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Teaching through Diagrams

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the role of diagrams in early modern pedagogy. It begins with an analysis of images from the 1632 Dialogo and 1638 Discorsi. The chapter claims that Galileo often employed images in a pedagogical context, illustrating to readers through his dialogue how he may have used images in his own teaching. A different approach to Galileo's images focused more specifically on his use of diagrams taken up by Carla Rita Palmerino. Galileo's Copernican diagram works in conjunction with the text in a way which can be described as pedagogical. The image is created in conjunction with the text to present Simplicio as recognizing, through the diagram and Salviati's instructions, the obviousness of the Copernican system. The dialogue is explicitly modeled on a special type of disputation, mandated in the Pisan university statutes, known as "circular disputations".

Keywords: Carla Rita Palmerino; copernican diagram; Dialogo; Discorsi; early modern pedagogy; Galileo; Pisan university statutes; Salviati; Simplicio



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