• Neither writer is a ‘professional’ alchemist – why does this discipline interests them?
• What is the conception of knowledge that arises from their discussion?
• How does each of them think the world is made, and how does it relate to the way it should be studied?
• What place does God play in their respective analyses?
• What is their view about traditional knowledge? What do they criticize and what do they suggest to retain?
• Who do they seem to envision as their audience? Against what kind of criticism do they attempt to defend themselves?
• What does Bellarmine think about the value of Copernicanism?
• In what sense is he is willing to accept Copernicanism?
• What in scientific novelty or in Copernicanism worries him?
• Why does he say it is “dangerous” to accept it? How does it relate to Galileo’s words, on p. 81 of his Considerations on the Copernican Opinion, that: “one must start from the place which is safest and least likely to bring about scandal; this means beginning with physical and mathematical arguments…”Why does Bellarmine not reject Copernicanism outright?
• If it is ‘dangerous’, why does Bellarmine not reject Copernicanism outright?
• Under what circumstances would Bellarmine be willing to accept Copernicanismas true?
• Does Galileo answer Bellarmine’s worries in his Considerations?
• To what of Bellarmine’s points does Galileo answers when he says, on p. 75 of his Considerations, that: “if the earth’s stability and the sun’s motion are de facto physically true and the contrary position is absurd, how can one reasonably say that the false view agrees better than the true one with the phenomena clearly visible and sensed in the movements and arrangement of the stars”?
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