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fyw-1262:papers-f17 [2017/11/13 07:39]
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fyw-1262:papers-f17 [2017/11/19 06:38] (current)
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   * **3 November** - Write about one of the following: (1) Discuss arguments from authority. Should we always accept an argument from authority? On what ground could we reject an argument from authority? What do Simplicio, Sagredo, and Salviati think about such arguments? (2) Does Salviati know Simplio'​s arguments on the immovability of the earth better than Simplicio knows them himself? How does this help Salviati'​s case? How important is it to understand the arguments of one's opponent in a debate? (3) Salviati argues that any motion of the earth must be imperceptible ​ to those on the earth. How is this possible? Why is it important to his argument? How is Simplicio begging the question when he argues that, for example, we would see an object dropped from a tower fall differently if the earth were not moving?   * **3 November** - Write about one of the following: (1) Discuss arguments from authority. Should we always accept an argument from authority? On what ground could we reject an argument from authority? What do Simplicio, Sagredo, and Salviati think about such arguments? (2) Does Salviati know Simplio'​s arguments on the immovability of the earth better than Simplicio knows them himself? How does this help Salviati'​s case? How important is it to understand the arguments of one's opponent in a debate? (3) Salviati argues that any motion of the earth must be imperceptible ​ to those on the earth. How is this possible? Why is it important to his argument? How is Simplicio begging the question when he argues that, for example, we would see an object dropped from a tower fall differently if the earth were not moving?
   * **10 November** Write about one of the following: (1) Discuss Salviati'​s thought experiment of being shut up in the main cabin below decks on some large ship. What does this experiment teach us about relative motion? What is the analogy with the motion of the earth? (2) On page 236, Simplicio says, "After all, Salviati, these mathematical subtleties do very well in the abstract, but they do not work out when applied to sensible and physical matters."​ Here, and elsewhere, Simplicio argues that the physics of the natural world does not necessarily match the abstractions of mathematics. ​ But in the case of the time for a cannon ball to fall from the orbit of the moon to the center of the earth, Simplicio admits that that variation is too much to be explained by a mismatch between physics and mathematics (page 270). Discuss how Simplicio and Salviati differ on their view of the usefulness of mathematics in studying the natural world. (3) Simplicio and Salviati both emphasize the importance of our senses in understanding the world around us, but they come to much different conclusions. How does that happen? What is different in their approaches? How does the relativeness of motion affect their viewpoints?   * **10 November** Write about one of the following: (1) Discuss Salviati'​s thought experiment of being shut up in the main cabin below decks on some large ship. What does this experiment teach us about relative motion? What is the analogy with the motion of the earth? (2) On page 236, Simplicio says, "After all, Salviati, these mathematical subtleties do very well in the abstract, but they do not work out when applied to sensible and physical matters."​ Here, and elsewhere, Simplicio argues that the physics of the natural world does not necessarily match the abstractions of mathematics. ​ But in the case of the time for a cannon ball to fall from the orbit of the moon to the center of the earth, Simplicio admits that that variation is too much to be explained by a mismatch between physics and mathematics (page 270). Discuss how Simplicio and Salviati differ on their view of the usefulness of mathematics in studying the natural world. (3) Simplicio and Salviati both emphasize the importance of our senses in understanding the world around us, but they come to much different conclusions. How does that happen? What is different in their approaches? How does the relativeness of motion affect their viewpoints?
-  * **17 November** Write about one of the following: (1) On page 307, Salviati ​criticizes the author whom Simplicio has been quoting for acting "as if nature had first made the brain of man, and then arranged everything to  conform to the capacity of the intellect."​ Rather, ​Salviati ​thinks that "​nature first made things in her own way, and then made human reason skillful enough to be able to understand, but only by hard work, some part of her secrets."​ Which is it? That is, do we conform nature to our minds, or do we conform our minds to nature? Are our theories of natural science more than constructions of our minds? (2) On page 322, Sagredo comments that some "do not deduce their conclusions from its premises or establish it by reason, but they accommodate (I should have said discommode and distort) the premises and reasons to a conclusion which for them is already established and nailed down." How does this comment relate to the topic under debate at that moment in the discussion? Can you give other examples of this behavior? (3) Darwin and Galileo both questioned common beliefs of their days, offering new descriptions of nature which differed significantly from what was thought to be established knowledge. Compare how they presented their arguments. Do you think one was more effective than the other?+  * **17 November** Write about one of the following: (1) On page 307, Sagredo ​criticizes the author whom Simplicio has been quoting for acting "as if nature had first made the brain of man, and then arranged everything to  conform to the capacity of the intellect."​ Rather, ​Sagredo ​thinks that "​nature first made things in her own way, and then made human reason skillful enough to be able to understand, but only by hard work, some part of her secrets."​ Which is it? That is, do we conform nature to our minds, or do we conform our minds to nature? Are our theories of natural science more than constructions of our minds? (2) On page 322, Sagredo comments that some "do not deduce their conclusions from its premises or establish it by reason, but they accommodate (I should have said discommode and distort) the premises and reasons to a conclusion which for them is already established and nailed down." How does this comment relate to the topic under debate at that moment in the discussion? Can you give other examples of this behavior? (3) Darwin and Galileo both questioned common beliefs of their days, offering new descriptions of nature which differed significantly from what was thought to be established knowledge. Compare how they presented their arguments. Do you think one was more effective than the other?