Review Questions for the Final Examination
1. How does the "legend" of Galileo's encounter with the Inquisition compare with the historical record described in the lectures for this course?
2. In what sense is Galileo a good Aristotelian and in what sense does he reject Aristotelian thought? between Galileo and the Inquisition?
3. How do the events of 1615 and 1616 constitute the crucial core of the "Galileo Affair"?
4. What were the decisions of the Inquisition and the Index of Forbidden Books in 1616?
5. Why is there such a concern among many of the interlocutors as to whether or not there is a demonstration for the motion of the Earth?
6. Examine the claim that Galileo's "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christian" is a charter document of the modern world.
7. Why did the authorities in Rome in 1632 and 1633 find that Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World System required a formal investigation by the Inquisition?
1. What was the main source of Galileo's ideas on natural philosophy?
2. Why did Galileo believe that the earth goes round the sun, and how did he answer the arguments of the Aristotelians against this view?
3. Describe Galileo's work on sunspots, and show how he refuted alternative explanations.
4. Examine critically Galileo's explanation of comets.
5. Why did Galileo become involved in so many arguments with other scientists? Was he always fair to those who disagreed with him?
6. What was the role of thought experiments in Galileo's arguments?
7. Describe some of the scientific instruments that Galileo made, and their importance for his discoveries.
8. To what extent did Galileo show political skill in spreading his ideas?
9. Discuss Galileo's relations with Kepler and the extent to which he accepted his ideas.
10. Assess Galileo's contribution to the development of our ideas of motion.