Galileo's Inquisition Trial Revisited

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Peter Lang, 2008 - History - 431 pages
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This book shows that the known accounts of Galileo's trial leave many important facts unexplained or even clash with them. A most careful reading of the relevant documents and treatises backs an interpretation which has Pope Urban VIII sue Galileo for denying God's omnipotence or His omniscience by admitting the «absolute truth» of Copernicanism. The Pope's opinion results from an argument he fully trusts, together with his belief that Galileo failed to fulfill a condition to which the publication of the Dialogue was subjected. That the trial does not end with a conviction for Urban's awful «formal heresy» but merely for «vehement suspicion of heresy», with the «heresy» consisting in the pseudo-heretical belief in a doctrine contrary to the Bible, all this is due to the existence of a Galileo-friendly party inside the Holy Office, led by Cardinal Francesco Barberini and powerful enough to wring a compromise from the Pope.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
11
Part II
16
The suspicion of heresy
26
Bringing a trial to an end
45
A piece of information and a denunciation proper
59
Regrettable steps
72
anything else occur on 25 February 1616?
87
Questions of terminology
100
The quest for two motives
218
An oddity and its explanation
231
Threatening quotations
244
the extrajudicial interview
255
An objection answered
268
Justified hopes
283
What may have been the ultimate intention of the document?
297
The ultimate stage of the investigation
310

One way of obtaining the indispensable licenses
123
Delays in getting to Rome
137
The puzzles of papal behavior
143
Outcome and outlook
159
Who unearthed the notarys brief?
176
Why is the ultimate cure really thought ineffectual?
190
Galileos first interrogation
203
The sentence proper
330
Galileos abjuration
343
Problematical facts
360
Urbans argument
375
Which status does Copernicanism have in Galileos Dialogue?
388
Index
405
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

The Author: Jules Speller, born in 1943, studied Philosophy, Classics and Romance languages and literatures at the Universities of Strasbourg, Caen, and Würzburg from 1962 to 1966, submitting in 1969 a thesis on the role of language in Robert Reininger's theory of knowledge. From 1975 to 1996 he taught at the « Département de Droit et des Sciences économiques » of the « Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg », first as a Lecturer in Logic, and subsequently as Professor of Philosophy. He has published articles or delivered papers on logic, on the theory of argumentation, and, more recently, on Galileo's trial. He is also the author of a work on Mozart's Magic Flute.

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