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Scholastics And The New Astronomy On The Substance Of The Heavens

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Chapter Summary

The traditional view in the history of science is that these astronomical observations made by Galileo circa 1610 precipitated the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century. The new astronomy required a new physics. Descartes does not seem to be driven by the new astronomy; on the contrary, his physics appears to flow from metaphysical-theological contemplations. The Jesuit mathematicians, Christopher Clavius, Christopher Grienberger, OdoMalcote, and Giovanni Paolo Lembo, agreed that using the spyglass, more stars can be seen than ever before, there are "handles" to Saturn, phases of Venus, and moons around Jupiter. Although Clavius was willing to make changes to his astronomical theory to accommodate Galileo's observations, his reluctance to admit the existence of mountains on the moon showed that he treated the matter as a conclusion, not as a direct observation.

Keywords: astronomy; Descartes; Galileo; heavens; Jesuit mathematicians; New Astronomy; scholastics

10.1163/ej.9789004207240.i-358.49
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004207240.i-358.49
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