Galileo's Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of by Nick Wilding

By Nick Wilding

Galileo’s Idol bargains a bright depiction of Galileo’s pal, scholar, and client, Gianfrancesco Sagredo (1571–1620). Sagredo’s lifestyles, which hasn't ever ahead of been studied intensive, brings to mild the inextricable dating among the construction, distribution, and reception of political info and clinical knowledge.
Nick Wilding makes use of as broad quite a few assets as possible—paintings, decorative woodcuts, epistolary hoaxes, intercepted letters, homicide case records, and others—to problem the image of early sleek technology as pious, critical, and ecumenical. via his research of the determine of Sagredo, Wilding deals a clean viewpoint on Galileo in addition to new questions and strategies for the research of technological know-how. the result's a e-book that turns our consciousness from actors as participants to transferring collective matters, frequently working lower than fake identities; from an international made from stable print to at least one of frail tools and mistranscribed manuscripts; from a complacent Europe to an rising approach of advanced geopolitics and globalizing info structures; and from an epistemology in line with the stolid challenge of everlasting truths to 1 generated via and within the provider of playful, politically engaged, and crafty schemes.

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Additional resources for Galileo's Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge

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Capra’s approach to the problem of making and securing new knowledge was extremely similar to that of Galileo: he gestured at welcoming the free and easy exchange of information while demolishing and ridiculing his opponents. The discursive nature of knowledge production was, he claimed, centered not on a single author but in the processes of observation, writing, reading, and responding. 8 What was crucial in the observation of the new star was priority, and in this the student had clearly beaten the master.

This fact should be borne in mind when we come to consider the question of Galileo’s intended audience for his later published texts, especially the Sidereus nuncius. 20 Sometimes Galileo seems not to have known his students’ names, making such generic entries as “seven Poles”; at other times he was exquisitely careful to record correct titles and social relations between masters and servants. The importance of the geographical spread of the tutees lies not in some vague notion of background but in the promise that these students were making knowledge on the move: following a scientific iter italicum as part of a socioepistemological odyssey that would return them, they hoped, to their points of origin not only utterly transformed as good humanists, but also standardized and networked into a community.

Failed Brokerage Sagredo’s first extant letter to Galileo, sent in September 1599 in an attempt to secure him a rise in pay to match that of peers in other institutions, attests to Sagredo’s independent patronage network, in which Galileo was only the major player. 45 He told Galileo: I am very upset, finding myself embarrassed in a business where, having to deal with people of great authority, I see that all of my supplications are almost completely useless and without fruit. Three times I found myself in Contarini’s company, but I’ve never been able to get a polite word from him; indeed once he told me that when they’re ready to take a break from work, they’ll be working on something else.

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