Galileo’s Matter Theory

  • H. E. Le Grand
Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 14)


A revival of atomism stimulated by the recovery of Lucretius’ De rerum natura and Hero’s Pneumatica occurred in the sixteenth century. In addition to these ancient theories, a number of original corpuscular theories were propounded, though many of these borrowed heavily from the older traditions. Most of the atomists of the early part of the seventeenth century, though rejecting the plenum of the Aristotelian world-view, still embraced the remainder of that system. They made no attempt to replace the substantial forms and real qualities of Aristotle with the concepts that nature is merely inert matter in motion and that all causation occurs through material contact. Moreover, like the ancient atomists, they failed in their attempts to explain plausibly the properties of gross bodies in terms of the characteristics of their constituent particles.1


Matter Theory Internal Cohesion Quantifiable Void Inert Matter Quantifiable Part 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. E. Le Grand
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneAustralia

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