Philosophy 215 Midterm paper for Prof Mizrahi

Philosophy 215 Midterm paper for Prof Mizrahi - Philo 215...

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Philo 215 Prof. Mizrahi 04/07/11 Midterm Paper Galileo Galilei, an Italian physicist, astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher, is a man well known for his astronomical discoveries, theories, and contributions to the scientific revolution of the 17 th century. Although Galileo is not normally recognized for his philosophical achievements, many of his theories and ideas have set up a path for the philosophers of future generations. One of his most renowned theories, an argument which sought to separate certain qualities and ultimately separate perception from reality, came from his book, “The Assayer,” and is known as the primary/secondary qualities distinction. Galileo is also often credited as the "Father of Modern Observational Astronomy,” as he pioneered the method of observation and experimentation as a means of obtaining knowledge. It was Galileo who began emphasizing the significance in observation and experimentation, rather than creating abstract theories that were not tested, or relying on authority for knowledge. In this essay, I am going to argue that that there is an apparent tension between Galileo’s primary/secondary qualities distinction and his general method of investigation, otherwise known as observation and experimentation, that needs to be resolved. Galileo’s famous theory of primary/secondary qualities distinction concerns the nature of reality by separating the properties of objects into two categories, which he calls “primary” and “secondary” qualities. Galileo explains the primary qualities of an object as characteristics such as shapes, numbers, and motions. Galileo felt that these qualities could be differentiated from
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Philosophy 215 Midterm paper for Prof Mizrahi - Philo 215...

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