lerner. 3 vol.

Nicolas Claude Fabry Sieur de Peiresc et de Callas. but his curiosity had a purpose and could be sharply focused. he met at Padua the antiquarian Giovanni Vincenzo Pinelli and Galileo. et que tous vos biens soient aussi communs aux sgavans. On a journey to Italy during 1599-1600. . 1 es medailles et les autres reliques de la venerable antiquite dont votre Cabinet est enrichi . After reading Galileo's Sidereus nuncius. 'In this dedication to Peiresc of the Traitez des Consonances. stimulating an interest in Antiquity. Marin Mersenne offered a portrait of his friend. et Conseiller du Roy en la Cour de Parlement d'Aix en Provence. que 1'air et 1'eau a tous ceux qui respirent'. and visited galleries. and in the diversity of nature. that was to mature in the study of law at Montpellier under the philologist Jules Pacius. over almost the whole range of the liberal arts and sciences. patron and organiser. edited by Agnes Bresson (Florence. et a faire paroistre la portee et 1'estendue de 1'esprit humain. travel and a wide circle of friendships established his style of erudition essentially as a collector. . . Education.' Anyone who visited Peiresc was left with the impression 'que vous n'ayez dresse vostre Cabinet que pour luy. to whom he was to send seeds and the names of Provencal plants. A Monsieur. . 'Car vous ne leur fournissez seulement pas les tres-rares manuscrits. Nicolas-Claude Fabri (1580-1637) took the name Peiresc from a village in the Alpes de Provence inherited from his mother. His interests were eclectic in the style of his sixteenth-century predecessors. A Jesuit schooling introduced him to astronomy.Appendix Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc Lettres a Claude Saumaise et a son entourage (1620-1637). Baron de Rians. M. by contrast with that of the contemporary generation of systematic philosophers. et dans toutes les autres parties de la terre. whose 'liberalite' had provided so much for the 'honnestes gens' and 'hommes sgavans' of all of Europe. sans en pretendre autre chose que d'ayder a faire valoir le talent d'un chacun. but also as a practical researcher. . which formed part of his great Harmonic universelle (1636). Belonging to a family original from Pisa. mais vous leur faites venir tout ce qu'il y a plus curieux au Levant. 1992). Travel to England and the Netherlands brought him in touch with Dutch botanists. he and the Provencal astronomer Joseph Gaultier were the first in . '. Abbe et Seigneur de Guistres.

Mersenne sent him material concerning the science and art of music for forwarding to Rome. to comparative dissections of the eyes of a variety of animals. his country house near Aix-en-Provence. Other scientific investigations carried out at Belgentier. With equal energy. this was accompanied by Les correspondants de Peiresc in twenty-one parts (1879-97). His regular exchange of letters with Mersenne over twenty years has been published in the admirable edition of Mersenne's Correspondance. omitting those from Saumaise which are available in Tamizey de Larroque.288 Science. and manuscripts and books for his library. and of some exotic animals. but including in an appendix important and relevant unpublished materials by him. they discussed Galileo. begun by Cornelis de Waard and now completed by Armand Beaulieu. Now Agnes Bresson has published a major and immaculate edition. all of which he made generously available. Peiresc tried through Cardinal Francesco Barberini to ease the restrictions imposed on Galileo after his trial. is a major source for the intellectual and practical life of the time. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought France to observe in 1610 the four satellites of Jupiter with a telescope. In the early seventeenth century. with Pierre Gassendi. These. Raymond Lebegue published Les correspondants de Peiresc dans les anciens Pays-Bas (1943). A large part of his correspondence was published a century ago as Lettres de Peiresc by Philippe Tamizey de Larroque in seven volumes (188898). and of a lunar eclipse. and a major contribution to intellectual and cultural history. comprising a further 170 pages. This edition of Peiresc's Lettres a Claude Saumaise et a son entourage (16201637) is a major event. he collected objects of art and archaeology of all kinds. scholarly and scientific communication still took place mainly be personal correspondence. as of Galileo. who has written a foreword. and shortly before his death completed with Agnes Bresson a supplement with corrections to Volume Seven of the Lettres (1985). Afterwards. of Peiresc's letters to the philologist Claude Saumaise. and that of Peiresc. The letters are accompanied by historical exegeses in notes of extraordinary richness and erudition often as long as the letters themselves. materials for comparative investigations into the origins and filiations of languages. glossary and indexes. led to the discovery of the lacteal vessels in man. with their clear analytical presentation and ample coverage. by organising systematic observations of their positions. dedicated to the memory of her late preceptor. which is followed by sixty-six previously unpublished letters to Saumaise occupying 375 pages. It begins with a perceptive and informative historical and textual introduction. Equally impressive are the source and bibliographical materials. from different points of the Mediterranean. will be a necessary instrument of research for all future students of the intellectual and cultural history of the . were able to calculate the length of that sea with considerably improved accuracy. he and Gaultier. Mersenne and Descartes. and to the collecting for his impressive garden of seeds and plants. with many inconvenient omissions. The result is a model of expert editing and historical analysis. from many parts of the world.

coins and bronzes. Italian. strategy and tactics. puis qu'ils sont sur les lieux ou les animaulx estranges habitent'. Scholars then looked for rules of etymological derivation to explain the transition of one language into another. Roman. By the end of the century. The enthusiastic intelligence of these letters and their vivid detailing of so many objects of his curiosity make them a continuous pleasure to read. The first approaches to historical philology could be arbitrarily formal and limited only to the derivation of words. using the methods of Aristotelian biological taxonomy. Latin.Appendix 289 period. and developed among others by Conrad Gessner. and the recovery from the sea of those sections of it now in the Ambrosiana and Marciana libraries. Peiresc acquired in manuscript 'un livre arabe assez ample de 1'histoire des animaulx ou il se trouvera possible quelque chose de plus que ce que nous en avons dans les anciens grecs. He emerges as a savant for whom the natural sciences belonged as much as literary learning to a humanist culture. The volume will be of particular value for the new historical interest in collectors. postal facilities and travel in the Mediterranean area. military arms and uniforms. drugs. Turkish pirates who captured and threw overboard Pinelli's library. ivories. leads to requests for information and manuscripts about systems of money. We meet his competition with Lord Arundel for the purchase of the Arundel marbles now in the Ashmolean Museum. Etruscan. He collected ancient inscriptions. medals. by using common elements of European languages to show that these could be arranged in a genetic order of more ancient matrices linguae and their more recent derivatives. collections and museums. divination. paintings and other works of art. There is a long saga of attempts to identify a particular 'animal etrange' which arrived from Ethiopia at Marseilles for the King: a kind of antelope now called Oryx beisa. as between Arabic and Hebrew. This had been initiated for languages in the sixteenth century by Sigismundus Gelenius and Guillaume Postel. it had been recognised that there were correspondences between apparently diverse languages. music. Coptic and other European and oriental languages. for the history of science. It was in his investigations into the origins and filiations of languages that Peiresc appears at his most inventive in this remarkable correspondence. and from all these inquiries built up an important collection of manuscripts in Greek. Peiresc is properly located for the first time in this splendid volume in the variegated life especially of the Mediterranean world in the early seventeenth century. Greek. and who organized his collecting in the service of the whole Republic of Letters. weights and measures. Arabic. enamels. plants and animals. The guiding principle was introduced in 1599 by Joseph-Juste Scaliger. Byzantine. such as German and Persian. but the horizon was expanded empirically by such . chronology. epidemics and hygiene. Pursuit of aspects of life in the ancient Mediterranean area. for the history of languages and for orientalists. numerals and computing. he researched into the history of medicine. Egyptian. He was a pioneer in historical derivation by the comparative method. astronomy.

the Basque regions and Genoa. Scythian and languages farther East. hoped to achieve this by using a Lullian art of combinations. The fundamental task of historical philology was to trace the history of languages back through their secular diversifications to the matrices linguae of each group and thence perhaps to the original universal language of mankind. notably by Leibniz. One central theme was his attempt to find in Coptic the key to the Egyptian hieroglyphs. first to decipher the hieroglyphs and then to reduce all languages to their pristine original. The style is the man.290 Science. and for both correspondents the learned author of this fascinating and elegantly produced edition cites Isaac Casaubon: 'Ubi cum studio veritatis. modifications and losses brought about by the contingencies of historical experience. and to the causes of linguistic diversification in time and space. but he envisaged a comparative historical philology encompassing all the ancient and modern languages of Europe. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought scholars as Saumaise.' . qui sont si subjectes a equivoque et par consequent a tomber dans 1'abbus'. and later conceptually by the recognition. how changes in remote Antiquity could have come about. for example through mixing. as when some ancient inscriptions on precious stones used Greek letters for Egyptian or Hebrew words. It was to answer these questions that Peiresc outlined a programme in this correspondence. and thinking of the Etruscan inscriptions in his large collection of ancient medals he wondered 's'il y avoit moyen de penetrer dans cette langue etrusque par les regies de cez mattrices langues septentrionales'. the empirical method used by Peiresc and Saumaise was to distinguish by comparative analysis the words and idioms belonging to the matrix from the additions. By contrast. He argued from analogies with the processes of change observable in modern languages. that linguistic affinities must be determined also by grammatical structure. whose interest was inspired by Peiresc. viget studium antiquitatis. Peiresc noted in his study of Coptic that an older language could be preserved in a more recent script. and through invasions and migrations. with the decipherment of ancient texts and inscriptions and of the occult symbolism of the Cabbala. attention was given both to the circumstances promoting the preservation of forms of speech and writing. Persian. He begged Saumaise 'd'excuser la liberte possible trop grande de mes conjectures. Meanwhile. The Jesuit Athanasius Kircher. He looked behind the distortions of pronunciation and spelling for the original 'matrice racine' of names of rivers and towns. addition or loss at the frontiers of France with Flanders. the ancient Near Eastern as well as classical languages of the polyglot Bible.

Traesdell. Conn. NJ. Marin Mersenne: Science. A Source Book in Greek Scince (New York. "Scientific empiricism in musical thought" in Seventeenth Century Science and the Arts. Crombie. 1687-1788" in Leonhard Euler. 91-137. Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition. Blanc. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (London: Hambledon Press. 1638-1788" in ibid. 2 vol. 1990). ed. 1979). 1955).. 2 series. Cf.W. S. an important part of the medieval mathematical quadrivium.H. and from the middle of the 16th century the subject of active mathematical and experimental research1. 1954).W. Rhys (Princeton. Reese. xiii (Lausaimae. . Origins in Acoustics : The science of sound from antiquity to the age of Newton (New Haven. 1978) . Studies in Musical Science in the Late Renaissance (1967-76) (London. Archive for History of Exact Sciences. 1714-1830. (London. Carugo. and the discovery of the anatomical structure and physiological functioning of the ear as the receiver of those quantitative clues.V. "Mathematics. Speiser. Dostrovsky.A. 1978) . In the first question science entered immediately 1. 1985a). A.C. 15-141 . xxx (1980). F. 59-73 . Walker. "The theory of aerial sound. Hoeniger (Washington. "Early vibration theory : physics and music in the seventeenth century". introduction : "The 'science' of music to 1830" reprinted in Archives Internationales d'histoire des sciences. Opera omnia.P. J. Cohen and LE. J. "The science of sound and musical practice" in Science and the Arts in the Renaissance. Duckworth. 1994). C. 169-218 .C. Hunt. A. like that of optics. (London & New York. 10 (London: G. Trost. xi 2 (Turici. M. Music in the Renaissance.15 Le Corps a la Renaissance: Theories ofPerceiver and Perceived in Hearing Music has been strangely neglected by historians of science until very recently. A.D. 2nd ed. Galileo Galilei's Natural Philosophy (forthcoming). Drabkin. vii-cxvii. Music and Language (forthcoming). H. 1948). Crombie and A. yet music was one of the fundamental Greek mathematical sciences. Kassler. C.C. music and medical science" (1971) in Science. 1961). xiv (1975). "Hie rational mechanics of flexible or elastic bodies. pp. E. The Science of Music in Britain. ed.. G. was concerned primarily with the relation of perceiver to perceived: with the identification and quantitative analysis of clues to sensations. ed.C.R.. D. 1960). 1940). LG. du Pasqrier. C. For music there were two basic questions : the discovery of the acoustical quantities expressible in numbers that stimulated the diversities of auditory perception. Music in the Middle Ages (New York. Palisca. chs 3. D. The science of music. 7. Shirley and F.

"Acoustics in the early Royal Society 1660-1680". and of the Problemata then believed to be by Aristotle himself. 2. vii (1980). Pitch depended on their frequency. Annals of Science. Sound was propagated through the air as a succession of impulses. xxx viii (1985). chs. Hence the moral power of music stressed in the Timaeus (35B-36B. 103-39 . Quantifying Music : The science of music at the first stage of the scientific revolution. xxx vi (1982). His influence on musical theory was comparable to that of Roger Bacon on optical theory through his exposition of Alhazen2. Grosseteste offered a sophisticated explanation both of the physical propagation of sound and of its effects on sentient beings. Crombie.F. . and that of the Aristotelians. "Music as a model in early science". F. Palisca (1985). and was associated with cosmic numerology . "Science de la nature et theorie musicale chez Isaac Beeckman (1588-1637)". which began with experience and looked beyond mere numbers for physical and causal explanations of sound and its effects in sensation.M. Musical theory in the medieval quadrivium was based primarily on Boethius's De institutione musicae. They affected the soul because of its structural conformity through these ratios with the harmonies alike of the cosmos and of musical sound. TOO. P. The Anatomy of Music : Sound and science in seventeenth . Cf. Styles. 97-120. Later in the 13th century knowledge of Aristotelian theories was greatly extended by the translation into Latin of the commentary or paraphrase by Themistius on De anima. Notes and Records of the Royal Society. 7.. 1580-1650 (Dordrecht. 1984) . natural philosophy and mathematical science. From this time a number of different factors promoted the development of musical science along with musical practice and of disputes that accompanied both. Pietro d'Abano promoted a causal as distinct from simply numerical treatment of the phenomena of sound (in particular pitch and consonance) that was to re-establish the Aristotelian as opposed to the Platonic or late Pythagorean approach to the science of music. and the devising of scales (to be embodied in the tuning of musical instruments) that were at once ordered on some rational principle and able to satisfy the needs of the ear. Thus Aristoxenus made the ear and not numerical theory the proper judge of consonance and dissonance. 155-75.292 Science. 111-36.. 5) and by Augustine.century England (London : G. History of Science. xx (1982). and what determined the frontier between consonances and dissonances ? These were fundamental questions for musical theory from the 14th century. Cohen. which related the consonances to purely numerical ratios. forthcoming) . medieval students of music had a choice of two main types of theory : that of Plato and the later Pythagoreans. Scientific discussion of the whole subject entered a new phase with the exposition of this work by Pietro d'Abano in the commentary which he completed at Padua in 1310. 573-605. 46C-47E). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought into the problems of art through the analysis of consonance and dissonance. Duch worth. resonance and related phenomena. Gouk. Revue d'histoire des sciences. de Buzon. H. by Aristotle in the Politics (viii.10. Consonances were produced by the blending of high and low notes with frequencies in the ratios of the perfect set of numbers 1 to 4.. "Tlie rede of acoustics and musical theory in the scientific work of Robert Hooke". Within this context at once of educational doctrine. Why was the number of consonances limited.

becoming readily available in Latin translations and sometimes in the vernacular. The new sources pulled musical theorists. and practitioners concerned with scales and the tuning of instruments. Between the middle of the XVIth century and the middle of the XVIIth the science of music was tranformed by a number of happenings. Central to the whole of 16th-century acoustical theory was the musical problem of devising on some mathematical principle scales and systems of tuning that would meet the demands of the ear. This involved explanations of consonance and dissonance. Gioseffo Zarlino in Venice broke new theoretical ground by extending the realm of consonance from ratios within the first four numbers to ratios within the first six. At the same time the revival of Platonism led by Marsilio Ficino brought late Pythagorean purely numerical musical theory into fresh confrontation with the Aristotelian insistence on starting from experience and looking beyond numbers for causes. greatly improved the precision of musical notation.Theories ofPerceiver and Perceived in Hearing 293 The attention given in the 14th century by mathematicians such as Walter of Odington and Philippe de Vitry to musical problems. Musical theorists following Aristoxenus in basing their perception of consonances primarily on the complex factual responses and demands of the ear came to doubt whether there was any precise boundary between consonance and dissonance. Porphyry. consonance. New sources included Aristoxenus. The problem for the mathematical scientists was to discover what the grounds of music were in the physical motions and propagation of sound and in the process by which sound stimulated hearing in a percipient organism. Aristides Quintilianus and Theon of Smyrna. especially of Aristoxenus and Ptolemy and of the Aristotelian De audibilibus and Problemata. Adrastus. In this he took into account recent . They had to ask how numerical ratios became sensations of pitch. Ptolemy. Recent music exploited popular song in using intervals beyond this boundary and tunings other than that of the Pythagorean scale of the Timaeus (35B-36B) as set out by Boethius. Musical theorists were forced by the striking innovations in more recent polyphony and in musical instruments to reconsider the whole question of the theoretical limit fixed to consonances by restricting them to ratios between the numbers 1 to 4. dissonance and so on. Nicomachus. Later in the 15th century knowledge of Greek musical theory was extended far beyond that presented by Boethius and used in the medieval quadrivium by the recovery and new availability of Greek and Latin texts. Their point of departure was in effect a physical analysis of the relation between the quantitative primary properties of sound and the secondary qualities of sensation generated by physiological and psychological happenings through the ear. At the same time they looked systematically for enlightenment on this question and on acoustics generally in the texts of Greek authors. in both directions. and why some were pleasant and others unpleasant. Euclid. arising especially out of the innovations of polyphony and in musical instruments. the so-called senarius or senario.

and a composer. Hence "the practitioner. no date : 1917? reprinted De Kalb. Spirit and Language in the Renaissance (London. Mich. Shirlaw. But the sense of hearing is not as perfect as the judgement of the intellect because of the material and other circumstances that always necessarily accompany the former". Palisca. 1985b) .V. 1985). Benedetti proposed a physical explanation of consonance which would account for these phenomena. having simply to satisfy the sense"5. since the the more frequent the coincidence the higher the degree of consonance. and he also proposed rules of composition based on the new limit3. whatever instrument produced them4. he could arrange the consonances in an order by multiplying the two terms of each of their ratios. 5.. Music. Baibour (1953). 1573. M. 1558. new eds. Galilei then became musical preceptor to the musical academy of the Camerata which met at Bardi's home. since the theorist gives the reason why" ? Mei replied that "considering and understanding are one thing and putting into operation another. It was in offering to the composer Cipriano de Rone an analysis of the musical problems involved in tuning that the mathematician Giovanni Battista Benedetti took the first step towards the mathematical and physical demonstration of the fundamental proposition that pitch depended on frequency of vibrations or impulses. Walker (1978). U istitutioni harmoniche (Venetia. The former belongs to the intellect and the latter to sense. Then. Girodamo Mei (1519-1594) : Letters on Ancient and Modern Music to Vincenzo Galilei and Giovanni Bardi (American Institute of Musicology. just before Zarlino succeeded Cipriano de Rore at St. 66. 1953) .294 Science. under the influence of the humanist musical scholar Girolamo Mei.103. D. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought polyphonic practice by including among the consonances the major third (5:4). (1985a). Mark's. He again was led by musical problems of consonance and tuning to a scientific study of sound. 4. Cf. Palisca (1961).M.P.. Shirlaw (19177).125-6. The ear could tolerate considerable deviations from any mathematical scale. DI. On his return. he argued that the consonance of intervals depended on the coincidence of the terminations of their vibrations. This put relative consonance and dissonance alike on a continuous scale which ignored the boundary of the senario. cf. who worked in the Vatican Library. Palisca (1961). minor third (6:5) and major sixth (5:3). Tuning and Temperament. 1955) . 65. C. J. Mei argued for an empirical conception of the art of music. How was it Galilei asked him "that the practitioner does not follow at all the designs of the theorist. Cohen (1984). and hence that the musical intervals were ratios of these frequencies. Conn.1589). 1960). Gioseffo Zarlino da Chioggia. 2nd ed. . Humanism in Italian Renaissance Musical Thought (New Haven. (East Lansing. as he should. As a skilled lutanist he was sent by his humanist patron Count Giovanni Bardi in Florence to study musical theory with Zarlino in Venice. The complexity of the relation of science to art in this period is exemplified by Vincenzo Galilei. Barbour. needed no further precision than would achieve that end. Starting from the proposition that the frequencies of two strings with the same tension were inversely proportional to their lengths. Cohen (1984). 3. Starting in agreement with Zarlino he turned. into his most ruthless critic. The Theory of Harmony (London.

and in manuscripts apparently written between its completion and his death in 1591.55. and that familiarity could accustom the ear to change its preferences7.Theories ofPerceiver and Perceived in Hearing 295 Galilei's main target became Zarlino's attempt to restrict music to consonant ratios within the numerical senario. 81-82). He showed in the Discorso. and also what are needed in measure and proportion. Procissi. to know then how to place it to form the intervals both consonant and dissonant. La colltxione Gal'deiana della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. He pointed out that intervals and tunings that sounded pleasant or harsh on some instruments could sound the reverse on others. 7. that the traditionally accepted Pythagorean ratios of the consonances were ratios only of lengths. All scales were made by man and so were "artificial" (p.. 99. as well as of the Latin version by Jean Pena of Euclid's Sectio canonis (1557). but that the division of the former into seven and the latter into four intervals "is entirely a matter of art" (p. For although "the material of singing. in the sense of given in nature as distinct from made artificially by man or in man by his cultural experience and history. belong to an" (p. cf. 21). 8 . Q. He launched his attack on Zarlino in his Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna (1581). Ptolemaei Harmonicorum seu De musica libri Hi. is given by nature. omnium mine primum latine conscript* et editt ab Ant Gogavino Gnwknsis (Venetiii.. His work is a good example of the contemporary search at once for the best system and for its true ancient model. Central to the interest of the dispute for scientific and artistic thought was Galilei's rejection of Zarlino's conception of what was natural. i (Roma. and he looked in the Dialogo beyond the mere numerical harmony of Zarlino's "harmonic numbers" or "sounding numbers" for the physical basis of sounds and their effects on the ear. Thus while the octave ratio for the lengths of strings was 6. dedicated to Giovanni Bardi. 127-8). "In the same way it can be said of speech that it is natural and artificial" (pp. Aristotelis De obiecto auditus fragmentum ex Porphyrii commentafiis. Galilei was unsympathetic towards the more numerological and cosmic aspects of Platonism. Aristoxeni. Galilei again pressed his attack with \\isDiscorso intorno all' opere di messer Gioseffo Zarlino da Chioggia (1589).. . cf. In the course of his critique Galilei described an important acoustical discovery which he used against Zarlino's numerical explanation of consonances. Dialogo. Vincentio Galilei. Harmonicorwn elemenlorium libri iii. Ptolemy and the Aristotelian De audibilibus. 1587). He gave in the Dialogo an analysis of the vohime published in 1562 of Latin versions by Antonio Gogava of Aristoxenus. Biblioteca Ntzionale Centrale di Firenze. Thus all systems of intonation had to be learnt. Among the manuscripts inherited by his son Galileo he left a translation of Aristoxenus into Italian6. which is the voice. A. 3'-38* .. Galilei argued that it was "natural" that the ratios of the octave and the fifth were concords. 1562).47-8.. ff. Systems of intonation like languages in so far as they were made by man could undergo historical development. 1959). (Fiorenza. To a reply by Zarlino.. MSS Gtlilciani 8. 32.. 31). and he explicitly followed Aristoxenus in trying to build a rational art of music up from auditory sensation instead of imposing on it a rigid mathematical scheme in the style of the Platonists and Pythagoreans.

was based on his failure to understand that Galileo was dealing not with vibrations but with what are now called standing waves: cf.. 1588).. Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association. 594. Augst. 5^-57'.P. Correspondence. and Boethius De institution* musica i. il faut supposer la capacit6 de 1'auditeur. viii. de mesme que Tun aime mieux ce qui est doux. et 1'autre ce qui est un peu aigre ou amer.. Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis ii. Walker. Nicomachus. Crombie. ibid. but he cannot have reached his proportion for pipes by experiment for the pitch of a pipe is proportional to its length. Thus concerning the perfection of consonances.. Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze Giomata i (Leida. as he claimed. nazionale. 10. Like Benedetti (who had not explicitly drawn this conclusion) Galilei showed that there was no natural or numerical boundary between consonance and dissonance. Galilei's analysis of the relation of perceiver to perceived in hearing was to be developed into a systematic doctrine by Isaac Beeckman. cf. 1638) in Le Opere. Galilei seems to have been captivated by a neat mathematical sequence making the consonances depend successively on the unit. etc. D. 3-6. ff. 1958) for similar acoustical experiments perhaps bagun with his father at Florence .. B. the ratio of their volumes. Galilei must have made his experiments with strings. xxvi (1965). Descartes et la musique (Paris. (1985a). Sopplimenti maicali (Venelia. "Discorso particolare intomo alia diversita delle forme del diapason" MSS Galileiani 3. x. ed. Carugo e L. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought 2:1. Galileo Galilei. ch.6. 370-1 . and the Discorsi a cure di A. ii (Paris. 33-47. i (1959). ratios outside Zarlino's senario produced recognized consonances. 86-87. Pino. "Je dis plus simple. square and cube (for the octave 2:1. (1981). "Descartes'* Compendium on Music". Using essentially Benedetti's theory of consonances. 138-50. 45'-47r. 1898).l.296 Science. Palisca (1961). Unfortunately Walker's assertion in this article. Procissi. for their tensions it was the squares of these numbers 4:1. Discorso. Journal of the History of Ideas... but that they were distinguished by ear. with Galilei. Geymonat (Torino. reprinted with changes in (1978). "Discorso partioolare intomo all* unisono". Likewise the ratios of tensions of strings were for the fifth 9:4 and for the fourth 16:9. Cohen (1984). 10-11 for the story of Pythagoras's alleged discoveries . 119-32 . (Fiorenza. 602. Harmonicos manuale c. 8 . cf. that Galileo could not possibly have made his famous experiments with a file and with a goblet of water to show that the musical intervals were ratios of frequencies (Opere. . replying to Zarlino. 599. 9. De Waard avec R. and he asserted that for organ pipes it was their cubes 8:1. He could easily have discovered this from an organ builder. Pintard. a s^avoir ce qui les rend 8. 604. could yield conclusions about nature. 54". A. 1S89). 1907) . but also that if other quantities besides length of strings were considered. selon les personnes [. cf. publiee et annotee par C. Nevertheless he showed not only that the accepted story of Pythagoras's experiments with hammers must be false. non pas plus agreable [."9. 1937).. viii (Fircnze..] Mais pour determiner ce qui est plus agrdable. Macrobius. Descartes and Mersenne. Descartes wrote in 1630 to Mersenne that the "calcul que je faisois des retours des sons pour faire consonances" showed that in terms of the physical motions or blows producing them some intervals were simpler than others. and could transcend nature in artificial things. It seems clear that.. xix. Descartes to Mersenne L 1630 in Mersenne. "il y a deux choses a distinguer. laquelle change comme le goust. "Some aspects of the musical theory of Vincenzo Galilei and Galileo Galilei". 4:1 and 8:1) of the three quantities he considered8. Moreover an could complement nature.]. Styles. not its volume. ff. c (197374). 141-5). Buzon. Vincentio Galilei.

ou la naissance du mecanisme (Paris. encore pour I'ordinaire elle ne soit pas si agr6able. to the cultural habits of different peoples. In his great Harmonic universelle (1636-37). he established for the first time a systematic science of music in all its aspects11. cela depend des lieus ou elles sont employees. de sorte qu'on ne scauroit determiner absolument qu'une consonance soit plus agitable que 1'autre. According to the current theory derived from Aristotle (De 10. to the musical context.. Before the work of Mersenne. anatomists in the medical schools had been looking into the physiology of the ear. Mersenne was to elaborate this line of analysis into a comparative physiological and ethological inquiry into the variation of the effects of music on the ear and the emotions according to age and temperament. ix (New Yoik.. Cf. ch. ed. par B. the physiological mechanisms by which the ear responds to them. Marin Mersenne. 316-22. together with those of relevant predecessors. Styles. Optics and Music. "Mais on peut dire absolument quelles consonances sont les plus simples et plus accordantes. Thus while students of music as a mathematical science and art were inveitigating the acoustical quantities and their effects in musical sensation. 11. Gillitpie. 1974). and philosophers were explaining in their own ways the interactions between body and soul. The study of the senses in Renaissance science" (1964) in Science.. 1631. car cela ne depend que de ce que leurs sons s'unissent davantage Tun avec I'autre.C. in which he presented his own fundamental researches. C. pour ce qui les rend plus agr&bles. starting in Italy early in the 16th century not far in advance of where Galen had left off.. Crombie. 12.. et qu'elles approchent plus de la nature de 1'unisson . Anatomical research. A. R. On." Musical perceptions then were often subjective and influenced by their context. en sorte qu'in peut dire absolument que la quarte est plus accordante que la tierce majeure.C. into the mathematical physics and the psychology of sound. 24-25. Lenoble. . A. and the empirical phenomena of auditory perception. Optics and Music. Descartes and other contemporaries made these distinctions explicit. Science. mais non pas si agr&ble a nostre goust"10.. invertigators working in different intellectual and academic contexts did focus during the 16th century on different kinds of problems which they developed into different subjectmatters for research. Those inquiring into the way in which sound effected sensations in a sensitive body found themselves confronted by a number of different kinds of problem : the physical propagation and motions of sound and their acoustical quantities. comme la casse est bien plus douce que les olives. and in different kinds of animals.. Crombie. iii. "Mersenne. Marin (1588-1648)" in Dictionary of Scientific Biography. A.. 2* ed. Politzer.i. Marin Mersenne.C. et il se trouve des lieus ou mesme les fausses quintes et autres dissonances sont plus agreables que les consonances. ibid. i (Stuttgart.Theories ofPerceiver and Perceived in Hearing 297 plus simples et accordances. 1907). had by the beginning of the 17th century clarified and in large part discovered the main macroscopic details of the human auditory mechanism and its innervation12. Rochot (1969). Cf. Descartes to Mersenne 13. et ce qui les rend plus agreables a 1'oreille. 1943) . the means of relating these physical quantities and motions to the sensations they produced. 10. Geschichte der Okrenkeilkunde.

"Casseri (or Casserio). iii. c. the Dutch physician Volcher Goiter in his "De auditus instrumento" (1573)13. a marvellously illustrated work which with Girolamo Fabrici'sDe visione. De anatomia carports humani libri vii. Discussion of the physiology of hearing concentrated on the identification of the sensitive organ and on its mode of operation with that of the other parts. the first special monograph to be written on the ear. He thought that the bony labyrinth and cochlea of the inner ear acted like the coils of a musical instrument to augment the sound (c. but insisted that it was not the enclosed air but must be the termination of the auditory nerve15. 15. on the analogy of the operation of the eye in focusing visual images. "Fabrici. 507-12. L. Geronimo Fabrizio) (c. Whence it follows that when the external air acts. By means of this passage and agency. Volcher Colter. Herrlinger. Historia anatomica humani corporis. 1573) . 16. Andrea Laurentius. and for this there must be mutual agreement between the two. Guilio Casserio insisted on this likewise in his De vocis auditusque organis historia anatomica (1600-01). Sci. Elaborating this with anatomical details. voce. Zanobio. Attempts at more quantitative investigations of auditory physiology followed Mersenne's prescription that no one could succeed in this "unless he combines the 13. 8). B. Vidus Vidius. whence they were transmitted through the ossicles to the "enclosed air" and thence through the windings of the ear unaltered to "the auditory nerve. 15331619)" in ibid. 14. 1611). 322-3. the motion transmitted from a sounding body through the air produced a corresponding motion of the air enclosed in the ear. "De auditus instrumento" in Exiernarum et internarum principalium Humani corpora partium tabulae (Nurembergae. vii. But this does not happen immediately. 98 100 . Giulio (c. 1). xi. iv (1971).5 (Ars medicinalis. "there must be a mutual action and affection (actio et passio) between the sentient thing and the thing sensed. "To have a sensation of anything" he wrote. Cf. 1600). Premuda. Volcher Colter. Later in 1600 Andre* du Laurens located the proper organ of sensation in the cochlea.298 Science. 15). Politzer (1907). quaestiones 9-10 (Francofurti. 428-9. the image of the sound (strepitus imago) is at last transmitted to be seat of sensation (principiwn sentiendi)" (c. 1552-1616)" in Diet. Crombie (1964). The external air "affected by the quality of sound" transmitted its pulsations to the drum. auditu (1600) systematized auditory anatomy16. Biog. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought anima ii.. . R. the internal air receiving the alteration of the external air and being moved in the same way from outside. the internal or implanted air is affected. cf. 1534-1576 (Nuremberg. adding that his proposals "are to be understood more as conjectures than as scientific knowledge"14. Somewhat earlier than Goiter the Italian anatomist Guido Guidi had proposed that "the principal instrument of hearing" was the air enclosed in the inner ear. 1952). Girolamo (or Fabricius ab Aquapendente. iii (1971). Venetiis. but through the interposition of the membrane and of certain ossicles wonderfully designed by nature". identified the proper organ of hearing as the internal air in the cavity of the middle ear.

. Meyer and R. 16 (Lutetiae Parisiorum. De anima brutorum. Brett. 1683). 18. xxxv (1961). 10. q. ix (1965). 1733). Joseph Guichard Duvemey. mes conjectures me paroissent asses vraisemblables. with acknowledgements to the physicist Edme Mariotte. je croiray avoir bien reussi.142-55. This was to be done at the Academic Royale des Sciences. i (Paris. . Quoy qu'il en soit. \9.iv.Theories ofPerceiver and Perceived in Hearing 299 principles of physics and medecine with mathematical reasoning"17. cf.. 35-37 (1667). in 1677 he undertook "d'examiner a fond tout ce qui appartient au sens de 1'ouye"19. Marinus Mersennus. Bulletin of the history of Medicine. Stevenson and D. art. 219-316 . 117 (1670). "On Thomas Willis's conception of neurophysiology". A. G. cf. cc. 223 (1677). "A sevcntcenth-ccntuiy view of mental deficiency and schizophrenia : Thomas Willis on 'stupidity or foolishness". Guthrie. 18. R.Histoire de I'Acadtmie Royale des Sciences.S. Trait/ de I'organe de I'owe (Paris. 1623).P. Crombie (1964). He would "tirer de la mechanique de ces parties quelques consequences par lesquelles on peut expliquer leur usage et la maniere dont nous appercevons les sons et les bruits differens. 1908) . . 1696b. vers 21. pan i.. Medical History. Cranefield. 68-9 . mais d'autres seront peut-estre d'un autre goust. A History of Oto-Laryngology (Edinburgh. c. with a considerable debt to the still qualitative comparative studies of Thomas Willis of Oxford18.S. si je puis les obliger par cette essay a nous dormer quelque chose de meilleur"20. P. 57. The culmination of this pan of his programme was the Traitt de I'organe de I'owe (1683) by Joseph Guichard Duverney in which. The Philosophy of Gassendi (London. Duvemey proposed an explanation of the analysis of pitch by the ear modelled on the selective sympathetic resonance of the strings of a lute. Quaestiones in Genesim. 1-15. 3-15 (Oxonii. 1672) . Hierons. 20. Thomas Willis. 1949) . In 1667 Claude Perrault proposed for the Academic a programme of comparative research into the structures and functions of all the organs composing the bodies of animals . 17.

curious portrait by an unknown artist. xv—xvi. . 1910. Adam et P. pp.Rene Descartes. xii. 75). drawn perhaps in 1642 in Holland (see Oeuvres. ed. C. Tannery.

I have always persuaded myself that vision occurred by the reception of the images (species) of visible things on the retina. 'Science and the arts in the Renaissance'. pp. (Munich. F.16 Expectation.Caspar. .2 Likewise Leibniz was to point to the 'Brengger to Kepler 23. 'Experimental science and the rational arts in early modern Europe'. But I am in doubt. 5-7. and whether its function in scientific argument is exploratory or explanatory. in Le Discours et sa methode. pp. with further discussion. 90-91. whether it is a scale model of selected significant features of the situation modelled or an analogical model of the formal relations between phenomena without identity of material parts. Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society. xv. 2 G. in particular during the preceding century that of the camera obscura.-L. Grimaldi and J. Crombie. Tre discorsi sopra il modo d'alzar acque da' luoghi bassi (Parma. documentation and bibliography. 1990). Daedalus 115 (1986). to come 'to the perfection of art and to the stable production of the effect that is expected'. in Kepler's Gesammelte Werke. Brengger's comment alerts us also to the role of models. in the investigation of ocular physiology. From there in turn we can reach some measure of Kepler's originality and of his limitations. 49-74. Modelling and Assent in the History of Optics Part I: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition KEPLER'S MEDICAL friend Johann Brengger wrote to him in 1604 after the publication in that year of his account of the formation of the optical image in the eye: 'From what I have seen before on the operation of the camera obscura of Giambattista Porta . N. C. 18 vol. 131-144. Hammer (eds). . with 'nature itself as if become mechanical in the construction of the world and of all the forms of things'.1 The contemporary force of this to us perhaps trivial difficulty directs us at once to the presuppositions and expectations that gave rise to it. 1937-1959). whether it is an abstract postulate or is actually constructed.xii. W. 1994). A model of course embodies a theory. The mechanistic hypothesis and the scientific study of vision'. Marion (eds) (Paris. 2 (1967). 1987). by modifying it as required. M. 3-112 with extensive bibliography.1604. . History of Science 18 (1980). whereas vision occurs erect'. pp. could enable the investigator. 1567). for everything would be received there inverted. reprinted in Science. von Dyck. A model according to the 16th-century Italian engineer Giuseppe Ceredi. See on the subject of this paper A. and Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition (London. 233-246. Ceredi. 'La Dioptrique et Kepler'. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (London.

Euclid: the geometry of vision. The Greek natural philosophers in their search for the simplest and most economical principles of nature established theoretical modelling as a method of inquiry at the very beginning of Western scientific thinking. in making predictions about matters of which we have as yet little experience' and 'in investigating the true causes of things. For the historian attempting to unravel these commitments and their consequences it is essential to pay close attention to the contextual meanings of terms. ed. . They could then develop their research into the phenomena primarily theoretically within the model itself. but rather as the Greek mechane a contrivance or device of any kind. and the phenomena of visual perspective to those of the straight line and the angle. to philosophical philogy: Ceredi's term mecanica for example meant not simply machinary in its later sense. 1969). 1. . Thus they exploited the speculative power of geometry by reducing astronomy to the properties of the sphere and its radii. Euclid created the science of geometrical 3 Leibniz. To understand the commitments of the science of vision at the time of Kepler. Greek optical theory was essentially a theory of visual perception which aimed to make the process of vision yield the perceptions we had of the visible scene. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Fig. Elementa physicae. L.302 Science. and transl. 1682-1684) in Philosophical Papers and Letters. for it is always easier to discover the cause of a phenomenon which several things have in common'. . p. by reducing both to a common form provided by an appropriate general theory which defined their common scientific provenance and guided the inquiry to their common explanatory principles. usefulness of 'analogies .3 A model then offered a means of exploring a natural phenomenon through the known properties of an artifact. It offered an antecedent theoretical analysis that could suggest new questions to put to nature. Loemker (Dordrecht. 284. concerning both the nature of the world and the appropriate style of reasoning. It operated in scientific argument within a framework of generally accepted theoretical commitments. which determined the expectations of those involved and the assent they would give to its conclusions. as at that of Alhazen. we must take a long view. with a minimum of immediate reference to observations. E. ii (c.

physiological or philosophical. without immediate observation. The problems recognized in Greek optics all followed from the primary commitment of all its theories after Euclid. of Galen in his inquiry into the physiological functions of the different parts of the eye and his identification of the anterior surface of the crystallinus (the modern lens) as the sensitive receptor.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 303 Fig. to making the process by which vision was effected yield an immediate explanation of visual perception. In this way he could demonstrate from his premises. Euclidean vision: from Robert Fludd. Utriusque cosmi. historia: Microcosmus (Oppenheim. 1618). This was the commitment of Ptolemy in his combination of experimental measurement with geometry. that things appeared to be equal. of which he postulated the essential properties: that they were rectilinear. the appearances that things must have in direct vision and in the extension of visual space in plane and curved mirrors (Figs 1 and 2). larger or smaller.. Stoic or Epicurean in their theories of how vision was caused. 2. that they formed a perspective cone with its apex at the eye and its base at the object seen. and so on. . optics and perspective by taking the eye as the point of origin of lines of vision. and of the philosophers whether Platonic. larger or smaller according to whether the angles subtended at the eye were equal. whether geometrical. Aristotelian..

304 Science. The eventual solution was given by a second change in conceptual strategy initiated by Kepler and made explicit by Descartes. Taking the eye as an optical instrument analagous to any other. The striking difference between Greek and later medieval and modern optical theory is the absence of any Greek conception of the eye itself as an imageforming optical instrument and hence of any analysis of its dioptrical function. the physiological problem of how it functioned as an optical instrument had first to be solved in isolation. independent of the perceptions it generated but the only intermediary between object and eye. or by some incorporeal process. This was surely related to the absence of any purely physical conception of light. not a focused optical image. He separated the optical geometry of the eye from the perspective geometry of visual perception. known in Latin as Alhazen. could yet cause us to see as we did. The conceptual change that made this the central problem for visual theory was initiated in the context of 1 Ith-century Arabic thought by the physicist Ibn al-Haytham. Thus the eye functioned dioptrically . but conceptually attention was directed elsewhere. now recognized as a focusing lens. whence each was brought to a focus on the retina where together they formed an inverted and reversed image. The most obvious difficulty was to show how the eye. or by the entry into it of the ready-made Epicurean images. The explanation of perception by the Stoic visual flux emitted from the eye. A dead eye as Aristotle had insisted might be an eye only in name. which on his optical analysis formed an inverted and reversed image. he left still unanalysed the different categories of question involved but not distinguished in the Greek theory of vision. Then he turned this round and showed how the rays coming from an apex at each point in the visual field made up a multitude of cones with a common base on the crystallinus. His essential postulate was that the image was formed by the stimulation on the sensitive anterior surface of the crystallinus of points corresponding to the points in the visual field from which the rays came. made any geometrical analysis of the formation of images irrelevant. Kepler's reply was effectively that in order to find out how the living eye enabled us to see as we did. The image was a pattern of stimulation. But by offering this as an immediate explanation of visual perception. This exemplifies the need in the history of thought to examine problems not only at their own horizon of time but also in the sequence of subsequent insights offering solutions in other contexts. The technical capacity was there. Related to this again was the absence of any understanding of the dispersion of light into colours (despite well-known examples of this phenomenon) and hence of any understanding of the physical nature of colour. Alhazen carried out a mathematical and experimental analysis to show how it formed images within itself of the objects from which it received rectilinear rays of physical light. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought The specific character of Greek optics can be defined by comparison with what happened later.

The first was physical and physiological: the operation of the eye as an optical instrument like any other physical instrument. and more generally the relation of visual perception to the physiological clues involved. and a variety of other observations showed that 'light produces some effect in the eye'. which were separated in the new theory coming from Kepler and Descartes. From the viewpoint of the seventeenth century we can distinguish then four quite different kinds of question wrapped up together in the visual theory inherited from the Greeks. the empirical psychology of perception. but must be treated as an optical instrument that itself formed images of them from the light entering it. Ptolemy and Galen. Thirdly there was the ontological question of the relation of a physical stimulus as cause to sensation as an effect in a quite different category.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 305 like a dead camera obscura containing a lens. He recognized with brilliant originality that the eye did not simply receive the likenesses of things seen. and by investigating first the properties of light and then on that basis the process by which light effected vision by means of the eye. He rejected the extromission theory that sight was brought about by some kind of action sent out by the eye as supposed in their different versions by Euclid. The other problems of the relation of perceiver to perceived. after-images both of bright objects and of bright colours. whether these were terrestrial or were celestial like the Sun and Moon. investigated separately. that 'illuminated colours act on the eye' and that light and colour were . whether direct. In a series of experiments with sighting tubes and other devices. The pain inflicted by very bright light. and the causation by a physical agent of sensation in sentient beings. and their relations re-examined. he demonstrated the basic postulates of his optics: that light was emitted rectilinearly in all directions from all points on the surface of both luminous and illuminated bodies. He took from Alkindi the basic principle that everything in the world emits rays in every direction and applied this to light. He transformed optical theory by explicitly distinguishing light from vision. At the same time he developed systematically a specifically experimental as well as mathematical argument in exemplary combination. and he rejected the Epicurean intromission theory supposing that already-formed copies of objects entered the eye. reflected or refracted. and that its propagation was rectilinear whatever its form. could then likewise all be liberated from each other. Alhazen accepted as his starting point the Greek commitment of optics to finding an immediate explanation of visual perception. Secondly there was the relation of the formation of images in the eye to the perception of the objects of these images. Fourthly there was the empirical psychology of visual perception as a matter of independent autonomous observation apart from physiological or philosophical theory. and with a camera obscura of which he studied the operation. but he transformed the subject both conceptually and by his style of argument.

M. 'Ibn al-Haythams Stellung in der Geschichte der Wissenschaften'. IS optique. 1572).5 In the globular body of the eyeball with its coats *Opticae thesaurus Alhazeni Arabis libri septem . Morelou (eds) (London. Rashed. 2 vols. i. pp. with introduction and commentary by A. I. Optica I. 1963). Vitellionis Thuringopoloni libri x. omnes instaurati. 1957). Euclide et Ptolemee (Louvain. 'Zur Entwicklung der physiologischen Optik in der arabischen Literatur'. K.) (Louvain. Revue d'histoire des sciences. Thesis. in Dictionary of Scientific Biography 6 (New York.) (Cairo. Sabra.306 Science. L'optique et la catoptrique. 1. into French by P. pp. 'Le Discours de la lumiere d'Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen)'. The physical and the mathematical in Ibn al-Haytham's theory of light and vision'. Theories of Vision from al-Kindi to Kepler (Chicago. 1956). Ann Arbor. virtually identical so that colours were apprehended only through light. G. a Federico Risnero (Basel. 'Optique geometrique et doctrine optique chez Ibn al-Haytham'. S. in Science in Islamic Civilisation. Lejeune (ed. (London.. 271-298. D. 1). Schramm. Rashed. For Greek geometrical optics see Euclid.. The anatomy of the eye from a contemporary illustration inserted by Risner in editing Alhazen. Sudhoffs Archiv 43 (1959).. I. 'Hunain ibn Ishaq. 'The emergence of physiological optics'. 'Sensation and inference in Alhazen's theory of visual perception'. 3. 1971. Ver Eecke (Paris and Bruges. in Commemoration volume of Biruni International Congress in Tehran (Tehran. Crombie (1967: above n. 1990). 197-224. M. 3. Machamer and R. 1040)'. p. Sabra. transl. p. Straker. On Alhazen see also M. Ohio. See Al-Hasan ibn al-Haitham. 1989). All references in the text are to this edition. Vescovini. A.. 3. I. 160-185. Ptolemy. etc. Schramm. A.1. 289-316. . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Fig. The Book of the Ten Treatises on the Eye. 439-478. 1965a).D.. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 6 (1970). Rashed and R. not translated into Latin). Mich. . 1938). Recherches sur la catoptrique grecque (Brussels. books i-iii: "On direct vision". Sabra. . 1976). A. transl. 1928). 21 (1968). 1976). R. A. (965-c. in Studies in Perception.4 His problem then was to discover how the eye formed images of bodies from the light emitted from all their points in all directions. 1 and i. M. P. Schramm. C. 1980). Lejeune. Turnbull (eds) (Columbus.3. Alhazen adopted the basic ocular anatomy which Galen had related to Ptolemy's geometrical optical analysis and which had been described in detail by Hunain ibn Ishaq (Fig. Russell. Ibn al-Hay (hams Weg zur Physik (Wiesbaden.. 4 (Basel. Meyerhof (ed. Sabra. I. 1972). Studi sulla prospettiva medievale (Turin. 3). 1978). 1965). 'Ibn al-Haytham. pp. Lindberg. M. F. 1572). Lejeune. R. A. The Optics. 189-210 (for writings in Arabic including those on the camera obscura. G. Fikrun Wa Fann 6 (Hamburg. 1-22. R. A. A. Kepler's Optics (Indiana University Ph. 1948). G.

of which all the other parts were the instruments. 1897). thus passing through without refraction. thus an erect image of the object reaches the entrance of the optic nerve at the back of the eye. Hi. and was sometimes called the anterior glacialis or simply . In front of this are the centres of the vitreous humour and the choroid (uvea). The object al sends rays which pass perpendicularly through the cornea at m. The 'centre of the eye' (centrum oculi. The diagram is not anatomical. surrounding its transparent humours each part had its ordained function. He accepted and extended Galen's argument showing that the anterior surface of the crystallinus and that alone was the sensitive receptor. ed. /. 3. b) coincides with the centres of curvature of the cornea. 24 (Oxford. the aqueous humour (albugineus) and the anterior surface of the glacialis. Bridges ii. d.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 307 Fig. (The crystallinus formed the anterior part of the spherical glacialis. From The 'Opus Majus' of Roger Bacon. v. but a geometrical model showing the curvatures of the different refracting media according to Alhazen's optical theory of the eye. At the posterior surface of the glacialis the rays are refracted away from the centre so that they do not intersect. and behind it is the centre of the sclerotic (consolidativa). o and strike the anterior surface of the glacialis perpendicularly at c. 4.

Alhazen justified his choice of the perpendicular by arguing that among all the lines that reached the eye at different angles it was unique. with centres on the line passing from the centre of the pupil to the centre of the termination of the optic nerve at the back (i. pp. 4).4-12. His solution was to postulate that only the forms striking its anterior surface perpendicularly.4. would cause sensation.5. But if all the forms of light and colour entering the pupil from every point on the surface of an object stimulated the crystallinus. He postulated that in the optical system of the eye all the surfaces were spherical. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought glacialis.5. pp. pp. 4). and that 'the action of the light coming along that perpendicular is stronger than the action of light coming along oblique lines.5. 'Vision is brought about through a pyramid of which the apex is in the eye and the base on the visible object' (i. pp. as Risner headed Alhazen's account of the construction of the visual cone or pyramid which he followed Ptolemy and Galen in taking over from Euclid. 7-8). This postulate of his theory of visual perception required the further postulate of his anatomical geometry that the centres of curvature of both surfaces of the cornea. it was known 'that it is a property of light to act on the eye and that it is the nature of the eye to be affected by light' (i. Fig. 3-7. It is therefore more fitting that the crystallinus should sense from any point only the form coming to that particular point along the rectilinear perpendicular. 9-10).4-12. all would be confused and no clear image could be formed.308 Science. Fig. 10-12). whereas none of the others could be distinguished from any other as 'more fitting'. Because the . As Risner (the editor of the 1572 Latin edition) summarized it in his heading: 'Distinct vision is brought about by straight lines coming from the visible object perpendicular to the surface of the eye and thus single points of the visible object maintain the same position on the surface of the eye as on the visible object'. and without weakening by refraction. so that the forms falling perpendicularly on the first should pass perpendicularly without refraction through them all (i. Thus his style of argument was to impose on both ocular anatomy and on optical physiology geometrical postulates that would satisfy the immediate expectations of vision.4. of the albugineous (or aqueus) humour. His stroke of genius was to impose on ocular anatomy and physiology a geometrical-optical model that would meet the requirements of his theory of visual perception. and should not sense from that point what comes to it along refracted lines' (i. When light entered through the pupil.19. 3-7. and of the anterior surface of the crystallinus should all coincide at the centre of the eyeball.14.18. the posterior part was the vitreus humor. but Alhazen having refuted extromission composed it only of the forms of light and colour entering the eye along the perpendiculars. pp.) But he formulated the problem of image-formation in the tradition not of medical physiology but of the mathematical sciences. This would be geometrically the same whether vision took place by intromission or extromission.

and from the ordering (ordinatio) of the parts of the form at its surface and in its whole body will arise its sensation from the ordering of the parts' (i. Now 'the glacialis is disposed (praeparatus) both to receive those forms and to sense them. The anterior glacialis was naturally disposed or prepared (nr0nnmtu<!\ hoth to receive and to sense these forms. Therefore the forms pass into it because of its receiving and sensing power (propter virtutem sensibilem recipienteni). but the eye is only an instrument of that power. which is the sensitive power (virtus sensitiva) that is in the anterior part of the brain. and with the arrival of the form at the common nerve vision is completed. 35.5. but to sense them onlv . 2. pp. 'and from this action and affection will arise the sensation of the glacialis from the forms of visible things that are at its surface and pass into its whole body. Alhazen thus took over from Galen both his basic ocular anatomy and his conception of the process of visual sensation and perception completed in the brain. By means of the form arriving at the common nerve the ultimate sentient apprehends the forms of things seen (i. where they endowed the anterior glacialis with those qualities. brought about vision by altering in turn the transparent medium and through that the eye.25.30. and thence into the subtle body that is in the concavity of the nerve until it reaches the common nerve. because it is a property of light to act on the eye and a property of the eye to be affected by light'. He also adopted and adapted from Aristotle his conception that the forms of light and colour. The light was accompanied by colour. . i. i.5. .28. and there resides the ultimate sensation and the ultimate sentient (ultimus sensus et sentiens ultimum). This action passed into the glacialis 'only along straight radial lines. 2. 17-18. because the eye receives the forms of things seen and sends them to the ultimate sentient. pp. Accidental light coming from illuminated objects was apprehended in the same way (ii. it received the forms but prevented them from passing right through: 'Thus the forms are fixed in its surface and body.26. .5.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 309 crystallinus was optically both transparent and dense.5. 34-35). transmitted in straight lines as qualities of visible objects. p. and the ultimate sentient apprehends those forms and apprehends from them the visible things that are in them.18. This action which light effects in the glacialis is of the same kind as pain . That form at the surface of the glacialis is extended into its body. because the glacialis is disposed to receive the forms of light vertically on radial lines'.16. That power apprehends the sensible things (comprehendit sensibilia). From there this sensation occurring in the glacialis is extended to the optic nerve and comes to the anterior part of the brain. and colour is apprehended by the sentient from the alteration (alteratio) of the form of the sentient body and from its coloration'. ii. When the form reaches the surface of the glacialis it acts on it and the glacialis is affected (patitur) by it. Thus 'essential light (lux essentialis) is apprehended by the sentient from the illumination of the sentient body. 15-16). but weakly: it is the same with any transparent body that is somewhat dense'.15). p. cf. pp.

and that by means of which the ultimate sentient apprehends light and colour in some kind of form' (i. made up of the forms of these separate points which maintained the order they had in the object. The problem was: what kind? The relation of the forms of light and colour to the optical physiological requirements of his theory of visual perception remained a problem to the end.6 Each of the eyes corresponded exactly to the other in structure and in position relative to the common nerve. pp.5. not in the eyes but beyond them in 'another sentient' to which the two forms came either united or separately. Of the forms emitted by each point of the visible object. it was not an optical image visible to an external observer such as was produced in a camera obscura. when both their axes were directed towards an object.14. just as the sensations of pain and touch are extended. so that the thing must be apprehended. Alhazen argued that 'transparent bodies are not changed by colours.1.5. 57-58). i. Certainly 'the sensation reaching the common nerve is a sensation of light and colour and ordering.5.5. the form of the object would be reproduced at corresponding points in each eye.27. 9-10. Sabra (1972: above n. as he showed by an experiment with a camera obscura.25. so that in normal binocular vision. pp. and the ultimate sentient then apprehends that sensible thing'. is that an obstruction in that nerve destroys vision and when the obstruction is destroyed vision is restored.2. but a sensation (sensus) is extended from the eye to the common nerve. If the spectator pushed one eye out of place he would see two things instead of one. For 6 Cf. those which stimulated corresponding points of the anterior glacialis reproduced there the form of the whole object. pp. 26. ii.310 Science. p. 17). p. But what it was that passed beyond the eyes was a problem.42^4. 4). 15. 16-17).5. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought selectively in the direction of the perpendicular. . This form was a pattern of stimulations perceptible only from within by the sensitive power itself. pp. 'It could be said that the forms coming to the eye do not come through to the common nerve.18. The art of medicine attests this'. ii.28. Thus the object was seen as one 'because the two forms coming from a single thing to the two eyes run together on reaching the common nerve and are superimposed one on the other and made into one form: and by means of that form made up of two forms the ultimate sentient apprehends the form of that thing'. and after that vision is completed.4. Nor were the lights and colours passing through a transparent medium affected by each other. i. from which they were also stronger (i. 7-8. but the property of colour and light is that their forms are extended along straight lines' (i. The evidence that the forms of things seen are extended through the concavity of the nerve and come to the ultimate sentient. nor are they altered (alterantur) by them with a fixed alteration. sometimes as one and sometimes as two. p.

p. And what we say about light and colour and air is to be understood of all transparent bodies. of the many forms of light and colour emitted into the air and transparent bodies. for in it all the forms of light and colour passing rectilinearly through the aperture to the screen would contribute to the image there. If one of the candles is screened off.5. all opposite an opening leading into a dark place (locus obscurus).29. for it disappeared when the light did.5. but each one of them extends on straight lines. does not receive the form of light and colour as the air and other nonsentient transparent bodies receive it. The cornea covering the pupil (foramen uveae) retained the fluid albugineous humour. and if the screen is removed the light reappears. pp..26). only the light opposite that one candle disappears. but in a way different from that way. This can be tried at any time: for if the lights intermixed in the air they would become intermixed in the air in the opening and would have to pass through intermixed. 'Indeed the sentient member (membrum sentiens). In the whole process the eye and all its parts 'are instruments by which vision is completed'. But the camera obscura was not a model for the eye. so it receives it in so far as it is sentient and in so far as it is transparent'. strong. This seems to suggest . spherical uvea which contained the albugineous humour 'is black so that the albugineous humour and glacialis would be obscured in such a way that the forms of light would make their appearance in them weak: because weak light is more visible in a dark place and escapes notice in a place full of light'.. As he had already explained (i. the lights of those candles appear on the body or that wall distinctly according to the number of the candles. 'the eye. Since that member is disposed (praeparatum) to receive that form. But we do not find this so. Hence the quality of its reception from that form is different from the quality of reception by nonsentient transparent bodies'. whereas in the eye only those falling on the anterior glacialis perpendicularly would contribute to the form of the object seen.5. As again he had already explained (i. apprehends those according to the pyramid which is distinguished between them and the centre of the eye' (i. Thus 'the glacialis is altered (alteratur) by light and colour to the extent that it senses (sentiat)\ by an 'alteration (alteratioy that 'is necessary but with a nature not fixed'. The glacialis was so 'disposed to be affected by colours and lights and to sense them' in a way that air and other transparent bodies and the transparent coats of the eye anterior to it were not.The History of Optics: Alha&n and the Medieval Tradition 311 when in one place several candles are put at various different points. 17). which like the cornea was transparent 'so that the forms would pass through it and reach the glacial humour'. and the transparent coats of the eye' (i. Each one of them appears opposite one candle on a line passing through the opening. Thus the 'form of each and every light' was extended through the transparency of the air 'which does not lose its own form.19). Hence the lights are not intermixed in the air.30. and they would not become separate later. The black. namely the glacialis. 17-18). 'its affection (passio) by that form is of the same kind as pain.5. with a wall or an opaque body opposite the opening.

Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Fig. u) so that instead of intersecting (below a) they reach the optic nerve (c) with the image correctly orientated. Digby 234 (15 cent. bs) meeting at its centre of curvature (b). 247.) f. Alhazen's treatment of the fundamental problem that followed from this analysis exemplifies the decisive dominance of his optical theory by his commitment to finding an immediate explanation of visual perception. From Roger Bacon. but it was still an instrument to that end. on which the whole eye is constructed. viii.312 Science. is hollow so that the visual spirit may run through it from the brain and may reach the glacialis and may in turn give to it sensitive power (virtus sensibilis). 5. pp. that the eye was like a camera obscura with the glacialis as its screen. f) and are refracted at its posterior surface (q. and so that the forms may pass through in the subtle body running in its concavity until they reach the ultimate sentient which is the anterior part of the brain' (i.33. 20-21). For . v. The glacialis had 'many properties by which sensation is completed'. 'But the optic nerve. /: Oxford MS Bodleian Library.The rays from the right (dextrum m) and left (sinistrum p) ends (labelled in reverse in MS) of the visible object pass perpendicularly through the anterior surface of the flattened glacialis (g. i. Opus maius.6. The rays passing into the vitreous humour (held to be optically denser than the glacialis) are refracted according to Ptolemy's rules towards the perpendiculars (bl.

This body has a transparency different from that of the body of the anterior glacialis only in order .. Therefore the forms are refracted only at their entry into the vitreous humour. if the form was extended on straight radial lines it would be congregated at the centre of the eye and become as it were a single point. neither will it reach the common nerve with its proper arrangements. and what is above would become below and below above.4. Therefore the form can come from the surface of the glacialis to the concavity of the nerve with its parts in their proper positions only on refracted lines. This refraction must occur before it reaches the centre. because if the lines were refracted after passing through the centre they would be reversed. His solution again was to contrive further optical and anatomical postulates to prevent these happenings. has a different transparency from the anterior part. cutting across radial lines. and that the anterior and posterior glacialis had different transparencies.5. And .4]. applying Ptolemy's rules and constructions for refraction at plane surfaces to sections of spheres. Thus.. He structured his argument formally in hypothetical syllogisms leading by elimination to the one true conclusion: If therefore the form does not reach the concavity of this nerve arranged as it is on the glacialis. There is no body in the glacialis different in constitution (forma) from the anterior body except the body of the vitreous. It is a property of the forms of light and colour that they are refracted when they meet another body of different transparency from the first. It has been shown [i. and when they continued straight on past the centre their positions would be reversed: what is right would become left and vice versa. But the form cannot extend from the surface of the glacialis to the concavity of the nerve in straight lines and still preserve the proper positions of its parts: for all those lines meet at the centre of the eye. . He supposed that the centre of curvature of the posterior surface of the anterior glacialis — forming its interface with the posterior glacialis or vitreous humour — and that interface itself were in front of the centre of the eye..The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 313 how did the 'sensible image' of the object made on the anterior glacialis maintain its necessary order in its passage through the posterior transparent media of the eye to the common nerve where it was finally perceived by the ultimate sentient? The first stage of the problem was geometrical. he argued that the forms would be refracted at the posterior surface of the anterior glacialis in the directions preventing their meeting at the vertex of the pyramid (Figs 4 and 5). that is optical densities. that the body of the glacialis is o unequal transparency and that its posterior part.. called the vitreous humour. and if they passed beyond the vertex their order would be inverted and reversed.. it would become reversed in accordance with the reversal of the intersecting lines along which it was extended. It has been said [i. if it was extended on straight radial lines and passed through the centre. .18] that this form passes through the body of the glacialis on straight radial lines:. which being dimensionless had no order. This would require that the vitreous humour was the denser.. Then. therefore the form is refracted only by its passage through the body of the glacialis. for if the forms coming on the visual pyramid reached its vertex at the centre of the eye they would be reduced to a point..

because at this member is the origin of sensation.3. pp. of which one is the difference of transparency of the two bodies.4.5.314 Science. and thus because of refraction the form would be monstrous. or because of its arrangement there would be two forms'. but the posterior part. p. and this body receives them and senses them'.8. Thus it receives these forms according to the reception of sensation (sensus). p. because if it were not the form would appear monstrous after refraction (ii.1. and the receptive power which is in that body. 25). Its surface must be in front of the centre of the eye so that the forms are refracted at this surface before they pass through the centre.1. and this surface must be correspondingly ordered. 25-26. Therefore forms are refracted at the vitreous humour by two causes.1. For the radial lines play no part in the ordering of the thing seen except only at the glacialis.30). These lines are then nothing but the instrument of the eye through which the apprehension of things seen is completed with their proper arrangement. which is the vitreous humour. Moreover. 26).15. as transparent bodies demand'. the glacialis did not receive the forms like other transparent bodies 'because the sentient member receives these forms and senses them and they pass through it because of its transparency and the sensitive power that is in it. and the other the difference of the quality of reception of sensation between these two bodies'. They were refracted by the two causes on entering the vitreous humour. Because of this difference 'the extension of the forms into the sentient body does not have to be in straight lines. Hence 'only the anterior part of the glacialis is made appropriate for the reception of the forms on straight radial lines. and 'then this sensation and these . But the arrival of the forms at the ultimate sentient does not require the extension of these lines rectitudinally (ii. ii.2. and they do not sense them'. In fact both causes acted corroboratively so that after refraction a single form passed from the glacialis through to the optic nerve. is not made appropriate to the sensation of those forms but only to the preservation of their ordering' (ii. 16. It has also been shown [i.1. Therefore the forms reach the vitreous humour ordered according to their order on the surface of the eye. as he had asserted (i. 'but it would be refracted because of the difference of the quality of sensitivity (sensus). 18] that it is impossible for the form of the thing seen to be ordered on the surface of the eye with the likeness (imago) of the thing seen and the smallness of the sentient thing except through these lines. But transparent bodies receive them only with the reception by which they receive for reflection (ad reddendwri). cf. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought that the forms can be refracted in it.5. 29). p. the form would be extended into the vitreous humour along the straight radial lines without refraction. The second stage of the problem concerned what happened after the forms had passed into the vitreous humour. If their transparencies were the same.

37. pp. ii. ii. These included the symmetry of the two eyes and optic nerves so that each of their images would be formed at corresponding points and could unite as a single image at the common nerve filled with the visual spirit. certified its perception of the whole visible object by means of rapid movements taking the axis over the separate points from which the forms were emitted (ii. remained ambiguous. 26. But once they had struck the anterior glacialis they were sorted. not by a purely geometrical optical process but by its selective directional sensitivity.5.7-9. ii. or its action in producing a sensible image in the anterior glacialis. pp. 34-35. vii. and where it became something different. Exactly how far its propagation continued to be optical and rectilinear. by its selective directional sensitivity operating through the central axis of the visual pyramid on which the forms struck the surface of the anterior glacialis perpendicularly. so to reach the ultimate sentient (i. 27). 75. 73-74.27. pp. p. that passed inwards from the posterior surface of that body to the ultimate sentient located in the region extending from the common nerve to the anterior part of the brain. p. by way of the hollow optic nerve. Hi. 57-58.2. Alhazen's forms of light and colour were emitted in straight lines by all luminous or illuminated bodies whether or not there was an eye present to see them.2-17.16. 1. vii.64-69.25. Following Galen he distinguished between the sensation occurring in the anterior glacialis and the discriminative perception made by the ultimate . 16-17. i. pp. cf. pp.6-36.6. pp. and they entered the pupil just as they might enter any optical instrument.5.2. 1.6. He described how the eye. 76-87. into a sensible and not a geometrical optical image of the object seen. 'like the extension of the sensations of touch and of pain to the ultimate sentient' (ii. He did not distinguish exclusively and consistently the different kinds of question involved in vision. He tailored ocular anatomy to the requirements of this theory of sensation.2. p.5. because their transparency or density was the same (ii.42-44. but it was unlike them in being itself an active agent of perception. It operated like a dead optical instrument only in so far as it shared the optical properties of insentient transparent bodies.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 315 forms are extended through this body until they reach the ultimate sentient'. 27-30.5. p. pp. which is in the concavity of the nerve'. cf. which were to become clear only in the different conceptual context of the 17th century: fundamentally those of the physical properties of light and the operation of the eye as an optical instrument independently of its function in perception. 15. i. The forms were not refracted on passing through the posterior surface of the vitreous humour into the visual spirit or 'sentient body.3. Despite his geometrical model. ii. 67-71. pp. Alhazen confined his whole analysis of the properties of the eye within the inherited Greek conception of it as a living sentient organ. 16). pp. 26-27.27.1. 267-268).1. 268-270).6. But he never made clear whether it was the form of light and colour coming from the object seen. or both together.

number.15.. distinction and inference (argumentatio) by the distinctive power (virtus distinctivd). shape. But distinction occurs only by the distinctive.. any part of the sentient body will sense the form. will occur only by the recognition or distinction of the distinctive power of the forms coming into the concavity of the common nerve to the apprehension of the ultimate sentient. but generally divided into 22'. because the sensitive power is in the whole of this body. p.2... Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought sentient. These included light. p. colour. especially in the Opus maius (completed by 1267). as straightness or curvature. location. but Alhazen explained the process of perception very clearly. the ultimate sentient. Alhazen's Optica provided on its arrival in the Latin West in the 13th century a model of scientific argument. Since therefore the form is extended from the surface of the sentient member all the way to the concavity of the common nerve. Others were perceived by combinations of these. followed by John Pecham and Witelo. 34. Again the ambiguity over what passed produced a matching ambiguity as in Galen over the relative functions of those sentient bodies.2-4) also developed Robert Grosseteste's conception of a magnifying glass by . Bacon (in Opus maius v. dryness or wetness by the relative stability or movement of the parts. and emotions by the expressions produced by the movements of the face (ii. 3.16. and recognition of the forms and their signs. Historically most important of all was the adoption by Roger Bacon. is sentient throughout. and the distinctive power.. In this way apprehension of the forms of visible things will occur in the sensitive power. namely the visual spirit. And so the sentient body extended from the surface of the sentient member all the way to the concavity of the common nerve. and by the recognition of the signs of these forms. The Latin Optica established the subject as a major experimental and mathematical physical science in the scheme of medieval theoretical and practical knowledge. and then distinction and inference will occur. increase or decrease. motion. The particular qualities (intentiones) that are distinguished by the sense of vision' he wrote 'are many. not the sensitive.2.. shadow. and the definitive treatment of optics in all its aspects for nearly four hundred years. Essential to this was that the sensation should retain its order as it passed through the visual spirit connecting them. of Alhazen's geometrical model of the eye as an image-forming device.2. 34-35). Witelo wrote his Perspectiva or Opticae libri decem (in 1270 or soon afterwards) as a compendium of Alhazen's Optica and provided jointly with the latter the essential account of the subject (eventually to be published by Risner in 1572 in one integrated volume) until the 17th century. The qualities of light and colour going from the object seen into the eye thus differed in different ways which had to be distinguished and interpreted: And since it is so.2. power (ii. distance. a guide to the relation of perceiver to perceived not simply in vision but in general. cf. 31). size. and when the form reaches the concavity of the common nerve.. pp.316 Science. it is apprehended by the ultimate sentient.12. ii. transparency.

over Alhazen's assertion that rectilinear propagation was a fundamental property of light.7 Some particular questions arose in two different contexts. But propagation in an animate medium See E. Tycho. 183-218. without going into details. 6 (1970b). 6 (1970a). 1. was that they preserved the principle of rectilinear propagation within the wider principle that nature always acts for the best. and 'Eyeglasses and concave lenses in fifteenth-century Florence and Milan'. V. 154-176. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 5 (1968).1). and that there would be no further refraction of the images (species) on their passage from the vitrous humour into the nerve which 'is filled with a similar vitreous humour as far as the common nerve' (Opus maius v. The camera obscura became a familiar instrument in the second half of the 13thcentury. ibid. that of the camera obscura and that of the eye. and so the whole order of the thing seen will be changed'. 1). Their essential features for present purposes. 267-293. Crombie (1967: above n. different kinds of answer were proposed. 7 . Rosen. C. 214-223. The question for the eye was that faced by Alhazen concerning the propagation of the sensible image from the crystallinus or anterior glacialis through the vitreous humour and then through the winding optic nerves to the ultimate sentient in the brain. Lindberg. "See D. 299-325. See also Straker (1971: above n. 4).8 The question here was how to account by means of rectilinear propagation for the circular shape of the image cast through an angled aperture with straight sides of a certain size at a certain distance from the screen. and his 'Kepler. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 11 (1956). if they continued all the way in the same straight line they would intersect and then 'what was right would become left and vice versa. These optical principles belonged to what he called the common laws of nature and they operated necessarily in all inanimate media. Why was it that when the aperture was relatively small or its distance from the screen relatively large the image assumed the shape of its luminous source independently of the shape of the aperture? Lacking the analysis into superimposed images made by Alhazen in an Arabic work not translated into Latin. Bacon expounded Alhazen with an interesting new terminology. Illardi. Since the rays of the visual pyramid or cone carrying the image must travel rectilinearly through the vitreous humour in accordance with the principles of geometrical optics.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 317 means of constructions based on those of Ptolemy for plane and of Alhazen for curved refracting surfaces. The theory of pinhole images in the fourteenth century'. and they made the operation of the camera obscura a familiar problem. 341-360. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 24 (1981). Renaissance Quarterly 29 (1976b). and the 'Optical part of astronomy': the genesis of Kepler's theory of pinhole images'. ibid. and what was above would be below. 1976a). The invention of eyeglasses'. 'A reconsideration of Roger Bacon's theory of pinhole images'. To prevent this 'nature has contrived' the position and the transparency of the vitreous humour so that the rays would be refracted at its interface with the anterior glacialis. Spectacles were invented in northern Italy at the end of the 13th century. Occhiali alia corte di Francesco e Galeazzo Maria Sforza (Milan. used for example in observing solar eclipses. The theory of pinhole images from antiquity to the thirteenth century'.7.

for the image follows the tortuosity of the nerve and pays no attention to the straight path. as in the nerves of the senses. does not hold to the common laws of nature (leges communes nature). Underweysung der Messung (1538).318 Science. Ciuitaiij I poM Fig. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Fig. A painting as a cross-section of the visual pyramid: from Fludd (1618). This propagation does not take place except in an animate medium. 6. This happens through the power of . but claims for itself a special privilege. 7. Alberti's grid (1435): from Diirer.

'these things are asserted without prejudice to a better opinion'.) (Berlin. pp. 7 Commentarii. 1977. revised 1955). F. he added. ii. 1970).) (London. C. Especially dramatic were the effects on the depiction of the external and 9 Cf. 22.9 Pecham a little later used similar terminology and noted in discussing the possibility of deviation from rectilinear propagation in the camera obscura that this must happen in the visual spirits in the optic nerve in order to preserve the image. 102-103. De multiplicatione specierum. 1975). E. ii. Underweysung der Messung (Nuremberg. von Schlosser (ed. 17-49.2. and at the same time a new conception of modelling.11 The theory of perspective. Its exact measurement and true scaling introduced into science and technology a completely fresh means of communicating information through pictorial illustrations. Borsi. and transl. 1912). Witelo and Pecham and an Italian version of Alhazen's Optica made in the century before. But. 5 (1965b). Rinasdmento 2nd Series. 7 revised. F. showing by means of calculated visual clues how to represent a three-dimensional object on a plane surface. J.2.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 319 the soul in regulating the path of the image. Panofsky. 2. The Life and Art of Albrecht Diirer (Princeton. Edgerton Jr.. described for the first time by his younger contemporary Leon Battista Alberti.10 The Latin perspectivists established Alhazen's geometrical model of vision and made these related optical problems familiar in the West equally for mathematical natural philosophers and for visual artists.7. by D. 'Contribute per la storia della fortuna di Alhazen in Italia'. pp. "Lorenzo Ghiberti. Albrecht Diirer. was based on the visual pyramid or cone extending from the eye as its apex to the object seen as its base. The Renaissance Rediscovery of Linear Perspective (New York. Grayson (ed. M. 78-81. 1990). Wisconsin. S.1) shared by light and other forms of energy. i. The Science of Art (New Haven. 1983).J. 1943. 1. produced in effect a perceptual model of the scene before the eyes. Perspectiva communis. iii. 1972). Lindberg in Roger Bacon's Philosophy of Nature (Oxford.2). Leon Battista Alberti (Oxford. Here 'the mode (via) of the spirits brings about that advance of the image partly outside the rectitudinal'. 8). C. Conn. '"John Pecham. 12 Leon Battista Alberti. 1. C.Y. cf. 12. revised 1538). Thus for the benefit of natural order 'the capability of the power of the soul' could dispense the image from the 'common laws of natural propagations (leges communes multiplicationum naturalium)' (v. Roger Bacon.. Kemp.12 The technique of perspective. but in the camera obscura this would be done by a 'natural fittingness (convenientta)'. A drawing in true perspective was then a plane cross-section of this pyramid: he described how to make it correctly by viewing the object through a chequered screen or grid (Figs 6 and 7).. De pictura (1435) in On Painting and On Sculpture. cf. Lindberg (1970a: above n. N. according to what the operations of an animate thing require (iv. . Vescovini. Thus Lorenzo Ghiberti. ed. 1525. Lindberg in John Pecham and the Science of Optics (Madison. by D. ed. G. used in his discussion of the theory and practice of the method in sculpture all the main optical writers from Aristotle and Euclid to Bacon. belonging to the first generation of artists to exploit the new technique of linear perspective invented early in the 15th century by Filippo Brunelleschi. and transl. i.

Depiction became an instrument of research. and above all the transparent view of the internal arrangements and the exploded view depicting both the whole and the parts taken out and shown separately in accurately scaled diagrams. water-driven mills and other devices by Agricola in his treatise on mining and metallurgy. and with the printed book it became in the 16th and 17th centuries as normal a means of finding out and conveying information as the written word. 1). Through the 15th century the new techniques of perspective and chiaroscuro rapidly transformed the working drawings of architecture and engineering as they had the design of paintings. W. plants and minerals and their arrangements and of those of machines. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought internal structures of animals. but the familiarity of two such artifacts provided especially efficacious conditions for modelling the eye. Edgerton Jr. D. Artists as well as mathematicians and natural philosophers began to turn their attention to how the eye itself. 1985). 8. by Felix Plater with his exploded views of the parts of the eye. 168-197. pp. It seems to have been Leonardo who first proposed a camera obscura "Cf. in Science and the Arts in the Renaissance. J. . Styles chs. both seem to have designed their machinery by means of inventive drawing on paper before building it. Shirley and F. by Girolamo Fabrici da Aquapendente and later by Giulio Casserio depicting the organs of the five senses with attention to comparative anatomy. Agostino Ramelli and Vittorio Zonca in their richly illustrated volumes on machines. the views with the outside cut away to reveal the internal parts in position.C. and by Jacques Besson. The Sienese engineer Mariano di Jacopo called Taccola.13 Comparisons of living organs with inanimate artifacts were not at this time new. of the opened heart and its valves. receiving the visual clues from the scene or painting in front of it.. and of the eye as a whole and in transverse vertical section accompanied by the dissected parts taken out and shown separately. Thus appeared the presentation of the mechanisms of pumps. Y. S.320 Science. The Renaissance development of scientific illustration'. The glass or crystal lens became well known during the 16th century as a focusing device in spectacles. There was likewise the increasingly sophisticated presentation of their anatomical researches by Leonardo da Vinci with his drawing of the skull and its contents. and a generation later Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The camera obscura was likewise widely used both in astronomy for observing solar eclipses and in art for demonstrating the projection of a scene in perspective upon its translucent screen. Most compelling in the exact information they could provide were the views showing sections cut through an anatomized corpse or a machine at different angles and through different parts. Hoeniger (eds) (Washington. The new pictorial language was used with even greater sophistication by Leonardo da Vinci.. the rotated view as developed by Albrecht Diirer. D. operated as an instrument of vision. Crombie. who knew Brunelleschi. by Andreas Vesalius with his illustrations also of the skull.13 (above n.

337 illustrating his comparison of the eye with a camera obscura. and the vitreous humour in front of the spherical crystallinus. showing the aqueous humour extending all round inside the dark choroid (uvea). f. 8(a). . From Leonardo da Vinci. Codex Atlanticus.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 321 Fig. The ocular anatomy is peculiar. In this construction the rays intersect for a second time in the centre of the lens in order to preserve the correct orientation of the image at the optic nerve.

8(b).3v: model of the eye (top right). A hollow glass sphere cut away at the top (— right) is fitted in a box with a small hole in the bottom as the pupil. From Codex D.322 Science. With his face in the water the observer's eye would receive the image of the object seen on the visual pyramid entering the pupil hole on the rays coming from s t. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Fig. . At the left is a matching diagram of the eye itself with the optic nerve emerging on the right at a place corresponding to the observers eye in the model. and filled with water: inside is a smaller glass sphere as the crystallinus.f.

but a living organ with active vital powers of selection. which received the images and transmitted them to the common sense in the seat of judgement. De radio astronomico et geometrico (Antwerp. but the camera obscura itself was widely publicized by writers both on astronomy and on art. // Codico Atlantico nella Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano. Kemp.14 He introduced at the same time into the analysis of vision the idea of exploiting the conformity of nature with art and of living with dead. 1545) f. Piumati. 8 vols. The eye was not simply a passive instrument like a camera obscura. From Gemma Frisius. He recognized the need to explain optically the path through the eye of the rays forming the image. 2 vols. This brilliant model was not known in print in time to have any influence. 8). The crystallinus was simply a refracting device whose essential function was to prevent the image from reaching the visual power inverted. 1981). (Paris. C. incorporating a glass lens as a model of the eye. Leonardo da Vinci: The marvellous works of nature and art (London. He assumed that the visual power lay not in the crystallinus but in the widened extremity of the optic nerve. 1938). M. (London. as in a camera obscura. . arranged etc. MacCurdy. The Notebooks. 6 vols. and thus he introduced the conception of the image formed in the eye as a picture on a screen (Fig. But he still looked with Alhazen his analysis for an immediate explanation of visual perception.31rv: observing a solar eclipse in a camera obscura.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 323 Fig. Gemma Frisius described and illustrated how to observe solar eclipses in a darkened room in which sunlight admitted through a small hole would produce an inverted image of the Sun on a suitably placed 14 Leonardo da Vinci. Ravaisson-Mollien (ed. by E. but for it to see correctly the image must be orientated as well as ordered in the same way as its object. transcribed by G. 1881-1891).). M. 9. (Milan. cf. 1894-1904). Codex D in Les manuscrits.

R. 4) 173 n. The term specilla. 1857). J. He described the crystallinus as magnifying like eyeglasses (specilla) and its shape.18 Later Felix Plater. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought screen (Fig. ii. Aranzi tried to demonstrate vision by means of an experiment on the eye of an ox. and later Galileo in the Sidereus nuncius (1610) introduced his telescope under the name perspicillum. Spedding. pp. 275 n. not mirror as supposed by Lindberg (1976: above n. i (London. cc.324 Science. Anatomicarum observationum liber. set it 'in a dark place' illuminated in front of it. pp. There it could be traced with a paint-brush. 14. short for ocularia specilla as used by Girolamo Fabrici. .39 (1620) in Works. 4. he cut an opening in the back as far as the vitreous humour. 649-650). through which the external scene would be projected onto a sheet of paper placed at the correct distance. Vesalius in his classical dissection published in De humanis carports fabrica libri septem (1543). l6 17 l5 . After dissecting it out of its socket. p. Daniele Barbaro. similarly Francesco Maurolico used conspicilia (below). flattened front and back. professor of medicine at Basel. 424) but nothing further. 21 (Venice. asserted for the first time explicitly that the retina was the sensitive visual receptor. Vesalius was corrected later on some important details by Realdo Colombo who pointed out that the lens was located forward of the centre of the eyeball and was flatter in front than behind. pp. 646). 307-308. 643-646).16 The attention given meanwhile to the eye itself indicates the problems perceived and the characterization of its essential visual parts.I5Daniele Barbaro in his standard textbook on perspective gave an account of a similar darkened room with an eyeglass set in the small hole. 9). 18. L. La prattica della perspettiva (Venice. and by Giulio Cesare Aranzi who noted that in horses and cattle the optic nerve entered the eyeball to one side. Heath (eds).17 He doubted whether this was the principal organ of the eye. 137. . although he still supposed that it entered centrally in man. 1587). 151. but on how the eye functioned and the controversies of philosophers and medical men he could say nothing (pp. Novum organum. with woodcuts of the whole eye in transverse vertical section and of the parts taken out and drawn separately. is considered by many the principal organ of sight' (iv. Straker (1981: above n. as 'like a lentil' (ad lentis similitudinem): hence what was to become the standard term 'lens' (p. In his De corporis humani structura et usu (1583) he wrote that through the pupil: 'The illumination of external things irradiating the cornea is sent into the dark chamber (camera obscura) of the eye'. 71. D. established the standard ocular anatomy to be copied or imitated even when corrected for nearly a century (vii. 18 Iulius Caesaris Arantius. in which he was followed by Francis Bacon. then closed one eye and applied the other to the opening in the position of the optic nerve: 'the visual power (vis visiva) of the observer comes through the vitreous to the crystallinus and thence to the cornea through the opening of the uvea to the objects' illuminated. 8). Ellis and D. as perspicillum used by Felix Plater meant eyeglass (see below). meant eyeglasses. Of the retina he wrote enigmatically that 'this c o a t . This led him to: Cf. 1568).

73-78. it collects the images (species) or rays falling into the eye and. with an accurate woodcut of the crystallinus (p." Plater like Vesalius did not consider how the eye operated as the instrument of vision.M. p. 82-83. namely the optic nerve dilated into the grey hemispherical retina (retiformis) after it enters the eye: which receives and discriminates the forms (species) and colours of external things that fall with the illumination into the eye through the aperture of the pupil and are presented to it by its eyeglass (perspicillwri) It has affinity with the substance of the brain. "Cf.. it presents these magnified.7. besides Plater's radical identification of the retina as the sensitive visual receptor. which is the eyeglass of the visual nerve: placed facing this nerve and the aperture of the pupil.l. pp. 104-106). De visione. With some concessions to optical science. and insisted that any transmission of images beyond the crystallinus was both anatomically and optically impossible (iii. as likewise of hearing. 1). But clearly. First. 61. 'in which art excells nature' in restoring youth to old eyes by means of refraction (iii. H. with 'De oculo visus organo liber' as its first book. They illustrate the insulation of the anatomists of the medical faculties from the mathematical sciences and arts and the fundamental illumination they had brought to the physiology of vision.8.7.10-11. iii. iii. Later he came to: Three very clear humours. He specifically denied visual sensitivity to the retina and the arenea (iii. cf.5. 96) entirely responsible for visual perception within the eye (ii. 51-54. p. 186-187).8-9. iii.The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 325 The primary organ (pars) of vision. he remained firmly within the medical tradition. the crystalline humour. which in distinct situations fill the cavity of the eye and assist the act of vision. Fabrici incorporated in 'De oculo' the corrections to Vesalius made by Colombo and others.. voce. with which through the nerve it is continuous. pp.7. 106-114). so that the nerve can take possession of them more easily (pp. 35). but he still showed the optic nerve entering the eyeball centrally (iii. pp. 102-103). pp. Hence the question of the inverted image did not arise. Renaissance der Augenheilkunde 1540-1630 (Bern. pp. But the crystallinus was also 'the special organ of vision' (iii.7. His visual theory was essentially a combination of the formulations of the problem by Aristotle and Galen with a version of the optical scheme with which Alhazen had prevented the reversal of the image as the visual cone passed through the transparent media. an accurate general ocular anatomy was essential for a true optical analysis of its physiology. pp. 1967). 96-104). The culmination of these anatomical investigations was the superbly illustrated triple treatise by Girolamo Fabrici. He likened the crystallinus to eyeglasses (ocularia specilla). reducing the crystallinus simply to a lens. pp. 105).. auditu (1600). 2. spreading them over the area of the whole retiform nerve. Koelbing. Crombie (1967: above n. . in the manner of an internal eyeglass (perspicilli penitus modo).

. 1 and 2. 'Among those parts that pertain to vision' he wrote. in eclipse or not. intersect there. in such a way that this orientation would be preserved. 281. 4). as these variables came to a certain ratio. Crombie (1967). that is inverted orientation (situs) of the thing seen. Maurolico demonstrated geometrically that the inverted image. and although his manuscripts may have been known. 1964) p. as particular examples of this general theorem (Theorem 22. corol. His Photismi de lumine et umbra with Diaphanorum panes containing these original results were published only in 1611. 141. the matter is entirely one of transparent bodies'.326 Science. 17-22). 'the summit of rank is held by the glacialis or crystalline humour. This is convex on both sides. and my 'Kepler: de modo visionis'. and carry to the optic nerve an altered. by the conformity of its refractions to those of eyeglasses. he attempted to trace the paths of the rays through it. Sharing the accepted commitment to the orientation of the image in the eye. in which the visual power takes its position as on a throne.20 He defined the problem of vision in Diaphanorum panes iii: 'On the structure of the visual organ and the forms of spectacles (conspicilid)\ writing that 'since the organ is transparent. The essential variables were the size of the aperture and its distance from the screen. so that things appear inverted to the spectator . regardless of that of the aperture. 4): the last by a double misreading (pp. Lindberg (1976: above n. He gave the solar and lunar images. So it happens that the visual rays falling on the anterior surface of the 20 Cf. 7) applied to Maurolico what I wrote of Leonardo da Vinci in my Robert Grosseteste (Oxford. but not spherical but compressed. 45-46 n. which in my opinion we can call also the pupilla. . Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought It was the mathematicians who came to reform visual theory by proceeding through an optical analysis of ocular physiology. 72 for my correction of a mistake I did make in supposing that Maurolico had shown the focusing of the image on the retina. exploiting the models of eyeglasses and the camera obscura. through Christopher Clavius or otherwise. 1). The crystallinus or pupilla was in effect a biconvex lens. . He based his optics on Alhazen. 1611. 1953. must come to conform to the shape of the source. cf. 180. they had no known influence. Straker (1971: above n. formed by the superimposed images of the separate points of a luminous source. Crombie (1967: above n. and thus reformulating the problem itself. . p. 276 n. In Photismi he solved for the first time the fundamental optical problem of how the camera obscura focused the image on its screen. 1971). in Melanges Alexandre Koyre. i (Paris. Under the heading 'On spectacles' he made apparently for the first time an analysis of nonspherical lenses as exemplified by spectacles and applied the properties of this model to the eye. The Sicilian mathematician Francesco Maurolico completed in 1554 an optical analysis of both the camera obscura and the eye without connecting the two. Pecham and Witelo and departed from them only in specific innovations. placed in front of the middle of the eyeball but not spherical lest the perpendicular visual rays should pass through the centre of the sphere. and more so in front'. Roger Bacon. pp.

was by no means easy to decide'. 'II "De visu" de G. his technical analysis of lenses marked a considerable advance in scientific knowledge of the natural organ and the artificial model alike. 76).The History of Optics: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition 327 pupilla and carried through its depth without meeting.e. pp. He published his geometrical comparison of the optics of the eye with that of a camera obscura in another brief letter 'De visu'. Ghetti (Venice. did not become publicly known until after the crucial period of these investigations. Maurolico's optical writings. He related defective types of vision to the shape of the lens. 72-74). must refract and transmit the rays according to the law of refraction in such a way that there was no inversion. constituted 'for suffering affection' (adpatiendwri) and 'for sensation' (ad sentiendwri): it received the images of things at its anterior surface and transmitted them from its posterior surface through the optic nerve to the common sense. T. again using pupilla for crystallinus. that is before coinciding. like Leonardo's. 'But how vision is effected. Benedetti'. two years after Plater. Benedetti was familiar with Daniele Barbaro's account of a camera obscura with a lens. and prescribed different kinds of spectacles to 'correct the failure of nature' in short and long sight (pp. 76-78). retina) at the back of the eye as onto the screen of a camera obscura. we may not at all unjustly define the pupillae as the spectacles of nature' (p. in Giovan Battista Benedetti e il suo tempo. If he remained bound by the spell of the erect and correctly orientated image. Frangenberg. 75. 271-282. The pupilla (crystallinus) was not simply a lens but also the sensitive visual receptor. presented by A. He wished that he could take his account either 'from natural philosophy (physica) or from mathematics alone: because we would reach the goal of truth by following either the one or the other. whether by borrowing the sensitive power from natural philosophy or the law of the refraction of rays from mathematics' (pp. are carried in their own proper orientation (in suomet situ) to the optic nerve and present the image (species) in its proper position (in sua positione). cf. 80). It was Giovanni Battista Benedetti who. with its 'lenticular shape' (figura lenticularis) (p. whether under some law of refraction (lex fractionis) or of spirits. 'because the transmission of the visual rays through the pupillae happens no differently from that through spectacles convex on both sides. Thus. published a geometrical comparison of the eye with a camera obscura in which the images of external things were projected through the pupil onto the retina. 270).21 In the eye the rays that would form the optical image of an object were projected through the small pupil and the refracting humours onto the branching nerve (i. He went on to adapt Alhazen's construction for bringing about a point-point correspondence between object and image to show how the crystallinus. B. . and the same would happen if they were to proceed directly without refraction 'yet not in its place (in suis locis)\ By this laconic 2l Cf. p. 1985). which he paraphrased in one of the letters included in his Diversarum speculationum mathematicarum et physicarum liber (1585.

p. After describing the inverted and reversed scenes that could be projected onto the screen of a camera obscura. 266-26V). The image (idolum) is sent in through the pupil. pp. 6. 1589).328 Science. but a comparison of the eye with a camera obscura first mentioned briefly by Giambattista della Porta in the first edition of his Magia naturalis (1558) became widely known in the much enlarged edition of 1589. pp. as by the opening of a window. pp. The instrument could be used to copy a sunlit picture by placing a white sheet of paper inside the hole. 91. and moving it forwards or backwards until a 'perfect representation' of the picture was cast upon this table (tabula) or screen: then one 'must lay on colours where they are in the table'. Magiae naturalis libri xx (Naples. 1658) with corrections. "Porta.. From this it may be clear to philosophers and opticians where vision is effected.. It is described more fully in our optics (xvii. 1. the picture (impressio) will remain on the table. as it was in his geometrical account of the camera obscura which had no lens or other refracting medium. these could be made clearer and restored 'upright. 65-68. and an end is put to the question of intromission agitated for so long. as they are'. To prevent inversion he argued contrary to Vesalius that the crystallinus must be found in front of the centre of the eyeball where the intersection of the rays would occur (iii. cf. He rejected as anatomically impossible Alhazen's theory that vision was completed by the transmission of images beyond the crystallinus through the optic nerves (vi.l.22 In his optical work De refractione (1593) Porta firmly located the full power of vision in the crystallinus. These puzzles indicate how difficult these optical problems were both technically and conceptually even for a mathematical scientist as sophisticated as Benedetti. De refractione optices parte libri novem (Naples. 83-86). 1593). iv.. transl. He presented it in the context not of science but of entertainment and optical conjuring.l. Benedetti's analysis of vision like that of music published in the same volume was apparently not read by contemporaries. .. pp.. 139-146). Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought comment he seems to have meant that without refraction the image would be inverted. and the part of the crystalline sphere located in the middle of the eye takes the place of the screen (tabula). as Natural Magick (London. 13-15. so likewise it depicts on the crystallinus the images (spectra) of seen things entering through the opening of the pupil' (iv. It was then the anterior surface of the crystallinus that corresponded to the screen of the camera obscura: 'I say that just as light passing through the confined opening of a window represents bodies illuminated by the Sun on a paper underneath. so that when all is done and the original picture removed. where the image was received correctly orientated to correspond to the object seen. 87-95).. nor can both be demonstrated by any other artifice (artificium). 1-2. he wrote: 'If you put a small lenticular crystal glass (crystallina lens) to the hole'.

Porta made the front of the crystallinus analogous to the screen in his eye. If Benedetti's optical analysis located an inverted image on the retina as on the screen of a camera obscura he did not consider the consequences for the whole science of vision. To the form and expectations of that argument we must pay close attention. The separation of the physical from the animate began with the identification of the crystallinus with a glass lens and the analogy of the whole eye with a camera obscura which formed a wholly different kind of image. with its base on the visible object and its apex in the eye. as developed by Alhazen into a pointpoint correspondence between the image and the object. It remained for Kepler to begin the explicit separation of the distinct questions involved. and his theory that visual perception was completed in the common sense located in the brain left the persistent enigma of the nature of the image or information transmitted from the sensitive ocular receptor inwards through the non-optical medium of the optic nerves. an optical image focused on its screen. breal^ng with fundamental commitments of the Greek conception of optics. The essential geometry remained that of the Euclidean perspective cone. Kepler had been introduced to the problem of image formation in a camera obscura by the anomalous results obtained by Tycho Brahe in using this . But the essential commitment to finding an exact correspondence in orientation and order between the image and the visible object remained as an obstruction to a purely optical analysis. by the inescapable precision of his scientific argument. When Plater identified the retina and not the crystallinus as the sensitive ocular receptor he did not consider the optical geometrical consequences.Part II: Kepler and Descartes WHEN KEPLER took up the problem of vision no one had questioned the essential assumption that ocular physiology must yield an immediate explanation of visual perception. Alhazen's account of the ocular image as an internal pattern of stimulated points formed by a combination of optical refraction and selective sensitivity left the relation of the physical to the animate aspects of the process ambiguous. Kepler was led to his reluctant philosophical innovation. so that what was seen in the object was only and exactly what was present in the image formed in the eye.

xiii. Having learnt from Tycho to measure not only the object being observed but also the essential variables of the size of the aperture and its distance from the screen in the instrument.C. Then he found to his surprise that the apparent diameter of the moon calculated from observations of the solar eclipse of 1598 was about one fifth smaller during the eclipse than it was at other times when astronomical theory showed the moon to be equally distant. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought instrument to measure the apparent sizes of the sun and moon in solar eclipses. M. Kepler's Optics (Indiana University Ph.l598. and 'Kepler. 3-112. Caspar and F. He measured this and subtracted it from that of the image from which he computed the apparent solar diameter. 'I have written a Paralipomena to the Second Book of the 'Kepler to Herwart von Hohenburg 30. ibid.M. he reported later in the year to Mastlin. and looked for an optical cause in the moon itself. and the "Optical part of astronomy": the genesis of Kepler's theory of pinhole images'. 1980). 213.1 This he did with a dioptral camera with a movable screen. Hammer.. 1599. 'Nachbericht'. Crombie. 1971. Tycho. Theories of Vision from al-Kindi to Kepler (Chicago. Since he found the same anomaly on all occasions he revised his lunar tables accordingly. heard of this 'optical paradox' he looked first in the same direction. 18 vols (Munich. Straker. Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (London. A. if the aperture were enlarged or its distance decreased the image would assume the shape of the aperture (proposition 14). Mastlin to Kepler 2. 267-293. 393-436. and D.D.1598 and Kepler to Mastlin 8. in Kepler's Gesammelte Werke. Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society 2 (1967).xii. thesis. 2 So named with essential references and analysis by Straker (1981: above note 1). Like Maurolico he demonstrated that at a given ratio between the size of the aperture and its distance from the screen the composite image must conform to the shape of the source.. but he refused to accept Michael Mastlin's anodyne comment that 'observation cannot be perfectly exact'. in Gesammelte Werke. During July. Mich. 1976). 253. already familiar with the camera obscura for observing solar eclipses..2 Early on he asserted the principle that light was propagated rectilinearly in all directions from all points of a luminous source (proposition 6). 'The mechanistic hypothesis and the scientific study of vision'. edited by W.. he returned in June to Graz ready for the solar eclipse expected in July 'with a skilful observation which I am considering' and 'especially to explore by observation . 339. von Dyck. After visiting Tycho near Prague in 1600. 1937-1959). ii (1939). reprinted in Science. Having adapted a form of dioptral camera for the purpose. Ann Arbor.330 Science.v.V. When Kepler. He recorded his results in his 'Eclipse Notebook' written during July 1600 and concluded with a set of numbered propositions. On Kepler's optics see also F. 1990). . the striking affirmation' made by Tycho. S. Hammer. and then developed his analysis by treating a finite aperture as an assembly of points through each of which an inverted image of the source was cast on the screen (proposition 13). Tycho came to realize that systematic allowance had to be made in his observations for the size of the aperture. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 24 (1981). cf. Lindberg.C. and hoped that 'I could elicit a sure response by means of skilful methods'. what he came to explore was the optics of the camera obscura and the experimental error to which the method of observation itself gave rise.

but I have tracked down geometry through the manifest bodies of the world. the measurement of refraction in different media. s Ges. 207. that lights are amplified and shadows are constructed? For there is an aperture in the eye'. He explained this programme in his dedicatory letter to the Emperor Rudolph II.4 Kepler's Eclipse Notebook was in effect a draft for Ad Vitellionem paralipomena. concluding: '. Because. As for Tycho's anomaly. the location of the image reflected by plane and curved surfaces. nor have I satisfied the mind with the speculations of abstract geometry. quibus astronomiae pars optica traditur (1604): Things appended to Witelo. this was an artifact arising from the instrument: 'Therefore any eclipses that have been observed in this manner stand in need of correction'. Kepler started from 'Euclid.. 'nature must exhibit God the primary founder of all things in so far as it could'. . he wrote in chapter I 'De natura lucis'. having followed the footsteps of the Creator with sweat and panting'. introduced by Moses as 'a sort of instrument of the Creator' and 'the link between the corporeal and the spiritual world'.ix. called rays' and 'the shape of a sphere is assumed by light' (proposition iv). but in a moment' therefore 'the speed of light is infinite' (proposition v). This he set out over the following three years in the same order of topics. xiv. Ges. But the 'ray of light is not the light itself going out' for 'the ray is nothing but the motion of light. In the first five chapters he covered critically the optical questions of the nature of light and colour. Werke. to wit with pictures . Kepler 10/20. knowledge of it was essential for fundamental physical and metaphysical theory. the camera obscura.The History of Optics: Kepler and Descartes 3 31 Optics of Witelo'.. and the operation of vision. .5 Since light was the vehicle of observation and also of its deceptions. Witelo and others'. in which the optical part of astronomy is treated.xii. linked by his analysis of image formation in the camera obscura. ii. 'the lines of these emissions are straight. where they are indicated by GW. a critique using Risner's standard Latin edition of 1572 of the texts of both Witelo and Alhazen. so in the same way in light the motion itself is a straight line but what moves is a certain surface' (proposition viii). Just as in physical motion the motion is a straight line. proposition ii). and light was likewise 'the natural and fittest image of the corporeal world'.l600. Werke. its 'motion is not in time. This led to the photometric law: 'As with spherical surfaces having a source of light for centre 4 'Kepler to Mastlin 9. Light he continued 'illuminates everything all around' (chapter I. In the last six chapters he dealt with the application of optics to astronomy. ibid. but the physical thing that moves is a body. knowledge of its properties was necessary for scientific practice.l601. References in the text are to this edition.3 He wrote again about the camera obscura in December 1601: 'Why should it not happen in the eye what I demonstrated in the aperture. and the spherical form assumed by light was 'the image of the Trinity'. 8-10. 150-151. .

with slight changes. 288-301). (1981. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought the wider is to the narrower. the most trustworthy of my instructors. Technology. and improved on Ptolemy's tables as published by Witelo. He proposed an approximation to the still undefined ratio between the angles of refraction and incidence. see also»Crombie (1967: above note 1). p. Staum and T. S. 1976). and concluding with a long presentation of his true solution in its most general form. M. and the mechanization of light and vision'. XI. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 3 (1972). and Culture in Historical Perspective (Calgary. 46-61) to the camera obscura. i (Paris. Travers (eds). of unsuccessful attempts to solve the problem of the shape of images projected through small openings. E. 256257. Later in the astronomical part of his book he showed how he made the camera obscura an essential instrument for his solar observations. H. and likewise the rectilinear rays. presented as a system. in L. above note 1).332 Science. Science. so is the strength or density of the rays of light in the narrower to that in the wider spherical surface. Buchdahl. Kepler. where 'they brilliantly put in front of the eyes the whole essence of any thing' (chapter IV. 'Methodological aspects of Kepler's theory of refraction1. from Aristotle through Witelo and Pecham to Gemma and Tycho. 18-22). .6 Kepler showed how the threads. in Melanges Alexandre Koyre. hearth). 265-268. pp. "Translated by Crombie. He developed a theory of the causes of refraction explicitly by the use of varieties of analogy. pp. and The eye made "other": Diirer. 'Kepler: de modo visionis'. and so on (chapters VIII. 91-92). the confidants of all the secrets of nature: especially to be esteemed in geometry'. as long as it is not counteracted. and partly just from vision itself. published his own computations. 'for indeed I greatly love analogies. Canada. G. that is conversely' (proposition ix. He described how he came to see the truth by an experiment in which the geometry was displayed by threads replacing rays so that he eliminated 'the cover of the arcane nature of light' into which both Pecham (called here Pisanus) and Witelo had retreated. and this. 'arises partly from the instruments of observation.8 The 'deception of vision' in the recorded measurements of planetary diameters and of solar eclipses. 'We must use the geometrical languages (voces) of analogy' he wrote. He devoted the whole of chapter II 'De figuratione lucis' (GW ii. Knafla. Essential for the accuracy of astronomy was the measurement of refraction to which he devoted his long chapter IV (GW ii. 143197). GW ii. but Kepler did not mention that.7 He came to the central subject in chapter V: 'De modo visionis' (GW\\. Diirer had explained perspective in 1525 by means of a similar physical model. for which he introduced the term focus (literally. 1964). A. 78-143). GW\\. makes considerable trouble for 'Straker (1971: above. This involved a study of conic sections. 7-24. 7 Cf. would produce an image either of the aperture or of the luminous or illuminated source entirely according to their geometrical disposition. he began. starting with the history. 141. corrected Gemma's and Tycho's understanding of it. as we discussed above in chapter two. note 1) 390 sqq.

The source of the errors in vision is to be sought in the structure and functioning of the eye itself. Had Alhazen and Witelo and then the anatomists dealt with the matter properly he would not have had to add this chapter to his Paralipomena ad Vitellionem. From Kepler. 1583). 2 (Frankfurt. 1604). v. Ad Vitellionem paralipomena. investigators and detracts from scientific judgement. 1. As . tabula xlix (Basel.The History of Optics: Kepler and Descartes 333 Fig. The two unshaded diagrams at the bottom right are of the middle ear. De corporis humani structura et usu. after Plater.

had profited 'by following Aquapendentius' (Girolamo Fabrici) as well as from his own 'anatomical experience'. so is vision'. and noted the control of the light entering the eye by the dilation and contraction of the circular pupil (v. Kepler identified two sources of ideas for his new theory of vision and stated how he differed from them.9 lessen. secondly 'sketch in summary the way vision takes place'. But Kepler corrected Plater's conception of the crystallinus as an internal eyeglass.4. His authorities for ocular anatomy. Platter did not need the connection because he 'left the power of recognizing in the retina. and showed exactly how changes and defects of vision corresponded precisely to what was painted on the retina: 'For as is the picture. 158). 121-123. In his account in Ad Vitellionem paralipomena (v. GW \\. which were published in 1583 and reprinted this year. as it were as principles. 144). Kepler disagreed with lessen also on the shape of the crystallinus (p. pp.4. 183). and apply this to astronomical practice' (pp.2. were 'the illustrations in Felix Plater's De corporis humani structura et usu. an account of the relevant parts of the eye based on the most approved anatomists'.l. He himself was a 'mathematician' (v. p. p. 'I agree more with Platter' he wrote on the important question whether the crystallinus was anatomically joined to the retina. with the slightly bulging cornea (as observed by Leonardo de Vinci) indicated by a dotted line (Fig. 156-157. 150. which is nearer the truth' (v. and lastly 'explain deceptions of vision arising from instruments. 183-189) of the failings of his predecessors. 143-144). 1603' (Fig. pp. In 1600 lessen had been professor of medicine at Prague where he had assisted in the negotiations for Kepler to work there with Tycho Brahe. Plater had not understood the difference between the image seen when we looked through a lens at something and the real picture 9 Cf.334 Science. cf. p. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought it was he would 'put together.l. v. 2. leading on Tycho's death in 1601 to his own appointment as Imperial Mathematician. thirdly 'demonstrate each particular point'. 166. lessen needed this because he followed Witelo in supposing that 'the power of recognizing visible things' lay in the crystallinus to which it was transferred through this connection from the optic nerve. fourthly 'lay bare what escaped the reasonings of the opticians and medical men concerning the functioning of the eye'. M. 151). although again not clearly its function. He reproduced Plater's plate with its explanatory notes showing the whole eye in vertical section and the parts dissected out and drawn separately. 1. 1). 'Plater' he wrote after discussing lessen 'grasped the office of the crystallinus much better.2. Vision he said happens by the ministry of the retiform coat'. Contrary to lessen. but he did not hesitate to choose what he thought correct and relevant to his problem. p. Kepler. v. and the Anatomia Pragensis (1601) of his friend Johannes lessen. 159-161). pp. v. . 1959). Caspar. according to Kepler. translated and edited by D. for which he had 'never seen or taken part in' a dissection. 105-107. Hellman (New York.

p. as Porta had failed to understand. 162. 155. Porta 'added a few words de modo visionis1. 185-187). but the light descends onto the retina. which exhibits the clearness of the picture. For vision occurs by means of the picture on the retina. But. is placed on top of tiny letters it shows those larger. and he dealt with the geometry of how this happened. Kepler continued. For Porta had said that 'vision comes from that kind of picture (picturd)' which Kepler had demonstrated in his second chapter (prop. Of Porta he wrote that it was he who 'in Magia naturalis xvii. Hence this magnification of letters by the crystallinus (or something analogous to it in the eye) does not fashion vision'. was inverted and reversed on the crystallinus and remained so on the retina. and you will see that this famous man is no farther from the truth than is compatible with being a medical man who deliberately does not treat mathematics' (pp. and vision does not come about by the conjunction of light with the crystallinus. Next. 187-189. most skilful Porta. below).2.3. v. cf. Thus he concluded: 'Compare the true mode of operation (modus) of vision proposed by me with that given by Plater. with the separation and then reunion of the radiation to a point. pp. But this deception happens not through a picture. of which I have heard from other medical men. below). having been taken out from the other humours. v. 'and the place of gathering together to a point is on the retina itself. Kepler here made explicit his debt to Porta's artifice or model. then going beyond Porta he identified the function of the crystallinus as a lens which focused the image onto the retina. clearly you would have unravelled the mode of operation (modus) of vision' (pp. he addressed Porta. v. if you had added to your opinion only this': that the picture on the crystallinus is still confused by the wide opening of the uvea. The image. pp.6 first proposed the artifice (artificiwri) of that matter of which in the second chapter above I have set out a formal demonstration: namely by what cause all the things outside illuminated by the Sun are seen with their colours in the darkness' of the camera obscura. you reply on the surface of the crystallinus or screen'. namely that if the crystalline humour. vii): 'and so to conclude. and he quoted Porta's passage on making it 'clear to philosophers and opticians where vision is effected' and how 'the crystalline sphere located in the middle of the eye takes the place of the screen'.The History of Optics: Kepler and Descartes 335 painted on our retina. But this is something different from this matter. 'It seems that Plater was led to this opinion by that anatomical experiment. and it comes about that through that intersection the image (imago) is inverted and through this gathering together that it is most distinct and clear: if you had added this I say to your opinion. but because of the image. In an autographical passage Kepler . 177-178. 151-158. which Kepler had pointed out in his proposition xxiii (below). when you ask where vision is effected. He followed Porta in his comparison between a camera obscura and the eye as far as the anterior surface of the crystallinus onto which an optical image was cast as onto a screen (cf. 'if I understand you well.2.

He could formulate the fundamental problem of the image not as Alhazen had done. Kepler's restructuring of optical geometry to make it not a vital perceiver of a correctly ordered and orientated image conducted on the Euclidean persective cone. a formal analogy without identity of material parts. intersected. He demonstrated how from an apex at each point on the visible object a multitude of radiant cones passed through the pupil. he attributed to it explicitly vital sensitive properties which enabled it to deliver to the back of the eye an erect image both ordered and orientated as its object appeared to the viewer. He could undertake a purely geometrical analysis of the paths of the rays of physical light through the crystalline lens and other physical refracting media until they were focused as an optical image on the retina as a screen. and went to a common base on the anterior surface of the crystalline lens. In a new intellectual context Kepler's treatment of the operation of the eye as an optical instrument marked a radical change in the conception of vision accepted by his ancient and medieval predecessors. The analogy of the camera obscura. but as the wholly different problem of how the eye focused a completely different kind of image. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought described how he himself like all his predecessors was at first embarrassed by the inverted and reversed image and looked hard for means to show that it was rectified (p. Alhazen's eye did not focus but selected the image. and hence that this (as Plater had suggested) must be the sensitive receptor. an optical image itself visible from without like the inverted image focused on the screen of a camera obscura. With this new conception of the subject-matter he could reduce physiological optics to inanimate physics and banish from this passive physical mechanism any active sensitive power to look at an object or to receive stimuli selectively. where their positions were reversed and inverted. which enabled him to open a new approach to the relation of physiology to perception. Kepler's image made the need to avoid confusion by the selective perception only of the perpendicular rays irrelevant. But he was forced to accept the conclusions of his geometrical optical analysis which he set out in chapter V 2-4. Of the innumerable physical rays. going in all directions from every point of a luminous or illuminated source. 185.336 Science. but like any inanimate focusing device. This surface corres- . see below). enabled him to isolate the geometrical optics of the eye as an immediately soluble physical problem to be treated first and apart from all questions of sensation and perception. He demonstrated how an inverted and reversed image must be focused in the eye by means of a construction which at the same time showed that the image must fall on the retina. some fell on the pupil. even while he used many of the same analytical techniques. as that of how the eye produced an internal pattern of stimulated points. immediately raised in a precisely geometrical form the question of the identity and location of the sensitive receptor on which the image was cast. The camera obscura became the true model of the eye.

The multitude of such points recomposed the image SHIPS 22:1-G . He showed how the lens then focused each radiant cone from the common base in a matching cone to a point on the retina corresponding to that on the object from which it came. Rays from each point on the object (VXY) are refracted through the cornea (BCD) and lens (L) to foci (RST) on the retina where they form an inverted image of the object. which became as Porta had recognized the true model of the eye up to this location. From Descartes. But Kepler for the first time and for good anatomical reasons carried his optical analysis beyond this. ponded in this way to the screen of a camera obscura. v (Leiden 1637): illustrating Kepler's ocular dioptrics. The man looking at the eye. 2. set in a camera obscura would see the inverted image on the translucent retinal SCREEN.The History of Optics: Kepler and Descartes 337 Fig. La dioptrique. with its back removed.

and how the visual faculty of the soul effected perception by means of the retinal image. and that below '"See Straker (1981: above note I) 291-292. But this by the way. as it were descending to a lower court. so that something certain about this noblest of functions may at last take its place in philosophy. in the present limited state of our knowledge. Thus vision is brought about by a picture of the thing seen being formed on the concave surface of the retina. what can be said about this hidden motion which. But really this impression does not belong to optics but to natural philosophy (physicd) and the study of the wonderful. For the equipment of opticians does not take them beyond this opaque surface which first presents itself in the eye. just as did analogously the multitude of double pyramids in the camera obscura without a lens. I will return to the explanation of how vision takes place. and so it is wrong to exclude it from the science of optics simply because.V. Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought of the object (Fig. it cannot be accommodated in optics).. That which is to the right outside is depicted on the left on the retina. from which the name optics is derived. 2).10 He related this inverted and reversed image to the scene perceived by a simple geometrical rule making the points of this composite picture correspond to their sources on the object but not in orientation. For. followed in this by J. 207). hence vision takes place in the spirits and through the impression (impressio) of these images (species) on the spirit. proposition xx). as shown above.. is formed on the reddish white concave surface of the retina (retina). since it takes place through opaque and hence dark parts and is brought about by spirits which differ in every respect from the humours of the eye and other transparent things. This image (species) existing separately from the presentation of the thing seen is not present in the humours or coats of the eye. and similarly later. goes out from the council chamber of the brain to meet this image in the optic nerves and retina. Two mathematical inventions in Kepler's Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena'. I say that vision occurs when the image (idolum) of the whole hemisphere of the world which is in front of the eye. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 17 (1986). by the laws of optics (leges optices). these so far as I know. And so I ask mathematicians to study this carefully. that above below. I leave it to natural philosophers (physici) to discuss the way in which this image or picture (picturd) is put together by the spiritual principles of vision residing in the retina and in the nerves. 449-468. like a magistrate sent by the soul. Field. one going to each cerebral cavity. 431448. who thinks that these images of light (idola lucis) go out farther through the nerve.g. Thus: I have described how vision takes place in such a way that the functions of each separate part can be seen. until they meet at the junction half way along each optic nerve. This. he put outside his optical analysis as a problem for natural philosophy. But at the retina optics ended and the rays of light were succeeded by a different kind of motion. and then separate again. and a little more. that to the left on the right. Lindberg (1976: above note 1) 202-206 seems perverse in denying this debt and in continuing to maintain that 'Kepler himself remained firmly within the medieval framework' (p. e. and whether it is made to appear before the soul or tribunal of the faculty of vision by a spirit within the cerebral cavities.338 Science. History and Technology 4 (1987). immediately puts itself outside the field of optical laws? (And yet it is this motion that brings about vision. I do not think that we should listen to Witelo (book iii. . or the faculty of vision. having been investigated and discovered by no one else. 'Continuity and discontinuity in the history of optics: Kepler and the medieval tradition'.

For these. The pupil did not affect the focusing of the light. as happens when spectacles are worn. provided that the pupil and crystallinus are not so near that intersection is incomplete and everything is confused. and hence becomes weaker Thus when we see a thing perfectly. So that I may go on to treat this process of painting (pingendi) and prepare myself gradually for a demonstration of it. For if one stands at the glazed window of a room with a globe of this kind of "The sense requires oculi instead of retinae as in the printed texts. not neglecting the smallest points. he would recognize the exact shape of the hemisphere compressed into the confined space of the retina.. Demonstration of the conclusions stated concerning how vision takes place through the crystallinus.. For this reason oblique vision satisfies the soul least and only invites the turning of the eyes in that direction so that they may see directly . So. and right becomes left. gets farther from the source.. because of the varying amount of the hemisphere appearing at the sides Finally the sensory power (virtus sensorid) or spirit diffused through the nerve is more concentrated and stronger where the retina meets direct cones. and it exists for the sake of the crystallinus. Thus. w see it within the whole surrounding area of the visible hemisphere. but by dilating or contracting controlled the amount of light entering the eye. so that they intersect in that space. If this did not happen the size of things seen indistinctly to the side would keep changing when the eyes were turned. so that if straight lines are drawn from separate points on the thing seen to some determined point within the eye. Thus the position of the aperture (foramen) is where the rays intersect. with both always having the same base. the other has the same base on the crystallinus as the first one and the vertex extends to some point of the picture on the surface of the retina.. .. Thus while one of the cones has its vertex at the point seen and its base on the crystallinus (varied to some extent by refraction on entering the cornea).' (v. the finer will be the picture formed in his eye. 2. these lines will imprint points forming a picture of the radiating points on the retina opposite. although fixed immovably in relation to the eye. this cone undergoes refraction on passing out of the crystallinus (Figs 2 and 3). because of its source and where it has to go: from that point it is diffused over the sphere of the retina. namely the width of the crystallinus or part of it. the greater the acuity of vision of a given person.. Nearly everything said so far about the crystallinus can be observed in everyday experiments with crystal balls and glass urinary flasks filled with clear water. All the outer cones meet in the pupil. Green is depicted green.The History of Optics: Kepler and Descartes 339 above. and if it were possible to find someone wit