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Retrying Galileo, 1633-1992$
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Maurice Finocchiaro

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242616

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242616.001.0001

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The Inquisition on Galileo's Side?

The Inquisition on Galileo's Side?

The Settele Affair (1820) and Beyond (1835)

(p.193) Chapter 10 The Inquisition on Galileo's Side?
Retrying Galileo, 1633-1992

Maurice A. Finocchiaro

University of California Press

In 1820, a controversy raged in Rome that came to be called the Settele affair. The surface issue was whether to allow the publication of an astronomy textbook in which Guiseppe Settele treated the earth's motion as a fact. Although the publication of Settele's astronomical work settled the issue involving that particular book, the more general doctrinal question had not really been settled. Thus before long, new difficulties arose. Maurizio Olivieri wrote a summary of the events and issues of the Settele affair to be used by cardinal-inquisitors and other officials in reaching a final decision on the case. Although some may admire Olivieri's balanced impartiality, his argument was Solomonic in more than one sense; it was a double-edged sword of questionable value to a friend of the historical Galileo.

Keywords:   Settele affair, Galileo, Guiseppe Settele, Maurizio Olivieri, Solomonic

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