This book examines the teaching and practice of the twin arts of argumentation—rhetoric and dialectic—in the time of Galileo. Galileo was an ardent controversialist on behalf of his astronomical theories, yet many today are unacquainted with the kinds of argument that became a focal point in his famous trial. In this insightful work, Jean Dietz Moss and William A. Wallace combine their vast knowledge of rhetoric, history, and philosophy to explain the background of the dispute between science and religion.
The authors present an engaging discussion of the prevailing modes of rhetorical and scientific arguments in Northern Italy during the Renaissance. They display primary texts on the arts of rhetoric and dialectic by authors whose thought was known to Galileo. Six sets of translations from the published works of two scholars, Ludovico Carbone and Antonio Riccobono, make up the major part of the book. The works examined are Carbone’s Introduction to Logic, Table of Rhetoric of Cyprian Soarez, Art of Speaking, On Oratorical and Dialectical Invention, and The Divine Orator, and Riccobono’s Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric. Never before have these works been available in English.
Moss and Wallace here offer an original and important contribution to the history of rhetoric. The book will be welcomed by scholars in the field, as well as by those interested in the Renaissance, philosophy, and the history of science.
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