This is Galileo’s argument from “The Assayer,” which I encountered in both my history survey of modern philosophy and in metaphysics. Galileo. Galileo Galilei; Il Saggiatore (The Assayer); Rome, This quietly polemical text puts the case for a pared-down scientific conception of matter and a. Il saggiatore (The assayer) by Galileo Galilei (–) is the final and most significant work in the polemic regarding the characteristics of.

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Email required Address never made public. This may be lengthened and shortened at will, making diverse pipes which will produce different notes; and such is the construction of the trombone. The left hand supported the instrument, and the fingers of the boy were moving so that he drew from this a variety of notes, and most melodious ones too, without any blowing. The image will promptly be dimmed too. Galileo proceeds by explaining the senses and their relation to elements. We did say they are false, but so far as authority is concerned yours alone is as effective as an army’s in rendering the events true or false.

There must be motion.

The Assayer

Now Your Excellency may decide whether the brilliance of a comet belongs among things which dazzle the vision, or among those so feeble as not to offend the eyes; then you may judge whether a mirrorlike gailleo is required assyer its production or whether one much less smooth will suffice. This must have been the state of the air when the Assaysr were cooking their eggs. The tongue and nasal passages are providently arranged for these things, as the one extends from below to receive descending particles, and the other is adapted to those yalileo ascend.

Would you argue with him and maintain his proposition to be false? I should be wasting my efforts, Later it turned out that if the moon were magnified one thousand times, the fixed stars would be magnified nine hundred and ninety-nine, whereas to support your position they could not be allowed to be enlarged by even one-half.

For next I ask him whether he places the moon in the class of “nearby” objects, or in that of “distant” ones? Things do not need to heat up simply because they are moving.

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The device needs either a single glass or more than one. Few indeed are they who really know some part of it, and only One knows all. From such waves, as from many mirrors extending over a wide area, would result a much brighter reflection of the sunlight than would aesayer if the sea were calm.

The primary qualities exist regardless of people, but the secondary qualities would disappear without living creatures to experience them—secondary qualities exist only galieo the experiencing body. He did not criticize Father Grassi or anyone else who had not previously done this.

At first he used his discovery in support of Copernicus. Yet finding himself now to have two unanticipated ways of producing notes and melodies, he began to perceive that still others might exist.

Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 15, Astronomy: The Assayer

I myself believe that the light of a comet may be so weak and its material so thin and rare that if anyone could get close enough to it he would completely lose it [p. Finally, at the suggestion of one of my patrons, I presented it to the Doge at a meeting of the Council. The translation here is deliberately free. It is true that smooth and polished surfaces such as those of mirrors send a strong reflection of the sun’s light to us, so much so that we can hardly look at these without injury to the eyes; but it is also true that surfaces which are not so smooth make some reflection, less powerful in inverse ratio to the smoothness.

Guiducci, in the hope of doing something that would be welcome to men studious of truth, proposed with all modesty that henceforth it would be good to consider the nature of a comet, and whether it might be a mere appearance rather than a real object. It is motion that causes wood to burn or metal to melt.

To discover the true cause I reason as follows: We meant to steer clear of those who ostentatiously engage in noisy contests merely to be popularly judged victors over others and pompously praised. If their opinions and their voices have the power of calling into existence the things they name, then I beg them to do me the favor of naming a lot of old hardware I have about my house, -gold.


If Sarsi and others think that certainty of a conclusion extends much assistance in the discovery of some means for realizing it, let them study history.

Works of Galileo Galilei, Part 3, Volume 15, Astronomy: The Assayer – World Digital Library

Perhaps Sarsi believes that all the host of good philosophers may be enclosed within four walls. He clarifies that people believe heat to be a genuine or primary quality, but it is not.

Might this not come about from a wind in that quarter disturbing the waves at a distance? Before I proceed let me tell Sarsi that it asssyer not I who [p. Anyone would make a serious error if he said that the hand, in addition to the properties of moving and touching, possessed another faculty of “tickling,” as if tickling were a phenomenon that resided in the hand that tickled.

If he puts it with distant objects, then he must conclude assaher it the same thing he concludes for the fixed stars; namely, slight enlargement.

The same may be said of the tube of the throat, which, varying in length and breadth, accommodates itself to the formation of various notes and may be said to become various tubes. This is quite a common figure of speech, as when one says: This would surely an be illuminated, but it would not change place with every motion of the observer to one side, unless perhaps he were to move several miles.

I cannot but be astonished that Sarsi should persist in trying to prove by means of witnesses something that I may see for myself at any time by means of experiment.

This is a bit rough.