Galileo Engineer

Springer Science & Business Media
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Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), his life and his work have been and continue to be the subject of an enormous number of scholarly works. One of the con- quences of this is the proliferation of identities bestowed on this gure of the Italian Renaissance: Galileo the great theoretician, Galileo the keen astronomer, Galileo the genius, Galileo the physicist, Galileo the mathematician, Galileo the solitary thinker, Galileo the founder of modern science, Galileo the heretic, Galileo the courtier, Galileo the early modern Archimedes, Galileo the Aristotelian, Galileo the founder of the Italian scienti c language, Galileo the cosmologist, Galileo the Platonist, Galileo the artist and Galileo the democratic scientist. These may be only a few of the identities that historians of science have associated with Galileo. And now: Galileo the engineer! That Galileo had so many faces, or even identities, seems hardly plausible. But by focusing on his activities as an engineer, historians are able to reassemble Galileo in a single persona, at least as far as his scienti c work is concerned. The impression that Galileo was an ingenious and isolated theoretician derives from his scienti c work being regarded outside the context in which it originated.
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Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Jun 3, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9789048186457
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Criticism
Architecture / History / General
History / General
Mathematics / History & Philosophy
Science / History
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Matteo Valleriani
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Matteo Valleriani
The Structures of Practical Knowledge investigates the nature of practical knowledge – why, how, when and by whom it is codified, and once codified, how this knowledge is structured. The inquiry unfolds in a series of fifteen case studies, which range in focus from early modern Italy to eighteenth century China. At the heart of each study is a shared definition of practical knowledge, that is, knowledge needed to obtain a certain outcome, whether that be an artistic or mechanical artifact, a healing practice, or a mathematical result. While the content of practical knowledge is widely variable, this study shows that all practical knowledge is formally equivalent in following a defined workflow, as reflected in a construction procedure, a recipe, or an algorithm.As explored in the volume’s fifteen contributions, there are three levels at which structures of practical knowledge may be understood and examined. At the most immediate level, there are the individual workflows that encompasses practical knowledge itself. Probing further, it is possible to examine the structure of practical knowledge as it is externalized and codified in texts, drawings, and artifacts such as models. Finally, practical knowledge is also related to social structures, which fundamentally determine its dissemination and evolution into new knowledge structures. The social structures of professionals and institutions represent the critical means by which practical knowledge takes form. These actors are the agents of codification, and by means of selection, appropriation, investment, and knowledge development, they determine the formation of new structures of practical knowledge. On a more abstract level, the creation of new knowledge structures is understood as constituting the basis for the further development of scientific knowledge.

Rich in subject matter and incisive in the theory it lays out, this volume represents an important contribution to the history of science and epistemology. Individually, the fifteen case studies – encompassing the history of architecture, mining, brewing, glass production, printing, ballistics, mechanics, cartography, cosmology and astronomy – are replete with original research, and offer new insights into the history of science. Taken together, the contributions remodel historical epistemology as a whole, elucidating the underlining knowledge structures that transcend disciplinary boundaries, and that unite practitioners across time and space.


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