Physical reality is a concept that is illustrated in part by a set of physical ‘laws’ that are themselves arrived at through metaphysical assumptions. Both the historical Galileo and Descartes utilized specific metaphysical antecedents in their scientific doctrines. This paper will outline both the metaphysical beliefs, and scientific doctrines employed by Galileo and Descartes as its purpose. In doing so, the paper will aim at highlighting the significance and impact of both these philosophers by explication of their knowledge and not the results of their knowledge in the world. Moreover, it will become apparent that some differences and similarities between the claims of the two ‘greats’ exist. Also, this paper will discuss contrast and any notable adversities, commonalities and/or strengths that are apparent in the two theorists beliefs.
According to Galileo, primary and secondary causes are that which account for mathematically describable motion (Burtt, p.100) The initial or first cause is attributable to a God, after which ‘identity’, ‘uniformity’ and ‘simplicity’ become attributable to the ‘primary causes’. However, Galileo not only assumes a first creation, but a first creation that also caused the first motion.”In Galileo, however, this step is not clearly taken. There seemed to be some present invisible reality which produced the observed acceleration of bodies.” (Ibid p.99) Thus, anything following the Godly causes with identity, uniformity and simplicity is a primary cause in Galileo’s perspective. The speed of light and sound are characterizable as such causes, however Galileo refers to gravity as such a cause. Secondary causes are affects on force that require additional criteria to that of primary cause; for example a body or object in motion. Essentially however, Galileo limited metaphysical concepts as religious, and explained the conceivable world as mathematically comprehensive. Moreover, according to Galileo, much of the natural world could be explained through geometrical principles, and that which couldn’t was simply explained as a property of God. Moreover, this is what Galileo to be know already or a priori. “Hence, Galileo employed the Socratic method, constantly assuring Simplicio that he knew the truth already, if only he could be brought to view it squarely, without prejudice or preconception, and with due attention to the principles of geometry.”(Hall p.57) Thus, for Galileo geometry and the knowledge that it is true was all that needed to be known, and much else was unknown.”In an age when uncontrollable speculation was the order of the day we find a man with sufficient self-restraint to leave certain ultimate questions unsolved, as beyond the realm of positive science.”(Ibid p.101) Nevertheless, the notion of the original force and force in general, is only explainable from the metaphysical idea of primary cause or force which is that which sets atoms in motion.
To the contrary of primary and secondary causes are Galileo’s primary and secondary qualities. This is a system of ideas that portrays the explainable universe in two areas or realms. Moreover, in this particular case, the primary qualities are explainable in terms of physical science in an (mostly) objective manner, whereas the secondary qualities that comprehend aspects and qualities of the universe are subjective or secondary. Thus, in linguistic relation to the primary and secondary causes, the reverse is true. To illustrate further, Galileo states that the world of primary qualities is “absolute, objective, immutable and mathematical; and that which is relative (secondary) is subjective, fluctuating, and sensible. The former is the realm of knowledge, divine and human; the latter is the realm of opinion and illusion.”(Ibid p.83) Furthermore, Galileo believes that the world of illusion and speculative or unsubstantiated opinion is largely untrustworthy in terms of knowledge. Moreover, the subjective realm can be defined as pseudo-knowledge and therefore metaphysical or beyond physical understanding.
So, in light of this cosmology, God is reduced to an initial force that offers no insight as to the role of humanity in the universe, nor to the non-mechanical ways of humanity. “God thus ceases to be the Supreme Good in any important sense; he is a huge mechanical inventor, whose power is appealed merely to account for the first appearance of the atoms, the tendency becoming more and more irresistible as time goes on to lodge all further causality for whatever effects in the atoms themselves.”(Ibid p.99) However, these atoms are themselves of a metaphysical nature despite their apparent role as a secondary quality. That is to say, Galileo’s atoms are invisible, yet a physical force; furthermore, they have no shape, weight, or dimension. They are beyond the knowable, geometrically undemonstrable, yet an objective phenomena at the same time. This rejection of Democritus’ atom is controversial as it is unclear whether Galileo’s atom is primary or secondary. Therefore, it can be assumed to be a bridge between the two realms and an ‘unexplainable’ phenomena. Nevertheless, these invisible realities were explainable through the concept of resistance. “Galileo certainly believed that there are minute vacuities between the solid atoms o matter, yet no more than Aristotle did suppose that there are vacuous spaces in nature of considerable size…Observation shows, however, that differences in falling-speeds diminish as the density of the medium grows less; by inference if the resistance were zero the difference would be nil.”(Hall p.62) Thus, if there is resistance between to falling objects, then something is causing one to fall at a faster velocity than the other, namely atoms or a collection of atoms.
Galileo offered much examination to the notions of free fall, projectiles in motion, circular inertia, and relativity of perception. (Mathew, P.54) Moreover, Galileo’s theory of motion is founded on the principle that geometry and mathematics are the most consistent fundamental aspects of knowable reality. Furthermore, the notion that nature acts through immutable laws is evident in a correlation between natural events and geometry.(Burtt, p.75) Thus, with acceptance of Galileo’s theory, the Aristotelian concept of motion was consequently discredited to some extent. That is to say, the Aristotelian conception included the ideas that all objects have a purpose, and that space surrounds all objects. Galileo on the other hand, believed that purpose is not necessarily evident –as mentioned in his metaphysics– therefore, only mathematical premises could be included in methodology that is founded on Galilean principle. Thus, a separation between metaphysics and mathematics occurs with the advent of Galileo. Moreover, a purification and/or categorization is carved into the principles of science.
Using his belief in a mechanical and mathematical universe, Galileo set out to discover new mathematical principles using methodology. One such methodology is Galileo’s method; it consists of three steps that include intuition, demonstration and experimentation. (Ibid p.81) In this method sensible ideas of the intuition are isolated and identified; following this, the ideas are translated into mathematical terms and demonstrated mathematically and through experimentation. The third stage however, introduces the realm of empirical probability thereby rendering it putative to a lesser degree than speculation, but nevertheless in ultimate competition with metaphysics. Thus, mathematics is the “instrument of discovery” for Galileo, but what exactly did he discover.
Specifically, Galileo developed a theory of motion that included physical laws regarding free fall and space. First, Galileo believed that two types of motion existed, vertical and horizontal. (Mathews p.72) From this, Galileo was able to deduce that both acceleration and deceleration were also possible in respect to gravity. Moreover, through experimentation with bullets and balls on inverted slopes .(Ibid p.84) Galileo found the following principles to be ‘true’: A vertical height of a dropped ball will yield a rise of equal height given a vertical slope of equal or greater height on the opposite sloped plane; distance from rest or lack of inertia is proportional to the square of the time that it would take for the object to come to a rest, therefore, motion is that measure of change of distance over change of time. This leads to the representative equation of velocity which states that, velocity (V)/speed of motion is equal to the change of distance –distance two minus distance one, divided by the change in time –time two minus time one.
This theory was applied by Galileo to represent two different types of motion. One which he described as circular inertia, which is constant and circular and another that is accelerated. (Hall, p.49) Furthermore, Galileo asserted that the former of these two types of motion was in concordance with motion around the centre of the universe, and that the latter was a conformity to the former in terms of a return to the Earth’s motion from a misguided motion. (Hall, p.49) This is a creative explanation, but somewhat flawed as we shall see later. Nevertheless, despite this, much of the ideas about motion such as velocity, free fall, resistance etc. were ‘correct’. Yet, elements of these ideas were also assumed and unproven. For example, Galileo –and Descartes as we shall see later– believed that their ideas were universally applicable and therefore universal laws. Specifically, Galileo believed that the concept of ‘uniform acceleration’ was the same and describable as occurring the same way –at least mathematically– universally. (Hall p.59)
Galileo’s also promoted notions relating to heat. For example, in The Assayrer, Galileo claims that motion is the cause of heat. Moreover, after demonstrating how sensation is not a property of the object, but of the subject, Galileo explains that heat is also generated by the ‘prickling’ character of the objects/ velocity of atoms.
“I confess myself to be very much inclined to believe that heat, too, is of this sort, and that those
materials which we give the general name “fire” consist of a multitude of tiny particles of such
and such a shape, and having such and such a velocity. These, when they encounter the body,
penetrate it by means of their extreme subtlety; and it is their contact, felt by us in their passage
through our substance, which is the affection we call “heat”…And I again judge that heat is
altogether subjective, so that if the living, sensitive body be removed, what we call heat would be
nothing but a simple word.”(Ibid P.59-60)
This notion, when examined will demonstrate a direct correlation between primary and secondary qualities. That is to say, the perception of heat would not exist without a subject to feel it is entirely subjective and therefore secondary; however, the ability and velocity of atoms to cause the secondary perception is objective. Therefore, the question becomes, which qualitative realm came first? or did the two appear simultaneously? A discussion of Descartes can shed insight to these resulting questions.
“In Galileo the union of the mathematical view of nature and the principle of sensible experimentalism had left the status of the sense somewhat ambiguous…For Descartes…the method of correct procedure in philosophy must not rest upon the trustworthiness of sense experience at all.” (Burtt, p.115-116) Moreover, Descartes’ metaphysical universe consists of the ‘res extensa’ and the ‘res cogitans’; the former of these is a world that is characterizable as similar to Galileo’s primary qualities. That is, ‘res extensa’ holds that the universe is a mathematical enterprise that would exist with or without human interpretation; moreover, it is fundamentally objective and holds the qualities of extension and mobility as fundamentally possible.(Ibid p.116-118) Furthermore, this accepts the idea of space, as extension of space would not be possible without physical dimensions.
‘Res cogitans’ is the metaphysical notion that sensations are indicative of, but not necessarily related to an external world. Moreover, thoughts are ‘unextended’ and thereby occupy no space, but have the ability to ‘affirm’ clear and distinctness of ideas. Furthermore, the world of thought consists of doubt, feeling, imagination, and feeling. (Ibid p.120) This world of thought is similar to Galileo’s secondary qualities, and is also rejected by Descartes as ambiguous. Thus, the implication of such notions is that teleology is rejected (Ibid p.119) ; that is, God is unverifiable in terms of function, but assertable as a mathematical entity.
Both the res extensa and the res cogitans are connected by the universal nature of mathematics, making each realm somewhat understandable in terms of the other. Otherwise, without this notion, both the extended and unextended universes would be entirely independent and unlinked. Also, like Galileo, Descartes attributed the first force of nature, specifically in regard to motion, to God. Moreover, it was God who made possible the first force and its initial motion. “God set the extended things in motion in the beginning , and maintained the same quantity of motion in the universe by his “general” concourse.” (Ibid p.111) In turn, Descartes was able to explain his vortex theory and three laws of motion from a mathematical perspective. Furthermore, according to Descartes, in addition to God, a certain kind of ether, or first matter that is not deducible from extension accounts for that phenomena which is objects pass through during motion. (Ibid p.110) This idea or ‘astonomico-physical world’ understanding is subject to the teleological ‘weakness’ of non-extension and lack of mathematical significance that was the criteria that would remain lingering and ever present in Descartes ‘project’.
It is also important to note how Descartes perceived metaphysics in terms of science and physical laws. That is to say, how did Descartes utilize metaphysics in his empirical formulations? The answer is, Descartes viewed metaphysics as an already present knowledge about the universe similar to Galileo’s knowledge about geometry. Moreover, this illusive and conceptualized knowledge could serve as a pre-cursor to physical theories and explanations about the physical world. Moreover, that which is metaphysical to Descartes includes the ‘natural light of reason’, God, soul and primary notions/axioms (Clarke p.81) and “function as the foundations of all other knowledge claims.” (Clarke p.81)
Descartes believed that knowledge could be arrived at through two main paths, intuition and deduction. (Ibid p.108) More specifically, these two methods make the understanding of mathematical concepts possible. Since mathematical concepts are considered fundamental by Descartes, the arriving of them can also be considered the affirmation of knowledge. Moreover, intuition is that aspect of knowledge that is so evident through thought, that to doubt it would be absurd. Geometrical notions are an example of this type of knowledge. Also, Cartesian deduction refers to that type of knowledge which makes connections between concepts of the intuition. For example, it is through intuition that ‘simple natures’ such as extension and motion are discovered, therefore the relations of extended objects in motion can be understood through deductive reasoning.
The vortex theory and the three laws of motion are examples of a combination of induction and deduction. Moreover, Descartes vortex theory claims that motion occurs along the lines of ‘vortices’ and that it is from these vortices that laws of motion can be comprehended mathematically. (Burtt, P.114) Furthermore, this theory claims that the universe is comprised of ‘whirlpools’ of matter in motion –which was originally began by God. This notion is similar to Galileo’s conception of God and includes the following three laws.
The first of these laws is that objects in motion have inertia i.e. they maintain motion unless slowed by particles or a medium of substance. “having once begun to move they (objects) continue to do so until they are slowed down by encounter with other bodies…either by air itself or by some other fluid bodies through which they are moving.” (Mathews, p.102) Moreover, Descartes believes that it is nor reasonable to assume that an object should slow down if nothing causes it to.
This leads Descartes to the second law of motion that claims that all motion follows a straight line unless otherwise manipulated or forced. To demonstrate this law, Descartes refers to a rock in a sling. That is to say, when rotating a rock in a sling, the hand or perception of the rock in the sling feels the pressure of the rock to follow the tangent of the circumference of the rotation.(Ibid p.103) In other words, if it were not for the sling, or if the sling would suddenly vanish half way through a rotation, the rock would fly along a straight path assuming no gravity or friction.
Then there is the third law of motion which, according to Descartes, makes clear the notion that an object will transfer its energy under certain circumstances. Furthermore, Descartes gives the examples of a smaller object hitting a large object, and a large object hitting a smaller object. In the first case, the object will rebound off the larger object that has a resistance capable of withstanding larger energy forces against it. (Ibid p.103-104) That is to say, little energy will be transferred from the smaller to the large object because the larger object will not ‘yield’ itself to the force of the smaller object on the account of its own force/resistance. However, in the case of the larger object hitting a smaller object, much if not all the energy is transferred from the larger to the smaller because the smaller does precisely the opposite to the previous example. That is, it gives way to the force thereby allowing the larger force to transfer all of its to the smaller object causing the former to stop and the latter to initiate or increase motion.
ARGUMENTATION: ‘PROBLEMS’ IN THE WORK OF GALILEO AND DESCARTES
In order to contrast Galileo with Descartes and vice versa, their essential metaphysical concepts and scientific doctrines must be considered in terms of there strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, considerable certifiable critique exists in terms of both the ‘greats’ in terms of problems with the theoretical ‘mapping’ or application of their metaphysics to experimentation or demonstration of physical laws. Furthermore, there are also critiques about the metaphysical concepts of Descartes and Galileo in and of themselves as metaphysical concepts. Nevertheless, it will become apparent, after discussion of these problems, that the strengths outweigh the weaknesses when considered in terms of pragmatics.
The most striking difference between Galileo and Descartes so far seems to be their differing methodologies. That is, while Galileo’s is closer to the contemporary scientific method, Descartes’ is more in the realm of analysis of psychological reasoning. Moreover, Galileo’s method includes intuition, demonstration and experiment whereas Descartes” includes induction and deduction from induction. The former method allows for greater uncertainty, reliance on probability etc. in the experimental stage, however this is also its strength as it transcends the unknown by making it known to a certain degree as objective beyond basic positivism or formal validation. Descartes’ method on the other hand does little to demonstrate how reasoning can provide knowledge of a verifiable external world beyond formalism. Nevertheless, both were able to come up with significant discoveries such as properties of motion such as free fall and inertia.
However, it is precisely in the concept of inertia where Galileo’s understanding meets empirical difficulty. Namely, when not considering the curvature of Earth on a straight moving object, Galileo believed that a stone falling from a moving ship would follow a line parallel to the Earth’s surface with inertia. Moreover, Galileo left out the notion of the Earth’s curvature does indeed influence the path of the falling stone. (Hall p.51)
Also, Galileo also made an error in his judgment of forces. Specifically, Galileo believed that an object moving in a straight line over a rotating curvature such as Earth would be pulled away from a straight path with the least possible force such as gravity. However, Galileo was also incorrect about this point, if the rotating curvature were to spin powerfully enough, the gravity acting on the object would be overcome by centrifugal or outward pushing forces, thereby allowing the object to follow a straight path with or without increased speed. “According to Galileo, centrifugal force can never remove something from a circular motion, if there is a contrary force towards the centre, however weak…This argument is false because the centrifugal force in a given circular motion increases as the square of the velocity; the Earth could indeed project rocks into space, if it moved fast enough.” (Hall p.53-54)
Another difficulty that faces Galileo’s reasoning is the idea that Geometrical reasoning is not amenable to other objects or things in reality. Moreover, the mapping of a priori geometry on to reality through demonstrative experimentation is hampered by ‘physical’ constraints and obstacles. This is evident in the curvature problem and in the sling experiment, both of which attempt to illustrate how objects follow straight paths through inertia unless acted upon otherwise. Moreover, the examples Galileo used were intended more for comprehension of theory than validation.
“The answer seems to be in Galileo’s manner of reasoning. This did not explore the dynamics of the
situation. The only way to handle the problem of centrifugal force in connection with the rotation
of the Earth, and to settle it, was to calculate the from arising from the Earth’s spin and compare it
with the force of gravity. It is no detriment to the fame of Galileo that he could not do this…he
compared forces to the lengths of lines. For Galileo the stone in the sling was a convenient device
rather than a means of experiment, and once it had evoked the proper response from Simplicio, it
was set aside and there was no further reference to experiments. A priori geometrical reasoning
seemed to make experiment superfluous.” (Hall, p.55)
As with Galileo, Descartes also made errors in reasoning; however, in the case of Descartes, the problems will be amplified at the metaphysical level, rather than in that of application as shown in Galileo.
First, Descartes believed that God is/was immutable; from this metaphysical notion coupled with the idea that God is the first cause of motion, Descartes deduces that physical laws are also immutable. This however, presents a problem, specifically one of absolutism versus empiricism. That is to say, the original and supposed absolute immutability implies the same for the empirical physical world. Whether or not either of these notions are correct, yet alone supported by evidence is a problem facing Descartes.
“The earlier discussion about God’s immutability does no work so far, in explaining the rules which
follow. Descartes was anxious to show that God creates/conserves the universe without this
involving any change in God; that the universe is endowed in with certain principles from the
beginning which explain how it can autonomously generate the diversity of physical phenomena we
observe…It remains to be seen in what sense one must accept the laws which follow…The role of
God’s immutability as a further argument in respect to the first law is ambiguous between two
senses of ‘principle’. In fact, the concept of law is ambiguous in the same respects. Descartes talks
about two causes of motion, the primary cause (god) and the secondary causes (laws). Evidently,
the latter are not propositions. In this context, the term ‘law’ must refer to the actual regularities in
nature which the propositions in Part II of the ‘Principles’ describe.”(Clarke p.92&98)
Thus, it is evident that Descartes understanding of the physical world rests heavily on metaphysical assumptions that are equally considerable as products of the imagination. “What is for Descartes the activity of God will for Hume be custom and the imagination.” (Buchdahl, p.176) Thus, products of the imagination for Hume, or metaphysical nature for Descartes are only rendered valid or at least most often, through the resulting physical laws that significantly explain the physical world in an acceptable manner. Otherwise would prove unfruitful to Descartes as made clear through a commentary by Burtt in which he refers to Burtrand Russell. “…Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins-all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.” (Burtt p.23) In other words, if the universe is not explained in terms of observable phenomena, then no theoretical understanding can be proven or accepted as valid. Whether or not this relation is beneficial in itself a dynamic topic. Nevertheless, the argument posed against Descartes herein so far is, how applicable Descartes theory actually is in regard to the physical world and its laws.
Furthermore, if an argument is essentially theoretical and metaphysical, or if the argument rests on heavily theoretical principles, then a counter argument on the theoretical level will also be a counter-argument on any corresponding physical laws. That is to say, if theory does in fact represent reality in some instances, then a weak theory also represent a weak theory of reality. Whether or not theory actually can be transferred to reality is a separate and interesting issue. However, the initial idea is amplified by another author named Richard Watson. Watson believes that Descartes actually know nothing at all because Descartes contradicts his own metaphysical theory in his ‘first meditation’. Moreover, Watson believes that Descartes is agnostic despite Descartes later use of God as a first cause etc. Furthermore, this is an attack on Descartes’ metaphysical understanding regardless of any physical applications. Yet, the counter-argument can have an influence on the validity of any physical laws that rest on metaphysical notions proposed by Descartes.
“There are doubts that Descartes knows anything at all. I contend with these critical philosophers
that the First Meditation embed Descartes so deeply in agnosticism that he can know neither that
anything exists, nor, supposing he could know that something exists, what any existing thing is.
Descartes is bereft of knowledge both of the existence and of the essence of anything. I conclude
that Descartes knows nothing.” (Watson, p.193)
In addition to pointing out inconsistency in the work of Descartes, Watson offers further argumentation for the same idea of having no knowledge. Namely, Descartes inherent ideas of extension, thought and existence are nothing other than that and do nothing to describe reality because they are themselves ’empty’. (Watson p.193) Third, Watson claims that the ‘Cogito’ or notion that since one thinks, he/she must therefore be, is incorrect because of the addition of memory and reasonable counter-intuition. Moreover, according to Watson’s reference, if one thinks, one can consequently be only because thoughts are separated by ‘time’. Thus, since ‘I think’ and ‘I am’ are temporally separate, the need for memory and its possible distortion could make ‘being’ an illusion. Also, according to Watson, there ‘exists’ a necessary relation between thinker and the act of thinking. Therefore, the two elements of ‘existence’ are once again separated by separate reason. Thus, how can one be sure that he/she is not thinking someone else’s thoughts and concluding that they exist based on this?
“Even supposing there is a thinker, how do I know that this thinker is I? Again I could be mistaken,
or God could have done what is contradictory to reason but is not impossible for God, acquaint
me with some thinking thing that appears to be mine but really belongs to another, or even to no
one at all.”(Watson p.196)
No doubt, this is an interesting argument that can actually have an influence on the qualification of Cartesian metaphysics if it is valid enough. However, a discussion of the validity of the above counter arguments will be set aside for a listing of another opposing argument.
This argument, as proposed by Gerd Buchdahl, is similar to that of Watson in that it involves the problem of distinction between separate entities. However, in the case of Buchdahl, the problem is not in regard to separate thoughts, but rather Cartesian mind and body dualism. Moreover, how is that Descartes can be certain that the mind is wholly able to comprehend the body through reason yet alone the connectedness?
“Descartes fails in the end to make clear the position of the sensory and qualitative realm in his
ontology; or rather, he leaves the matter opaque and dogmatic. God does not deceive me
concerning this apparent order of created things: very well! But it does not follow that the realm
of sense is ultimately analyzable in the way Descartes suggests when he calls it ‘confused
thinking’.” (Buchdahl, p.179-180)
DEFENSE: STRENGTHS IN THE WORK OF GALILEO AND DESCARTES
An interesting defense of Galileo is presented by Maurice Finnochiard. The claim made by Finnochiard is that counterinductivist reasoning is attributable to the success (and errors) in Galileo’s work. Moreover, by ‘counterinductivist’, Finnochiard means a reasoning that does not strongly adhere to empirical norms of practice, rigid representation and application of standard theory etc. Furthermore, it is through a partial releasing of the methods used in such non-counterinductivist reasoning that new applications and ideas can be tested. The following is Finnochiard’s argument in support of conterinductivism.
1)Galileo was a successful scientist,
2)There must be a cause for his success, since every event has a cause,
3)Galileo practiced a conterinductivist methodology,
4)His counterinductivist methodology is a possible cause for hsi success,
5)There is no other feature of Galileo’s work which could have been the cause of his success,
6)Therefore, the counterinductivist methodology ws the cause of his success. (Finnochiaro, p.160)
Moreover, Galileo’s leaving out of experimental applications such as the weighing of forces to demonstrate inertia correctly may have been overlooked because Galileo needed to understand inertia from a ‘counterinductivst’ method to comprehend it. Furthermore, in doing so, Galileo overlooked the yet to be discovered nature of forces.
Descartes also utilized a similar method of counterinductivist methodology in different and similar ways; however, both Galileo and Descartes were not being extremely counterinductivist in their time. Nevertheless, each did ‘speculate’ beyond given methods and ideas.
“The fact is, Descartes was a soaring speculator as well as a mathematical philosopher, and a
comprehensive conception of the astronomico-physical world was now deepening in his mind, in
terms of which he found it easy to make a rather brusque disposal of these qualities which Galileo
was trying to reduce to exact mathematical treatment, but which could not be reduced in terms of
extension alone.” (Burtt p.110)
Also of importance is the consistency and widespread applicability of both Galileo and Descartes theories. Galileo’s velocity and Descartes Cogito and laws of motion would both have profound and dramatic impacts on generations to come. Moreover, the above criticism by Watson in regard to the ‘Cogito’ is itself representative of the ultimate unknown that pervades all ‘truths’ but nevertheless destructive of all theories including that of Descartes because it hinders the essential assumption of all knowledge. Namely, that most knowledge does infact rest on a less than absolute metaphysical criteria. Furthermore, the putative results of both Galileo and Descartes were significantly useful and justifiable to be continuously endorsed by science for the benefit of humanity, thereby rendering them more useful and justifiable than Watson’s important yet destructive counter claims.
Hence we have a summary of various aspects of the metaphysics and doctrine of Galileo and Descartes. Each had a similar mathematical notion of God, and a consequent un-teleological conception of the universe. This places them both in the realm of scientific philosophy as also evident in their consequent applications of theory; as presented in regard to understanding of motion, atomism, and space. However, both Galileo and Descartes had differing and unflawless ideas about each of these topics, but nevertheless developed significantly strong concepts to influence and convince the philosophical and scientific world of their impact.
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