Explanation of the Law of Squares
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo
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In applying the theory of explanation as understanding to the history of science, the problem of the growth of understanding is formulated. To help solve this problem, Galileo’s main scientific achievement is interpreted as a reduction of something not understood to something understood, i.e., as an instance of growth of understanding. This view is shown to deepen a number of common interpretations, and to invalidate a number of others, including the one that Galileo did not explain why bodies fall but merely described how they fall. Regarding the law of squares, my interpretation is both justified and elucidated by a detailed examination of the content and form of the literary record of Galileo’s work on that law, as found in Two New Sciences.
Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642; Mathematics
Logic and Foundations of Mathematics | Philosophy of Science
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Finocchiaro, M. A.
Explanation of the Law of Squares.
Science, Method, and Argument in Galileo, 40
Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham.