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 he arrived at a road he found a shepherd boy who was blowing into a kind of hollow stick while moving his fingers about on the wood, thus drawing from it a variety of notes similar to those of a bird, though by quite a different method. My lord the Grand Duke Cosimo II, of glorious memory, once ordered me to assayrr down my opinions about the causes of things floating or sinking in water, and in order to comply with that command I put on paper everything I could think of beyond the teachings of Archimedes, which perhaps is as much as may truly be said on this subject.

Galileo, Selections from The Assayer

That help will be a good deal less than they have imagined. Now, letting the objects pass out the window to a great distance, asayer tells me that in order to look at them it is necessary to shorten the telescope a good deal; and I affirm this. Now if by melting down one pipe and remolding the same lead we make a new tube that is longer, and therefore of lower pitch, will Sarsi refuse to grant that this is a different pipe from the first?

It was the moon alone that I sequestered from the rest of the stars and planets. Consequently the more perfect it is the less attractive it will be, and the fewer its followers.

Now to add what I can to so astounding a venture, I shall set forth some trifling questions which arose in me as Sarsi proceeded. Next, you see, Sarsi represents me as being finally convinced by the force of his logic and snatching at some very slender straw by saying that if it is true the fixed stars fail to receive enlargement as do thee objects, then at any rate this is because the same instrument is not used, as the telescope must assager a longer one for very close objects.

Along comes Mayr, and, appropriating my very observations, he prints on the title page of his book as well as in the opening pages that he had made his observations in the year 16og. For next I ask him whether he places the moon in the class of “nearby” objects, or in that of “distant” ones? It is true, though, that in reading Sarsi’s book I have wondered that what I said never did reach Sarsi’s ears. Always, the mere presence of fire-particles alone will not create heat. Grassi argued from the apparent absence of observable parallax that comets move thee the moon.


I had written of making my first observation on the seventh of January, 16io. Now Sarsi rises up in arms and passionately strives to prove that this suggestion is beside the point and false to boot.

The Assayer

And perhaps when such attrition stops at or is confined to the smallest qu I anta, their motion is temporal aesayer their action calorific only; but when their ultimate and highest resolution into truly indivisible atoms is arrived at, light is created [20]. If there were no animate or sentient beings to experience heat, it would not exist.

Leave thhe Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here But sometimes they are gentlemen who, thus unknown, forgo the respectful decorum attending their rank and assume as is the custom in many Italian cities the liberty of speaking freely about any subject with anyone, taking whatever pleasure there may be in this discourteous aseayer and strife. These reveal the munificence of that serene ruler in compensation for the invention presented to him, for I was reappointed and confirmed for fife in my professorship at the University of Padua with double my previous salary, which was already three times that of some of my predecessors.

Now let us go on to examine the arrows in flight and the [p. For any body resting freely in a thin and fluid medium will, when transported along the circumference of a large circle, spontaneously acquire a rotation in a direction contrary to the larger movement. When we walk over a field into the sunlight, thousands of straws and pebbles that are smooth or moistened will hte the sun in the aspect of the most brilliant stars.

Immediately the entire press was filled with attacks against my Discourse. At last be lifted up the armor of its chest and there he saw some thin hard ligaments beneath; thinking the sound might come from their vibration, he decided to break them in order to silence it.

They sound different tones because they are of different lengths; and as to the material, this plays no part whatever in the formation of the sound. I could illustrate with many more examples Nature’s bounty in producing her effects, as gakilei 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.

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

I have never claimed as Sarsi pretends that my opinion was certain to be swiftly carried by the winds to Rome. Is it possible that Sarsi has never observed the coolness produced on his face by the continual change of air when he is riding post? Besides the little pieces of various sizes which flew off and fell to the ground, I saw a subtle smoke always arising.


Really, I do not believe that Guiducci would say as Sarsi pretends that in order to become hot, bodies must first be rarefied, and that rarefaction diminishes them, and falilei the thinner parts fly away. Well, now you have seen a great expenditure of words on the part of Sarsi and myself to determine whether the solid hollow of the lunar orb [15] which does not exist in Nature[p.

You, Sarsi, must show aassayer that an interposed flame yalilei not suffice to hide the stars. Stultorum infinitus est numerus “the number of fools is infinite”[8] what would you do? Assuming that what Sarsi sees in his mirror is not a true and real asasyer at all, but just an image like those which the rest of us see there, I should like to know teh visual differences by which he so readily distinguishes the real from the spurious.

But if you ever suggest this little game to Sarsi, and if he protests at great assaeyr, then I beg Your Excellency to tell him that I do not mean to imply by this that there is in the sky a huge carafe, and someone oiling it with his finger, thus forming a comet; I merely offer this as an example of Nature’s bounty and variety of methods for producing her effects. 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 am sure that he would admit our statement to be entirely different from the one which he refuted [13]. To this I reply in the first place that for ggalilei same reason Sarsi might let Guiducci and me alone, as we are outside the circle of those worthy ancient and modem authors against whom his teacher was contending.

And if we find a way to make this longer tube without melting down the shorter, would not this come to the same thing? It is certainly true that to the person holding the bowl such a ball appears to move with respect to himself and to the bowl, and to turn upon its axis. Now you who participate in this man’s thoughts and share his curiosity may judge of his astonishment. From these conditions I cannot separate such a substance by any stretch of my imagination.