A Galilean Fallacy of Equivocation
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo
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In an attempt to illustrate and justify the relevance and usefulness of logic in the study of the history of science, Galileo’s refutation of space-proportionality as found in Two New Sciences is analyzed in the light of some recent historical reinterpretations and with an awareness and appreciation of methodological distinctions. Having distinguished between the structure and the validity of Galileo’s argument, the former is shown to be uniquely determined by the recent interpretations, thus reconciling some of their differences. It is then suggested that the argument must be evaluated as logically faulty, either in the sense of being a fallacy of equivocation, or in the sense of being a proof of ignotum per aeque ignotum; and some evidence is given supporting the former evaluation. These results are seen as valuable from the logician’s point of view, independently of the historian’s possible judgments of merit or demerit for Galileo.
Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642; Fallacies (Logic); Logic; Reasoning
Epistemology | Philosophy | Philosophy of Science
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Finocchiaro, M. A.
A Galilean Fallacy of Equivocation.
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo, 40
Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham.