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Galileo, Courtier

The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism

Informed by currents in sociology, cultural anthropology, and literary theory, Galileo, Courtier is neither a biography nor a conventional history of science. In the court of the Medicis and the Vatican, Galileo fashioned both his career and his science to the demands of patronage and its complex systems of wealth, power, and prestige. Biagioli argues that Galileo’s courtly role was integral to his science—the questions he chose to examine, his methods, even his conclusions.

Galileo, Courtier is a fascinating cultural and social history of science highlighting the workings of power, patronage, and credibility in the development of science.

416 pages | 10 halftones, 4 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1993

Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series

History: European History, History of Ideas

History of Science

Physical Sciences: History and Philosophy of Physical Sciences

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Prologue: Court Culture and the Legitimation of Science
1: Galileo’s Self-fashioning
2: Discoveries and Etiquette
3: Anatomy of a Court Dispute
4: The Anthropology of Incommensurability
Intermezzo: Roma Theatrum Mundi
5: Courtly Comets
6: Framing Galileo’s Trial
Epilogue: From Patronage to Academies: A Hypothesis

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