In his new book On Trial for Reason: Science, Religion, and Culture in the Galileo Affair (Oxford University Press, 2019), Maurice Finocchiaro shows that there were (and are) really two Galileo “affairs.” Galileo’s original trial and condemnation forms the first affair, the cultural history of controversies about the meaning of the original trial, forms the second. With scrupulous attention to evidence and the argumentation employed by various participants, Dr. Finocchiaro’s book is at once an accessible primer on a key event in the 16th- and 17th-century Scientific Revolution, and a thought provoking look at how the subsequent controversies resonate down to the present day.
Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western, in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.
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