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Title: Galileo's mathematical natural philosophy
Author: Palmieri, Paolo
ISNI:       0000 0001 3466 1075
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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Many historians of science maintain that important changes in our understanding of the natural world occurred at the turn of the sixteenth century. Scholars generally refer to this series of events as the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. One of those landmark changes was the 'mathematization of nature', i.e., the replacement of the Aristotelian binary physics of metaphysical natures and places with a mathematized physics. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was an initiator of that process of mathematization of nature. As is well known, over the past four centuries, Galileo has been the subject of passionate debate and acrimonious controversy. Yet, paradoxically enough, apart from a few much studied questions - mainly concerned with Galileo's discovery of the free fall law and of the parabolic trajectory of projectiles - we still know very little both about how he contributed to the new physics. The present research aims to cast light on Galileo's mathematization of nature, while at the same time placing Galileo's enterprise in the context of the late Renaissance sources that might have been accessible to him. In line with different historiographical tendencies in recent Galileo scholarship, I fully recognise that even a very circumscribed topic such as Galileo's mathematization of nature cannot be approached from one single perspective. Therefore, I have tried to combine different historiographical modes of inquiry, while striving to maintain unity at the thematic level. The results obtained by the present research suggest new directions along which the debate on the significance of Galileo's mathematization of nature for the Scientific Revolution could be further enriched.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available