Biography of Galileo Galilei
“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” For Galileo Galilei this thought meant everything. He went against everyone and believed what he thought was true. Many disrespected him and thought he was insane to question the theories of many great scientists of that day. He proved to be right a portion of the time. Galilieo the Great fits him better than Galileo Galilei, “cause great he was.
Galileo was born on February 15, 1564 in Pisa, Italy. His father, Vincenzio Galilei, was a Florentine patrician. His father also taught music and wrote against the prevailing abstract, numeral theories of harmony. Galileo’s first dream was a musician due to the fact that his father was very involved in music. A private tutor provided Galileo’s education. Then his education was given to him by the Camaldolese monks of Vallombrosa. Finally Galileo reached collage. At this point in his life he decided he wanted to be a medical student. With this in mind he enrolled in the University of Pisa as a medical student. Approximately 2 years later he began studying mathematics with a family friend, Ostilio Ricci. Galileo left the University in 1585 without a degree.
Galileo started applying mathematics to physics. This helped him start forming theorems about the center of gravity of solids bodies and a treatise on the hydrostatic balance. He then became interested in uniform beating of pendulums and the speed of descent bodies in air and in water. Most physics before Galileo was treated as a branch of Aristotelian philosophy. Heavy bodies were supposed to fall at speeds the same as its weight, seeking the center of the earth. Thrown bodies supposedly were kept in motion either by some property of the air or a temporary force put into them by the thrower. It was all different for Galileo. In 1590 he wrote a treatise on motion in which he disputed nearly every assumption of Aristotelian physics. He held the view that bodies composed of the same of material fall with the same speed through a given medium regardless of their weights. He supported his theory based on the principle of Archimedes.
Galileo achieved many...
Those who have even a smattering of philosophy will recognize in Galileo’s position as something called “naïve realism.” They will know that it has no legitimate claim to being a coherent view of the nature of reality, having been discredited by a long line of philosophers stretching back to the eighteenth century. As for Galileo’s notion that empirical knowledge – that “which sense-experience sets before our eyes” – is definitive and unchallengeable, modern science from neurophysiology to information and automata theory knows otherwise: all scientific knowledge contains important, sometimes critical, elements of subjectivity.