Galileo and Newton and their ideas

Essay by Steve TiltonUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 1997

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Galileo believed the physical world to be bounded. He says that all material

things have 'this or that shape' and are small or large in relation to other things. He also

says that material objects are either in motion or at rest, touching or not touching some

other body, and are either one in number, or many. The central properties of the material

world are mathematical and strengthened through experimentation. Galileo excludes the

properties of tastes, odors, colors, and so on when describing the material world. He

states that these properties 'reside only in the consciousness.' These latter properties

would cease to exist without the living creature so the mathematically defined properties

are the most accurate in describing the material world. Galileo seems to test his beliefs

through experimentation and mathematical reasoning. He sites examples in life that

support his hypothesis. His argument is of a scientific nature because he is making a

hypothesis on a distinctive type of concept.

The conclusions that Galileo made relate

directly to the work in physics for which he is so well known. His conclusions put

emphasis on shapes, numbers, and motion which are all properties that lend themselves

to support through 'reasoning back and forth between theory and experiment.' I feel that

Galileo's argument is a valid one because it explains relations in nature and the physical

world through mathematical analysis. This allows him to define a world outside of

human existence that can be logically calculated and explained. His view describes the

world in which living creatures live and not contrasts it to the world within living

creatures. The problem with Galileo's view is that it pioneers a scientific outlook but

never actually fulfills it.

Newton believes the world is ultimately made up of hard particles that can retain

different properties. The...