What was Galileo hoping to achieve in publishing in 1632 his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican? A standard view is that he had two principal aims. Specifically, he is said to have wanted to persuade the learned world of the truth of the Copernican cosmology, and perhaps even to bring about a reversal of the 1616 Decree of the Holy Congregation against “the false Pythagorean doctrine, altogether contrary to Holy Scripture, that the earth moves and the sun is motionless.” More generally, he is said to have wanted to promote “the new science” in place of the old, a mathematically and experimentally based investigation of nature in place of the traditional qualitative natural philosophy grounded in the works of Aristotle.


Probable Argument Mathematical Demonstration Comic Dialogue Traditional Natural Philosophy Persuasive Strategy 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

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  • Nicholas Jardine

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