The publication in 1632 of Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican marked a crucial moment in the ‘scientific revolution’ and helped Galileo become the ‘father of modern science’. The Dialogue contains Galileo’s mature synthesis of astronomy, physics, and methodology, and a critical confirmation of Copernicus’s hypothesis of the earth’s motion. However, the book also led Galileo to stand trial with the Inquisition, in what became known as ‘the greatest scandal in Christendom’.
In The Routledge Guidebook to Galileo's Dialogue, Maurice A. Finocchiaro introduces and analyzes: the intellectual background and historical context of the Copernican controversy and Inquisition trial; the key arguments and critiques that Galileo presents on both sides of the ‘dialogue’; the Dialogue’s content and significance from three special points of view: science, methodology, and rhetoric; the enduring legacy of the Dialogue and the ongoing application of its approach to other areas.
This is an essential introduction for all students of science, philosophy, history, and religion wanting a useful guide to Galileo’s great classic.