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Galilean Rediscovery

06-Apr-05 07:15 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

In reviewing my blog stats, I visited the site of a fellow Spaces blogger.  I was shocked to see a word in the title of her April 3rd entry I’d only previously stumbled across reading Galileo’s "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems" – the work he was eventually punished by the Catholic Church for writing which rhetorically discusses the nature of Earth’s place in the solar system (boldfaced below):


peripatetic pratchett

My reading of Galileo is recent too, following a download of a PBS Nova documentary called "Galileo’s Battle for the Heavens", itself based on a recent book about Galileo’s daughter (available as a torrent download on #digitaldistractions).  Notwithstanding the quoted blog above, I can’t imagine ‘peripatetic’ has been oft used much since Galileo last inscribed the word:

"To this end [that of establishing the truth] I have taken the Compernican side in the discourse, proceeding as with a pure mathetmatical hypothesis and striving by every article to represent it as superior to supposing the earth motionaless – not, indeed absolutely, but as against the arguments of some professed Peripatetics.  These men indeed deserve not even that name, for they do not walk about; they are content to adore the shadows, philogophizing not with due circumspection but merely from having memorized a few ill-understood principles."

– Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, July 1638 C.E.

But how delightful to see it again.

(The death of Jean Paul II has rekindled my interest in theology & served as a reminder of past interest in the philosophy & history of scientific methadology for some reason.  Perhaps because it was only JPII who finally acknowledged the Catholic Church’s error in mistreating Galileo horribly.)

Categories: Etymology
  1. Unknown
    06-Apr-05 08:52 pm EDT at 08:52 pm EDT

    Well, maybe it\’s an age thing, but I\’m sure it\’s a word I\’ ve heard or read a number of times in my live, otherwise I\’m sure I wouldn\’t have come up with it. I thought it fit Pratchett\’s book well since the characters are wandering about and Pratchett is a philosopher of sorts. Actually, the last time I heard it used in speech, by a rather erudite person, I felt it wasn\’t used correctly, but then sometimes meanings change. Anyway, I liked the alliteration…and thanks for the reference!


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