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By A. Wolf, F. Dannemann, A. Armitage, Douglas McKie

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Extra info for A History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the 16th and 17th Centuries

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Galilei compares the displacement o f the prism, or its equivalent velocity, with the displacement which the surface o f the fluid undergoes in the opposite direction. The displacements, or the velocities, o f the prism and of the surface are related 5o HISTORY OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND PHILOSOPHY in inverse proportion to the corresponding surfaces, namely, the base of the prism and the surface of the fluid. When the prism is drawn out again there is a corresponding fall in the level o f the fluid.

Now at a distance of several degrees from the equator, and must therefore move more slowly in smaller orbits. It may even happen that a fixed star which had always been moving may for a time remain stationary at the celestial pole, and then begin to move again. Various arguments are directed not only against the Scholastic glorification of the heavenly bodies at the expense of the Earth, but also against the whole notion that immutability is a mark of perfection. “ I cannot without great admiration, nay more, denial of my understanding,” says Sagredo, one of the characters of the Dialogue, “ hear it to be attributed to natural bodies, for a great honour and perfection, that they are impassible, immutable, in­ alterable, etc.

The Universities might have been expected to lead, or at least to share, in this movement for intellectual emancipation. But they did nothing o f the kind. For they were controlled by the Church. Philosophy was only tolerated as the handmaid of Theology, and the University as the Cinderella of the Church. It was, indeed, highly significant of the times, that the vast majority of the pioneers of modern thought were either entirely detached from the Universi­ ties, or were but loosely associated with them.

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A History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the 16th and 17th Centuries by A. Wolf, F. Dannemann, A. Armitage, Douglas McKie


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