The Posterity of Alexandre Koyré’s Galileo Studies



Alexandre Koyré’s Galileo Studies have been epoch-making in the history of science. Every Galilean scholar, since their publication just before the Second World War, has introduced his or her own work by taking a position in relation to that of Koyré. Even the return to the pre-Koyrean scholars, from Favaro to Wohlwill, has taken Alexandre Koyré as its starting point. This chapter aims to show how Alexandre Koyré’s main theses concerning Galileo’s experiment and Platonism were challenged through the experimental and then the sociological turns in the historiography of science of the last three decades of the previous century. Nonetheless, his theses could still be maintained, albeit with due qualifications.


Galileo Drake Naylor Platonism Aristotelism Sociological turn Experimental turn 


  1. Biagioli M (1989) The Social Status of Italian Mathematicians, 1450–1600. History of Science. 27/1:41–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Büttner J, Damerow P, Renn J, Schemmel M (2003) The Challenging Images of Artillery. Practical Knowledge at the Roots of the Scientific Revolution. In Lefèvre W, Renn J, Schoepflin U (eds). The Power of Images in Early Modern Science. Birkhäuser, Basel, pp. 3–27.Google Scholar
  3. Clavelin M (2004) Galilée copernicien. Albin Michel, Paris.Google Scholar
  4. Costabel P (1975) Mathematics and Galileo’s Inclined Plane Experiments. In Righini Bonelli ML, Shea WR (eds). Reason, Experiment and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution. Macmillan Press, London, pp. 177–187.Google Scholar
  5. Damerow P, Freudenthal G, McLaughlin P, Renn J (2004) Exploring the Limits of Preclassical Mechanics. A Study of Conceptual Development in Early Modem Science: Free Fall and Compounded Motion in the Work of Descartes, Galileo, and Beeckman, 2nd ed. Springer, Dordrecht.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drake S (1964) Galileo and the Law of Inertia. In Drake 1999b, pp. 121–133.Google Scholar
  7. Drake S (1969) Galileo’s 1604 Fragment on Falling Bodies (Galileo Gleanings XVIII). In Drake 1999b, pp. 187–207.Google Scholar
  8. Drake S (1971) Galileo Gleanings XXI: On the Probable Order of Galileo’s Notes on Motion. In Drake 1999b, pp. 171–184.Google Scholar
  9. Drake S (1973a) Galileo’s Discovery of the Law of Free Fall. In Drake 1999b, pp. 248–264.Google Scholar
  10. Drake S (1973b) Galileo’s Experimental Confirmation of Horizontal Inertia. Unpublished Manuscripts (Galileo Gleanings XXII). In Drake 1999b, pp. 147–159.Google Scholar
  11. Drake S (1974) Galileo’s Work on Free Fall in 1604. In Drake 1999b, pp. 281–291.Google Scholar
  12. Drake S (1975a) Galileo’s Discovery of the Parabolic Trajectory. In Drake 1999b, pp. 160–170.Google Scholar
  13. Drake S (1975b) The Role of Music in Galileo’s Experiments. Scientific American 232/6:98–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Drake S (1978) Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  15. Drake S (1979) Galileo’s Notes on Motion. Supplemento agli Annali dell Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza. Vol 2. Giunti, Firenze.Google Scholar
  16. Drake S (1981) Alleged departures from Galileo’s law of descent. Annals of Science 38:339–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Drake S (1982) Analysis of Galileo’s Experimental Data. Annals of Science 39:389–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Drake S (1983) Comment on the above Note by R. H. Naylor. Annals of Science 40:395.Google Scholar
  19. Drake S (1999a) Essays on Galileo and the History and Philosophy of Science. Vol 1. The University of Toronto Press, Toronto.Google Scholar
  20. Drake S (1999b) Essays on Galileo and the History and Philosophy of Science. Vol 2. The University of Toronto Press, Toronto.Google Scholar
  21. Fredette R (2001) Galileo’s De Motu Antiquiora. Notes for a reappraisal. In Montesinos J, Solis С (eds). Largo Campo di Filosofare. Eurosymposium Galileo 2001. Fundación Canaria Orotava de Historia de la Ciencia, La Orotava, pp. 165–181.Google Scholar
  22. Galilei G (1890–1909) Le Opere di Galileo Galilei Edizione Nazionale sotto gli auspice di Sua Maestà il Re d’Italia. XX Vols. Favaro A (ed). Tipografia di G. Barbèra, Firenze.Google Scholar
  23. Galilei G (1632) Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo. In Galilei 1890–1909, VII, 21–520.Google Scholar
  24. Galilei G (1638) Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, intorno à due nuove scienze. In Galilei 1890–1909, VIII, 4–458.Google Scholar
  25. Galilei G (1639) [Letter] Galileo a Gio. Battista Baliani in Genova. Firenze, 7 gennaio 1639. In Galilei 1890–1909, XVIII, pp. 11–13. [English Translation: Wallace 1981, p. 144].Google Scholar
  26. Galilei G (fl. 16th) De Motu. In Galilei 1890–1909, I, pp. 243–420.Google Scholar
  27. Galilei G (1960) On Motion and On Mechanics. Translated by Drabkin IE, Drake S. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.Google Scholar
  28. Galilei G (1974) Two new sciences: including centers of gravity & force of percussion. Translated, Introduction and Notes by Stillman Drake. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.Google Scholar
  29. Galilei G (1995) Discours concernant deux sciences nouvelles. Trad. Clavelin M. PUF, Paris.Google Scholar
  30. Geymonat L (1957) Galileo Galilei. Einaudi, Torino.Google Scholar
  31. Hill DK (1986) Galileo’s Work on 116v: A New Analysis. Isis 77/2:283–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Koyré A (1935) Études sur Galilée. Annuaire 1934–1935. École Pratique des Hautes Études. Section des sciences religieuses, pp. 53–54.Google Scholar
  33. Koyré A (1935–1936) À l’Aurore de la science moderne : La jeunesse de Galilée. Annales de l'Université de Paris 10/6:540–551; 11/1:32–56.Google Scholar
  34. Koyré A (1937a) Galilée et Descartes. Travaux du IXe Congrès international de philosophie-Congrès Descartes. Études cartésiennes, 2ème partie. Hermann, Paris, pp. 41–46.Google Scholar
  35. Koyré A (1937b) Galilée et l’expérience de Pise : à propos d’une légende. Annales de l’Université de Paris 12/5:441–453. [Reprinted: Koyré 1966, pp. 192–201].Google Scholar
  36. Koyré A (1937c) La loi de la chute des corps : Galilée et Descartes. Revue Philosophique de la France et de l'Étranger 123(5/8):149–204.Google Scholar
  37. Koyré A (1939) Études galiléennes. Vol 1: À l’aube de la science classique. Vol 2: La Loi de la chute des corps. Descartes et Galilée. Vol 3: Galilée et la loi d'inertie. Hermann, Paris.Google Scholar
  38. Koyré A (1943a) Galileo and Plato. In Koyré 1968a, pp. 16–43.Google Scholar
  39. Koyré A (1943b) Galileo and the Scientific Revolution of the Seventeenth Century. In Koyré 1968a, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  40. Koyré A (1953) An experiment in measurement. In Koyré 1968a, pp. 89–117.Google Scholar
  41. Koyré A (1960a) Galileo’s Treatise De Motu Gravium: The Use and Abuse of Imaginary Experiment. In Koyré 1968a, pp. 44–88.Google Scholar
  42. Koyré A (1960b) Newton, Galilée et Platon. Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 15/6:1041–1059. [Reprinted: Koyré 1968b, pp. 243–265].Google Scholar
  43. Koyré A (1966a) Études d’histoire de la pensée scientifique. PUF, Paris.Google Scholar
  44. Koyré A (1966b) Études galiléennes. Hermann, Paris.Google Scholar
  45. Koyré A (1968a) Metaphysics and Measurement. Essays in the Scientific Revolution. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  46. Koyré A (1968b) Études Newtoniennes. Gallimard, Paris.Google Scholar
  47. Koyré A (1978) Galileo Studies. Harvester Press, Hassocks.Google Scholar
  48. Kuhn T (1961) The Function of Measurement in Modern Physical Science. In Kuhn 1977, pp. 178–224.Google Scholar
  49. Kuhn T (1970) Alexandre Koyré & the History of Science. On an Intellectual Revolution. Encounter 34/1:67–69.Google Scholar
  50. Kuhn T (1976) Mathematical versus Experimental Traditions in the Development of Physical Science. In Kuhn 1977, pp. 31–65.Google Scholar
  51. Kuhn T (1977) The Essential Tension. The Chicago University Press, Chicago–London.Google Scholar
  52. Lefèvre W (2001) Galileo Engineer: Art and Modern Science. Science in Context 14/1:11–27.Google Scholar
  53. MacLachlan J (1973) A Test of an ‘Imaginary’ Experiment of Galileo’s. Isis 64/3:374–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. MacLachlan J (1976) Galileo’s Experiments with Pendulums: Real and Imaginary. Annals of Science 33:173–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. MacLachlan J (1982) Note on R. H. Naylor’s error in analysing experimental data. Annals of Science 39:381–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Naylor RH, Drake S (1983) Discussion on Galileo’s Early Experiments on Projectile Trajectories. Annals of Science 40/391–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Naylor RH (1974) Galileo and the Problem of Free Fall. The British Journal for the History of Science, 7/2:105–134.Google Scholar
  58. Naylor RH (1977a) Galileo’s Theory of Motion: Processes of Conceptual Change in the Period 1604–1610. Annals of Science 34:365–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Naylor RH (1977b) Galileo’s Need for Precision: The ‘Point’ of the Fourth Day Pendulum Experiment. Isis 68/1:97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Naylor RH (1980) The Role of Experiment in Galileo’s Early Work on the Law of Fall. Annals of Science 37:363–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Naylor RH (1982) Galileo's Law of Fall: Absolute Truth or Approximation. Annals of Science 39:384–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Naylor RH (1983a) Galileo’s Early Experiments on Projectile Trajectories. Annals of Science 40:391–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Naylor RH (1983b) Letter to the editor. Annals of Science 40:396.Google Scholar
  64. Naylor RH (2003) Galileo, Copernicanism and the Origins of the New Science of Motion. The British Journal for the History of Science 36/2:151–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Prudovsky G (1997) History of science and the historian’s self-understanding. The Journal of Value Inquiry 31:73–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Renn J, Damerow P, Rieger S, Guilini D (2001) Hunting the White Elephant: When and How did Galileo Discover the Law of Fall? Science in Context 14/1:29–149.Google Scholar
  67. Renn J, Damerow P (2003) The Hanging Chain: A Forgotten ‘Discovery’ Buried in Galileo’s Notes on Motion. In Holmes FL, Renn J, Rheinberger HJ (eds). Reworking the Bench. Research Notebooks in the History of Science. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 1–24.Google Scholar
  68. Settle TB (1961) An Experiment in the History of Science. Science 133:19–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Thuillier P (1983) Galilée et l'expérimentation. La Recherche 14/143:442–454.Google Scholar
  70. Valleriani M (2010) Galileo Engineer. Springer, Dordrecht.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wallace W (1981) Prelude to Galileo. Reidel, Dordrecht.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wallace W (1984) Galileo and his sources. The Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo’s science. The Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  73. Wallace W (1986) Reinterpreting Galileo on the Basis of his Latin Manuscripts. In: Wallace W (ed) Reinterpreting Galileo. The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, pp. 3–28.Google Scholar
  74. Wisan WL (1974) The New Science of Motion: A Study of Galileo’s De motu locali. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 13(2/3):103–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wisan WL (1984a) Galileo and the Process of Scientific Creation. Isis 75/2:269–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wisan WL (1984b) Galileo’s De Systemate Mundi and the New Mechanics. In Galluzzi P (ed). Novità celesti e crisi del sapere: atti del Convegno internazionale di studi galileiani. Barbèra, Firenze, pp. 41–49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paris École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations