Shapere’s Galileo: Philosophy vs. History vs. Erudition
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo
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In an attempt to understand and to evaluate Dudley Shapere’s Galileo: A Philosophical Study, a number of philosophical problems, ideas, and opportunities concerning the study of Galileo are discussed. As a basis for discussion, a summary of the book is first given. Then, to avoid misunderstanding criticism, some of its scholarly and historiographical deficiencies are identified, thus determining what the book is not and also illustrating the differences among scholarship, historiography, and philosophy. After interpreting the work as a much-needed philosophical contribution to the theory of scientific rationality, and after an appreciation of the specific philosophical problems to which the book addresses itself, it is argued that the book is beset by a serious inconclusiveness. Finally, in a major section of the essay, it is argued that this inconclusiveness can be remedied by appropriately modifying Shapere’s basic approach; for when Galileo is studied with such a modified approach, his work becomes the basis of conclusions about scientific method and rationality, and the testing ground for the application of logical concepts such as deductive and inductive validity and for ideas about the nature of philosophy and its proper relation to science.
Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642; Reviews; Reasoning
Philosophy | Philosophy of Science
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Finocchiaro, M. A.
Shapere’s Galileo: Philosophy vs. History vs. Erudition.
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo, 40
Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham.