Galileo Galilei 's ' Corpuscularianism From His Book ' The Assayer '

1395 Words Apr 1st, 2016 null Page
Galileo Galilei’s essay called “Corpuscularianism” from his book The Assayer offers an extensive argument supporting his belief that motion is the cause of heat. He describes the key role motion plays in creating heat through pointing out how motion affects the other senses such as taste and smell. However, Galilei’s stance does not come without opposition, as I will criticize his over-simplistic and contradictory explanation for how we sense the world around us. Galileo begins by differentiating between primary and secondary qualities. He states that objects necessarily have shape, size, place, motion, contact, and number (primary qualities,) but they do not necessarily have color, taste, sound, smell, or feel (secondary qualities.) He establishes these two categories by realizing that “neither reason nor understanding would ever, by themselves, arrive at such notions” of secondary qualities, but every other quality that you can understand through reason is considered a primary quality (22). A more simplistic way of thinking of this point is the commonplace saying, “You can’t describe color to a blind person.” A blind person has just as much reason and understanding as anyone else but could never fathom what the color green is. This is because in order to sense something, there must be an able and perceiving host, otherwise things such as colors are nonexistent. His quote points out that senses reside exclusively in our bodies, and the quoted saying emphasizes that without…

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