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UCI EUROST 10 - Galileo

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Professor Smith European Studies Department Europe Studies 10 European History Course Code: 24000 ● Galileo ○ Science, Ideology, “Dialectic of Enlightenment”, and “Paradigms” in Scientific Revolutions ● Recall Galileo’s position ○ “Discovered” telescope in Venice (really a Dutch invention that he “sold”) ○ Venice a republic, proto-capitalist, yet not free from church’s influence ○ Galileo turns to Medici family in Florence ■ Why? ○ Hopes for support ■ (Remember Luther and Fredericks the Wise) ■ (Remember different city-states run by different families) ■ But sagredo has his doubts about Florence ● Scene of Galileo with Cosimo Medici and authorities ● Brecht’s references to history we’ve seen ○ Giordano Bruno burned at the stake ○ Challenge to tradition ■ (church and Aristotle) ○ Proof will make a difference (“even monks can be seduced by proof”) - really? ○ Science tied to material conditions (physical needs); Marxist view (also Brecht’s identification with Galileo) ○ Science is “revolutionary” (in multiple senses) ■ Why mention of Latin and shipbuilders ○ Dedicatory letter ■ Need to kiss up to Medici’s ○ Older power (Florence, church is challenged by new power of science) ● Gap between one world view and another ○ What can “proof” accomplish in such a situation? ○ Seems like a humorous depiction, but getting at something major ■ What does it take to convince someone to see things differently? ● Just observation? ■ In our own day? ● Do we also have people who based on dogma, would “refuse to look through the telescope”, that is, not accept direct scientific evidence? ■ We will see that one theory of revolutions in science addresses this problem ● Galileo and the Inquisition ○ Inquisition was a permanent institution to deal with heresies (sects or beliefs rejected by the church)■ Already in the middle ages ○ Given the hierarchy of the church, doctrinal disputes were dealt with by councils in Rome ○ 1231 Pope Gregory IX established capital punishment for heretics who refused to recant (and imprisonment for those who did) ○ Notorious in Spain in the 15th century (also against Jews and Moslems) ○ Crucial part of the “counter-reformation” ○ In 1616 the inquisition gave its assessment of the propositions that the sun is immobile and at the center of the universe and that the Earth moves around it, judging both to be “foolish and absurd in philosophy” and the first to be “formally heretical” and the second “at least erroneous in faith” in theology ○ Galileo banned from teaching (a mild punishment) ● Even the church was split ○ Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (jesuit) conducted the first disputations on Galileo’s views and tried to find a kind of middle ground (a separation of theology and science) ● Cardinal Francesco Barberini/Pope Urban VII (1623-1644) ○ Was a mathematician ○ Galileo hoped he would support his cause ○ But the inquisition exercised its control ● Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World (1632) ○ Between Salviati (representing Galileo), Sagredo (named after Galileo’s friend, a neutral observer), and Simplicio (representing the church and the Ptolemaic system) ○ Banned by church ● Galileo’s Fate ○ 1633 Galileo tried by the inquisition ○ Found “gravely suspect of heresy” ○ Sentenced to imprisonment but he recants and is placed under house arrest for the rest of his life ● Inquisition’s injunction against Galileo ○ “To abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or from discussing it… to abandon completely… the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing” ○ So for the last years of his life Galileo could not express himself publicly on the motion of the planets/earth ○ But recall: he did smuggle out his great last work to have it published in Holland ○ What’s another way of understanding what was at stake for the church in insisting on the geocentric model of the solar system? ■ Yes, the new ideas went against church doctrine, but, as Galileo implied in the clip, what else might people start to see? ● Ideology○ If, according to Marx, the real determining factor of social life (including our identity) is “economics” (the “modes of production”, “who owns what”), why don’t we see that? ○ Ideas serve as a “superstructure” to cover up and/or justify the underlying economic structure, masking its injustice ○ Ideology makes what is artificial/historical seem “natural” ○ I’m using “ideology” here not just in a general or vague sense as a “set of ideas” ■ Rather, this is a technical term in Marxist analysis ● It refers to the way ideas and culture mask and thereby allow or naturalize underlying economic structures (forms of production) ● Truth vs. Ideology? ○ Major question: is there any escape from ideology? (this is also crucial for marxism) ○ Example of impact of Galileo’s ideas ■ Will the truth always win? ● What’s the revolutionary impact of such ideas? ● Can a scientific approach pierce the veil of ideology? ○ ...according to Brecht/Losey? ○ Conversation with a simple monk… ○ Ask yourself why Brecht (as an avowed Marxist, if not communist) would have written this scene? ● Galileo and ideology ○ In the scene with the monk, what (according to Brecht/Losey) was the church protecting? ○ An ideology, i.e., a belief system established to maintain the power of the status quo ■ “It has always been like this” ● The pre-existing stability we’ve been exploring ○ Economic interests are masked and supported by the ideologies ○ The feudal order, which relies on the labor of peasants, had an ideology that justified and legitimated that oppression ○ What is a merely historical system is presented as “necessary” or “natural” even divinely ordained… ○ One can think of ideologies as “soft” ways of exercising power ■ (vs. the tortures of the inquisition) ○ Ideology helps cover up and get people to accept the (economic) injustice of their world, under which they suffer ● Take away… ○ “Don’t look at the man behind the curtain” ○ Science and


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