Title

Authenticity vs. Accuracy vs. Legitimacy: Pagano on the Vatican Documents

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Date

8-29-2021

Publication Title

Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo

Publisher

Springer, Cham

Publisher Location

Cham, Switzerland

Volume

40

First page number:

337

Last page number:

353

Abstract

This essay is a critical appreciation of the scholarly work on Galileo’s trial by Mons. Sergio Pagano (Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives since 2007). Pagano has argued convincingly that the 1616 precept to Galileo by Inquisition commissary Seghizzi is authentic and not a forgery. This is an important accomplishment because it settles a controversy that has raged since the 1860’s, with wide-ranging cultural repercussions. However, the precept’s documentary authenticity does not prove its factual accuracy, nor its juridical legitimacy. Indeed, it can be shown that the precept was illegitimate, because it contradicts Pope Paul V’s orders and cardinal-inquisitor Robert Bellarmine’s testimony. Pagano apparently conflates, and equivocates among, these three concepts, as well as among the contents of four distinct orders to Galileo regarding Copernicanism: Pope Paul’s orders not to believe and not to discuss, Bellarmine’s warning not to hold or defend as true or as biblically compatible, and Seghizzi’s precept not to hold or teach in any way.

Controlled Subject

Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642; Inquisition; Logic; Reasoning

Disciplines

Philosophy | Philosophy of Science

Language

English

Rights

IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/

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