Charity, Logic, and Para-Clericalism: Agassi on Explaining Galileo’s Trial
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo
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This essay is a critical examination of Joseph Agassi’s article “On Explaining the Trial of Galileo,” which was a critical examination of Arthur Koestler’s account. It focuses partly on several of Agassi’s insightful substantive theses. These involve Galileo’s skill in the art of reasoning and critical thinking, reflected in Agassi’s claim that Galileo was “the greatest logical mind of his age”; Galileo’s technique of strengthening opponents’ arguments before criticizing them; and his efforts as a Catholic reformer. The essay also focuses on several of Agassi’s fruitful methodological approaches. These concern the principle of “charity,” when interpreting actions and arguments; an emphasis the role of logic in science and culture; and an approach to questions of science vs. religion that can be labeled “para-clerical,” meaning a secular orientation holding that some religious questions are too important to leave to religious believers.
Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642; Reviews; Reasoning
Philosophy | Philosophy of Science
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Finocchiaro, M. A.
Charity, Logic, and Para-Clericalism: Agassi on Explaining Galileo’s Trial.
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo, 40
Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham.