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Galilei, Galileo (1564–1642)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Q039-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 15, 2024, from

Article Summary

Galileo Galilei, one of the most colourful figures in the long history of the natural sciences, is remembered best today for two quite different sorts of reason. He has often been described as the ’father’ of modern natural science because of his achievements in the fields of mechanics and astronomy, and for what today would be called his philosophy of science, his vision of how the practice of science should be carried on and what a completed piece of natural science should look like. While none of the elements of that philosophy was entirely new, the way in which he combined them was so effective that it did much to shape all that came after in the sciences. In the popular mind, however, as a continuing stream of biographies attest, it is his struggle with Church authority that remains the centre of attention, symbolic as it is of the often troubled, but always intriguing, relationship between science and religion.

Citing this article:
McMullin, Ernan. Galilei, Galileo (1564–1642), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Q039-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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