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  • Author or Editor: Franco Giudice x
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In the Principia mathematica there is only a reference to the Bible. It is in the Scholium to Definitions placed at the beginning of the work, where Newton explains why in the study of natural phenomena it is necessary to distinguish between absolute and relative quantities. Although Newton states that this distinction is fundamental in order to correctly understand both physics and the Bible, in the Principia he does not clarify at all what kind of relationship exists between natural philosophy and interpretation of the Bible. Through a thorough analysis of some of his manuscripts, in this chapter I aim to show what the meaning of this relationship was, and how, according to Newton, the scriptural passages concerning the motions of celestial bodies could be reconciled with his system of the world.

In: The Philosophers and the Bible
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The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the place that Hobbes assigns to optics in the context of his classification of sciences and disciplinary boundaries. To do this, I will begin with an account of Hobbes’s conception of philosophy or science, and particularly his distinction between true and hypothetical knowledge. I will also show that in his demarcation between mathematics or geometry and natural philosophy Hobbes was influenced by Galileo’s Dialogue. I then analyse the consequences of this distinction for optics, and conclude by clarifying its status among the scientific disciplines.

In: Hobbes Studies
In: Early Science and Medicine
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title SUMMARY /title The object of this study is Leonhard Euler's physical optics as it is formulated in Nova theoria lucis et colorum (1746). The focus is on this particular work by Euler for two reasons: 1) Nova theoria represents undoubtedly the most comprehensive and systematic medium theory of the 18th century; 2) it contains the basic principles of Euler's conception of the nature of light, which he later mantained. The works of the most important advocates of this tradition (Huygens, Malebranche and Johann II Bernoulli) are here analysed, to give a historical frame to Euler's role in the medium tradition. Though these authors try elaborate a theory of light alternative to the emission theory, they never realize the contrast between the medium and the emission traditions. From this perspective, Nova theoria is a real transition point: Euler is fully aware of the antithesis between the two traditions; he compares them, he refutes the arguments in favour of emission theory and formulates an alternative one, that will substantially be the first and the most significant antagonist of emission model. The essay examines also the central questions of Euler's theory of light, i. e. how pulses are generated and propagated, the nature of the rays of light and the relations among pulse distance, frequency, and velocity.

In: Nuncius
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<title> SUMMARY </title>The principal aim of this study is to reconstruct the configuration Experimental Physics assumed in Pavia, from the viewpoints of both research and teaching, before Volta's arrival in 1778. Attention will be devoted, in particular, to the work of Carlo Barletti, chair professor in Experimental Physics at Pavia from 1773 to 1778, a little-studied figure, often considered of modest scientific value compared to Volta. A careful interpretation of the documents and events of science history in Pavia in the second half of the XVIII century, will lead us to describe a less simplistic and definitely more complex picture, revealing Barletti's major role in forming the Physics Laboratory in 1776, and in the methodological approach given to teaching Experimental Physics. The essay also analyses relations between Barletti and Volta, both before and after the arrival of the latter to Pavia.

In: Nuncius
In: Nuncius
In: Nuncius