Il saggiatore (The assayer) by Galileo Galilei (–) is the final and most significant work in the polemic regarding the characteristics of. 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.

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When these small corpuscles cease to move, then there is no more heat. Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: In order to explain a point that is of the utmost importance, [p. I move my ha first over a marble statue and then over a living man. It is possible for part of something to be consumed and yet for it tue gain weight instead of losing it.

Galileo’s The Assayer | Here She Be — The Battlements

Second, I am galileii so sure that in order to make a comet a quasi-planet, and as such to deck it out in the attributes of other planets, it is sufficient for Sarsi or his teacher to regard it as one and so name it.

How greatly it was esteemed by him, and with what admiration it was received, is testified by ducal letters still in my possession. The same effect may gwlilei produced by fogging the glass gqlilei the breath instead of using oil.

I first noticed this when breaking the comers off a piece of glass and rounding it with a key or some other piece of iron. Now Sarsi rises up in arms and passionately strives to prove that this suggestion is beside the point and false to boot.

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

But I hold it gaoilei be silly to accept that proposition in the ordinary way, as if a stone or piece of iron or a stick must heat up when moved.

This, though it exists over my entire body, seems to reside principally in the palms of the hands and in the finger tips, by whose means we sense the most minute differences in texture that are not easily distinguished by other parts of our bodies.

The context of the essay was to reply to the treatise Libra astronomica ac philosophica of by Orazio Grassia Jesuit mathematician at the Collegio Romanowhich used the pseudonym of Lotario Sarsi Sigensano. That the comet was a mere image and appearance was never positively affirmed by us; it was merely raised as a question and offered for the consideration of philosophers, along with various arguments and conjectures that appeared suitable to show them this possibility.


Well, if he succeeds I shall be the more obliged to him, as in the future I shall have one less theory to worry about when I set my mind to philosophizing on such matters.

I have often been in some room with closed shutters and seen on the wall a reflection of sunlight coming through some tiny hole; and so far as vision could determine, it seemed to be a star no less bright than Venus. I could illustrate with many more examples Nature’s bounty in producing her effects, as she employs means we could never think of without our senses and our experiences to teach them to us-and sometimes even these are insufficient to remedy our lack of understanding. It is as if the premises had been prepared not by the bounty of nature but by the precision of the subtlest art.

Well, after this man had come to believe that no more ways of forming tones could possibly exist- after having observed, in addition to all the things already mentioned, a variety of organs, trumpets, fifes, stringed instruments, and even that little tongue of iron which is placed between the teeth and which makes strange use of the oral cavity for sounding box and of the breath for vehicle of soundwhen, I say, this man believed he had seen everything, he suddenly found himself once more plunged deeper into ignorance and bafflement than ever.

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. What I had in mind, though, was to suspend our argument and wait quietly until some new comet came along.

That is an I said, and it has been told in several places by Guiducci. And even if Guiducci called the magnification “infinite” without any relative term, I should not have expected such carping criticism as this, for the word “infinite” in place of the phrase ” extremely large” is a way of talking that is used every day. I confess that I do not possess such a perfect faculty of discrimination.

The Assayer

Shoot ten arrows, or a hundred; and if it ever happens that on one of them the feathers so much as slightly tan-let alone its shaft taking fire or its steel tip melting- I shall not asaayer concede the argument but forfeit your respect, which I regard so highly.

He clarifies that people believe heat to be a genuine or primary quality, but it is not. Well, my part in the discovery of this instrument and whether I may reasonably claim to be its parent was long ago set forth in my Starry Messenger.


The left hand supported the instrument, and the fingers of the boy were moving so sasayer he drew from this a variety of notes, and most melodious ones too, without assauer blowing. Now this button may be used two or three months before the gilding will wear off, and yet since the gilt is ultimately consumed it must be diminishing every day and even every hour.

Why did you not say to us at the outset, -Interpose a flame between the eye and some star, and the star will be made neither more nor less visible”?

But Galileo had already spoken of Scheiner in his reference to “attacks under disguises. Or, if they do not succeed, at least they will derive some benefit in the form of a clarification of their ideas about the help which they expect from a foreknowledge of the effects. Would you argue with him and maintain his proposition to be false?

Now let us go on to examine the arrows in flight and the [p. For next I ask him whether he places the moon in the galiei of “nearby” objects, or in that of “distant” ones? Notify me of new comments via email. Even then the image would not move with the same motion as the observer, but the whole of it would move so that its center would always be in line with the sun.

But of this sensation and the things pertaining to it I pretend to understand but little; and since even a long time would not suffice to explain that trifle, or even to hint at an explanation, I pass this over in silence. Puzzled, but impelled by his natural curiosity, he gave the boy a calf in exchange for this flute and returned to solitude.

Thus they might perceive and predict this gallei from a distance. 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 galileu may judge whether a mirrorlike surface is required for its production or whether one much less smooth will suffice.

Why gaoilei he considered me the author of this Discourse without showing any respect for that fine man who was?