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Galileo and Pisan Aristotelianism: Galileo's De Motu Antiquiora and the Quaestiones De Motu Elementorum of the Pisan Professors

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The group of writings entitled De motu (or De motu antiquiora) constitutes Galileo's earliest writings on dynamics. These manuscripts are usually dated to the years 1589 to 1592, when Galileo taught mathematics at the University of Pisa. Among their characteristics, the application of dynamic principles of Archimedean hydrostatics to the problem of motion stands out, as does their anti-Aristotelian tone. This paper tries to embed these writings within the cultural context in which they were created by documenting their link (which is most evident in various polemically charged references) to the debate over the motion of the elements between Girolamo Borro and Francesco Buonamici, the two most celebrated Pisan Aristotelians of the late sixteenth century.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cagliari, Italy; 2: Federal Polytechnic Institute, Zurich, Switzerland


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