Vincenzio Viviani (1622–1703): Galileo's last disciple
Almost all of the Cimento’s members maintained long and prestigious careers, either in Tuscany or in other European courts, which stretched well beyond the contributions they made to the short-lived Accademia del Cimento. Nevertheless, their careers have traditionally been remembered in connection with the experimentalist image of the seventeenth-century Italian Galilean school. Marco Beretta and other historians have assumed that the strict experimentalist programme imposed on the Cimento academicians meant that they all abandoned their mathematical and natural philosophical interests in favour of producing atheoretical experimental knowledge claims. I hope to demonstrate here that this was not so. Once they became members of the Cimento, the academicians could not have found it an easy task to abandon the intellectual and natural philosophical interests that they had pursued throughout their careers. Indeed, beginning with an analysis of Viviani’s career, I intend to show that they could not, and did not wish to abandon those natural philosophical concerns when constructing knowledge claims for the Medici Court.
KeywordsMercury Europe Alla Tempo Defend
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