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Galileo Galilei (Astronomer)

My dear , what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope?
Galileo Galilei you
The modern observations deprive all former writers of any authority, since if they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge.
Galileo Galilei writers
I esteem myself happy to have as great an ally as you in my search for truth. I will read your work ... all the more willingly because I have for many years been a partisan of the Copernican view because it reveals to me the causes of many natural phenomena that are entirely incomprehensible in the light of the generally accepted hypothesis. To refute the latter I have collected many proofs, but I do not publish them, because I am deterred by the fate of our teacherwho, although he had won immortal fame with a few, was ridiculed and condemned by countless people (for very great is the number of the stupid).
Galileo Galilei truth
What has philosophy got to do with measuring anything? It's the mathematicians you have to trust, and they measure the skies like we measure a field.
Galileo Galilei philosophy
My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?
Galileo Galilei you
Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written. This book is written in the mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.
Galileo Galilei language
Surely, God could have caused birds to fly with their bones made of solid gold, with their veins full of quicksilver, with their flesh heavier than lead, and with their wings exceedingly small. He did not, and that ought to show something. It is only in order to shield your ignorance that you put the Lord at every turn to the refuge of a miracle.
Galileo Galilei ignorance
I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and moves. Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this vehement suspicion, justly conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error, heresy, and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church.
Galileo Galilei faith
I have been in my bed for five weeks, oppressed with weakness and other infirmities from which my age, seventy four years, permits me not to hope release. Added to this (proh dolor! [O misery!]) the sight of my right eye — that eye whose labors (dare I say it) have had such glorious results — is for ever lost. That of the left, which was and is imperfect, is rendered null by continual weeping.
Galileo Galilei hope
Alas! Your dear friend and servant Galileo has been for the last month hopelessly blind; so that this heaven, this earth, this universe, which I by my marvelous discoveries and clear demonstrations had enlarged a hundred thousand times beyond the belief of the wise men of bygone ages, henceforward for me is shrunk into such a small space as is filled by my own bodily sensations.
Galileo Galilei hope
See now the power of truth; the same experiment which at first glance seemed to show one thing, when more carefully examined, assures us of the contrary.
Galileo Galilei truth
Light held together by moisture.
Galileo Galilei light
Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards.
Galileo Galilei war
[Copernicus] did not ignore the Bible, but he knew very well that if his doctrine were proved, then it could not contradict the Scriptures when they were rightly understood.
Galileo Galilei right
"It seems to me that it was well said by Madama Serenissima, and insisted on by your reverence, that the Holy Scripture cannot err, and that the decrees therein contained are absolutely true and inviolable. But I should have in your place added that, though Scripture cannot err, its expounders and interpreters are liable to err in many ways; and one error in particular would be most grave and most frequent, if we always stopped short at the literal signification of the words."
Galileo Galilei art
, in response to enquiries of , as quoted in Aspects of Western Civilization : Problems and Sources in History (1988) by Perry McAdow Rogers, p. 53
Galileo Galilei quote
Some years ago, as Your Serene Highness well knows, I discovered in the heavens many things that had not been seen before our own age. The novelty of these things, as well as some consequences which followed from them in contradiction to the physical notions commonly held among academic philosophers, stirred up against me no small number of professors — as if I had placed these things in the sky with my own hands in order to upset nature and overturn the sciences. They seemed to forget that the increase of known truths stimulates the investigation, establishment, and growth of the arts; not their diminution or destruction.
Galileo Galilei truth
Persisting in their original resolve to destroy me and everything mine by any means they can think of, these men are aware of my views in astronomy and philosophy. They know that as to the arrangement of the parts of the universe, I hold the sun to be situated motionless in the center of the revolution of the celestial orbs while the earth revolves about the sun. They know also that I support this position not only by refuting the arguments ofand , but by producing many counter-arguments; in particular, some which relate to physical effects whose causes can perhaps be assigned in no other way. In addition there are astronomical arguments derived from many things in my new celestial discoveries that plainly confute the Ptolemaic system while admirably agreeing with and confirming the contrary hypothesis.
Galileo Galilei philosophy
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.
Galileo Galilei knowledge
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree: "The intention of the Holy Spirit is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heavens go."
Galileo Galilei heaven
Nature … is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed upon her, or cares a whit whether her abstruse reasons and methods of operation are understandable to men. For that reason it appears that nothing physical which sense–experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called in question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages which may have some different meaning beneath their words. For the Bible is not chained in every expression to conditions as strict as those which govern all physical effects; nor is God any less excellently revealed in Nature's actions than in the sacred statements of the Bible.
Galileo Galilei words
Letter to Francesco Ingoli (1578-1649), as translated in Galileo at Work : His Scientific Biography (1978) by Stillman Drake, p. 294
Galileo Galilei man
Whence do you have it that the terrestrial globe is so heavy? For my part, either I do not know what heaviness is, or the terrestrial globe is neither heavy nor light, as likewise all other globes of the universe. Heaviness to me (and I believe to Nature) is that innate tendency by which a body resists being moved from its natural place and by which, when forcibly removed therefrom, it spontaneously returns there. Thus a bucketful of water raised on high and set free, returns to the sea; but who will say that the same water remains heavy in the sea, when being set free there, does not move?
Galileo Galilei art
A dialogue between fictional characters Sagredo (named after Galileo's friend Giovanni Francesco Sagredo), Salviati (named after Galileo's friend Filippo Salviati) and Simplicio (named after long dead philosopher Simplicius of Cilicia), from the translations by(1953), unless otherwise noted.
Galileo Galilei fiction
If you could see the earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon.
Galileo Galilei art
Among all the great men who have philosophized about this remarkable effect, I am more astonished atthan at any other. Despite his open and acute mind, and though he has at his fingertips the motions attributed to the earth, he nevertheless lent his ear and his assent to the moon's dominion over the waters, to occult properties, and to such puerilities.
Galileo Galilei art
To apply oneself to great inventions, starting from the smallest beginnings, is no task for ordinary minds; to divine that wonderful arts lie hid behind trivial and childish things is a conception for superhuman talents.
Galileo Galilei art
If what we are discussing were a point of law or of the humanities, in which neither true nor false exists, one might trust in subtlety of mind and readiness of tongue and in the greater experience of the writers, and expect him who excelled in those things to make his reasoning most plausible, and one might judge it to be the best. But in the natural sciences, whose conclusions are true and necessary and have nothing to do with human will, one must take care not to place oneself in the defense of error; for here a thousand Demostheneses and a thousand Aristotles would be left in the lurch by every mediocre wit who happened to hit upon the truth for himself. Therefore, Simplicio, give up this idea and this hope of yours that there may be men so much more learned, erudite, and well-read than the rest of us as to be able to make that which is false become true in defiance of nature.
Galileo Galilei truth
In the long run my observations have convinced me that some men, reasoning preposterously, first establish some conclusion in their minds which, either because of its being their own or because of their having received it from some person who has their entire confidence, impresses them so deeply that one finds it impossible ever to get it out of their heads. Such arguments in support of their fixed idea as they hit upon themselves or hear set forth by others, no matter how simple and stupid these may be, gain their instant acceptance and applause. On the other hand whatever is brought forward against it, however ingenious and conclusive, they receive with disdain or with hot rage — if indeed it does not make them ill. Beside themselves with passion, some of them would not be backward even about scheming to suppress and silence their adversaries.
Galileo Galilei war
Among all the great men who have philosophized about this remarkable effect, I am more astonished atthan at any other. Despite his open and acute mind, and though he has at his fingertips the motions attributed to the earth, he nevertheless lent his ear and his assent to the moon's dominion over the waters, to occult properties, and to such .
Galileo Galilei art
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
Galileo Galilei universe
Who knows but men will reduce me from the profession of a philosopher to that of historian of the Inquisition!
Galileo Galilei men
I returned to the villa of Bellosguardo, and afterwards to , where I still breathe salubrious air near my dear native-country Florence. Stay sane.
Galileo Galilei war
Letter to Galileo's "intimate friend and disciple, the Father " (1606-1647), who was chair of the mathematics department at thefrom 1640 to 1647, as quoted in
Galileo Galilei art
After the publication of my dialogues, I was summoned to Rome by the , where, being arrived on the 10th of February 1633, I was subjected to the infinite clemency of that tribunal, and of the Sovereign Pontiff, ; who, notwithstanding, thought me deserving of his esteem.
Galileo Galilei men
I am certainly interested in a tribunal in which, for having used my reason, I was deemed little less than a . Who knows but men will reduce me from the profession of a philosopher to that of historian of the Inquisition! But they behave to me in order that I may become the ignoramus and the fool of Italy...
Galileo Galilei men
I was obliged to retract, like a good Catholic, this opinion of mine; and as a punishment my dialogue was prohibited; and after five months being dismissed from Rome (at the time that the city ofwas infected with ), the habitation which with generous pity was assigned to me, was that of the dearest friend I had in , Monsignor the Archbishop , whose most agreeable conversation I enjoyed with such quite and satisfaction of mind, that having there resumed my studies, I discovered and demonstrated a great number on the mechanical conclusions on the resistance of solids … after about five months, the pestilence having ceased, the confinement of that house was changed by His Holiness for the freedom of the country so agreeable to me, whence I returned to the villa of Bellosguardo, and afterwards to , where I still breathe salubrious air near my dear native-country Florence. Stay sane.
Galileo Galilei war
Letter to Giovanni Battista Baliani (1 August 1639), as translated in Galileo at Work : His Scientific Biography (1978) by Stillman Drake, p. 399 - 401
Galileo Galilei man
If I shall have sufficient strength to improve and amplify what was written and published by me up to now about motion by adding some little speculations, and in particular those relating to the force of percussion, in the investigation of which I have consumed hundreds and thousands of hours, and finally reduced this to very easy explanation, so that people can understand it in less than half an hour of time.
Galileo Galilei time
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.
Galileo Galilei people
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
Galileo Galilei truth
The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.
Galileo Galilei heaven
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
Galileo Galilei
And yet it moves.
Galileo Galilei
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him.
Galileo Galilei man
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
Galileo Galilei science
Where the senses fail us, reason must step in.
Galileo Galilei reason
If I were again beginning my studies, I would follow the advice of Plato and start with mathematics.
Galileo Galilei art
Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.
Galileo Galilei beauty
The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.
Galileo Galilei stars
By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.
Galileo Galilei
Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not.
Galileo Galilei change
It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment.
Galileo Galilei science
I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations.
Galileo Galilei men
It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.
Galileo Galilei soul
We must say that there are as many squares as there are numbers.
Galileo Galilei man
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.Loose paraphrase of Salviati on Day 3: For when the sun draws up some vapors here, or warms a plant there, it draws these and warms this as if it had nothing else to do. Even in ripening a bunch of grapes, or perhaps just a single grape, it applies itself so effectively that it could not do more even if the goal of all its affairs were just the ripening of this one grape.
Galileo Galilei war
Among all the great men who have philosophized about this remarkable effect, I am more astonished at Kepler than at any other. Despite his open and acute mind, and though he has at his fingertips the motions attributed to the earth, he nevertheless lent his ear and his assent to the moons dominion over the waters, to occult properties, and to such puerilities.In regard to Keplers belief of the moon affecting the tides of the Earth, p. 328
Galileo Galilei art
Loose paraphrase of Salviati on Day 3: For when the sun draws up some vapors here, or warms a plant there, it draws these and warms this as if it had nothing else to do. Even in ripening a bunch of grapes, or perhaps just a single grape, it applies itself so effectively that it could not do more even if the goal of all its affairs were just the ripening of this one grape.
Galileo Galilei war
Variant translation: I hold that the Sun is located at the centre of the revolutions of the heavenly orbs and does not change place, and that the Earth rotates on itself and moves around it. MoreoverI confirm this view not only by refuting Ptolemys and Aristotles arguments, but also by producing many for the other side, especially some pertaining to physical effects whose causes perhaps cannot be determined in any other way, and other astronomical discoveries; these discoveries clearly confute the Ptolemaic system, and they agree admirably with this other position and confirm it.
Galileo Galilei art

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