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The Critique of Science:

Historical, Materialist and Dialectical Studies on the Relation of the Modern Science of Nature to the Bourgeoisie and Capital

Will Barnes

Institute for the Critical Study of Society of Capital Publication

The Critique of Science:

Historical, Materialist and Dialectical Studies on the Relation of the Modern Science of Nature to the Bourgeoisie and Capital

Will Barnes

Institute for the Critical Study of Societies of Capital St. Paul, 2011 Revised and Edited by Vicki Barnes


The revisions that appear in this text were undertaken at Will's request made days before his death, 20 February 2012. This revisal includes the following: The First Interlude now incorporates an extended discussion of the formal domination of capital over labor at its centuries-old origins, a theoretically mediated historical analysis from which Will’s historically evidenced, hence genuinely concrete theorization of formal domination rises. (This discussion is based directly on the posthumous work, Revolutionary Origins of Freedom in the Epoch of Capital's Formal Domination over Labor in Production.) The Fifth Study has been removed, and the Postscript has undergone a lengthy alteration which integrates the analyses of capital and technology that appeared in the Fifth Study. The incorporation of materials developed in Revolutionary Origins compelled Will to rethink his entire perspective on the origins of capitalism as it first appeared in The Critique of Science. In particular, it brought to his attention a serious shortcoming – a failure to pay adequate attention to the crucial dimension of property - in the conception of a tributary formation operate in the latter work. In the revision, this has been remedied. All Will's work exhibits a central concern with the problem of freedom. In this text, human freedom is resolved, and with it the possibility of averting the worst outcomes climate change can generate, in the revolutionary transcendence of capital on the basis of a generalization of councils. This, though, is merely posited as possible and, obviously, desirable. I have attempted to correct the works that appear for spellings. I must admit that I am not particularly cut out for editing. So if any misspellings or errors in grammar or syntax have escaped me, I apologize in advance.

Having finished his lecture on the formation of the galaxy, solar system and planets, Bertrand Russell asked his audience if there were any questions. An elderly woman raised her hand and started to speak: “You know, young man, that none of that’s true.” Pausing, she resumed, “The Earth, as you know or ought to, rests on the back of a turtle.” Russell was taken aback by her remarks, but recovering quickly, he replied, “And, madam, just what does the turtle rest on?” Not to be deterred, she responded, “You think you’re smart, don’t you.” Smiling, she triumphantly concluded, “There are turtles all the way down.” 1

1 We tell this story a little differently than, among others, Stephen Hawkings (A Brief History of Time). More to the point, here this story has a far different meaning and import which we directly counterpose to that intended by Hawkings. See the Preliminary Remarks, immediately below.


Preliminary Remarks

Introduction The Modern Science of Nature (2001, Nov 2009)

First Study Science at its Origins The Problem of Motion: Galileo and Aristotle (Jun-Aug 2010)

First Interlude (Nov-Dec 2009, Mar-Apr 2010)

Retrospect and Anticipation (May-Apr 2010)

Second Study New Departures in Science: The Sciences of Life (Sept 2009, Dec 2009-Feb 2010)

Third Study (Short Study) New Departures in Science: The Modern Science of Nature Renewed. Three Sketches (2001, Nov 2009)

Second Interlude (Mar-Apr 2010, Aug 2010)

Fourth Study The Critique of Scientific Reason (Apr-Jun 2010)

Conclusion (Jun 2010)

Postscript Summary and Prospects Lest our Hopes and Aspirations Become an Endless Nightmare (May, December 2010)

Analytic Table of Contents

Preliminary Remarks

This text concerns just one, socially determined form of knowledge in the millennial old history

of humanity, but a form that, as it rises from daily life in order to provide intentional direction to that life, thinks itself… that is, its wholly uncritical conceptual structure holds out no option for self-reflection on underlying assumptions, while its bearers confusedly think it… detached from context, universal and “objective,” the omniscience of a god privy to an absolute truth, an

unconditioned speech about nature valid at all times and places

is the sense of the epigram that prefaces this work

nature, by which we mean a social and historical form of knowledge, originally generated by a class (the bourgeoisie) acting in a single and singular epoch of history, a history that itself stretches from the origins of agriculture and stratified societies down to the present. In the following, we intend to study only those moments in the history of science… beginning with its origins that are immediately and directly related to the development of capitalism… at which the obfuscatory and self-justificatory veils masking its relation to capital drop. Beyond a general statement of the relation of science to the bourgeoisie determined by the project of nature domination (which in and of itself is illuminating), what we intend is to demonstrate that the most important new departures in science (e.g., Darwinian evolutionary theory), even the most radical ones (e.g., quantum mechanics), remain governed by the original class teleology of the bourgeoisie even if at the moment of their elaborations they embodied only the imperatives of capital. We shall tentatively specify the former in terms of a social intentionality and the project that informs it, which, as we said, is nature domination… comprehended as degradation, despoliation (plundering) and destruction which recreates earthly nature as a holding arena consisting solely in unprocessed resources, for which all of reality has the meaning of a raw materials basin for capitalist commodity production 1 … It is this project… as it came to historically develop and its social and historical content took eventual shape in forms driven by a systems-imposed compulsion (i.e., the logic of capital)… that mystifyingly justifies an endless development of productive forces as the alleged foundation of the genuine human community. This is not intellectual history as it is often referred to, far from it. Instead, in an inversion of its usual confused sense, we are engaged in writing the inner history of science, disclosing the structure of those privileged moments at which the ultimate meaning and significance of science for humanity is laid bare.

This is science, the modern science of

The relativization we intend

1 Variations on this formulation of the meaning of nature domination will recur throughout the various studies. Based on the entirety of this work, an elaboration of its full sense is presented in the Postscript and its transcendent significance in the section of that Postscript entitled the “Origins of Life, Ancestral Bacteria, Biological Diversity,” below.

Introduction The Modern Science of Nature

In the remarks that immediately follow, we shall merely sketch out the lineaments of our

position. In the course of our investigation this initial theorization will be refined and remade in

a continuous encounter between it and that investigation in which the theorization and the

materials presented are subject to inquiry, examination and scrutiny each in light of the other.

Here that position is offered tentatively. The four studies forming the entire body of this presentation are designed to demonstrate the truth and efficacy of this thin analysis and

assessment, culminating in our postscript where this position, now mediated and concretized,

is forcefully and fully stated.

Social Bases of the Formation of an Organic Intelligentsia of the Bourgeoisie The development of large urban enclaves on the edges of a vast Mediterranean social formation exhibited the simultaneous rise and decline of different social strata. Two strata in

particular are discernible. Over historical time these two strata fused to form the crucial layer

of an organic intelligentsia of the bourgeoisie, a development that was itself decisive for the

appearance of the latter as a class in history. The first stratum was made up of great artisans, or master craftsmen. The Renaissance (particularly in what today is called Italy) was not merely characterized by a potent intellectual ferment which included the discovery and critical evaluation of ancient (Greek and Latin) sources as well as the intellectual production of a conception of human activity as central to the production of the world (Bruno, Pico dell Mirandola), but more fundamentally also by the formation of powerful, territorially based political states (immediate antecedents of modern capitalist, national states). The new monarchies at once rested on landed aristocracies and political alliances with or conquest of wealthy urban merchant patriciates of cities such as Florence, Barcelona, London, etc. These monarchies, together with that enormous temporal power, the Church (a power which little recognized had already past its zenith), engaged in massive displays of their wealth, not just in pomp but in contributions to the objective substance that characterized the civilization they were central to. On the one hand, empire building required suitable weaponry. On the other, urban administrative centers housing those princes and clerics were the sites of ongoing building construction of vast proportions, cathedrals, palaces, lavish homes, etc. The great merchant patriciates of coastal cities (Genoa, Venice), too, engaged in similar building construction and aggressively pursued empire building, that is, the competitive creation of commercial empire. Advance of their trade required storage facilities, docks, and fleets of ships and the armaments to protect them as well. This building construction and merchant commerce gave rise to and supported a huge army of master craftsmen and lesser artisans. Master craftsmen numbered amongst themselves men such as stone cutters, goldsmiths and masons, and mariners, shipbuilders, carpenters, foundry men and miners, that is, artisans more or less directly related to the activity of building construction and overseas commerce. Amongst them also could be found a group of “superior,” because formally (if not humanistically) educated, artisans, artisans that included artists such as painters, sculptors and architects, surgeons, makers of nautical and astronomical instruments as well of distance meters for surveyors and gunners, surveyors and navigators themselves, musical instrument artificers, and most importantly artist-engineers such as Alberti, da Vinci, Cellini and Dürer. 1

1 The category of “superior” artisan is developed by Edgar Zilsel (who also provides this enumeration), “The Sociological Roots of Science,” 552-553.

Not a few were inventors. Marine compasses and guns, paper and stamping mills, and blast furnaces, for example, all date from this era. The artist-engineers, in particular, were responsible for construction of lifting engines, canals and sluices, guns and fortresses, as they went well beyond their roles in cathedral construction and casting statues. 1 The great artisans of this hugely enlarged stratum were often employed in their own right with their workshops journeymen and apprentices. Their status in society and society itself were changing over time. No longer artists, these great craftsmen were becoming bourgeois, 2 and they maintained and sustained themselves as capitalists in the strict sense, i.e., through employment of waged labor. Because of their greatly expanded role in production and society, and because they still operated in a cultural climate in which the traditional degradation of manual labor and the mechanical arts in favor of a sterile pursuit of truth (of the vision of goodness or beauty depending on whom among the ancients one followed) was dominant, they chafed under the humiliation of their imputed lowly status. Their activities, in contrast to Schoolmen and the humanist intelligentsia as well (whose activities were oriented toward syllogistic explication and speculative theological disputation, and learned assimilation of ancient sources and models and careful philological criticism, respectively), were concerned with how effects are produced, intent on discovering rules of operation and engaged in the investigation of causes. 3 Rationality here, then, had an entirely different, observationally- experientially (not yet empirically) based meaning. On the ground of these often sophisticated, techno-experiential activities they sought to elaborate for themselves a perspective on the relation of knowledge to activity, work and production that was qualitatively different from that embedded and explicit in the inherited traditions of the West, so called. In writings characteristically crude by contemporary intellectual standards, they polemicized against the bookish, pedantic culture of the academies and Schoolmen; their published works were publicly accessible (i.e., non-esoteric) and experimentally based upon observation of “things” 4 (as opposed to discourse about sensibly contentless concepts); and, implicit in their thought, was a view that technical operations of artisans and mechanics on nature gave rise to a form of knowledge which itself constituted insight into the dynamics of natural phenomena. Accordingly, they held an altogether different evaluation of, one that esteemed, the mechanical arts and artisan labor… The second stratum consisted of declassed humanist intellectuals, which had two further sources that would eventually fuse to form a single layer, first, sons of those aristocratic families of the countryside (England, Italy, Holland) who experienced decline as a consequence of the commercialization of agriculture and, second, the youngest sons of smaller patriciates in the great cities, particularly those of Italy and the Low Countries, who in the face of stiff great merchant competition could not be supported by the family business. The urbanization of the peripheries of the social formations on the European continent and the newly emerging social order, which culturally and civilizationally comes down to us by the name of the Renaissance, entailed a certain marginalization of seigniorial lords. Ancient noble families, landowners but resident to the cities, were politically and juridically subordinated by the rising burghers. Thus, for example, in 1292-1293 following a long struggle, the Florentine patriciate based in wool manufacture, banking and trade issued a series of decrees (Ordinances of Justice) through its control of the commune’s polity, the priorate, and brought the warring old aristocratic families of the Florentine hinterland (contado) under control by abolishing serfdom (where it existed) and providing for the wholesale alienation of land. (In the

1 “Ibid,” 552. 2 Paola Rossi, Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era, 21-22, 30. 3 Zilsel, “Ibid,” 548-549. 4 Rossi, Ibid, 1-7.

coming decades, the great families of Florence bought up land in the countryside, establishing a form of exploitation, sharecropping tenancy or mezzadria disguising a form of rural proletarianization, which lasted down into the twentieth century.) 1 The educated sons of the older, noble families, now essentially expropriated, formed one root of declassed humanist intelligentsia. (“Humanist” here, of course, does not have its contemporary sense, but more than anything referred to training in the use of, intense study of and familiarity with ancient sources in the original Latin and ancient Greek.) At the same time, new men, commercially oriented landed proprietors and, socially and economically intertwined with them, wealthy merchants, lawyers, bankers and cloth manufacturers, who had taken together begun to emerge as well-defined social layers, exhibited real social power. These groups were not homogeneous. Based in part on commodity production on the peripheries of one great feudal formation of the West (existing largely between the Loire and the Rhine), strata within these groups engaged in long distance trade as well as the marketing of largely luxury goods for local consumption generating a thoroughgoing competition, between, e.g., merchants and manufacturers in the historically primitive sense. 2 There were the proverbial winners and losers, amongst which were sons of trading classes that did not fare as well as others. In the early part of the chronological fourteenth century, these young men found their way into the city’s polities, 3 occupying for most of the century positions attached to their city government (most often engaged in the conduct of foreign affairs), and articulated and elaborated a vision of social life based on the autonomy, sovereignty and primacy (in social life) of the polity, organized participatorily in the narrow oligarchical sense, a “democracy” as it were of great families if you will. (Development of this sort will be repeated elsewhere: By the end of the next century for a period of roughly a hundred years, 1390-1480, western Europe began to see the formation of a fourth major zone of commodity production in England, the first three being the central Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and Barcelona and its immediate hinterlands. This development, though, started from villages and small towns the countryside, and took shape objectively, historically and at a certain moment consciously in contradistinction to the consolidation of the kingdom of Castile. 4 With the exception of the Italian Peninsula, all were ill-defined “national” territories in the process of becoming such.) Yet the same changes that saw the political consolidation of the power of this merchant patriciate dominating Europe’s urban enclaves, the rise of an artisan class engaged in construction of built environment (cathedrals, residents) including (what we would call)

1 For all this, see The History of Florence .[Editor's note.] 2 The communes collectively (and Florence particularly) played a central role in the creation of an international market, a precondition for the emergence in the West of the capitalist production as the basis of a distinct and novel social form. Merchants, as opposed to industrialists, do not in and of themselves constitute an alternative to seigniorial social orders. Historically, the merchant has stood outside production and, thus, cannot leverage the reorganization of society as a whole. The merchant merely accumulates money-wealth, not "capital,” by extracting profit from the exchange (circulation) that it mediates between producers… Here see Marx, Kapital, Bd. III¸ 20. Kapitel

The existence of commercial classes in the late Roman Empire

clearly indicates that these social groups are not capable from out of their own activity of generating capitalist development. Nonetheless, from the retrospective standpoint of the accomplished development of capitalism as an international system, the merchant classes of the Italian republics, to the extent they created a world market, money as a transregional medium of exchange, also created a historical condition for the emergence of world capitalism. This should, of course, be understood merely as a condition. 3 Zilsel, “Ibid,” 549. 4 See the First Study, Part II, “Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination,” below. Non-chronological and deployed as conceptual premises to illuminate the relation of science to the bourgeoisie, an alternative periodization is offered in the First Interlude, below.

(„Geschichtliches über das Kaufmannskapital“)

infrastructure (docks, canals), shipbuilding and instrument manufacture, witnessed the decline of the humanist intellectuals in official positions as a lengthy struggle (ending, for example, in Florence in 1530) ensued between the great centralized monarchies and the city Republics, a struggle that dramatically drained, virtually exhausting, the resources of the latter and made these native intelligentsias expendable. 1 Declassed, they tended to form a “free literati” seeking out the same bankers and merchants as patrons, but, more likely (as, e.g., in the case of Machiavelli), attached themselves to princes, rulers of small domains – statelets in southern Europe, as instructors of their sons (while, of course, attempting to garner favor in the form of appointments to academic chairs in the universities of France and Italy). This was the second root of a rootless, cosmopolitan humanistic intelligentsia. The dislodgement of this “free literati” from official positions, and in many cases their newly dependent status, gave rise to a call for creation of a “new type of gentleman.” This “new man” (our term) was to be one who could respond to and exploit ongoing social change, one who would exhibit the requisite “ability in politics, diplomacy, culture, manners, and competence in military and navigational skills” (here quoting Gilbert, who, had he been able to reach back in time a half century and known him, could have been engaging Machiavelli), skills that were rapidly becoming more important than “blood and birth.” 2 This call also obviously entailed a different evaluation of manual labor and the mechanical

arts. 3 That evaluation was practically exhibited in the greatest, if later, figures of this stratum, Galileo, Gilbert, others such as Bacon, for whom personal contact with skilled, knowledgeable artisans was the rule. 4 Gilbert’s call for a “new man,” at any rate, was concerned with development of technical skills. The programmatic aspects of this new formation (Bildung) were consciously set in opposition to the explicitly speculative-theoretical one that held sway in the universities. Rhetoric was, for example, yoked to “political oration and military speeches,” political philosophy to the various functions of the policy of states, beginning with their histories and inclusive of their types, administration and finance; the study of nature philosophy and mathematics was viewed largely in their technical aspects, that is, insofar as they yielded insights into fortification, strategy and artillery usage; astronomy and geography were presented with a view to navigation; etc. 5 Such a novel perspective clearly signified the contempt for labor and mechanical activities traditionally held by aristocratic lords and leisured gentlemen had to be discarded (a path that Machiavelli, as a member of one Florentine twenty-five great families, the Ottimati, had already trodden down). At the same time, it was fully congruent with and, to boot, a historically essential propaedeutic to assimilation of the conceptual framework of the modern science of nature. Finally, there was another group that consisted in disaffected clerics. Nearly all of Galileo’s well-known pupils, Benedetto Castelli, Giovanni Ciampoli and Vincenzo Viviani for example, as well as many of his correspondents, intellectual peers, and supporters (ranging all the way to the top of the Church hierarchy, e.g., Maffeo Barberini) wore Roman

collars. 6 With a view to the new science, their significance was not social

separate stratum and many of them were reintegrated into the Church intelligentsia,

they did not form a

1 The social forces involved in this struggle are further clarified below. See the First Study, Part I, “Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination.” 2 Rossi, Ibid, 9, cites the example of the Englishman, Humphrey Gilbert; also Zilsel, “Ibid,” 555. 3 For the classical evaluation of labor, see the appended note under the same heading, below. 4 For contact, Zilsel, “Ibid,” 555 (Gilbert), 555-556 (Galileo). 5 Rossi, Ibid, 9-10. 6 An extensive list of these clerics vis-à-vis the new science can be found in Pietro Redondi, Galileo, Heretic, passim.

Rather, their significance was intellectual in the narrow sense:

Where they were of import, they transmitted theologically mediated, doctrinal contents of the new science, either to their pupils or, in some cases, by leaving behind texts.

importantly with the Jesuits

Science and the Bourgeoisie Though it is common productivist error to grasp the connection between modern science and abstract labor in terms of the general development of society, hence to see in science the intellectual patrimony of humanity, it remains an error. Science is neither: The internal, necessary relation of science to the bourgeoisie can be grasped in different, distinctive ways; first, in the vision of the world (man, community, nature) projected by science in its struggle against the old social order and in contradistinction to the old nature philosophy and its vision, theoretically expressing the organization of that old order; second, it can be grasped in the

internal conceptual structure of science itself in its structural similarity to the value form; third, in the homology between the original, social and precognitive telos of science at its origins and bourgeois tasks (expansion of productive forces); and fourth, societally, in the validation of scientific “laws” through technological achievements linked to expansion of productivity. Summarily demonstrating this connection imposes two requirements on us, namely, exhibiting the internal, historical connection of the bourgeoisie as a class to science as theory, and demonstrating that significant elements of the internal conceptual structure of science are inseparable from the bourgeois process of accumulation, that is, seeing and recognizing the constitution of science as theory is indissolubly linked to production of the socio-historical world we call capitalism. Let us begin by emphasizing that we are speaking of the bourgeoisie as a class. The concept of the bourgeoisie as it appears here is not designed to mask national differences, distinct life situations and the conflicting interests of this new class as a whole as it first emerged in history. This much said the concept remains unitary, one that cannot be relegated to the status of a construct, to say an ideal type. Instead it refers to the most enlightened individuals, especially to the social groups in which they were situated and which provided them with reality and their identities. In this respect, it was this essential sociality, a shared objective position in society that permitted these individuals to mutually recognize one another and to realize and appreciate that the new class they relationally formed could not freely breathe the air of the old order, rather its atmosphere would choke and suffocate it and them. The first of these enlightened individuals began to appear among new social groups late in the history of the urban enclaves of a Mediterranean social formation, especially in the Italian Peninsula and then in the Low Countries. As we have seen, they first appeared in two distinctive, quite different social strata in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, namely, as master craftsmen among the great artisans and as declassed humanist intellectuals… Their

Across these distinctive social strata, objectively

children, as we know, will be bourgeois

without recognition, they came together in elaborating a critique of Aristotelian nature philosophy, or its medieval, Scholastic development and presentation. After 1600, however, they became familiar with one another; there was active, subjective convergence: They sought each out. Modern science at is origins bore the mark of their critique, and cannot be understood apart from it. Central to and decisive for this relation was the type of technical knowledge formed in the activities of the great artisans: It was self-conscious knowledge, so what declassed humanistic intellectuals recognized in it was that which great artisans already understood: This technical knowledge was characteristically, and in its inner essence (so many of the intellectuals argued), inventive, cooperative, progressive, and perfectible. It followed, and these intellectuals explicitly noted, the methods and procedures of artisans, technicians and

engineers were cultural forms leading to a progressive, cumulative enlargement of knowledge on which society… one they might someday hegemonize… itself could be based. Science, as the elaboration, refinement and deepening, and theorization, of these methods and procedures (taken together constituting a qualitative transformation of them), developed out of the convergence, interaction and practice of these two strata… no longer distinct but as a bourgeois intelligentsia… over two or three generations. Learned men writing and publishing in the vernacular as opposed to the traditional Latin symbolized their convergence, whether the language was English, Italian or French. As layers of a class in the historical process of formation, as large merchants and cloth manufacturers, great artisans becoming industrialists, big peasants becoming capitalist farmers, differentiated themselves out of estates (Stände) of the older social formations of Europe, an identifiable organic intelligentsia of bourgeois origins… the first true men of science… began to appear by no later than 1600, and set themselves apart by uniting methodical, rational procedure with experimental and observational practices. Among the very greatest of these men we number Galileo, Bacon, Gilbert and, perhaps Descartes (perhaps, because there was very little in the way of experiment and observation in his work). Retrospectively, we can see that on the basis of the critical elaborations of the relations of the mechanical arts to theory carried out by several generations of late 16th century urban great artisans and declassed humanist scholars, an intellectual layer of 17th century classical bourgeoisies (i.e., educated social layers born of the strata above as they emerged in the Italian republics, Dutch and French urban enclaves, and in London and the English countryside) created and developed the modern science of nature complexly mediating the daily bourgeois practice of accumulation. But how and when? Step back and examine that moment at which the new class implicitly recognized itself, i.e., in its divergence from the old order. It was the life-activities (accumulation of money wealth, later capital) of this new class that permitted it to raise itself to this understanding: Usury laws, guild regulations, a religiously sanctioned cultural atmosphere dictating the obligations of the lord as master of labor and limiting exploitation of that labor (or, alternately, in the case of bourgeois intellectuals establishing the onto-theological premises of inquiry which it could not question), etc., hamstrung its activity and made it clear it could not flourish in the old order, particularly with a view to unquestioned Church authority, and craft and seigniorial relations governing production. And, in this regard, science? Science, an intellectual production disclosing the structure of the naturally real, was designed by its creators (again, Galileo and Bacon, Gilbert, Descartes, others) as a theoretical weapon in a genuinely fierce struggle against the Church and its largely cleric intelligentsia, the Catholic princes who supported it, even the massive peasant strata that dumbly provided the Church its social basis, a struggle over the vision of the world (in astronomy and physics) and for the autonomy of thought (i.e., those “innovators” who think). Simultaneously it, science, was a conceptual formulation of both the practical and theoretical conditions and means of the mastery of nature to “lessen the labor of man” (Descartes), i.e., to increase the so-called productive forces of society. 1 Stated differently, in opening up vistas of nature mastery and

1 Discourse on Method, Part I. We may believe, mythologically and ideologically, this struggle was merely an internal development within the intellectual history of the West or an argument among individuals over competing theories of nature, but these men (Bacon, Descartes, etc.) clearly understood what was at issue and what was at stake. We merely recall the title of one of Galileo’s great works, Dialogues Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, and note the structure of this dialogue in which the Peripatetic views are subject to scrutiny and critique. See the First Study, Part III, “Polemic and the Logics of Argument in the Dialogue,” below.

domination it was science that allowed this class as a whole… as it formed from merchants, great artisans and big farmers… to intuitively albeit obliquely grasp… an understanding mediated by concepts of personal salvation, doing God’s work, self-enrichment and creation of national wealth… the significance of the compulsion that at any rate gripped it, the expansion of productive forces of society and humanity. In the objective historical sense, it was a theory mediating the practice of a rising class slowly becoming conscious that its existence, social independence in the pursuit of its life practices and its cognitive elaborations (science itself and later its specific study or “science” of society, political economy) required its own societal hegemony. That is, this understanding came together and resolved itself into the insight that the creation of a new social order had to be theoretically mediated in a new way. In the end, it was this shared insight, and all its ramifications as they were grasped, that cohered the bourgeoisie allowing it to appear and act as a class in history. In this context, we should recognize that nature domination was (and continues to be) the point of contact between science and the bourgeoisie, a social project governing a cognitive-cultural form that mediates itself to the class in whose life it is rooted and whose activity it intentionally directs. Beyond this, science legitimizes the bourgeoisie socially and historically: In its capital accumulative pursuit of nature domination in the interests of humanity as understood from the perspective of bourgeois society, science has and continues (especially today as a fused techno-science) to function as an ideational underpinning of the consciousness of a class that once aspired to universality, a belief that today has its translation in the vain, arrogant conviction that it is the only class that can organize society as a whole. It should be clear, then, this elaboration of science, as the critical moment in the struggle against the old order resting on the insight that the creation of a new social order had to be theoretically mediated in a new way, involved the further insight among all bourgeois individuals who took even a passing interest in scientific studies: Their science was no mere theory. Rather it was embedded in… dialectically premising, issuing in and strengthening… a world vision. A dizzying flood of insights constituted the contents of this vision: Efficacious to this day, it entails a view of man, society and nature (humanity consists in privatized and egoistic individuals, society is organized around commodity production and exchange which pits these individuals each against all and, nature is an open, infinite, and deterministic universe formed of indivisible, individual elements). Science in this sense, that is, as a world vision, was intuitively transparent to the bourgeoisie because it immediately and practically illuminated its activities in production and society, and because it provided it with a sense of its role and function in history (a sense of which was emerging). It was not objectivity (i.e., position in society) and it was not activity as such, though to be sure there are formal points of identity; rather, it was precisely this understanding that, as we said, cohered the bourgeoisie allowing it to appear and act as a class in history. It is this vision of the world, and the science that underlines and in the end renders it intelligible, that has internally and historically connected the early commercial bourgeoisie (the cloth manufacturers, merchants, bankers and traders of the urban enclaves on the edges of the Mediterranean), who accumulated money-wealth but who had never engaged in capital accumulation, to later industrialists, capitalists in the strict sense (those who, more and more as mere personifications of capital, have since the latter nineteenth century systematically pursued accumulation through the organization of the work processes and their subordination to capitalist rationality), whose worldly outlook was thoroughly scientific and yet whose social existence lay three centuries into the future beyond the formative period of science. 1

1 This is not to say that there was no connection between the development of specifically capitalist practices and those intellectual productions that formed the necessary conceptual foundations for the development of the modern science of nature. But if the modern mathematical presuppositions of science developed together with modern forms of

For us, what are the implications of this world vision? If science is not a mere theory, in the societally efficacious sense it is dialectically underlain by and issues in, while reinforcing, a vision for which the production of the world (the built environment, the universe of use objects, meanings and significations, humanized nature, humanity itself) is without agent, a world in which men and women appear as mere objects among other objects to be used up as raw material in production, a world whose moments are merely said raw material for the production of commodities. This is a world whose constitution is subjugated to the logic of capital accumulation, to the value form. It is a world in which an autonomous and autonomized “subject” lacking will and consciousness (capital or value) has power over and “commands” a mystified, productive one, and in which objectified and materialized dead labor dominates sensuous, active human beings. Such an inverted vision constitutes the precognitive infrastructure of the bourgeoisie as a class considered world- historically. This world vision, effectively science, was originally and continues to be grounded in bourgeois lifeworld activities, in accumulation, was (and is) thrown up as a theoretical mediation guided by the teleology of nature domination, projecting itself as operative assumptions about man, nature, and the good life. These assumptions (premises) and the practices they issue in, themselves socially validated anew with each scientific advance, were initially if only tacitly made and formed sui generis on the basis of accumulating practices but, socially reproduced in and through these activities, have in turn historically come to intentionally direct accumulation and related activities. Tentatively, then, this satisfies our first requirement linking the bourgeoisie as a class to science as theory, specifically as a weapon in its struggle against leading elements of the old order in a struggle for societal dominance.

Elements of the Conceptual Structure of Science Second, we are required to trace out the internal connection or unitary structure that exhibits the inseparability of the internal conceptual structure of science and the bourgeois process of accumulation. This can be achieved largely by showing that this structure is indissolubly linked to the constitution of the socio-historical world we call capitalism by way of nature domination (and, in doing so, we shall also attempt to further exhibit the homologous relation of this conceptual structure with that to the intelligible structure of this world, that of the value-form). 1 The development of productive forces is not what distinguishes the bourgeoisie as a class in history, particularly at its origins. Understood as a decisive feature of human history in its entirely, productive forces are a gross conceptual abstraction without real referent. The reality of productive forces is constituted during the course of capitalist development; but at its origins the latter cannot be understood in terms of the former. The fundamental social requirement for the emergence of productive forces, the productivity of labor, etc., is the institutional separation out of an economy from socially undifferentiated precapitalist formations, which in actual history rests on the social generalization of capital’s formal domination over labor in production. 2 Until this development occurs, it is utter nonsense to speak about productive forces and their role in history or, here, at the origins of capitalism. What does distinguish the bourgeoisie as a class in history is the project of nature domination. At the same time, at its origins and prior to all explicit theorization and experimentation, the

capitalist accounting, this is a movement strictly in thought and says nothing about the intuitions that arose on the grounds of daily practices, insights that, dialectically, explained those practices and in turn, once generalized (i.e., as intellectual intuition of essential relations, not inductively), created the moments of a vision of the world that illuminated everything else. For the homologous relation of mathematics and bookkeeping, see Zilsel, “Ibid,” 546-547. 1 To secure this insight, it must be as valid for the new physics (quantum mechanics) as for the old (classical physics). See the first of three sketches in the Third Study, below. 2 And on the inauguration of real domination. Both are discussed at length, below. See the First Interlude.

modern science of nature is motivated by the same telos of nature domination, an atheoretical yet comprehensive goal of scientific activity embedded in the internal conceptual structure of science as an anticipatory projection of a mathematized nature. (And it is the societal meaning of a mathematized nature that is at issue.) While reconstruction of this project as the hidden telos animating modern science can be undertaken from the standpoint of the technological achievements of scientific practice, it is important to recognize that it is not necessary to do so. Rather, this project, one that necessarily presupposes bourgeois life-practices centered on money (and later capital) accumulation, can be read off, as we are suggesting, the internal conceptual structure of science itself. Begin with early modern science. This beginning is not arbitrary: To make a case legitimizing the ambitions it pursues, a rising class is compelled to array any number of arguments, some rational and discursive, to justify itself, its social analysis, its prescriptions, those pursuits:

Early modern science was the intellectual moment in a broader political struggle for societal hegemony. Its proponents effected a confrontation with the hitherto reigning cultural form of nature theory, medieval (Aristotelian) natural philosophy. That confrontation brought the conflicting, because incommensurate, conceptual and logical structures of the two competing theories into play, and, to a certain extent, the conflict itself allowed the advocate-practitioners of the new science to become conscious of this incommensurability. To precisely this extent, these men also brought the broader political struggle itself to bear on the confrontation, i.e., in extra-theoretical efforts to legitimize their new science they made claims to a universality the burden of which their theory (and their social class), it was fervently believed, could shoulder. In appeals to a newly forming concept of “mankind,” one taken over the narrow medieval concept of humanitas – essentially the community of Christian believers, they revealed their personal convictions animating this new science and, beyond this, the enduring class teleology that underpinned it. Francis Bacon, commoner and (thirty-six year) member of the House of Commons, theorist and experimentalist, was one of those enlightened individuals who fully understood the creation of a new social order had to be conceptually mediated in a new way, that, accordingly, “all” must “consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and… seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, or for profit, or fame, or power, or any of these inferior things; but for the benefit and use of life…” For from out of the critique of the old theory of nature together with the elaboration of a new one… from science according to Bacon, “there may spring helps to man, and a line and race of inventions that may in some degree subdue and overcome the necessities and miseries of humanity.” 1 If nature mastery could subjugate necessity rooted in (socially organized) material scarcity, then, on the basis of its science, the bourgeoisie would be carrying out this task in the very interests of humanity, instead of merely being a particular class engaged in the exploitation of labor by way of nature mastery. The forgoing merely summarizes this entire movement. And, though we shall return to it where the confrontation is clearest (in Galileo, in his three great works, The Starry Messenger, The Assayer and Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems), we shall not follow it here. Instead… Unfolding in a political struggle against the old order, early modern, scientific self- consciousness conducted this struggle with methods and concepts describing a new theory of nature. That much was simply crucial. On empirical grounds alone, the new science would have never gotten past its initial hearings: Galileo’s mature astronomy could no better account for natural phenomena than the impetus theory he had attempted develop as a young man. And, moreover, in some cases the new theorization was simply inadequate, for example, if the

Earth was not the stationary center of the universe, if it did move and spun with the tremendous velocity proclaimed by Copernicus, why didn’t objects and beings, ranging from stones and rocks to animals and men, fly off at its surface into the heavens? 1 (Recall that Galileo lacked a theory of gravity). On Ptolemaic assumptions of an immobile Earth, the Aristotelian-Peripatetic doctrine of natural places, the downward motion of “heavy” bodies, the upward motion of “light” bodies, and natural motion, violent motion and impressed impetus had least had the virtue, its aporias aside (e.g., the requirement that motion upward always be accompanied by a mover so that the medium, air or water, itself, pushed an object along), of providing such an account. 2 Yet the new science did prevail, and in its triumph characteristically claimed that its activity produced (1) a systematic body of knowledge based upon a description of reality as natural, the contents of which are to be public and communicable though always technically so, and hence transmittable and codifible; 3 (2) a systematic body of knowledge which is theoretical, i.e., not merely a compilation of rules or precepts, but deriving its prescriptions from general

principles referring us back to if not based upon a totality of verifiable facts; and (3) a body of knowledge which does not rely on authority, that is, demands rational explanation rooted in results that can be checked and confirmed by means of practical proof… The first two points at least, of course, concern the self-understanding of science at its origins, and not the character of science as its immanent historical development reveals it. For example, the scientific description of facts is based on observation that is theoretically organized prior to any description; results are experimentally constructed and not merely given; and, much later (after 1925, though some say beginning with Galileo), 4 we find a view that science is deductive proceeding from an axiomatic systematization whose basic postulates provides the

scientist with hypotheses which can be experimentally tested

As descriptive, public and

transmittable, and theoretical and rational, the theories formulated by Galileo, Bacon (representing two entirely different traditions in modern science) and others modern scientific thinkers stood in sharp relief from and in naked opposition to speculative, esoteric and divinely inspired, dogmatic and religiously grounded medieval natural philosophy and Church social doctrine… This too was crucial, for it was a question of the audience to which the new doctrine was addressed, and the societal context in which this discourse unfolded… 5 These men, as theorists of early modern science, polemically aimed at truth, i.e., a theoretical activity uncovering the intelligible structure of reality itself, in a countermovement to medieval, natural philosophy resting on Church dogma, that is, on the theologically determined Scholastic reading of Aristotle. Concealed in this countermovement to Aristotelian (Peripatetic) physics, was a view of the world, at once projected and presupposed by and in scientific thinking, that gave theoretical expression to the bourgeois view of man, community, and nature. Since the struggle against Peripatetic natural philosophy was carried out largely on the terrain of the truth-value of competing theories, the social contents and precategorial interest structuring

1 This specific issue is taken up in Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. It is discussed in the First Study, Part II, “Polemic and the Logics of Argument in the Dialogue,” below. 2 See the First Study, Part III, “Galileo and Aristotle, I: The Question of Projectile Motion and Natural Place,” below. 3 The “account of the experimental arrangement and the recording of observations must be given in plain language, suitably supplemented by technical physical terminology. This is a clear logical demand, since the very word ‘experiment’ refers to a situation where we can tell others what we have done and what we have learned.” Niels Bohr, Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge, 72. (These remarks actually refer to the relation between quantum and classical mechanics. Thereby they exhibit the unity of the old and new physics elaborated on in the Third Study below. In point of fact, this understanding evinced goes to the roots of science itself.) 4 For Galileo and deductive reasoning, e.g., Alexander Koyré, Galileo Studies. Among theorists, postulative deductivism is characteristic of Karl Popper; and in a looser sense among scientists, Einstein starting especially from the nineteen thirties. See the Third Study, Part II, below. 5 See the First Study, Part III, “Conclusion, I: The Triumph of Science,” below.

and organizing scientific theory were occluded. Thus, early scientific theorists did not expose the internal connection of the world vision projected by and underlying the old natural philosophy to the organization of a social formation based on exploitative social relations that reproduced landed, aristocratic power (i.e., the structural identity of a closed, hierarchically ordered, stable and static world, and the divinely ordained, unchanging world of lord, clergy, and peasant); nor, of course, did they then point out the former mirrored the latter, and that to the extent the former was declared unchanging and unchangeable it functioned as a cultural form justifying and legitimizing while masking the oppressive character of those social relations. 1 The failure of early modern scientific thinkers to do so was not merely because the historical conditions under which the analysis of "ideology" could be elaborated had yet to develop. 2 Such an indictment would have straightaway led to a similar insight: It would have revealed that the world viewed as an open, infinite, and internally unstructured universe (whose fundamental elements consisted of perceptually inaccessible, internally unrelated, and indivisible particles) mirrored a bourgeois society in the process of formation; that is, it transposed into, at once concealing and mediately expressing in, thought the structure and organization of a world of isolated because privatized and egoistic individuals confronting an incomprehensible other (society) that was coming to be unconsciously organized around exchange, transforming social relations in a bellum omnium in omnes. Recognition of the

1 This is a honored tradition in the Roman Church that reaches back over a thousand years

great lords, tributary exactions, and bands of men cut loose from social moorings engaged in rapine or, alternatively, mercenaries pursuing the same make the two eras similar if not fully contemporaneous across historical time… Early in the fourth century in the common era, an emperor, desperately needing to re-legitimize a crumbling empire, thrust out a hand like a drowning man. This was Constantine, who converted and compelled a mass conversion of his subjects to Christianity in 313. Yet in his lifetime, he would not find a champion. That was Augustine, who early in the

fifth century, and just as desperate to institutionally sanction hierarchical power over the faithful in the face of rising heresy (i.e., in the face of Donatist opposition to Roman authority, in particular, to the North African bishops' alliance with secular Rome), who with Optatus (Bishop of Mileue and older contemporary) grasped that hand, developing an elaborate theology to sanction an alliance at the top between secular power and the Church. Augustine was the bishop of Hippo, known as the “hammer of the Donatists.” See Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, 124-125,


merciless pillaging by


are two points worth making with regard to Augustine:

For Augustine, the world (nature and human nature) is irretrievably corrupt, corrupted by Adam's sin. This corruption is endlessly transmitted by sexual union and the progeny it engenders (The City of God, Books XIII-XIV). So, first, while it is beyond the scope of these remarks to develop this, we can point out that here we find the repression of sexuality, its narrowing to a function, procreation, and the institutional sanctity of marriage, all characteristic of the Roman Church and all coming together at its origins. In Augustine the entire secular, transitory realm in its wickedness, its suffering, disease, etc., is counterposed to an eternal, perfect God. The city of God, the eternal city of the immortal soul is, of course, consciously opposed by Augustine to Rome, the city of “man” (Ibid, Books XI, XV, XVIII-XIX). So, second, indeed, no one more than Augustine would resist worldly change and demand submission, insisting on the necessity that the lowly and downcast, here the peasant masses, “give unto Caesar” But to return to that honored tradition: This relation of cosmology to alleged unchanging social relations did not just find echoes in, but was transposed in toto into, natural philosophy in the form of an equally sharp contrast between non-generated, incorruptible, unalterable, indivisible and permanent or eternal and generated, corruptible, alterable, division and transitory, paired oppositions that underpinned Peripatetic cosmology, from the Scholastics at the end of the thirteenth century down to Galileo's time. Galileo was acutely conscious of this. During a heated discussion on the first day in the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, a discussion over the “validity” of precisely this Peripatetic natural philosophical foundations, he had Sagredo, polemically and almost blasphemously, say “For my part I consider the earth very noble and admirable precisely because of the diverse alterations, changes, generations, etc., that occur in it incessantly.” Ibid, 58. See the footnoted discussion of this issue in the First Study, Part III, “Polemic and the Logic of Arguments in the Dialogue,” below. 2 Namely, formation of a system of production, an “economy,” as a seemingly autonomous regulator of social life in which the interests of social classes are constituted and, once constituted, on the basis of which ideal-typical and imputed because reified forms of awareness can be reconstructed.

social and, retrospectively, historical relativity of such an insight would have contradicted the principle of truth in the name of which struggle against medieval natural philosophy (Aristotelian physics) and Church dogma was carried out. (This very same principle of ahistorical truth and the blindness to an extra-theoretical, motivating interest were and remain intertwined. Taken together, they guaranteed the impossibility of thinking science at its origins as a social project and class-bound phenomenon.) At its foundations and origins, the new science was a mechanics, a study of bodies in motion that considers these bodies strictly in their quantifiable, measurable aspect. (As such, it also would and does have tangible advantages over Aristotelian physics, but only from the practico-technical perspective of nature mastery. It would otherwise be meaningless.) Galilean mechanics (similarly Newton) takes as its point of departure sensuous nature, always understood from its instances, as an aggregate totality of bodies in motion, that is, it is regarded solely in its formal bodily, and hence quantifiable, aspects. The point of departure, then, already rests on an abstraction (in Galileo, a geometrical one) since sensuous nature (the apperceived totality of perceptual phenomena) always presents itself as an undivided whole, a unity of qualitative and quantitative, emotive and aesthetic characteristics. On the basis of this initial abstraction, the scientist proceeds to select data (phenomena) with a view to possible connections that hold between certain quantitative properties of phenomena… This was the key problem, a question of how to render phenomenal qualities, that data of sense experience, what in the Aristotelian-Scholastic lexicon was termed “accidents,” quantitative, hence, subject to number, i.e., to mathematical analysis… In and through a series of formalizing and mathematizing operations – additional abstractions, products of methodologically canalized subjective capacities of the scientist (her subjectivity), sensuous nature regarded quantitatively is further reduced to a series of formulae that express the "lawful regularity" of natural phenomena. In later developments (beyond Galileo), this regularity constituted in its lawfulness for the purposes of prediction can be subject to experimental validation (that is, the prediction can be validated or falsified.) This methodological orientation has very specific ramifications for what passes as scientific knowledge. Epistemologically, scientific thinking has arrived at bodies in motion, i.e., constituted them as such, by proceeding with observation and description on the basis of (i.e., in fact, prior to all observation) a distinction between primary and secondary qualities, quantity and quality, and, more radically, reality and illusion. This construction (bodies in motion, "matter") signifies the elimination of not only the sensuous characteristic of objects of scientific investigation but of emotive and valuative ones as well. 1 It renders those bodies… remember science started from mechanics, so from bodies in motion… subject to mathematical analysis (actually, the anticipatory mathematical projection permits this analysis), which, in turn, will make prediction, experiment and validation, the deconstruction and reconstruction (i.e., the manipulation) of phenomenon, etc., possible. Taken together, these abstractions thereby guarantee the postulate of a perspectiveless objectivity. They are, though, theory-laden constructions resting on an ontological projection. That is, prior to all methodologically grounded strict observation and rigorous description is the anticipation and projection of a fundamentally mathematical world-in-itself, that is, an

1 Similarly, Bohr (Ibid, 68: “The development of the so-called exact sciences, characterized by the establishing of

numerical relationships between measurements, has indeed been further

methods originating from detached pursuit of generalizing logical constructions. This situation is especially illustrated

in physics which originally understood as all knowledge of that nature of which we ourselves are part, but gradually came to mean the study of the elementary laws governing the properties of inanimate matter.” We would take issue with the “gradual” character of this development: It, the development, was given with the project of nature domination in the form that and as it originally took shape… prior to the elaboration of the modern science of nature… in bourgeois practices of accumulation.

[developed] by abstract mathematical

assemblage of bodies in motion calculable in advance which, having already ontologically

weighted primary against secondary qualities, takes this world to be the really real

projection can be found in the modern science of nature at its origins, in Galileo (as our First Study will demonstrate) and reaches all the way forward to its completion, as it were, in

1 The world of nature (including man as natural) that is anticipated is thus

homogeneous, flattened out, bodies, events and processes in nature lack qualitative meaning and determination. Nature now appears as an aggregate totality of objects to be analyzed or decomposed, then reconstructed, manipulated and disposed, i.e., the fitting subject of capitalist development in its full sense (i.e., as a raw material basin) only if anticipatorily. It is only within the framework constituted by this projection (anticipation) that an event in nature can occur as such, i.e., become visible as an event. The distinctions of primary and secondary qualities, etc., and, more fundamentally, the anticipatory ontological weighing of the former against the latter taken together constitute the scientific projection of the world of nature as object-like (merely the other, ideal side of the reality of societies of capital). Object-likeness is thought, in reductionist and crude materialist terms at least since Descartes, as essentially and simply extension, as contentless, infinitely malleable "matter" subsisting in homogeneous space, devoid of any internal logic, life or subjectivity. But "matter" is not "real" at least in the sense modern physical science suggests, but, in fact, is the product of scientific analysis and reconstruction. All modern physical theory is analysis, conceptually decomposes its object, natural bodies. This is how understanding is arrived at. Once achieved, a whole can be reconstructed, this object can be reconstituted from the elemental, itself a construct, on up. For example, scientific understanding of a rock one might wish to quarry is reached only when it is conceptually dissolved into its chemical components, themselves understood in terms of their atomic structures and their interactions. Only then can we say we have understood what this rock is, an ore consisting in so much magnesium, aluminum, iron, etc., components which themselves have such and such atomic structures and are related (bonded) in such and such ways, all of which allows us to “understand” the object (rock), to grasp it in terms of a raw material (iron ore) to be used in commodity production (steel). Thus, scientific understanding is always attained abstractly, in the movement from a whole to the most elemental, itself a conceptual construct. Only then are these elemental constructs aggregated, a whole reconstructed. That whole is an abstract totality, a conceptual whole that is in a practical sense entirely homologous with its elementary, infinitely malleable material components: Precognitively, this understanding penetrates awareness permitting the objects science has constructed to function as ideal, manipulable moments of bourgeois practices in accumulation… It is here that the deep penetration of the value-form into the conceptual structure of science is disclosed, science with its reductionist method (analysis and decomposition of the object), its atomism (ontological primacy of indivisible, actually infinitely divisible, elementary particles) and its objectivism (nature absent productivity as its motive or its driving force; and subjectivity as a passively constituted and fully determined element, one element in the aggregate, lawfully governed whole that is nature) is fully homogeneous, perfectly congruent,



with capital, with its atomism (the commodity as the fundamental reality of bourgeois society), its reductionism (human activity rendered abstract, i.e., generalized, temporally quantified, materialized and objectified as "value,” existing solely as an elementary object that, with other

1 “Nature is the realization of the simplest conceivable mathematical ideas.” Or, again, “In the limited nature of the mathematically existent simple [electromagnetic, gravitational] fields and the simple equations possible between them, lies the theorist's hope of grasping the real in all its depth” (emphases added). Albert Einstein, Essays on Science, 17, 19 respectively.

such elementary objects collected in production, take the shape of mechanically assembled, socially combined labor power, as abstract labor) and its objectivism (society as a deterministic system subordinate to laws discovered by political economy, likes those alleged to rule nature): Governed by the anticipatory projection of nature as an assemblage of bodies in motion (itself precognitively motivated by the telos of nature domination), atomism, reductionism and objectivism are spontaneous modes of the bourgeois apprehension of reality, and scientific categories are, or more generally the overarching conceptual architecture of science is, an elaborate, multifarious and multifaceted mediation of this immediacy… This already presupposes too much and we should pause and state expressly from the standpoint of epistemology as social theory what is at issue here: Starting from the real domination of capital over labor, the value-form organizes daily life (i.e., the existential determinants of social life are formed in production), the categories (barbaric common sense) in which reality is immediately apprehended arise in the same daily life, and consequently tacit conceptual models and precategorial expectations of the structure of relations that obtain among events and processes are all ready to hand and, absent a critical-historical reflection on the genesis and formation of those categories, form the basis of higher order theorizations:

It is not that scientific theorizations “reflect” or simply conceptually reproduce in thought the structure of value-form: They do not, but instead are first and foremost one of many qualitatively different forms (among which are the social relations structuring institutions, socially organized play and games, literatures of all sorts etc.), all complexly mediated, in which the order of capital itself finds expression and through which it shapes social life in its entirety Return to the critique of science:

The laws of natural and humanly natural phenomena allow the scientist to generate predictions. It is this very aim that demands extra-theoretical confirmation that, consequently, secures scientific validity. To be sure, if science is to be successful at predicting, it must at the level of concepts capture idealized, albeit fetishized aspects of reality itself. Nonetheless, the peculiar and widely recognized validity science as theory has achieved does not refer us back to its categorial accomplishments, its “laws” of phenomena, but to experimental verification at the level of scientific activity and to practical verification in the order of society. It is here, then, that confirmation is achieved, “proof” takes the extra-scientific form of socially generalized seeing, approval, and acclaim for the technological achievements based on and exhibited as nature domination: For the validation of those laws demonstrates, whatever else they are, they are also social prescriptions for the manipulation of infinitely malleable bodies, matter or raw materials, in the production of a world of commodities. The constitution of such laws is absolutely essential to rationalizing construction of a determinate socio-historical lifeworld, societies of capital. In the societal validation of prediction, science and capitalism are reunited, the categorial telos of scientific activity (prediction) rejoins the original class (bourgeois), pre-categorial, and hidden telos of the mastery of nature… Ideationally produced through scientific method, this mathematized world of natural phenomena is an anticipatory projection of a socio-historical lifeworld constructed through the subjugation of society and surrounding nature to the production of commodities for exchange. The cognitive construct “matter,” contentless bodies subsisting in homogeneous space, is the, albeit oblique, theoretical elaboration of “raw material” as it appears in commodity production, endlessly malleable natural objects ripped from decontextualized surrounding, visible nature. Science projects a nature that is flattened out and rendered a surveyable and manipulable object: Stripped of qualitative determination and reduced to a gross abstraction, it has become


1 For further elaboration, see the Fourth Study, Part I, “Theory of Truth,” below.

an a priori quantifiable series of points determined exhaustively by positions given with objective time and extended space. It is an abstraction without purpose or internal logic to its moments (bodies) and without inherent or defining characteristics apart from those mathematically projected. From the side of demystified daily experience, however, science's nature can be best comprehended as an ideational product masquerading as real. At the hands of (capital's) science, nature, appearing in history at once as its ground and as a product of a development inseparable from its interaction with social development, has become aesthetically ugly stuff. It is, in other words, a product of domination, of what science and capital have made of it. This is nature as matter, as raw material for commodity production on a capitalist basis Need it be said that the bourgeoisie is the first class in history where nature has this sense, 1 where its relation to subordinate social groups, strata, Stände or classes is immediately and directly mediated by nature domination, where a theorization of this relation is not “mythological” or religious, “but” rational (as in the modern sense of economically rational) and this theorization itself has become an issue? Science, then, is not only bourgeois in the narrow cultural sense. It is, historically, a theoretical mediation of the activity of capital in the utilitarian-pragmatic reduction of nature to raw material for capitalist production. This development was immanent to science itself. For the theoretical anticipation of this utilitarian-pragmatic, i.e., technological, reduction of nature is modern science: It is as science that the conceptual framework for this reduction is constituted, and out of which production of a capitalist world can be undertaken, a world in which science is at home and without which it would be a stranger without a home (hence, theoretically barren), i.e., which constitutes the societal presuppositions of science's full development and without which it would be undevelopable… Having provisionally fulfilled our second requirement (sketching out the immanent relation of significant aspects of the total conceptual structure of science to the bourgeoisie as a class considered historically), thus having formulated the contours of our position, and recognizing that this position is “cumulative” in the specific sense that at every moment of our presentation has its own previous development as its premise (i.e., each aspect, “phase” or section of the following studies as it unfolds is internally connected and a necessary development of what has come before it), we can pursue our various inquiries that, in expanding, elaborating and refining this position, concretize it, effectively evolving its validation and justification.

Note The Classical Evaluation of Labor The classical evaluation of labor as it has come down to us through the Renaissance rediscovery and, in some cases, reconstitution of ancient sources should be treated carefully. This is not merely a matter of recognizing philological glosses are always interpretations based on, in part, the reality of daily life and the socio-historical determinants that operate in that life in which the philologist or commentator is situated. Our point is more and other: The classical evaluation of labor so-called is not a question of counterposing a contemplative life to an active one (which is an Aristotelian, not even Platonic, valuation that is not echoed in but finds its elaborate development in Christian religious thinkers, ascetics and, institutionally in, religious orders). Rather, the classical evaluation of labor is an assessment from the point of view of those leisured gentlemen who, as landowners, not only did not labor but who viscerally believed that, in principle, laboring should, for starters, disqualify one from the good life understood in terms of participation in polis activity. Craftsmen, the urban merchant and peasant smallholders, not to mention slaves and women, the mass of those who did labor, did not share this view. 1 Entirely consistent with the anti-democratic, oligarchical politics of classical civic humanism or, if you prefer, classical republican theorization, it should come as no surprise, however, that the views of labor of ancient philosophers (particularly, Plato, Aristotle and, lest we forget, Socrates) and Roman orators, statesmen and even poets (Cicero, Seneca, Horace, Juvenal) were sharply counterposed to those of the demos. 2 The ancient ruling classes held concrete labor in contempt (they did not know the abstract labor of capitalism). It was the reason for their absence from their estates and the use of slave overseers, slave clerks in the executive offices of the "state," a slave police force, etc. Life for free citizens was community life that consisted in governing their own affairs. This presupposed an entirely different subjective-class evaluation of the meaning and ends of life from our own (with its frenzied desire for wealth accumulation), one with an objective-social impact. For the ancients, especially the Greeks (and here it is moot whether this characterization should be restricted to Athenians, though in Athens at least it should also include those laboring classes because they broadly participated in popular assemblies and engaged in jury deliberations), this evaluation was political (the one area from which slaves and women were without exception excluded) and centered on citizen self-government. Labor, here, it is noted refers to those activities (largely agricultural in the ancient world) that socially reproduced the community as a whole, both directly (hoeing, planting, harvesting in agriculture by peasants and slaves, fabricating wood and metals among craftsmen) and indirectly (market mediated distribution involving small merchants, domestic tasks and even state administrative activities of slaves). If we probe a little more deeply we can elicit what was at issue in the ruling class attitude toward labor. It was, first, a class based hostility toward the “mob,” the lower orders, who, by way of their insinuation (i.e., their long historical struggle incorporating themselves) into the polis community of self-governing citizens with their incessant demands, after all, threatened established wealth if not always power. 3

1 For restriction of this contempt to the ruling classes, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, 137-138. 2 Wood, Ibid, 22-24, 137-145; Moses Finley, Economy and Society in Ancient Greece, 99, 187-188, 194. 3 The ancient polis cannot be understood in the Marxist sense as the domain, raised above society, in which an otherwise internally divided ruling class achieves unity requisite to societal hegemony and, simultaneously, as the institution consisting of an array of repressive agencies and organizations (courts, judiciary, prosecutors, prisons, cops, military, etc.) that enforce class rule. The institutional separation that characterizes capitalist modernity in its entirely, here the constitution of the state as specific sphere with its own distinctive shape on the basis of which

It was, second, a perspective on the world, a vision in which the private and the public realms, those of the household and the family and that of the polity or, in terms that are more familiar to us, natural necessity and freedom, were unquestionably assumed to be ontologically separate, and in thought keep distinct. The former, the private realm of the householder inclusive of the productive and domestic activities slaves and women carried out, was considered the order of natural necessity devoted to the reproduction of human life. Here force and violence were permissible, nay requisite: Slaves had to be driven to complete their tasks (for which an overseer was hired). Slaves and women were prepolitical creatures confined to prepolitical spheres of activity, activity always engaging them in the performance of necessary tasks that humans as natural beings cannot escape. In this context, it was the right and justified, unthinkingly so, to employ violence to master necessity (keep slaves and women in line, nowhere did women participate in polis activities): It was only through prepolitical acts of violence that householders emancipated themselves from necessity and raised themselves to the level where they might experience the freedom of polis based, community life. There all men were “equals” (the inequality of affairs that tending to human nature imposed were transcended), a domain in which men did not command still other men, but rather one in which men neither ruled nor were ruled, neither led nor were led; instead, there men strove to distinguish themselves through action understood as great words and deeds. (Speech making, eloquence too, was indeed a vital aspect of polis activity, excessively so by the lights of capitalist modernity with its orientation toward practice understood pragmatically and in utilitarian terms). Founded and sustained by those actions understood as great words and deeds, it is only in and through the political community, the polis, that men constitute for themselves an objectivity that endures, the only kind of stability and permanence that humans can, situated in the endless cyclical becoming of nature, attain, for it is only in the polis, characterized by this enduring institutional presence, that any specific man achieves lasting recognition in the memory of his contemporaries and his and their descendants. There is a certain amount of individualism (not bourgeois egoism) in this interpretation of polis life (whether it is retrospectively projected is an entirely different question, though it is consistent with what we known about the archaic, aristocratic and proto-statist communities from which Greek polei developed), 1 but it goes a long way to explain why viscerally labor, the quintessential activity that engages the laborer in sphere of natural necessity so-called, was held in contempt by self-styled great men. Now, it is not just the classical evaluation of labor that is overthrown in the (self) appreciation of technical skills among great artisans and the declassed humanist intelligentsia. Overcome with it, and logically presupposing this toppling, is the meaning and significance of nature as it is simply taken for granted, both “nature” in the sense of the encompassing reality in which humans are situated and the state of nature in the strictly political sense. Though the two are intertwined and intimately connected, the latter is not part of this discussion. 2 But the former is at the core of it: As we shall have occasion to point out in the body of this text, Aristotelian cosmology, starting from a concept of fixed, unchanging and qualitatively distinct natural places, must be, simultaneously, overthrown if the understanding of nature underlying modern mechanics is to prevail. Here, we can cite a single example, one

society is mediately organized, simply did not obtain in ancient (Greek) society where the polity remained embedded in social life and popular classes through social struggle had achieved a modicum of participatory control in the community, enough at least to ameliorate the worst aspects of the productive-based exploitation of free men. 1 This is our reading of Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 8-9,27-34, 196-199; for archaic aristocratic communities, see Finley, The World of Odysseus. 2 For the transformation of the culturally hegemonic sense of the “state of nature,” largely achieved by Hobbes, see F.O. Wolf, Die Neu Wissenschaft des Thomas Hobbes. Note especially the discussion at chapter 2.21, on the distinction between “nature” and “art” in Hobbes’ critique of Aristotelian theory of the zoon physei politikon.

that may perhaps immediately appear anecdotal, but which in its perhaps tangential character, makes precisely our point: As a young man, Galileo assimilated and espoused the impetus physics of Giovanni Benedetti, an immediate predecessor (in lthe ogically reconstructed, if not an entirely historical sense). 1 In contrast to Aristotelian natural philosophy as it was understood as the epoch of capital's formal domination began to mature (circa 1590), this physics had a fundamental mathematical component. It was Archimedean. Archimedes was an artisan. Among Galileo’s contemporaries in the broadest sense, two of them enunciated rigidly opposed valuations of Archimedes. Jerome Cardan, who, according to Alexander Koyré, was disposed to rank great men (meaning philosophers and thinkers), placed “Archimedes above Euclid, above Aristotle, above Duns Scotus and Occam,” placing him by himself in the highest category. 2 Now, Julii Cearii Scaliger vigorously objected, and his objection was based on the grounds that Archimedes was an artisan. Patently, such an assessment (Cardan’s) turned the traditional valuation of labor upside down. In light of this and in closing this note, two further points… both suggesting the early modern ascendancy of the inversion of the classical view of labor… might be made: First, classical cosmology was already beginning to give way to a homogenized decentered space in impetus physics; 3 and, second as we have already indicated, 4 it was precisely artisan activity which functioned, at least in one tradition of science (Baconian), as a model for the development of experimental and technical knowledge that is characteristically rational, because observational, publicly accessible and affords insight into natural dynamics… This brings us to Galileo.

1 Beneditti’s main work (in Latin) in this regard, Treatise on Diverse Mathematical and Physical Speculations, appeared in 1585. 2 Galileo Studies, 36. 3 Ibid, 35. 4 See “Social Bases of the Formation of an Organic Intelligentsia of the Bourgeoisie,” above.

Introduction The Modern Science of Nature Bibliographical Sources

Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. Chicago, 1959 Augustine of Hippo. The City of God. Chicago, 1952

Bacon, Francis. The Great Instauration, in The Great Instauration and New Atlantis. Arlington Heights (IL), 1980 (1620) Barnes, Will. The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic from the from the Era of Feudal Decadence (1100-1250) to in the Era of the Rise of Oligarchical Power, Kingly Government and Individual Tyranny (1380-1485): Instantiating the Historical, Productive and Class Struggle Matrix of the Epochal Rise of Capital's Formal Domination, Book II of Revolutionary Origins of Freedom in the Epoch of Capital's

Formal Domination of Labor in Production. St. Paul, 2014


“Some Remarks on the Role of the Working Class in History” in The Crisis in Society and Nature and the Working Class in History, St. Paul, 2010 1 Bohr, Niels. Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. New York, 1958 Descartes, René. Discourse on Method for Reasoning Well and for Seeking Truth in the Sciences (1637). Accessed online at www.records.viu.ca Einstein, Albert. Essays on Science. New York, 1934 Finley, Moses. The World of Odysseus. Middlesex (Eng.), 1979 Economy and Society in Ancient Greece. London, 1983 Galileo Galilei. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Berkeley, 1967 (1632) Koyré, Alexandre. Galileo Studies. Atlantic Highlands (NJ), 1978 (French original, 1939) Marx, Karl. Kapital. Eine Kritik der Poliltischen Ökonomie. Dritte Band, Buch III: Der Gesammtprozess der kapitalistischen Produktion. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Engels. Hamburg, 1894 Pagels, Elaine. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. New York, 1988 Redondi, Pietro. Galileo, Heretic. Princeton (NJ), 1987 Rossi, Paolo. Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era. New York, 1970 Wood, Ellen Meiksins. Peasant-Citizen and Slave, London, 1989 Wolf, F.O. Die Neu Wissenschaft des Thomas Hobbes. Zu den Grundlagen der poltischen Philosphie der Neuzeit. Stuttgart, 1969 Zilsel, Edgar. “The Sociological Roots of Science,” Journal of American Sociology, 47, 1942

1 All works cited under our name are available at the website, www.intcssc.wordpress.com, unless otherwise indicated (as “manuscript”, “unpublished” or “posthumous”).

First Study Science at its Origins The Problem of Motion: Galileo and Aristotle

The forgoing preliminary remarks 1 start from a perspective for which it is impossible to intelligently and intelligibly understand concepts, theories and visions of the world and, mutatis mutandis, systematic conceptual constructs elaborated over generations such as the modern science of nature, together with the general forms of awareness that underlay them (i.e., the consciousness of social subjects that both articulate and embody them), as

“reflections” of reality (world) that prove their truth in, say, “corresponding” to the “facts” or that are assigned a status as “ideological” reflexes of social groups. While a formal elaboration of this position will have to wait, 2 here we shall simply note that a reflection theory of consciousness and a correspondence theory of truth are untenable because, first, the structure of each (theory and world) is essentially dissimilar and because, 3 second, both the awareness of social groups and the theories and visions generated by them are active moments in the construction of the world itself (culture of daily life, society, humanized natural landscapes all within the context of earthly nature). As active, theorizations (i.e., we who theorize) engage the world… a world that is not static

seek to

(but first and foremost the social and historical world of daily experience, a lifeworld)

uncover and disclose its structure and organization, address and query it, take up a dialogue with those who have explicitly pursued the same activity in the past. This recognition will impose two requirements on us: We are obliged, first, to briefly at least describe the contours of that social and historical world and, second, to situate the theorist and the traditions from within which he engages that world. For it is only in integrating the theorist and his world… exhibiting the manner in which the latter shapes the concerns of the former, and the manner in which the activity of the former, as both representative and a “component” of a social group (and, in the case of particularly important theorists and their work, of a social class), goes beyond its determinants by illuminating it, and thereby suggesting action in it or transforming

it… that this life and the theoretical (scientific, literary, philosophical, etc.) work itself becomes intelligible. 4 In taking up those requirements, we shall sketch out the relation between Galileo and the world, starting from his world as he consciously interrogated its traditions, the world in which

the need or interest

that compelled him to enter

shall return to the themes articulated above, to Galileo as one of the creators of the modern science of nature… though, as we might suspect, this science as such is not fully formulated in Galileo… to Galileo as a bourgeois, and to this science as the decisive moment in the constitution of the bourgeoisie as a historical class.

into such a dialogue or, as in his case, polemic. In so doing, we

his original understanding of it formed and his motivation for entering

1 I.e., the Introduction, above.

2 See the Fourth Study, Part III, “The Materialist Dialectic,” below. 3 All theory is, and its structural components also (concepts) are, “ideal” and, at the risk of being unduly repetitive, conceptual; the world as it's simply given (and this is what is, so it is argued, “reflected”) is “real” and sensuous- material. But to speak meaningfully about the world is already to apprehend it conceptually, so that the comparison that is being made is between a theory, or its structure, and the world rendered reflectively intelligible, i.e., in its intelligibility or as conceptually apprehended. This activity obviously, then, constitutes a comparison of concepts to


but this is not the type of comparison

that is assumed and defended in a reflection theory of consciousness. See the Fourth Study, Part III, “Theory of

elements of the modern science of nature and the structure of the value form)

which is legitimate practice (we engaged in it in discussing the homology between crucial conceptual

Truth,” below. 4 Lucien Goldmann, The Hidden God, 7.

Part I Aristotle The Ancient Mediterranean World in the Age of (Plato and) Aristotle 1 Begin with a brief, synoptic view of the late ancient Mediterranean world. Unlike other social forms (e.g., hunting and gathering, free peasant communities based on farming and animal domestication or on shepherding and livestock cultivation) existing in the interstices between the great social formations of the late Mediterranean world, tributary or otherwise (Persia, a growing Roman presence, Carthaginia, an emerging Macedonia, seafaring Phoenicia), the Greek cities of the Attic peninsula were, in part, anomalous… Tributary formations are based on villages communities that practice sedentary farming, primarily grain and rice production, in which the peasant, if you will, working the land works it as a nominally “free” tiller (whether communally or as a family unit) subject irregularly or seasonally to corvée labor. These communities know no concept of private property in production because they do not practice it. Villages, communities, manorial estates, etc., are spatially separate and unified by perhaps the earliest form of the state, an overarching kingship, often a divine personage and his entourage (especially, in ancient tributary forms). All land as a matter of course belongs to this, the greatest lord. Kingship establishes itself doubly, on the basis of the accumulated surpluses, appropriated as tribute from the villages, and on the basis of its armed force together with an elementary bureaucracy (a tiny layer of priests, tax collectors, scholars of the great landed families as in China, or any combination thereof). The state in tributary formations is not highly centralized (such as is the modern, bureaucratized capitalist state), and the village communities are often autonomous to the extent that they do not have to negotiate relations with the bureaucrat (or priest) on a daily base, but only at moments of tax collection or when labor covrées are periodically enforced. Tributary “societies” are overwhelming rural, though they are fully compatible with urban enclaves that exist most often on their geographical peripheries, especially along or near coast waterway: Particularly in their modern shapes, tributary formations have rarely existed without these “metropolises” that are both centers of civil administration and restricted, i.e., luxury, production and consumption 2 Within a tributary reality that nascently stretched as far back as 7,000 years ago, the ancient world was in the first place itself massively agrarian, not just in the sense of a dumb fact but in that, where they appeared, cities themselves were centers of consumption, often administrative, and not centers of production exhibiting only the barest rudiments of an “economy,” unlike those social formations that appear, say, from the time of Dante forward at least in the eastern Mediterranean and the Levant (the Ottomans), and two to three centuries later on the EuroAsian land mass (the Tsars) and in Japan (the Tokugawa). Thus, in the second place, we do not speak about the “economy” as an institutionally distinct sphere. (Such an institutional evolution is a function of capitalist development, of societies that in history immediately predate its appearance and as such, where formal modes of capital’s domination in labor have been instituted; of societies that are implicated in capitalist development, even where there is resistance, through the spread of exchange relations, through colonial and imperialist plunder; and, of course, of capitalist societies themselves.)

1 The following remarks rely on Perry Anderson, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, 18-28 and Lineages of the

Absolutist State, 150-153 by the same author; Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 28-37, 192-199; Ellen Meiksins Wood, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, 22-28, 137-145; the Introduction to our Civil War and Revolution in America [and, especially, the discussion of non-capitalist forms of human sociation in Hierarchy and Social Division, Natural

Determinism and Modern Man appearing in Origins and Endings

2 Inclusive of the concept of a formal domination of capital over labor (as it appears in the following paragraph in the

text), tributary formations are explored from a different perspective in the First Interlude, “Fundamental Forms of Sociation in Human History,” below.

Editor's note.]

Expansion in the ancient world was not “economic" but geographical; or, stated differently, military conquest, entailing plunder, captives taken as, say, domestic slaves and tribute, was identical with expansion. In this regard, productive activity in the Greek world was conducted within a self-contained unit, the household (oikos), consisting of the fields, home and whatever other structures related to farming that may have existed. Production was carried out for internal consumption, not for a market. In the third place, slavery and slave production was far more important to the cities-states of ancient Greece than to the larger tributary formations of the ancient world where, while slavery existed, forms of nominally free, albeit oppressed peasant tenancy subject to labor services often predominated. (Thus, in contradistinction to ancient Greece this did not preclude the periodic deployment of corvée labor, and it did not entail private appropriation based on property in land.) Productive activity was based on the oikos, which was a separate and distinct unit of production. Households were separate units of slave production, producing for self-subsistence first and then for a market thereafter. Their connection, then, was formed through exchange (not production), through the urban marketplace. Still even at this point they did not constitute a “society” or community. This was achieved, at least in Greece, uniquely through the polis, to which we shall come back shortly. Thus, unlike in the rest of the ancient world, in ancient Greece slavery existed as a primarily form of labor in farming as the basic form of production (corn, oil and wine being the three main products of the ancient Greek world), meaning, first, that private ownership of the land prevailed, whereas in the great tributary formations the belonging of land to the great overlord prevailed, even as there might have been more or less extensive that “free” peasant tenancy. It meant, second, slavery in the ancient Greek world arose on the basis of the victorious class struggle of the demos and plebeians against large landowners in the context of labor shortages. That is, it rested on the resulting democratization of the polity and the popular expansion of citizen rights (that included a small class of urban artisans), and the consequent inability of landed elites to compel free men to labor for them. Finally, there was that truly anomalous development, the polis, far more aristocratic outside of Athens. The ancient Greek ruling classes as landlords who mastered men (slaves) and women (in the household), held concrete labor, the activity of those who worked (and, note, not the abstract labor of capitalism), in contempt. It was the reason for their absence from their estates and the use of slave overseers in the fields. Life for free citizens, for the great landowners but the plebeians also, was urban, community life that consisted in governing their own affairs through a political assembly, the polis (a singular achievement in the history of human communities to the extent that it was an institution that existed only in assembly, beyond the realm of violence, where centrally speech, argument and persuasion held sway)… As great cities, Athens, Alexandra, Carthage and Rome were coastal or situated on nearby inland rivers, not the least because trade, the one autonomous activity of urban centers in the ancient world, was most easily, and from the standpoint of merchants less expensively, conducted by water, and even this “fact” is significant because the ancient Greek (and Roman) city itself was atypical and uncharacteristic, incarnating its own dominance in an overwhelmingly rural, agrarian world, a dominance made possible by the use of slave labor both within the household (women, washing, sewing, preparing food, cleaning) and in the fields freeing the great landowner for urban life and, he and his sons for the elaboration of a unique, even if aristocratic culture 1 … It was city life in which civic activity was paramount, but the ancient Greek cities formed an

1 Used here in the Hegelian sense entailing, institutionally and culturally, Objective Spirit (law, statecraft, civil administration) and Absolute Spirit (poetry and drama, religion, and philosophy) all grasped materialistically as human productions.

integrated unity, a free development within but encompassed by the countryside, unlike (economic) development which at least since the time of Galileo counterposed the (rural lords, craft masters and merchant capitalists that dominated the) city to the (tenants and rural laborers of the) countryside as the former exploited the latter for its agricultural produce, tenant rents, and resources utilized to construct the sensuous-material structures (above all, the churches and palatial homes of the great merchants, bankers and manufacturers) that comprised the visible aspect of the urban world. Unlike our world, in which accumulation for the sake of accumulation (the movement of capital) predominates, in which personal aggrandizement rooted in bourgeois egoism is merely the other side of this objective logic, civic life as understood by the ancient Greeks presupposed an entirely different subjective- class evaluation of the meaning and telos of life generally. For them, this evaluation was political (the one area from which slaves were without exception excluded) and centered on citizen self-governance, in the sense of neither ruling nor ruled, and neither managing and administering nor managed and ministered to. It was on this basis that the enormous, quick development of Absolute Spirit in the Hegelian, yet materialist sense unfolded, short-lived to be sure, but all the more astounding for its rapid and transient efflorescence.

Aristotle Given that there is no really good biography of Aristotle, let’s see what we know. Aristotle was one of three children born to a wealthy, established Ionian family in 384 BCE. About the time of his birth his father, Nicomachus, became a physician to Amyntas III, king of Macedonia (and father of Philip who was father of Alexander), the most recent of a long line of distinguished physicians. His mother, Phaestis, was a wealthy aristocrat with landholdings and an estate home at Chalcis (Khalkís) on the island of Euboea (Evvoia), 55 kilometers north northwest of Athens opposite the eastern edge of the Attica peninsula dividing the northern and southern waterways of the Voreios Evvoïkos. With Nicomachus’ new appointment he relocated his family to Pella (actually, it is simply unclear whether it was he and Aristotle or the entire family), the ancient capital of Macedonia where Aristotle spent his earliest years. Both of his parents were to die while he was relatively young, his father no later than Aristotle’s seventeenth year (perhaps caught in the crossfire of infighting among the royal Macedonian entourage), and his mother shortly thereafter before he turned eighteen. It presumed that Aristotle spent his youth in Pella, perhaps, as was customary, studying and absorbing what he could of his father’s medical practice. (There is internal evidence, that Aristotle did indeed live in Pella, since he makes reference to his distaste for court life, even princes and even as a later teacher of Alexander.) At any rate, with his parents’ death he became a charge of one Proxenus, the husband of his sister, Arimneste. At the age of seventeen, Aristotle was sent by Proxenus or he set off himself… this too is not clear… to study at Plato’s Academy in Athens. For the next twenty years, this was the context of his intellectual formation, for he was student, “researcher” and then, at the moment of Plato’s death in 347 BCE, a teacher at the Academy. It can be safely assumed that here Aristotle studied politics and law, mathematics and astronomy, and of course pursued more broadly philosophical inquiries, as each and all were understood in the ancient, particularly the Athenian, world. He is reputed to have excelled as a student, and was referred to even by Plato as the Academy’s “intellect.” As a teacher, he may have taught rhetoric and dialogue. Now the Academy was not the only school in Athens, Isocrates, a sophist “enemy” of Plato, for example, ran another one (as would Aristotle in his later years). These educative institutions were aristocratic, designed for the sons of the slaveholding landowners, intended to at once impart a culture distinctively characterizing and distinguishing this class as such and to

prepare them for any roles they might assume as statesmen or military leaders within the Athenian community. Aristotle was not destined to assume directorship of this institution upon Plato’s death. (It is suggested legally he was not Athenian or Hellene. Since Philip sacked the Greek city state of Olynrhus in 348, there may well have been hostility toward him, as a “foreigner,” Macedonian and someone who had spent a good part of his early life in Philip’s father’s court, to boot.) Instead a nephew of Plato, Speusippus, assumed this post. Perhaps as a consequence, Aristotle left Athens with a companion, Xenocrates, and, traveled to Asia Minor, established a branch of the Academy in Assos, today in northwest Turkey. It is believed this city was controlled by a tyrant, a Greek mercenary named Hermias (of Atarneus) and an underlord to the Persian king. Hermias, having once been a member of the Academy (and infatuated with Plato’s lectures), struck up and developed a close friendship with Aristotle. Shortly thereafter Aristotle married Hermias’ adopted youthful daughter (Aristotle was now 37), Pythias. She bore him a child (or he adopted one of hers as his own), a girl, but his wife died sometime later. For whatever reason Hermias felt into disfavor with the Persians and Assos was subject to attack. About 344 BCE, Aristotle left. He journeyed southward to the island of Lesbos to the city of Mytilene where he established another academy. Here he stayed for a couple years, making study of a lagoon that is reputed to have contributed to his biological theorizations. According to standard accounts, in 342 Philip asked Aristotle to come (back) to Pella in order to tutor his son, Alexander. (Again, there are accounts that this is mere legend). If we’ve adequately related Aristotle’s geographical trajectory and presented some sense of his motivation, it would be fair to ask (as history records) why he returned. Reasons range from a full consciousness of the Platonic injunction concerning the significance of philosophers in statecraft to a concern to assist his friend Hermias in reaching an agreement that would bring a Macedonian expedition against Persia in Asia Minor. In the event, Aristotle crossed the proverbial Rubicon (some three centuries before Caesar actually crossed into Gaul) and returned to Pella. In the event, the Bildung that he imparted to Alexander over roughly seven years was not philosophical but rather moral in the broad sense. It is believed by biographers that Alexander fully assimilated this eduction, that he adopted the Achilles of Homer’s Iliad as a life model that served him in his ambitious kingship, living, like the ancient mythological hero for honor and esteem and, of course, conquest. (Aristotle had gone to the length of preparing a special edition of this work for Alexander.) By 339, Aristotle had grown weary of life in Pella, a sentiment likely deepened by the tasks of tutoring other students at the Macedonian court. He left, retreated to his father home of Stagira, a small town north of Athens and roughly 80 kilometers east of Pella, but soon found the locale absent all stimulation. In 335, he was back in Athens, perhaps because Speusippus had died. (He was succeeded by Aristotle's old acquaintance, Xenocrates.) If Aristotle had had any designs on directing the Academy, he was quickly disabused: Anti-Macedonian sentiment was probably stronger at this moment than it had been thirteen years earlier when he had left Athens. Here Aristotle, it is believed, relied on protection of an Athenian diplomat and friend, Antipater. In Athens, Aristotle established his own school (known as the Lyceum) much along the lines of other competing institutions. It was aimed at the same youthful audience, young aristocrats. It had the same broad curriculum and same aims, namely, formation of noble character both with a view to what was distinctive about the great landowners as a social group and to statecraft. Unlike Galileo, he had a strong moral sense (rooted a precognitive aristocratic ethos) and fully developed cognitive notion of the right order of things and, accordingly, of their natural place.

The Lyceum was quite successful: Some of Aristotle’s most important works date from this period, that is down the year of Alexander’s death in 323. At this moment, an anti-Macedonian revolt took Antipater’s treachery (i.e., his relations to the Macedonian kingship) as its object which, as an “alien,” also endangered Aristotle. He fled. Again unlike Galileo, Aristotle retained this strong sense of place throughout his life: He returned to his mother’s estate in Chalcis. Here, at the age of 62, he died in the autumn of the following year complaining of a stomach ailment (perhaps an ulcerous condition from which he slowly bled to death).

Part II Galileo and the World of Early Capitalism There are three significant traditions within bourgeois historiography that provide accounts of the origins of the modern science of nature. The first two are rooted in the crisis of physical theory that became full blown in the chronologically late nineteenth century, and were resolved, at least adequately enough to allow scientific theorizing to renew itself and develop anew, with relativist and quantum formulations. These traditions are counterposed, one, based largely on the enormous literary output and insight of Pierre Duhem, holds that the really important problems confronted by the new science were originally posed and received their first critical treatment by medieval cosmologists; 1 the other, beginning from the work of Alexandre Koyré (who writing over twenty years after Duhem’s death, explicitly and regularly if

only in footnoted fashion criticized him) 2 holds the modern science of nature signifies a rupture with the world, problems, analyses and views of the fundamentally Aristotelian Scholastics and, later, Peripatetics, and, starting from Galileo, is in its genuine form Archimedean (more generally, mathematical) and Platonist. Best exemplified by the more recent work of Paolo Rossi, 3 the third tradition also sees in the modern science of nature a counterposition to ancient thought, but more thoroughgoing. The former is opposed to the latter in its entirety, whether the ancients are considered Platonic or Aristotelian. In this respect, the modern science of nature is conceived unitarily with different complementary traditions (with points of departure in Galileo and Bacon), and it is explicitly grasped and understood in relation to the practice of social groups, primarily artisans, whose activity embodied and was guided by the central ideational features that made this counterposition to the ancients possible and actual. Our analyses owe something to each of these traditions. In some respects, formally similar to Rossi’s starting point, we shall try to tease out the relation between the theorization of modern science of nature as its appears in its most conscious creator, Galileo, and the world he was rooted. This world was radically different from that of urban centers (e.g., Athens, Alexandria) that existed on the edges of the ancient empires in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, and, increasingly superficial similarities aside, it differed markedly in all decisive ways from the world of more modern social formations which in the same regions are often referred to as the “feudal” or “medieval” “West.” We shall attempt to establish that this new science originated as a rarefied theoretical response to problems that emerged for the first time in this, the world in which men like Galileo lived and acted; to reveal that these problems were generated on the basis a societal project the formed out of the life practices of a specific social class of which men like Galileo were relationally part; and that, as such, the type of knowledge achieved… and here, and in other ways that will become clear as this work unfolds, we radically depart from the various traditions that make

was and is not a universal achievement of humanity… a

up bourgeois historiography

humanity that at any rate has yet to come into being in anything other than in a formal sense… but doctrine, knowledge and understanding that is determinate, socially and historically specific and relative to the class and society in which that class formed and the civilization it has created. For even as this science underwent elaboration and lost any relation

1 The first four volumes of Duhem's Systéme du monde appeared in 1916, the fifth posthumously in 1917, and based on manuscripts, the sixth did not appear until 1954 and the four remaining volumes were published between 1956 and 1959. We use an English language selection (Medieval Cosmology) largely based on the later manuscript volumes that deals primarily with the theoretical basis of medieval cosmology. 2 Koyré most important works in this regard was his Galileo Studies with the French original (Études Galiléennes) appearing in 1939. 3 Summarized, above all, in Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era.

to these origins, it has retained and retains, hidden and tacit within its conceptual structure, the telos that originally animated it First, however, we need to start with Galileo and his world.

Galileo, I Who was Galileo Galilei? Son of Vincenzo Galilei, Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa in February 1564, the oldest of seven children. His father was a musician and wool trader. Now Vincenzo had been born in Florence in 1520. (His mother, Guilia Ammannati was born in Pescia in central Tuscany about 65 kilometers northwest of Florence.) Note the date. Twenty-six (26) years before Vincenzo was born Piero de’Medici was expelled from Florence and the Republic was reestablished on the basis of French bayonets (December 1494); eleven (11) years before his birth Pisans finally submitted following upon three long years of fighting to incorporation into Republican Florence’s imperial domains (1509); eight (8) years before Vincenzo was born the Florentine Republic collapsed (again). This time, the Medici were restored following defeat of Machievallli’s and Soderini’s “citizen” armies by the Spanish at Prato (1512). Five (5) years after his birth the Republic, led by aristocrats of the great families such as Jacobo Salviati, Niccolo Capponi and Luigi Guicciardini, was restored (16 May 1526). Restoration immediately following upon the pillage and sack of Rome (6 May 1526) by German, Italian and Spanish Imperials who had worked their way down the Peninsula following upon their defeat of the French armies (to which Pope Clement VII, Guilio de’ Medici, was allied) at the battle of Pavia (24 February 1525). The Hapsburg imperials of Charles V (Austrian emperor and king of Spain) had crushed the French with their Florentine allies. And, ten (10) years after Vincenzo was born the final destruction of the Republic was accomplished (12 August 1530). This historically finality occurred ten days after the defeat of a Florentine partisan force led Francesco Ferrucci in hard fighting with overwhelmingly numerically superior Spanish Imperial forces under the Prince of Orange engaged in a siege of city. Mercenaries as the ostensible defenders of the city had under their captain, Malatesta Baglione, abandoned the fortified external Florentine perimeter. Guido de’ Medici, who as Pope had no trouble finding the wherewithal to do a deal (April 1529) with Charles V (codified in the Treaty of Barcelona), restored the Medici line as the rightful overlords of the great city and its territories. 1 The Medici would rule Florence as a Spanish duchy until its annexation by Austria in 1737. The restoration of the Medici in Florence in 1530 brought to a close, seemingly, nearly forty years of fighting on the Italian Peninsula as the two great powers embodying the old order, France and a rising Castilian Spain fought over and again to decide who would rule. The Spanish had proven themselves masters of the Peninsula and this was confirmed in the Treaty of Cambrai. But, as if to remind Vincenzo, Duke Cosimo of Tuscany (under watchful Spanish eyes) brought troops to bear on Siena for over three years (1552-1555), finally annexing it in 1557. French incursions to the north in Savoy (most of the modern day Piedmont) periodically recurred from 1536 to 1538, again from 1542 to 1544, the outcome of this struggle not being decided until after the Spanish victory at the battle of St. Quentin (1557). Losses of the Venetians overseas trading empire to Ottoman expansion westward in the Mediterranean would, if this was not enough, remind him all over again. 2 Of what was Vincenzo reminded? The world is not a safe place.

1 See the ninth thematic discussion, The History of Florence. [Editor's note.] 2 In 1509, the Venetian Republic surrendered all of its non-Adriatic fronting mainland possessions, followed by the Aegean islands north of Crete in 1540, Cyprus in 1571, and Crete itself in 1669.

The world is not a safe place, and Vincenzo knew. As a young man, he left Florence and settled in Pisa, though now under Spanish suzerainty nonetheless far from the Florentine maelstrom of events, where he married Guilia in 1563 and where Galileo was born a year later. (To the dangers of war we might also add that of famine, which were endemic. From the

time of the rise of the Ciompi to the rise of another revolutionary group, the Jacobins, Florence would experience 111 famines. In 1528, while Vincenzo was a child, Florence was struck by famine, which would recur in 1540, and in both cases, the city closed its gates to the surrounding contado leaving the Tuscan peasantry to its fate. 1 Pisa was no different except in one regard: It was a port city where ships carrying grain unloaded, and in the chain of recipients it stood in front of Florence.)

A long line of the Galileis, Vincenzo’s family, had been made their livelihoods as wool

merchants, though they were relationally part of the popolo grasso (neither the great merchants nor the Lana manufacturers, both of who had played central roles in the accumulation of Florentine wealth since the end of the thirteen century), but far closer to the arte minori, the small guildsmen, shopkeepers and traders, and among these a family that did quite well. Now, the wealth, splendor and power that accrued to Florence at the outset of the era of capital’s formal domination (chronologically, the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries) did

not primarily rest on banking and trade, but on the profitability of its cloth industry (and this, in turn, depended upon unchallenged control of the manufacturer-merchants over the total process of cloth, i.e., woolen, production). 2 In that maelstrom of events, war, sieges, ransoms paid to mercenaries and regular armies to free individual men and whole cities from military occupation which had characterized Vincenzo’s youth (not to mention the three decades prior

to his birth), woolen merchant fortunes had been undone over and again.

Vincenzo had understood this perhaps before he could even articulate it. He longed for a quiet

life, and over generations his family had not only been spared the trauma of loss of fortune but had done well enough for him to detach himself from merchant activity. He had studied music

in his youth in Venice, had developed real skill as a lute player and before Galileo’s birth he

supported himself and his new wife as a music teacher. He had even performed certain experiments on strings to evince his musical theories, among which can be numbered his treatment of dissonance for which he is remembered today. Vincenzo’s sense of place never deserted him. In 1572, he, his wife and his children (less Galileo) returned home to Florence. But, as much Florentine glory lay in the past, the city he returned to was not the city he had left. Subordinated to the Castilian Hapsburg Empire, the dominant merchant manufacturing, merchant trading and banking social groups in central Italy, not just Florence, had for nearly a half century been functioning as a center of financial support for Spanish imperial ambitions and activities, which parasitically drained off the wealth generated in the region. This requires separate treatment since it bears directly on who Galileo Galilei was and in a complexly mediated fashion on the modern science of nature.

1 Famine was, as we said, endemic, a typical feature of towns and cities that characterized this entire epoch of divided societies down to the end of the 1830s, at least in the center of greatest capitalist development in the West. See the Third Essay, Part I, “History and Malthus,” below. What was unusual was that in 1528 and 1540, famine struck not only Florence but the countryside, evincing its utter severity. Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Vol. I, 328-329 (where this atypical event is noted and from which we derive the figures and dates which we shall have occasion to site again). 2 See the fifth thematic discussion, the note on “Cloth Worker Exploitation and the Foundations of Florentine Wealth and Power,” The History of Florence. [Editor's note.]

Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination 1 From the moment of the union of Isabelle and Ferdinand at which time Castile consolidated previous expansion southward on the Iberian Peninsula, through Charles I (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) when he first assumed the Castilian crown (1516) until the conclusion of the War of Dutch Independence in 1659 (by which time the Spanish treasury had been bankrupt for decades), for newly two hundred years, Catholic, then Hapsburg Castile, now long past its zenith, engaged in nearly continuous warfare. Innumerable smaller wars of conquest that involved dynastic claims or objectives, imperial ambitions in the Mediterranean, the subjugation of northern (and at its periphery central) Italy, the occupation of the Low Countries, the diversion of men and matériel from the Spanish Netherlands so-called to Languedoc, Brittany and Franche-Comté, provision for Christian Europe of a defensive bulwark against the Ottoman Turks… a defense that involved a religious-ideological pogrom against Muslims and Jews and can be traced back to the martial alliance of those two religiously fanatical zealots in 1469 (the Castilian queen and the Aragonese king), and their development and employ of that black instrument of Christianizing terror, the Inquisition 2 … were all essentially supported by the revenues derived, first, from exploitation of the peasantries of Iberia, second, from the madly ambitious plunder of and tribute extraction from the peoples of the Americas, and third, from the blackmail, looting, pillaging and political subordination of the merchants and cities of Europe under its control. Gold and silver, and after 1550 exclusively silver, fed the machines (armies) that were the instruments of its aggrandizement: 3 Product of one of history’s most infamous and sustained policies of genocide, the silver that poured in from the Americas allowed Castilian kings to be overcome by their own megalomaniac ambitions. At the beginning of the century (1525-1530), Charles I strangled the commercial centers of northern Italy, most notably Genoa and Florence. (The Spanish maintained five strategically important seaports, the Stato dei Presidi, the “State of the Garrisons,” which was administered from Spanish Naples and which increased the drain on Florentine-Tuscan resources and which were the points of departure for trained Spanish soldiery to fighting on various fronts, especially the Low Countries. 4 ) Ruling from 1556 to 1598 Felipe (Philip) II, having originally involved Castile in, by the end of the century was still engaged in the midst of, an eighty year-long attempt to suppress rebellion in the Low Countries, 5 an effort during which Spanish and foreign mercenaries in the pay of

1 For Castile as discussed here, see Catalan and Castilian Antagonism in Iberian History. Rise and Fall of Catalonia as a Seaborne Mercantile Power: Isabelle, Fernando and the Ascendancy and Decline of CounterRevolutionary Castile [Editor's note.] 2 This was the Spanish Inquisition, preceding the Roman Inquisition by nearly three quarters of a century, the latter established by Paul III in 1542 to turn back Calvin, Luther, their offshoots and the Protestant Reformation. 3 Braudel, Ibid, Vol. 1, 476. In Bolivia, in the foothills of the Andes the city of Potosí, founded in 1546 one year after the discovery of silver in the region, was center of silver production becoming the largest single silver mine in the world by 1611. Braudel chastises the Spanish for failing to “set up new and profitable enterprises” “at home” (Ibid, I, 478), but that was precisely the point: The non-bourgeois, non-capitalist Castilian crown was engaged in defense of the old social order against emerging capitalist social groups and institutions, and it spent this, a fortune achieved entirely by non- capitalist means, plundering and ransom, tribute extraction and effectively enslavement, to support its military machine. Braudel backhandedly admits in citing (for us merely an instance exemplifying what was at issue) a contemporary source (a Venetian ambassador) who reported the 800,000 ducats’ worth of Peruvian silver was transported to the Netherlands where it was minted in exchange for artillery and powder, and, of course, with a merchants’ fee to arrange the transaction Ibid, I, 480. 4 Geoffrey Parker, The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road, 32-33. 5 Parker (Ibid). With periods of truce and fighting lulls, war in the Low Countries (today including regions of France, Belgium and the Netherlands) can be dated from 1569 when Dutch resistance first broke out, or from 1572 when additional Spanish forces were deployed to suppress that resistance, until 1649 with the treaties the made up the Peace of Westphalia were signed (though a treaty with the French was not inked until 1659). It was the numerous towns the Army of

the Castilian crown repeatedly destroyed the flourishing towns of the Northwest: The great textile cities of the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, and as well their surrounding countryside on which they depended for food, were occupied, pillaged and, when armies were moving, foraged off. Taken as hostages, wealthy merchants, traders, and bankers were held to ransom. Whole cities too were held to ransom or sacked (or both). Villages and countryside were criss-crossed, plundered and pillaged again. The wealth of urban centers and their hinterlands in the era in which capital's formal domination matured (towns such as Bergen op Zoom, Roosendaal, Breda, Geetriudenburgand and many more and the great cities as well, Antwerp, but also Genoa, Florence and rural Tuscany immediately attached to it, and others) was drawn off to fed the Castilian war machines (its armies), and occupied or wrecked (or both), and their commercial vitality was stifled. Their vitality was further suppressed and repressed by imposition of rule from Madrid (eliminating autonomous republican institutions, the life blood of these oligarchical, commercial centers). Castilian kings thereby destroyed the loci of the wool-textile economy of the Mediterranean-European North, and thus allowed a new locus to develop in England. (Florence, in 1560 a center of woolen production in the Mediterranean, purchased two thirds of its raw wool from Castilian Spain, and in turn numbered Spain, with France, as one of its most important centers of export of finished woolen cloth. By 1630, like fallen Spain, its woolen production had plummeted to 2% of the 1560 amount.) 1 In so doing, ironically Castilian kingship undermined the network of commercial relations in which the great wool producers of central Spain south to Andalusia, the aristocratic lords constituting the Castilian ruling class, were embedded, and with it the hegemonic position of Castile in Europe. Call this in the objectively historical sense the openly military aspect of an assault by Europe’s most powerful, ancient regime social formation on those social groups who were express bearers of a nascent capitalism. In this assault, above all, Castile defended the unity of landed wealth and aristocratically grounded, absolutist kingship sanctioned by the Roman Church, and on this basis the Catholic construction of the norms of social life; it defended empire and legal concepts appropriate to it; and it affirmed direct, unmediated forms of exploitation and tribute in appropriating the wealth of actual producers. It defended these in opposition to the primacy of urban wealth and Protestant religiosity; to the sovereignty of states as national states and the principle of non-interference in those states affairs; to oligarchical and bourgeois Power based on merchant and municipal liberty (realized through representative political forms of governance) and the primacy of individual conscience in assessing social norms; and it denied the moral superiority of strictly economic forms of exploitation in ostensibly contractually-based appropriation of the wealth of producers. Neither feudal nor tributary, in all respects Castile defended, then, what constituted the old order within the now ascendant and epochal, formal domination of capital over labor in production on which the continental economy rested. Yet the old order had reached an impasse, as its modes of wealth extraction could not sustain the achieved level of capital's formal domination, not to speak of its further, future development: Manifested in military defeat and financial bankruptcy, Castile's failure was an open expression of the exhaustion of the old order formations of western Europe, the endpoint of their ability to organize social life (a process that clearly was already underway by the midpoint of the Thirty Years War, evinced in the epidemics and famine that swept Europe in the 1630s and in misery, destruction and depopulation created by war and disease). Famine itself was doubly grounded, in war-wrought ruin of crops and severe cold brought on by climate fluctuations and cooling - the Little Ice Age

Flanders command was compelled to reduce to subordinate the Spanish Netherlands together with protracted sieges in the face of architecturally innovative, novel fortifications constructions along the extensive fighting front. 1 Paolo Malanima, “An Example of Industrial Reconversion: Tuscany,” 64-65, 67.

so-called (circa 1350 to 1860) - which effected temperate zone crops globally, not just in England and across Europe but in China, in Shaanxi Province. For without increasing agricultural productivity secured by the triumph of capitalism (i.e., the institutional political stabilization of formal domination) in the Low Countries and England symbolized, above all, by the victories of the Dutch and Puritan bourgeoisies in war and revolutionary civil war, and then by the new science of nature at nodal sites in Europe, the achieved levels of culture, sociality and production would have fallen back to those levels that characterized “Europe,” that is, the Mediterranean hinterlands of Rome, just prior to the emergence of Merovingian kingship, in which state, extended family and village community could no longer sustain a civil sociality. 1 The foundations of Castilian power and her emergence as a great European power rested, in fact, on an earlier phase of conquest, the unification of the Iberian Peninsula, which Fernando brought to a close. 2 These conquests robbed the civilization of the Moors (Nasrid Arabs) of its substance, added untold great wealth to Castilian coffers and provided massive numbers of slaves and Moors who were enslaved (both often sold adding to wealth in coin form), and it added enormous tracts of land in al-Andalus to the patrimonies of Castile, in particular, to her great nobles, most of which had won their status in connection with the Crusades in which the warrior aristocratic military orders, foundation of noble power and bearers of the ideational orientation toward conquest, came into being. The vast tracts of land appropriated by the great nobles during the Spanish Reconquista provided the basis for a movement from cereal agriculture in old Castile to transhumant sheep farming on and between these great estates as herds in the hundreds of thousands passed seasonally from the central Castilian plateaux to Estremadura and northern Andalusia. An intricate commercial network survived Catalan collapse and tied these wool-producing estates to the great textile centers (Bruges, Ghent) of the Low Countries 3 and those across the

1 For periods of severe cold (especially, the 1630s) and its relation to crop failure, see Brian Fagan, The Long Summer, 248-250, Jan de Vries, Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 11-12, Christian Pfister, “Cimatic Extremes, Recurrent Crises and Witch Hunts,” 43, 44 (chart), 45, and Mark Tauger, Agriculture in World History, 60 (China). In both Shaanxi and south and southeast England, crop failure then famine were motivationally significant in rolling peasant revolt. For China, Tauger, Ibid [and for England, The English Civil Wars, Part II, “Rising Popular Rebellion and Class Conflict in Front of the First Civil War.” Editor.] Mentioned in a preceding footnote, the Peace of Westphalia confirmed the bourgeoisie triumph in war and civil war:

The Peace recognized the primary reality of national states and repudiated foreign intervention in their internal affairs. For this, see the similarly footnoted discussion in Bolshevism and Stalinism (Urgeschichte), the Perspective, Part III, “The Colonial Era,” n. 1; for state sanction (political stabilization) of capital's formal domination, see the Conclusion, “The Triumph of the Bourgeoisie and Stabilization of Capitalist Social Relations within the Social Formations of Europe,” to The English Civil Wars and the Birth of Freedom. [Editor's note.] For the Merovingian collapse, see e.g., Marc Bloch, Feudal Society, Vol. 1, 147-149, or Anderson, Passages from From Antiquity to Feudalism, 122f. Two albeit limited, statistical indicators of Castile's exhaustion can be found in the virtual collapse in silver (its monetary valuation) imported at Seville between 1595 and 1660, and the decline in New World shipping entering and departing from Seville between 1590 and 1655. Jan de Vries, The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 14-15 (chart). Castilian decline, decadence and then collapse can be traced out in the history of the forms of recruitment to its armies. At the outset of the Dutch rebellion (1572) soldiers were recruited as volunteers, often abroad, by captains operating on commission of the Castilian king; before 1600, as contract system was in extensive usage in which recruiters were paid to raise largely foreign troops; after 1620, compulsion was used, often naked force, to impress able bodied, largely unemployed men, bandits and vagabonds hauling them off manacled in carts; by the 1630s, mercenary Protestant, sometimes Calvinist, soldiers were recruited; and, by 1649, having signed a peace with the States General desperate Castile attempted to levy a regiment in the United Provinces to fight against the French. Parker, Ibid, 36-38, 40-41, 44, 45, 46-47. 2 In 1485 Ronda, in 1487 Málaga, in 1490 Almeria, and in 1492 the city of Granada fell to Fernando’s armies. 3 Depopulated by plague (the prebourgeois Catalan nation’s demographically density had collapsed, from some 600,000 in 1350 to 278,000 in 1497), torn by rural civil war and social struggle within Barcelona, the latter brought on

Channel in the English southeast. Castilian towns and, in far northern Iberia, Biscayan shippers grew and a few great noble families transformed small fortunes into vast wealth. That concentration of wealth was enormous: Two to three percent (2-3%) of the nobles controlled herds of sheep on occasion in the millions, owed 97% of the land, while half of this land was the patrimony of just a few great families who stood head and shoulders above the smaller gentry (hidalgo). (At the same time as the Catalan population had declined to about 278,000 in 1497, Castile boasted 5-7 million.) Most hidalgo were impoverished and land hungry, and formed the social basis for armies of conquest. Commodity production is at best merely secondary to a rural aristocracy of this sort, and as such it is only a means to wealth, its display, and in particular to power as the undisputed, absolute control over and disposition of men, resources, and things. Within the intricate, intertwined networks of capital's movement (formal domination), Castilian Spain, an ancient regime social formation based on sheepherding (not agriculture) and conquest, was emphatically not bourgeois: 1 What capitalist activity in Spain outside the urban enclaves of Córdoba and Segovia where the domestic (putting out) system had taken hold, and on the Atlantic North (Bilbao) and the Mediterranean (Barcelona as it revived), i.e., where the waged labor social relation prevailed, was not dynamic and was not ascendant until well into the eighteenth century. In fact, through centuries of "reconquest” and thereafter, the assault on Moors and Spanish Jewry, the counterattack against Protestant Reformation, and the offensive against the Enlightenment that first emanated from France, in each of these cases spearheaded by first the Jesuit then Dominican Inquisition, the Spanish Church and Crown, purveyor of bodily torture and depth- psychological emotional abuse, was the main rampart against the insinuation of capitalist methods into productive activity in Europe. Since the Church and the royal Castilian entourage around Spanish kingship were intertwined and inseparable, we can state that in speaking about the former we are simultaneously speaking about the latter, so that in noting Protestant reform was inextricably bound up with the emergence of commercial and urban artisan classes, urban and secular developments, and somewhat later the growth and expansion of capitalist social relations particularly in agriculture, the Roman Church, the Inquisition, and the Jesuits in Spain spearheaded counterrevolutionary efforts to reverse the nascent formation of bourgeois society in Europe, we are referring to the entire phalanx of personages, institutions and social relations brought together by Castilian kingship. Existing and existentially dependent upon the same circuits of capital's formal movement, of course Castilian efforts were contradictory The accusation of heresy thrust at Galileo was itself determined by this entire constellation of events and conditions: Aligned with the French whose foreign policy was effectively in the hands of Richelieu, as soon as Swedish forces under Gustavus Adolphus swept down over central Europe (entering the Thirty Years War in late winter 1631) the Barberini pontificate (Urban VIII) was forced to abandon the intellectual liberality of its early years (1620s) and aggressively undertake a pro-Spanish policy, at any rate demanded by the Jesuit faction within the Curia, and pursue a correspondingly vicious, intransigent persecutory campaign against heretics so-called and unorthodox innovators (among whom stood Galileo), a

in large part by waves of plague that made urban social life impossible, and with the institutional structures that sustained Catalan commerce rendered ineffectual by Castilian overlordship, the Catalan trading empire that had been built up over centuries and that had commercially mediated the wool trade in the western Mediterranean and in western Europe had virtually disappeared by 1500. 1 In the South (Andalusia) and the east (Valencia), latifundia agriculture based on serf tenancy had existed since the thirteenth century. In the North (Galicia, Navarre, Basque country, as well as Asturias), small peasant freeholds were predominant, in Catalonia and Aragon, a type of sharecropping tenancy had existed for centuries. But sheepherding does not entail tilling the soil, planting and harvesting; it is not agriculture, and the great Castilian lords were utterly contemptuous of the latter.

campaign decided on the narrowest of ideologically rigid criteria (especially with regard to the doctrine of the Eucharist and transubstantiation)… 1 Still, even prior to and then against Castilian overlordship and sporadic occupation, incipiently, the movement of capital slowly penetrated production itself (i.e., not just in formal ways in commerce as in banking with its double entry booking and bills of exchange, or distribution as in the creation of markets for the sale of commodities) in its various forms beginning late in the historical period of the initial consolidation of state centralism over the carcass of republican institutions (1380-1485) on the Italian Peninsula. 2 First, there were the Lana merchant manufacturers who by now firmly established themselves in production as a permanent fixture in, e.g., the Florentine landscape. Second, there was the

sottiposti, waged laboring proletariat in the woolen industries of central Italy, the other side of the same social relation that engaged the Lana bourgeoisie. Third, in the central Italian countryside and in the North, serfdom had been abolished as early as the end of the thirteenth century (1292). In Tuscany relations of sharecropping tenancy (mezzadria) prevailed, while in Lombardy (known here as messaria) the same relations could be found, along with simply farm leasing and rural waged labor even, as a shift to domestic home production along more formally capitalist lines was already underway. (In fact, objects of that shift, pauperized tenants provided labor for these rural, domestic “proto-industries”). 3 While appearing as a type of petty commodity production formed through the activity of small olive oil and wine producers, and mulberry tree growers and cultivators after 1300 (the leaves of mulberry trees provided a domestic source of food for silkworms, for silkworm breeding and on this basis for production of silk yarn), sharecroppers were impoverished, indebted, and the prices they received for their produce were not determined by them with a view to market conditions but by the landlords (with a view to the market and the various ways they could further extract surpluses, most often a matter of fixing their accounting books) from whom they rented their tiny plots: These peasants so-called were not independent commodity producers, but a rural proletariat disguised as sharecropping tenants who, to be sure, had bourgeois aspirations. 4 The entire countryside of central Italy rested on this basis, on landless laborers who did work for wages taken together with the vine tenantcy, while in Lombardy peasants were dispossessed and worked as domestic laborers “putting out” cloth products under the auspices of a hierarchy of merchants starting from the villages, through the small towns to the great city (Milan). 5 The situation was similar in Genoa, and with Venice and its countryside (though not as well developed), as that in Lombardy. 6 Productive activity contracted all over again a second time during a good part, especially the early decades, of the chronological sixteenth century as a consequence of wars, of marching,

woolen production nearly collapsed and, here, as

encamping and marauding armies

elsewhere, gave way (but only in part) to silk manufacture. 7 And it did once more after 1585, beginning with poor crops and famine that lasted until the end of the century. Within Galileo’s

1 Pietro Redondi, Galileo, Heretic, 228-230. 2 For the periodization, see the First Interlude, “Chronology and History,” below. 3 For Lombardy in this regard, Angelo Moioli, “De-Industrialization in Lombardy,” 100. 4 For this entire situation a far more detailed and nuanced analysis is offered in The History of Florence, “The Contado (Countryside), Tenancy and the Mezzadria.[Editor's note.] 5 If it can be shown that the development of the “putting out” or domestic system of production in rural Lombardy in the sixteenth century did not arise “spontaneously” or “naturally” in the specifically social sense, but instead was a development spurred on consciously, as the consequence of deliberate intent of merchant who effectively reorganized production by geographically changing its spatial locus, the concept of the “formal domination of labor over capital” must be modified and the periodizing relation between formal and real domination will require further revision. It is not at all clear that this can be shown, as evidenced by, e.g., the research program formulated in Moioli, “Ibid,” passim. See the First Interlude in its entirety, below. 6 Braudel, Ibid, Vol. 1, 430-432.

lifetime, in his mature years, new waves of plague reappeared in both northern and southern Italy, and in Tuscany (1630-1631). Large cities such as Genoa, Milan, and Naples in the south, lost as much as half their populations, with loses of a quarter of the populations in Florence and its contado. 1 The Thirty Years War (1618-1648), which again involved Spain (in

fighting in the German-Austrian principalities, against France and Sweden), drained off still further financial resources above and beyond the tributes extracted to support an army of occupation in the Netherlands; and, in the east, war between the Ottomans and the Iranians from 1623–1639 disrupted export markets important to the Peninsula’s great cities, especially


The crisis became open as the locus of formal capitalist

development, having already shifted from the Mediterranean to the London-Bruges-Ghent nexus, began to shift once more from the here toward the Atlantic (i.e., Antwerp-London- Virginia) in the second decade of the seventeenth century, and did not reach a nadir until the midpoint of this inner historical period of that development (circa 1640-1650). The Spanish presence, of course, encouraged and reinforced a massive retrenchment, in particular the final destruction (which was well underway tendentially from the beginning of the chronological fifteenth century in cities no less than Florence) of Republican institutions, the power of the Ottimati, the oligarchies of great families based in merchant, banking and manufacturing, in favor of a deepening centralization along the lines of kingly government… Now state centralism surely is not a product of capitalist development, or is such in only one of its (the most accentuated of its) forms. In certain tributary formations, in ancient China for example, centralism appears as a nascent bureaucratization and is borne by a class of landlords-become-intellectuals, a scholar-gentry. In modern France with aristocratic power and kingly governance that held on as Castile collapsed, in the time of the first convocation of the Estates General onward, a significant statification developed and with it a centralized bureaucracy. Something very similar could be said about the Ottomans throughout the entire period currently under consideration. Yet in each of these cases and others, state centralism is called forth by the requirements of ruling an empire, whether landed and contiguous or overseas or both. The distinctive contribution of capitalism to state centralism concerns structure and policy (practices). The former is not at issue for us. We shall relegate it to a footnote. 2 Policy is

a major role in this building crisis

As we have indicated above, famine itself grounded in a cooling climate also played

7 That “elsewhere” on the Italian Peninsula included Venice, Genoa, Lucca, and “throughout Europe.” Salvatore Ciriacono, “Mass Consumption Goods and Luxury Goods,” 46. The first period of contraction which was determinant for the structure and trajectory of the entire continental economy referred to here was, of course, the period following the outbreak of Black Death (1348) with its large-scale destruction of existing human population densities. See the First Interlude, “Formal Domination (Lineaments), II:

Contraction and Depression in the Era of the Black Death” (two sections), below. 1 Braudel, Ibid, Vol. 1, 332. 2 In the centralisms mentioned above, the state is indistinguishable from the persons and entourages of the ruler. Even where the ruler's armed force consists in an army, his nascent bureaucracy in priests or tax collectors, this armed force and these minions, though employed in enforcing domination over the rest of the community, are not institutionally separable from the ruler but instead form his personal entourage or his household. The modern state of capital is unique in its institutional and separate character, its appearance as a "public" force clothed in a sham objectivity that sets it apart from and over and against individuals, classes and society. (Its alien otherness masks its reality as a complex network of hardened social relations governed by the class teleology of the bourgeoisie and actually borne by individuals, themselves bourgeois, whose daily activities reproduce it as such.) While any modern, bourgeois state may come in the short run to be identified with a specific historical personage, what distinguishes it from states that appear in other past epochs is a seeming efficacy, permanence and reality that render it at once objectively independent in relation to society and independent of any specific ruler. It is only in this context that bureaucracy can appear “rational,” and that it develops in the form of seemingly endlessly proliferating agencies, bureaus, departments, etc., that are pyramidically unified by the institutional Executive. This kind of state only begins to appear in history in the wake of the first bourgeois revolutions, in England and in France. See Community and Capital, §162.

(practices are) different. Four significant practices were pursued by modern states that were central to early capitalist development. They were mercantilist trade policies, infrastructural development, measures to protect domestic industries, and elimination of internal customs and trade barriers. Mercantilist trade policies are best exemplified by the English Navigation Acts (1651, 1663, 1673), legislative enactments aimed at securing for English merchants and the English state the benefits of the commercial activities of English colonies in the Americas and the West

Indies by limiting Dutch trade with them. 1 Infrastructural development such as construction of roads, canals and bridges, and docks and ports were generally undertaken by the state because its resources, i.e., tax revenues, give it access to money capital in a way which no single producer or aggregate of merchants' firms could marshal. These revenues permitted it, and it alone, to create the material premises without which development would not have occurred. (This assessment is valid today as it was four hundred years ago). The elimination of internal customs and trade barriers such as tolls encountered in passing from one region to

another form the basis for development of an internal domestic national market

which, to be sure, over the course of time eliminated

the less efficient and strengthened (by expanding their reach) the more efficient producers. This measure was usually complemented by protectionist measures, designed to prevent non- national producers from making too great an ingress into domestic markets at the expense of domestic producers. Protectionist measures had a direct bearing on the situation on the Italian Peninsula. To the extent that commodity circulation was not simply based on captive markets and “burdened” with extensive regulation (say, by guilds), and production was not solely for luxury goods, merchants, traders and manufacturers brought pressure to bear on the personage of the sovereign to break down barriers to trade such as customs, imposts, product requirements, etc. (while demanding protections for their own products be set up), 2 and effectively created a certain uniformity within the space(s) in which capital moved. This pressure itself emanated, we are tempted to say as a “reflex,” from competition among and between competing capitalists. Central Italian Lana manufacturers in the late fifteenth and the first half of the same sixteenth century were under enormous pressure from similar producers in Bruges and London. (In fact, this competition destroyed them.) While this is a much later development though it was tacit at the moment at which Galileo lived, the state then and later was required to legislatively and by fiat (diktat) establish a uniform market, one which in historical time expanded from nations to encompass the world… In all this (i.e., the Castilian presence, marginally centralized kingly government developing over the carcass of Republican institutions heralding the seeming “re-feudalization” of the chronological sixteenth century), mercantile capitalist northern and central Italy was the other side of a dynamism of capitalist development of the same, broadly speaking, cloth manufacture in the Low Countries (while it is also clear that plague, smallpox and famine all played a role in this re-feudalization so called, which, at any rate, was limited to the Papal States and the Neapolitan regions, for in the Tuscan center, on the northern Lombard plain and the inland reaches of northeastern Venetian mainland, a quasi-industrial development based on formal domination following on a shift of production from the great cities to a smaller towns and the countryside occurred steadily after the 1630-1631 plague); 3 and the explosive development of capitalist farming in rural England and effectively proletarianized artisan cloth

nation in the very process of formation

a bourgeois

1 See the Preface to Civil War and Revolution in America, the section entitled “A Note on the Politically Determined Basis of Monopolistic Control the English Navigation Laws.” 2 Ciriacono, “Ibid,” 46-47, 48-49. 3 Moioli, “De-Industrialization in Lombardy,” 88-89, 89-90, 99, 100, 101, 102; Giuseppe Felloni, “Structural Changes in Urban Industry in Italy,” 156-157, 159, 160.

production (woolens) which, based on the domestic or putting out system, provided London merchants with a large competitive advantage over craft guild and artisan workshops of the Italian cities that resisted technological and organizational change, i.e., further control over (though not intrusion into) production by the great merchants: Facing stiff price competition from England and the slow emergence of a transAtlantic triangular trade (London, the Virginia planter colony and coastal west Africa), woolen production once at the heart of the great urban enclaves of the Italian Peninsula nearly disappeared (over time effectively replaced by silk manufacture which, aimed at traditional higher end markets, did quite well), banking continued to contract, as the great burghers often retreated to the country estates, and pursued investment in landed property and in cash crops such as olive oil and wine. As a specific form of capitalist competition and development, we shall tentatively periodize the forgoing in terms of the era of capital’s formal domination over labor, that is, in terms of the predominance of the merchant in production, a social figure who, directly as a landlord (taking surpluses in kind) or through the mediation of money, siphons off surpluses in exploiting labor and does so without either reorganizing those productive activities or generating new technical inputs to them, which in the event in both cases dramatically increase the productivity of labor (at this moment measured in terms of output). Appearing, as we have suggested, as a “re- feudalization,” 1 and as such contradictory, this development’s most forceful outward form was at a specific level of the polity, in the ascendancy of great lords over duchies, over once free

1 This was not feudalism. Feudal social relations had their geographical heartland in western Europe from the Loire to the Rhine in the period


They were characterized by a subject peasantry; widespread use of service tenement (i.e., the fief) instead of wages;

supremacy of a social class of specialized warriors; ties of obedience and protection binding men to men, and, which, within the warrior class, assumed a distinctive form called vassalage; and fragmentation of authority leading to disorder.

In the West, feudalism was a historical product of a violent dissolution of older social formations based on kingship

(e.g., Merovingian Gaul). It was a form of social order which was neither centrally held together by kinship nor state

centralism, but in the absence of these, by ties of personal dependence. (This is not to say, feudal societies are without a state, often great lords and the territories they hold are statelets in themselves. What it does mean is where

a state is present, it cannot consistently and regularly enforce its “prerogatives,” especially revenue extraction. The

“feudal state” is limited to the royal household with, at very best, a highly limited civil administration. It is largely

ceremonial.) These ties constituted the core social relation, one which was in principle personal, binding men to men unconnected with possession of the soil or place of abode. This much said in the West, as elsewhere, feudalism was

a rural phenomenon. Feudal social relations bound an oligarchy of warriors (and a caste of priests) to a subject

peasantry, an exploitative bond which gave the former rights to land revenues and, inextricably, politico-juridical authority, and the latter protection and defense. We can distinguish two other major forms of sociation in the vast social formation that engulfed most of western Europe, beginning around 800 in the common era. Taken together with the above delineated feudal form and the region it shaped, these two other forms of social organization that appeared and developed within the social formation

in western Europe from about 1000 down to 1750 were petty commodity production found in urban enclaves usually

along the geographical edges of this social formation and sedentary-pastoral activity which could be found in certain spaces within its interior. The former developed largely in the Mediterranean in lands stretching west from north central Italy to Catalonia, and, of course, included the central Italian zone south to the Papal States. In the petty commodity producing zone, social organization consisted in groups of individual producers living and working in communities, whether rural or urban. These groups, their activity and this region was the point of departure for the development both in space and time of capital's formal domination over labor in production. These individual producers held private property in land or in mobile property. Production was aimed at exchange on a market and only secondarily for the producers' own consumption. Long distance trade was, it should be noted, a necessary condition for and an activity engaged in by social groups constitutive of this form of social organization, and thus, its significance for Venice, Florence, Genoa and Catalan Barcelona. Characteristically class divided societies, petty commodity forms were dominated by merchants, who controlled other urban and rural classes (i.e., artisan, shopkeeper, and their dependents on the one side, and noble feudatories, sharecropping peasants and increasing a landless rural proletariat on the other) through oligarchically structured domination of political and economical forms of organized social life. [For a more complete statement of, and in certain respects a corrective to, this position, see the revised First Interlude, “Formal Domination, II (Lineaments)” in its entirety, below. Editor's note.]

cities and their territories ruled by urban patriciates rising from great families based on banking, trade and woolen production. If these duchies had many of the trappings of the old order, royal courts and close alliances with the Church, at the same time it was among the underlords to these dukes (such as Cosimo I de’ Medici in Florence), in their own shifts toward exploitation of rural tenant and waged labor, that the foundations of a backward capitalism was laid, especially in agriculture. It was in this world that Galileo moved.

Galileo, II Let’s follow Galileo’s maturation and his intellectual development. Galileo was eight years old when Vincenzo and his family returned to Florence in 1572. However, he remained behind in Pisa and lived for two years with Muzio Tedaldi, related to his mother by marriage. When he reached the age of ten, Galileo left Pisa to join his family in Florence. His family had the financial wherewithal, and Galileo was privately tutored by Jacopo Borghini. Thereafter Vincenzo continued the young Galileo’s education at the Camaldolese Monastery at Vallombrosa thirty-two kilometers southeast of Florence. Pause here and examine the Camaldoli, for they neatly incarnated the contradictions that Galileo lived without fully understanding, that characterized the world to which he was born, and in which he lived and acted. Camaldolese were in the loose informal sense an outgrowth of the Benedictine practices established by one St. Romuald at the beginning of the eleventh century. For a century or more the Camaldoli had practiced the strict discipline of monastic monk life, strengthened by a solitary comportment that approached that of the hermitic ascetics of the early Church. At the same time, they also had developed a rigid internal social hierarchy, which would play a major role in the properties they acquired largely through gifts of beneficence (as a trustee of these possessions) and as the power of the great Guidi nobles was broken, as the quasi-feudal magnati of the Tuscan countryside were beaten down in confrontations with the militias of the great burghers of Florence in the twelfth and thirteen centuries.[ 1 ] Taking hold of vast property in land, the Camaldoli poured themselves into this void formed by the historical departure of the Guidi nobles, becoming great landlords. By 1115, the Camaldoli exerted control over three hermitages, twenty-five monasteries, and a Florentine nunnery. By 1250, the order could account to its name over 300 monks and administrators. Before 1550, the Camaldoli of central Italy had seventeen monasteries, four nunneries and priors tending to “congregations” in Murano in the Venetian Republic, in Turin and at San Silvestro on Monte Soracte near Rome. The land the Camaldoli held did not lie fallow, but was organized into small farms often as tenancies, on which grain and wine were planted, tended and harvested. Where land was not organizable agriculturally trees were felled and wood entered general commerce, and once

1 Fully ninety percent of The Critique of Science was researched and written (its structure and organization developed only in that writing) in a frenzied sixteen month period of activity. Will should have known better, he should have gone back and checked his sources. This would have included his own work:

“Guidi” is a misnomer. The reference is to Ghibellines, an aristocracy indigenous to Florence, not its hinterland. Ghibelline designated a pro-imperialist party that supported the kingship (Holy Roman Emperor) of the German statelets and principalities. Ghibellines were locked in a life and death struggle with the Parte Guelfa, supporter of the French monarchy and after 1250 the popular party of Florence. Magnati was not a reference to “great men,” but a term of legal and political proscription. The political party of Guelfists overlapped with the social group of the popolo grasso. The latter mobilized the towns people, small merchants and artisans, through their guild organizations against these old, noble Florentine families, largely landholders but a few of whom also engaged in popolo pursuits such as banking. At issue in particular was their violence (rape, injury and murder, destruction of property) based on the pursuit of vengeance. Through forty years of struggle and mobilization, the initial institutions (Council of the People, Captaincy, Priorite) of the Commune were created. It was in banning the Ghibelline nobles from participation in these institutions that the legal category, magnati, was created. See “Guelphs, Ghibellines and Guilds” in the first thematic discussion of The History of Florence. [Editor's note.]

forests now pasture land for herding sheep and raising cattle (also extensive Camaldolese activities by the fourteen century) was created: Among those previously mentioned administrators a good deal were lay, for the Camaldoli employed a host of merchant middlemen (factors) to buy and sell those agricultural and livestock products. The Camaldoli were one of the many “venues” through which capitalist social relations took hold in agriculture on the Italian Peninsula, as, ironically, all the while the Church fought against the penetration and development of those relations. Now all this was but a whisper to Galileo, who, though, manifestly was aware of the manner in which this contradiction played out: For among these monks, this secular appetite created internal social conflict that was expressed in periodic outburst, struggles over the direction of the Camaldoli, whether toward engagement in cenobitic, i.e., monastic and communal, institutions (effectively engaged in agriculture) or as eremitic, i.e., hermetic, ascetic and impoverished individual activity oriented to Godly transcendence and independent of secular and ecclesiastical power. And Galileo effectively took a position on this issue, without being politically alive to meaning of Camaldoli activity in terms of Church response… itself contradictory since it opposed the social and cultural forms to which the very activity of its institutions was giving rise… to the novel social relations in production, emerging class configurations, the new doctrines that had begun to appear in natural philosophy and, most of all, the apostate doctrines… not those emanating from the various heretical sects, the Church had successfully dealt with them for over two hundred years… that were taking institutional shape in various Protestant denominations: Galileo found life among the Camaldolese appealing. He intended to join the Order, becoming a novice. Vincenzo, relating to the experience of the Galilei family history (one of his ancestors had been a distinguished physician in fifteenth century Florence) and recognizing the income and security of a medical practice, had long desired that his eldest should become a medical doctor. He pulled Galileo out of the monastery, continued his schooling in Florence (among Camaldolese monks as a concession to his son, but where he could keep an eye on his development), waited until he was of the right age, sent him back to Pisa to live with Tedaldi and enrolled him at the University of Pisa in study devoted to medicine. This was 1581. Galileo had no interest in his medical studies, but he was fascinated by mathematics and natural philosophy, and it was in these studies that he attended lectures and courses… At eighteen years, Galileo’s life had reached a decisive turning point. Well educated with a consuming interest in mathematics as it related to natural philosophy, quite brilliant, a strong preference for isolation indicating both self-discipline and willfulness, and hampered by politically flawed judgment (one that would haunt Galileo throughout his life, though, as we shall suggest, narrow Jesuit-like intrigue and guile was something he did assimilate), he was prepared to make commitments that would govern the rest of his life… At Pisa, Galileo appeared most frequently in the courses of Filippo Fantoni, who held the university’s chair in mathematics… Fantoni was a Camaldolese monk, the courses were by school statute heavy on Euclid and Ptolemy largely designed for medical student instruction, 1 but actually oriented to occultist mathematics in the sixteenth century sense (cosmography and astronomy as the non-discursive, non-demonstrative study of the esoteric qualities of number as they reveal the really real)… In the course year 1582-1583, he attended lectures of Ostilio Ricci, mathematician to the Tuscan Court and, of real import, a former pupil of Tartaglia. (The course was on Euclid’s Elements.)… Niccoló Tartaglia had translated, then published in Latin previously unknown works of Archimedes, as well as prepared an Italian

1 Charles B. Schmitt, “Filippo Fantoni, Galileo’s Predecessor as Mathematics Professor at Pisa” in Studies in Renaissance Philosophy and Science, X, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59.

version with commentary of an Archimedean work on hydrostatics… 1 In the summer months, Galileo returned to Florence and continued his mathematical studies. In that third summer while still enrolled at Pisa, Galileo invited Ricci to visit his family with the intent… Ricci was in full agreement… of convincing his father to relent in his insistence on medical studies. Vincenzo did not abandon his hopes, but permitted the open pursuit of mathematics (Archimedes in particular) in the Galilei home during summer months. In 1585, Galileo abandoned medical studies altogether, left the University of Pisa, and left without completing degree work… Now Ricci is more important than we might at first glance suspect. His sole work, or at least the one work that has survived is housed in the Italian National Library and bears the title Problemi di Geometria Pratica: L’uso dell’Archimetro (Problems of Practical Geometry: The Uses of Archimedes). His importance lies in reinforcing for Galileo the doctrines of Archimedes, which, at any rate, Galileo very much assimilated during this period of his life. We shall return to this in connection with his father, Vincenzo… 2 Galileo began to privately tutor in mathematics in Florence, and was publicly appointed to teach in Siena in 1585-1586. In summer 1586, he taught at Vallombrosa, and in the same year wrote his first work that brought together his mathematical studies in relation to natural philosophy: La Balancitta, The Little Balance, was a largely descriptive account of Archimedes' method of discovering the relative densities, or specific “gravities,” of bodies employing a balance. In 1587, he made a journey to Rome to visit Christopher Clavius, a priest, astronomer and professor of mathematics at the Jesuit Collegio Romano. Now centers of gravity was a subject much discussed by Jesuit mathematicians at this juncture, and Galileo, fully aware, brought along notes he had made with a view to findings in his study of Archimedes' method in the use of the balance. Clavius was, needless to say, impressed. Galileo was developing a reputation as a very gifted, sound mathematician in central Italy. (With regard to that reputation, for example, dating from this same year, he has left us a correspondence with both Clavius and Guidobaldo del Monte. Guidobaldo was an older contemporary and a genuine intellectual educated without degree at Padua, with interests and writings in astronomy, mechanics, and mathematics a la Archimedes.) In the following year (1588) he received an invitation, because of the institution quite impressive, to lecture on the dimensions and location of hell in Dante's Inferno at the Academy in Florence. And here he was impressive. In 1589, he was nominally appointed as Fantoni’s successor at the University of Pisa. (The appointment essentially provided Galileo an income.) He held this post for three years, during which he wrote Du Moto (1590). But in 1591 Vincenzo died, and Galileo, as eldest son obligated to support his mother and siblings (entailing, additionally, provision for dowries for his two younger sisters), was compelled to find more financially rewarding work. His now quite excellent reputation and his correspondents (Guidobaldo dal Monte in particular) made it possible for him to take a far more lucrative position with the University of Padua which he assumed in late 1592. Galileo was to spend eighteen years there. 3

1 Stillman Drake, “Introduction” to Galileo’s Discourses on Bodies in Water, x. 2 See this Study, this section, below. 3 If his Letter to the Grand Duchess (Christiana of Lorraine) in 1616 put his lack of political acuity on display (the Letter was highly polemical, attacking Peripatetics… contemporary Aristotelians… and revealed his previously privately held commitment to Copernicanism, not just as a mathematical calculation designed to assist locating the position of heavenly bodies but as an ontological account of the relation of these planets, moons and the sun to a cosmologically de-centered Earth, hence offering the Church an opportunity to compel a leading bourgeois and scientific intellectual to recant, initiating the lengthy period of suspicion and investigation that culminated in his infamous trial), the occasion of his departure in 1610 (whereupon he took up duties as “chief” mathematician at Pisa, i.e., he had not teaching responsibilities, and the post of “Mathematician and Philosopher” to the Tuscan Grand Duke) exhibited his a Jesuitical guile:

Let’s pause here and reflectively ascertain where we are at. Galileo’s family, formation and experience provided him with two unshakable insights that make sense of all that experience. Galileo had lived in Pisa, Florence, Vallombrosa, Florence, Pisa, Pisa and Florence, Padua, and Florence with frequent journeys during the course of a lifetime to Rome and Venice. For him, first, there is little sense of place, no home to which one can return. 1 Did he transpose this? Was the affective sense formulated in experience merely cognitively transposed into the perspective in which the world (cosmos, universe) is without center? Hardly. But, if this sense that rendered his personal experience intelligible did not form the horizon in which all understanding transpired, it nonetheless predisposed him toward suspicion regarding claims about naturalness in the world, it provided him with a direction, it, in other words, alerted him that something parading as natural may be far from “complete” or “perfect” in the cognitive sense, i.e., the theoretical doctrine in which this naturalness arose may not have the coherency that is generally attributed to it. Second, reality is not as it seems. His experience among the Camaldoli told Galileo this much. Yet all his training also told him that with right key, reality is intelligible, and all his experience told him that it is not as it is immediately observed, witnessed and appears to be. The key was mathematical. Vincenzo may himself nourished this insight: In his treatment of dissonance, he developed a nonlinear mathematical description of musical form that rooted in Pythagorean tradition went beyond it. As Galileo was later to tell us in a famous passage from his The Assayer (1613): “Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering in a dark labyrinth” 2 … If one does not recognize in Galileo a bourgeois, it is because the features that are generally held to characterize this social type are derived from a sociology of the era of the real domination of capital over labor, the compulsive accumulation of savings immortalized in Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, for him personified in the figure of Benjamin Franklin. As social types (i.e., as idealizations that abstractly relate a form of

Palao Sarpi, friend, correspondent and state theologian of the Venetian Republic, wrote him in April 1609 to describe to him the construction of a telescope, a “spyglass,” in the Flemish Netherlands. As a mathematician with real craft skills, Galileo himself began to construct telescopes, a number of them, with the aim of enhancing their optical functioning. This he did, improving magnification from about 4 times to over thirty times on his own account (The Starry Messenger, 29). Opportunistic Galileo. He at once grasped the military and commercial utility of the telescope (called a perspicillum) for seafaring ships. He kept Sarpi updated, and the latter made arrangements for a show in front of the Venetian Senate. Machinating Galileo. The Senate was, what shall we say, if not amazed or astonished, very, very impressed. He was offered a large salary increase in return for sole rights to fabricate the telescope. Sly Galileo. Having already (1607) publicly completed action against one Baldassar Capra for plagiarizing his compass, three years later he engaged in a virtually identical action (identical to Capra): He seized on the opportunity presented by Sarpi, failing to mention that the telescope was not his invention, that any patent he provided was meaningless. (His salary was frozen when the Senate discovered it had been hoodwinked. Galileo resigned and took up the posts in Tuscany.) Galileo was a bourgeois opportunist, vain and proud and arrogant, who most important political judgments were typically, if not rash, based on a misapprehension of constellation of forces in play (because the weight of his entire formation, isolation, intellectualism, subjective certainty… rendered him incapable of situating himself contextually). 1 We'll only note in passing that this interpretation departs from the conventional interpretation for which Galileo pined to return to the land of Tuscany. (See, e.g., Drake's introductory remarks to “Letters on Sunspots” in Discovering and Opinions of Galileo, 69.) 2 The Assayer (1623), 237-238.

personality to the broadest determinants of the social totality), we can ask whether, today, we recognize in the endlessly indulged, narcissistic personality engaged in profligate behaviors of all sorts a bourgeois? If this social type appears as such now, in the era of the totalizing domination of capital over society, it is arguable that Galileo was a bourgeois as this social type first appeared in the early history of capitalism, as it slowly formed inside the Mediterranean social formations during the epoch of the formal domination of capital over labor. We can, for now, forgo such the schematization, and with it a tentative and perhaps reductionist formulation. What sense, then, does it make to suggest that Galileo was a bourgeois, and his thought articulated some of the most important contours of a world vision that appeared only with the development of capitalism, and that, more importantly, mediated the understanding of the world in order that his class may act effectively in and on it? First, there is the issue of this vision itself. Retrospectively it is clear that Galileo did formulate some of the central concepts… including its basic law, that of falling bodies… of the modern science of nature. And, while this presupposes our entire theorization, the lineaments of which have been laid out in the Introduction above, it is precisely science understood in terms of the vision of the world that underlay it and which it confirms, that unifies the various outstanding forms of the existence of the bourgeoisie as a class in history. Second, Galileo was nothing like his father. He was sly, scheming, opportunist and practiced guile. To boot, there was no place to which he desired to return. Galileo was in certain real sense rootless (though, if unfairly compared with the nineteenth and twentieth century situations of intellectuals, this reality withers), an intellectual (and cosmopolitan before the term had become fashionable) in the strictly modern sense, or, a bourgeois. He did not know and understand the meaning of (he surely did not live and experience those institutional realities that such an understanding was formed within) civic patriotism and republican loyalty, since these features that had characterized Florentine social life for three centuries and were the loadstars of Florentine intellectuals had long since simply disappeared. 1 (In this respect, Galileo felt existentially comfortable in a politically despotic situation, within which he, asserting his superior merits… which itself speaks to bourgeois illusions about individual worth… could curry favor and might be recognized as such.) Third, there was Galileo himself. Stubbornly determined and willful. In what familial form in history, clannish, extended, nuclear, etc., does one for the first time in that history find a son who can successfully counterpose his will and project to his family, especially weak or strong patriarchally formed families? It was only in the bourgeois family where this reality first appeared. 2 Fourth, there was again Galileo himself, i.e., his practice. In 1597, he invented what he called a “geometric and military compass,” not a directional compass as we might understand but an instrument on the order of a sector. (A sector is a mathematical instrument made basically of a couple rulers attached one to the other at one end by a joint and scored with several scales.) Galileo had enough demand… it was significantly improved version of an instrument in general use by military officers and engineers… to employ a craftsman to make the compasses to meet this demand and for future sale. 3 In the previously mentioned 1610 letter to the Florentine secretary of state, Vinta, he spoke of having “manufactured thousands.” 4 In the same letter, he mentions the demand for his highly improved telescope, which, it is not

1 Here one thinks of Leonardo Bruni and his De Militia (1422), the paradigmatic document of the civil humanist tradition. See C.C. Bailey, War and Society in Renaissance Florence, and 360f where a critical edition of the Latin original of the De Militia is provided. 2 See the Introduction to The English Civil Wars and the Birth of Freedom . 3 See Drake’s remarks, Opinions and Discovered of Galileo, 16. 4 Ibid, 64.

unreasonably assumed, he was also having produced. In both cases, the relation between the craftsman he employed and himself was defined by a wage, making Galileo not just a bourgeois but a (merchant) capitalist. Fifth, there was, once more, Galileo himself. For the sake of momentary monetary advantage, who but a bourgeois and an incorrigible individualist would attempt a transparent swindle aimed at Venetian Republic, the one polity that had a history of protecting its citizens against the Inquisition, and thereby abandon that republic (the greatest mistake of his life) and place his fate in the hands of a despot (i.e., a political figure lacking all institutional restraints on his behavior, without any politically justified commitment to free inquiry), he, his entire entourage and the intellectual-literary community of Florence subject to the buffeting winds originating in Rome, at the time in which he, Galileo, was publicly elaborating a heretical theorization, one that took direct aim at the philosophical underpinnings of Church sanctioned dogma? Sixth, there is one other feature of Galileo’s personal development, and because of it, there is something absent in him cognitively. Whether or not we hold that one can do something like a detached history of ideas, an intellectual history in which and for which “the West” is an object of study, perhaps even a mystifyingly substantial entity, Galileo did engage a tradition of thought that is philosophical and includes the study of nature understood as natural philosophy as one of its central aspects. In the tradition as it was revived during the long era in which the petty commodity producing, urban enclaves of the feudal social formation together with other less definable forms of sociation that covered Europe beginning eight hundred years ago, especially during the initial period (1370-1485) of state centralization (congruent with and effectively arising from the development of the first woolen manufacturers, bankers and trades) and the following era largely defined by the rise of Castile (1469-1590) in opposition to this very development in which this revival was consciously carried out, philosophical thought began and ended by posing questions and answers about the form of community in which the good life is achieved. In this tradition its achievement is communal and political (in the ancient Greek sense). Nowhere, we believe, will we find such queries in Galileo: For him, the good life is a strictly private affair. In this sense, he is undeniably a bourgeois. Why is it important to establish that Galileo was a bourgeois, both socially and in terms of objective subjectivity (i.e., outwardly, in terms of his behavior)? The answer has already been given above: 1 There we argued the concept of the bourgeoisie is unitary (i.e. goes beyond and is not determined by provincial, regional and new national boundaries in the process of formation), does not base itself on ideal typification, but refers to the most enlightened individuals, and to the social groups in which they were situated (which, in Galileo’s case, we shall below specify in terms of a socially determinate “audience” he addressed in his writing in the vernacular) and which provided men like Galileo with reality and their identities (as the organic intelligentsia of the bourgeoisie as a class), and who, themselves bourgeois, were at once creators and bearers of the modern science of nature. The connection between the bourgeoisie and science, as we also noted, does not just transpire at the level of social class, for it is the opposition to the old order that in part defines these men, and the historical significance of this science itself… as the world-visional infrastructure historically unifying this class itself… that is of transcendent import.

1 See the Introduction, “Formation of the Social Basis of an Organic Intelligentsia of the Bourgeoisie.”

Part III Galileo and Aristotle The relation of thought, theories, forms of knowledge (here science) and visions of the world to that world (other thought, theories and forms of knowledge inclusive of common sense; built environment and humanly transformed natural landscapes; earthly nature in which the foregoing are directly embedded; and nature in the encompassing sense, as a totality, the universe) cannot be determined from a division of labor that merely duplicates capital’s

development in thought, to one side, “the purely mathematical and logical aspects” 1 and, to the other, “the sociological aspects,” so that “the mechanistic concept of the world” starts from “the mechanical principles and concepts which” derive “the explanation of physics and the universe from the analysis of machines.” 2 This manner of understanding the relation of ideational constructs to the world is a development within capitalism (and like Mannheim’s Ideology and Utopia, a sociology of knowledge) in the most thoroughgoing sense (i.e., it

affirms capitalism)

altogether fails to understand how socio-historical reality, and on this basis, a vision of world, is formed. 3 An analysis of the “mechanistic concept of the world” does not start an analysis of the relation of Galileo’s On Mechanics to his study of simple machines (aimed at understanding the general uses and principles governing deployment of such devices), 4 any more than it does from Clausius’ study of steam engines (giving rise to the second law of thermodynamics) two and a half centuries later. It begins from the immediate appearance of the real itself, from the genesis, formation and development of an economy, i.e., a seemingly autonomous regulator of social life (a mystified and reifyingly apprehended sphere of community as society which appears) 5 as an objectified mechanistic structure into whose division of labor individuals are ostensibly inserted like cogs in a machine. Before it becomes possible to anticipatory reproduce in thought the tendentially developing intelligible structure of the world, hidden to us and thus mystifyingly resting on and arising from transformation of one of its aspects (largely in production at the heart of daily activity), it is necessary for that structure, and accordingly, reality itself to begin to undergo change, for novel aspects that are projectively captured and fixed in thought to appear… There were four developments within Galileo’s lifeworld that made the objective appearance of homogenous space possible. All of these developments will occur within a retrospectively reconstructed phase in the movement of capital within the societies of Europe in which a confrontation between counterrevolutionary Castile and a rising merchant and nascent mercantile bourgeoisie basing itself on formal domination of capital in production unfolded. 6 Consider, then, these developments: First, there was the oceangoing exploration of foreign lands and the situating within those lands of locales and places that were marked for special exploitation (of resources such as timber and gold, of peoples). This required detailed mapmaking and geometric (Euclidean) projection provided the most advanced technique in this regard. Second, there was the movement of large armies in the field and in occupation with their attendant logistical and communications problems. Again, a geometrical projection of spaces, space and built environment to be traversed, assaulted or occupied as the case

may have been was, for field commanders at least, a desideratum and among those forces

and it

not to mention as a species of a reflection theory it is incoherent

1 Henryk Grossmann, “Descartes and the Social Origins of the Mechanistic Concept of the World,” 157. “Ibid.” 3 For elaboration, see the Fourth Study, Part III, “Theory of Truth” and the sources cited therein, below. 4 On Mechanics, 147-150. (Published in Paris in 1634, this work had long circulated in manuscript form, perhaps from as early as 1600.) The machines Galileo examined are the lever, balance, windlass, capstan, pulley and screw. 5 Community and Capital, §90-§96. 6 See the discussion of formal domination, “Chronology and History,” in the First Interlude, below.


and commanders that prized military efficiency, alacrity and offensive operations it was a necessity. Third, there was the development of siege warfare, the reduction of fortified cities and the use of cannon and projectiles to breakdown walls, ramparts, and ignite other structures. Here, questions of the accuracy of moving projectiles become paramount, and by treating the air at ground level (i.e., what we would today call the lower atmosphere) as homogeneous space and cannon balls, small boulders, ignited substances, etc., purely as bodies in motion, a mechanics based on geometrization of space would be superior. Fourth, the creation in production of a world of commodities, including raw materials (e.g., wools, silk, building materials) as commodities for production of more commodities as finished goods, and beyond this, their mediation by money (as in buying and selling) as transpired daily in local marketplaces and other venues of consumption, and, especially, the movement of price as it was followed in banking, trade and manufacturer actually generates the objective appearance of homogeneous space in which, in particular, money and commodities move. Any theorization that attempted to systematically treat the objects of nature (and those of society and humanity simply assumed to be natural) which appeared in this lifeworld and which itself was assumed to be natural would start from a conception of homogeneous space. 1 To the extent such a theorization took an account of bodies in motion… not just projectiles, and probably not all with an explicit view to the movement of price… as its main objective, and the analysis of projectile motion was the weakest element in Aristotelian physics, the obvious point of attack for anyone aiming at a thoroughgoing critique, it, this mechanics, would necessarily attempt a mathematization (geometrization) of nature starting from a treatment of bodies solely in their quantifiable, measurable aspect.

Galileo and Aristotle, I The Question of Projectile Motion and Natural Place Under the forgoing conditions, the world in its immediacy may or may not appear eminently, but is arguably immanently and mediately (i.e., is in its intelligibility), mathematical. For Galileo, this was not only likely, it was hard to imagine how it might have been otherwise… He needed only to demonstrate it… The evidence is, in our view, conclusive: His intellectual training from an early age, his early fascination with mathematics (including his studies of Euclid and Archimedes directed by Ricci) 2 and his dogged pursuit of mathematical study as the center around which all his other studies revolved, and, then, his relation to his father, discussions he had and work he did with Vincenzo, all point in this direction and only this direction. Elaboration of the last point (Galileo’s relation with his father) may assist in rendering this claim patent and manifest. Stillman Drake, a leading twentieth century, English language authority on Galileo and one of his biographers, has argued that stemming from his father’s practice Galileo's musical knowledge may have helped him design experiments. Drake suggests that while Vincenzo performed these experiments in 1588, Galileo, living at home, was present and likely helped in the experiment. 3 While It might be noted that Galileo’s account on Archimedes’ use of a balance to arrive at relative densities already involved experimental reproduction of this

1 Lest it be forgotten, dating “time” in years, months and days from the birth of Christ, and “telling time” in terms of hours and minutes (without regard to whether one employs the Julian or Gregorian calendar), already actually and in fact reconstructs reality and the experience of reality on the basis of an empty, linear temporality, which is the counterpart to homogenous space. 2 We should be careful here. Orsilio Ricci, it appears, may have explicitly thought mathematics was not a distinctive body of knowledge, but a specific, albeit highly developed mediation of problems that emerge in engineering and mechanics. Galileo, we shall argue, not only saw mathematics as distinctive, not only as a unique key that discloses for us the structure of the real, which is otherwise sensibly inaccessible, but he assimilated the one to the other, in the language of mechanics, mathematical objects to real bodies and vice versa. 3 “The Role of Music in Galileo's Experiments," 98-104.

activity, and this was undertaken two years earlier, what is really significant here (Drake does

not say or appear to realize this) is the following: Any relation to his father of this sort over the course of his youth, effectively pointed Galileo the way toward not just toward experimentation but to its manner, i.e., it exhibits for us the guiding ideational mediation (mathematically Archimedean) of Galileo’s studies, and (his and) their whole trajectory after from the time he enrolled in the University of Pisa forward. Reality in its intelligibility is mathematical. This was Galileo’s fundamental insight. But demonstrating it, against Aristotle showing that the immanent logic describing nature is essential mathematical, was not so easy. For, like all his contemporaries, Galileo thought in received categories, conceptually apprehended nature in terms that were basically Aristotelian… Let us, then, take the following proposition (and in this we are in complete accord with Koyré) 1 that as a physicist, Galileo's orientation from the outset was toward mathematizing nature, that is, he struggled to create a language to theoretically formulate what he merely understood so that it could be known as such. In advance of any specific experiments, reflections or lawful formulations Galileo undertook or achieved, he tenaciously held onto this objective. Beginning with his first systematic effort (De Motu) dating from 1590 to the end of his scientific life (Two New Sciences published in 1638) he pursued the

elaboration of this basic insight, call it his Grundprojekt

all else, as tenaciously and fundamentally anti-Aristotelian. Pursuing this aim, in De Motu (On Motion) Galileo sought to elucidate, systematize and crystallize the traditional, largely well-established arguments of an impetus physics, which essentially is a mechanics of projectiles: For recall, as we have already noted, the account of projectile motion is the most vulnerable point in Aristotelian natural philosophy. Aristotle’s understanding of motion was not restricted to bodies, whose motion is, for him, a type or kind of motion, which is generally determined as the fulfillment of what is potential as potential or insofar as it exists potentially. 2 (Thus, the heating of a cold body is also a type of motion, a passage from cold to hot.) It is, in other words, a movement from potentiality to actuality. But to the extent we are concerned with bodies, motion is the change of place of natural bodies, that is, of the sensuous or perceptually presented real forms of daily life. For Aristotle, that a heavy stone, were it, for example, to be held at head height and released, falls to the ground is a case of natural motion. Such motion is natural (as opposed to "violent" motion that would force it from its downward course) because it is “heavy” (as opposed, e.g., to fire which is “light”). 3 As heavy, it moves downward toward the Earth, and that is its "nature." The stone, an element in a structured, Earth centered and ordered world (cosmos)… this account at once presupposed and demonstrated a broader cosmology, and this is important because Galileo will conceive motion only as local motion and criticize Aristotle on that basis… like every other being or object in the cosmos, tends toward that place where it belongs. The cosmos is a well-articulated and highly structured world, one where all objects have their natural place according to their kind, that is, a place where each properly belongs. Thus, bodies are neither indifferent to whether they are here, there or there, nor are they quantitatively assimilable one to another. Such, we might say, is the form necessity takes in an Aristotelian cosmology. In our example the stone, having "found" its place, comes to rest, its

natural state wherein it is fully itself, complete and, hence, perfect… Such theoretical conservatism, perhaps intellectually satisfying to those who have achieved mastery of others

but only as Copernican and, above

1 Koyré’s formulation is wrong… he says Galileo strove to mathematize physics (and not nature), but his (Koyré’s) intent is the same. See Galileo Studies, 28, 37, 38, 67-68, 74. 2 Physics, iii, 1, 201a10, 201b5. 3 De Caelo, iii, 2, 301a21ff. This is a qualitative, not a quantitative, determination, i.e., Aristotle is not speaking about weight in our sense.

(great householders owning slaves) in the world where social relations of mastery and domination have the appearance of naturalness, might though be incongruous and less than fully intelligible and in this sense less or other than natural where little appears stable, that is, in the rapidly changing landscape of the urban centers of the early modern world (and it alone would not suit a revolutionary temperament, as, we shall suggest, was Galileo’s). For us, certainly it grates on our common sense; but, then, at its origins modern science, which has become a thoroughly theoretically mediated determining moment of our common sense (scientific inputs form decisive moments in actual production of material forms, forms which constitute the everyday sensible data of our experience), was also counterintuitive even for demographically thin, bourgeois strata engaged immediately in commodity production and its financial mediations… Now, as we have already suggested, Aristotle distinguished between natural and unnatural, constrained or violent motions, 1 the projectile being a paradigmatic instance of the latter. This is problematic for Aristotle. Natural motion has its cause within itself, and is antecedent, but violent or constrained motion has its cause outside of itself and really (as opposed to logically) succeeds (Aristotle says it is posterior to) 2 that which is by nature. Thus, there can be no constrained motion without prior natural motion. 3 Moreover, for him, there can be no motion without contact. 4 So, in the case of the stone that is thrown, what causes its motion once it has left my hand, i.e., once it is absent contact? The cause of the motion is in the medium, the air, through which the projectile, e.g., the stone once it has left my hand, moves. The air pushes the projectile along with a movement that is faster than that of the natural locomotion of the projectile. 5 This medium or, rather, its motion is not conceived unitarily but as a consecutive series of motions each of which pushes the next along, which at a certain point becomes less, and ceases when one motion in the series, or one of the different parts of the air that are moved one upon the other, no longer causes the next to move. Air, like water, is naturally adapting and suffering motion in this manner Galileo’s central criticism regards the relations between the mover, projectile and medium. It amounts to a counter claim, namely, the mover imparting motion to the projectile cannot be in contact with it, if the surrounding medium moves it. He proceeds by making two types of arguments. The first is instantiation. Galileo cites examples that run in direction opposite to Aristotle’s position regarding projectile motion. The second is argumentation in the strict sense: He suggests flaws in Aristotle’s reasoning. 7 He poses several questions. He asks how can a medium be elicited to explain, in what way is it causative, of the continuing motion of a spinning top or a wheel or object, say a sphere set atop and rotating on an axis? 8 He asks about lengthy bodies (i.e., those that are neither spherical nor irregularly shaped), such as an arrow, whose motion traverses great distances even as the arrow moves through a resistant medium, the air, when fired into a headwind. 9 He queries how it is that of two objects of the same size, one heavier than the other (say, made of lead) and fired from a cannon, the heavier one might be shot farther. 10 Now, in point of fact, all


1 Ibid, 301b18ff; Physics, iv, 8, 215a1. 2 Ibid, 215a4. 3 Ibid, 215a5. 4 “We can defined motion as the fulfillment of the movable qua movable, the cause of the attribute being contact with what can move.” Ibid, iii, 2, 202a7. Emphasis in original. 5 Ibid, iv, 8, 215a15ff. 6 Ibid, viii, 10, 267a3ff, 267b14. 7 On Motion, 76, 78. 8 Ibid, 75. 9 Ibid, 77. 10 Ibid, 77-78.

the criticisms implied in these questions do raise problems for an Aristotelian account of the

motion of projectiles, but they are not criticisms of Aristotle… who did little more than state a position… but of elaborations of his position largely by ancient, Arab, Scholastic and Peripatetic commentators and philosophers, and, it should be added, that these elaborations were often based on Church doctrine that explicitly contravened Aristotle’s Physics… 1 It is already possible here to glimpse the struggle that would break out into the open three decades later in the battle between the “two chief world systems” of the “ancients” and the “moderns,” i.e., between theoretical expressions of the forms of organizing social life, between

the bourgeoisie and the phalanx of feudal lord, Church and clergy

mediations are crucial moments in the organization of differing forms of social life. Thus they, the former, are not reducible to the latter, i.e., they comprehend, explain and orient our

For, in nuce, at that moment this struggle is best theoretically

formulated in terms of the question, “Is real being identical with mathematical being?” and is, methodologically posed in terms of an account of motion, especially of that of a projectile… Galileo pushed forward. If the air moves a projectile by a series of consecutive motions, what prevents this effect from recurring indefinitely? (Why, we might ask, must one of this series at a certain point become less?) Why might each displacement give rise to another indefinitely? Galileo suggests there might even been acceleration. 2 Without reason, this cannot granted because it contradicts the Aristotelian characterization of all (sublunary) motion as limited and finite. 3 Summarily, Aristotle has merely displaced the problem from the mover that upon contact causes motion, and here we are talking about the constrained or violent motion of projectiles, to the medium, the air, which tacitly assumes the latter itself is “possessed” (our term) of a virtus motiva impressa, a virtue (quality) that impresses motion. 4 Why does this medium, air, have a special status? If we are going to presume an impressible quality, why not dispense with the complex, convoluted account and opt for simple one, i.e., the mover itself imparts to or impresses on the quality of motion on the moved? 5 This straightaway led to Galileo’s effort to refine an impetus physics. Initially and tepidly explored in the fourteenth century by Parisian nominalists (Jean Buridan, Nicole Oresme and especially Albert of Saxony) 6 in response to Church pronouncements on what is and what is not orthodox doctrine. These responses were forgotten, then resurrected and systematized in the latter half of the sixteenth century (in an effort to grapple with the implications for understanding of reality of new military technologies as they, by way of the armies bearing them, massively intruded into daily life). The characteristic features of this doctrine can be stated briefly. Whether set in motion naturally or unnaturally (violently), every heavy body is moved by an impression that is “stamped” (our term), i.e., “impressed,” upon it and thus is adjoined to the

practice in social life

These conceptual

1 Duhem, Medieval Cosmology (369), writes, “In 1277, Etienne Tempier, bishop of Paris, condemned the following two errors… The First Cause cannot make more than one world… God cannot move the heavens in a straight line, the reason being that He would then leave a void…. Everything that Aristotle’s Physics asserted about infinity, place, and time shattered when it was confronted by the power of the condemnations of Paris.” 2 On Motion, 76-77. 3 Physics, vi, 7. 4 On Motion, 78. 5 Koyré, Ibid, 55 n. 101, states this objection is “unfair,” since “air is a medium which is especially liable to motion.” In fact, Aristotle does say that “air or water [are]… naturally adapted for imparting and undergoing motion” (Physics, viii, 10, 267a5, emphasis added), but this is mere assertion, it has a fiat character, in strictly logical terms it is ad hoc or a requirement of his theorization, it is not justified, i.e., it is neither an inference that the discussion at this point compels nor does Aristotle even offer an instantiation that would render it intuitively obvious. Aristotle simply asserts it, the “nature” of air is to be so “adapted.” It is, of course, precisely “natures,” i.e., the qualitative determination of motion, that Galileo is struggling against which, still operative in On Motion, will lead to his failure to successful mathematize nature on the basis of his impetus physics. 6 Emile Meyerson, Identity and Difference, 117.

moving body, and, even if disjoined or separated from the moving body, will permit it to move by itself for some time. That which sets the moving body in motion is the impetus. This motive force, if you will (i.e., disavowing the latter, technical scientific concept of force, especially as it appears in Newton, in favor of the intended, qualitative and, quite frankly, indeterminate conception that characterized this partial break with Aristotle), is not a medium in the explicitly Aristotelian sense such as water or air. It also is not a quality characteristic of the moving body itself (i.e., prior to being set in motion), though we might say that, in impressing it, the impetus penetrates or impregnates (our tacit sexual connotation is deliberate) as a result of its initial contact with the moving body. This is the basic conception, and there are many variations on it once its relation to specific problems of projectile motion are drawn out. Koyré suggests that it is a “condensation of our experiences of élan… and muscular effort” and as a coherent explanation of these experiences (he cites the example of getting a running start in order to make a jump), as such formed the “experimental basis of medieval dynamics” 1 … The example is, though, misleading to this extent: Galileo still considers unnatural motion within an Aristotelian framework of up and down, that is, as privileged directions (though there is no goal at which they aim, i.e., a natural place)… We would point out that it is only “medieval” if one draws a line between what came before and after Galileo (duly noting his predecessors, Copernicus, Bruno, Tycho Brahe, and his older contemporary Kepler), and only if one refuses to recognize the internal, intimate tissue that bind daily life, and especially its social and historical structure and organization (for it is hear that the line is first drawn), and Geist. But not to quibble. Rather, we shall merely state how it afforded those who theorized it (how it afforded Galileo) the opportunity of solving the problem of the Aristotelian account of projectile motion, and to suggest the limitations of this theorization, again for Galileo. The basic difficulty lay in indicating how the moving body continues its motion after it is no longer in contact, particularly in the case of unnatural or violent motion, with that which set it in motion and imparts to it its impetus. Beyond stating the position of impetus physics, this is largely done exemplarily while the specific instance Galileo invokes is the sound of a ringing bell. 2 What are the limitations to this theorization? And how did Galileo recognize them? First, but retrospectively (i.e., for us, but not immediately for Galileo), Galileo’s impetus physics will not give us the law of inertia, because, for him, the impetus is consumed in the motion of the moved body, which means the body will slow down, eventually coming to a stop, 3 which, in turn, means that endless motion is not possible. (Recall, the law of inertia states that a “body in whatever state it is in, rest or motion, will continue in that state indefinitely if nothing mediates that state, if nothing interferes with it or intervenes to change it.”) 4 In other words, the impetus is consumed in the motion that is imparted to the moving body. Galileo eventually abandoned this view (i.e., he forsook the impetus physics from which it followed), but, as we said, he did not immediately recognize this. What was more important is that Galileo denied that there could be acceleration of a moving body. This is internally consistent. It is a necessary consequence of the consumption of the

1 Koyré, Ibid, 22. Emphasis added. 2 On Motion, 79-80. 3 Ibid, 84. We could split hairs here (it was done frequently) by saying the moving body would slow down indefinitely. In this early work of Galileo, this was not his position. 4 This is our formulation, though retrospectively we can recognize this is one of Galileo’s fundamental contributions, for it is no less than Newton’s first law of motion. Later (in 1612), In Galileo's own words, he will state a body “will maintain itself in that state in which it has once been placed; that is, if placed in a state of rest, it will conserve that; and if placed in movement toward the west (for example), it will maintain itself in that movement.” Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 113.

impetus imparted to a moving body as having been moved. Put in motion, a body’s movement, i.e., its fall, is due to its weight. (Already note here that unlike Aristotle, weight is not heaviness, i.e., not qualitative, or to state the matter more precisely, heaviness and lightness as qualities have now acquired a further relational if not entirely quantitative sense). Its weight does not change; just the opposite, it is constant. A constant weight will only produce a constant speed; hence, there is no acceleration. 1 Accordingly, speed is relative to weight. Two bodies of the same weight will fall at the same speed, a heavier one will fall faster and a lighter one slower. This, though, is not acceleration. 2 Unlike in Aristotle, heaviness (or lightness) is not an absolute, fixed quality, but is relational. A piece of wood that falls when dropped from a window of a building rises when submerged in water. That is, it is not (yet) weight in the sense we think of it, but weight (heaviness or lightness) relative to its medium and the circumstances of motion. Thus, specifying the circumstance, if a body is heavy in the medium it is in, it will fall. Otherwise, it will rise. The speed with which it rises or falls is measured by the difference between the body’s own (specific) weight and weight of the volume it displaces in the medium in which it is in. 3 So that if it is heavier (quantitatively), it goes down, if lighter it goes up. This Galileo understood as a correction of Aristotle. Now, there are two features or consequences of this doctrine. First, the strictly qualitative determination of qualities of a moving body as they appear in Aristotle has been replaced by a quantitative, relational one which permits, in principle, their mathematical treatment. Second, it leads straightaway, contra Aristotle, to the assertion of the void: Bodies will move at proper speeds, i.e., speeds determined solely by their (true or absolute in the Aristotelian sense) weights in a vacuum. 4 This means not only that motion in a vacuum is logically possible (eventually opening the door to the law of inertia and, more importantly, that of falling bodies), but we can conceive, again in principle, of a body moving in isolation from the rest of being, i.e., without reference to the cosmos in the Aristotelian sense. It is the implications of these insights which, in our view, demonstrated to Galileo the limitations of his theorization, brought to awareness at least in principle the conflict between it and what he aimed at, the project of mathematizing nature, permitting him to see in the very qualitative concept of impetus (definitionally vague but modeled nonetheless on the Aristotelian concept of form) its own weakness and shortcoming. Here we can glimpse the tendential direction of Galileo’s thought, the position he was being driven toward: In his early years at Padua, he would come to realize that the full implications of the position he had developed in his impetus physics. In his opposition to Aristotle, he would be compelled to overthrow Peripatetic natural philosophy at its foundations. 5 He would see and understand nature geometrically (and to this extent mathematically, but not arithmetically, in terms of figures rather than numbers or magnitude) and conceive the universe, no longer a cosmos, as unbounded without center… unlike those who following Aristotle grounded natural philosophy starting from the world as an orderly structure whole, treated moving bodies as teleologically impelled to their natural place, seeking validations on

1 Ibid,100-101. 2 Galileo was, in fact, compelled to deal with the experiential fact of acceleration. While already suggesting his theorization is constructed mathematically (concerns ideal shapes in geometrical space and not real bodies in the space that is perceptually given to us as a relational context in which those bodies move), this explanation is convoluted: It involves a retreat to the Aristotelian concepts of heaviness and lightness impressed on the moving body and their interaction during its motion. See, Ibid, 88-89, 93-94. We shall not pursue this further in the text above. 3 Ibid, 38-39. 4 Ibid, 43-46, esp. 44-45. 5 We should be clear on this: Galileo’s evaluation of Aristotle was quite distinct from that of Aristotle’s contemporary followers. In a rather crude, very modern characterization they might be called “ideologues” of the Church, sycophants of Power. For Galileo's view, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (second day), 110-111.

the basis of perceptually confirmable experiments and observations… in order to resolve the issue in his favor by proving the motion of falling bodies is subject to laws governed by geometric conventions, unlike Aristotle and his followers who on different assumptions knew motion could not be understood in this manner. Reality (nature) in its intelligibility is mathematical. This is what Galileo wanted to demonstrate but couldn’t as long as he operated with the qualitative concept of impetus, for impetus physics remained "pre-Galilean" or pre-modern, that is, determined from concepts of Aristotle’s physics. De Motu was abandoned and never finished. By the time Galileo left Padua (1610), he could fully account for the motion of bodies in a “quantitative” manner (i.e., as quantitative qualities). Attached to the Tuscan Court as, if you will, official mathematician and philosopher, in 1611 he was drawn into an open dispute with a Florentine archivist, an Aristotelian philosopher named Lodovico delle Colombe, over the causation of the rise and fall (sinking) of bodies in water. Instead of settling the dispute dialogically and in person, Galileo left us a written account of his position. (He, upon rebuke by the grand duke, Cosimo, for what might degenerate into pedantic display, claimed a calm, reasoned written presentation would avoid a heated discussion in which digressions, misunderstandings, and “ostentations” were the more likely outcome). 1 In this account Galileo clearly exhibited the insight and understanding he had achieved. Colombe had asserted that cold acts on a substance by condensing it, citing ice as an

experiential instance (that is, ice is condensed water). Galileo stated, to the contrary, that cold rarefies, reasoning that condensation diminished mass (understood by Galileo as volume, and not as it is understood in modern physics, as a quantity of matter as it appears in Newton’s second law of motion) and increases gravity (also understood quite differently, merely as “heaviness,” as weight), while rarefication renders a substance lighter and augments its mass.

In freezing, water would increase its volume (mass) and at the same time would be lighter

than that water. Hence, it would float. 2 Now what was interesting were the responses of each party (as Galileo relates it) at the time the original dispute opened: Colombe stated the ice floated not because it was lighter, but

because of its shape, which as large and flat would not penetrate the water due to the latter’s resistance. Galileo responded that shape, here flatness and great breath, was irrelevant, and that as proof pushing the ice down and submerging it would result in the piece of ice bobbing up and returning to the surface. Thus, the floatation or submersion of bodies is a consequence

of lesser or greater gravity (weight) in relation to water. 3

It is clear that Colombe, a Peripatetic philosopher, understood the relations that are constituted between a body and the water on which it sits (or in which it is submersed) qualitatively, that all explanations of causation are in terms of shape, form; while Galileo, perhaps recognizing quantity is itself a quality, understood that causation quantitatively in terms of a relation of relative weights, i.e., in a manner in which the determination (causation) can be set forth numerically, can be measured, one substance, a body in water, either floating or sinking, because it weighs more or less than the other, the water itself. But Galileo went further. In the days that followed this discussion, it was, according to Galileo, muted (experiments

were also made) whether various forms (which he also identifies as “figures,” i.e.,

geometrically) did not alter their velocity according to their shape, as “broad and thin” and thus sinking far more slowing into water than shapes that are compact (to the point that in principle

a shape might be so flattened that its downward motion in water might altogether cease).

1 Discourse on Bodies in Water, 2-3. 2 Ibid, 3. 3 Ibid, 4.

Galileo denied this was possible. 1 Having related this all in a preliminary, contextualizing fashion, he went further (stating his real point of departure) by offering in his Discourse an axiomatic systematization of principles on the basis of which the motion (floating or sinking) of

bodies in water is thought in terms of relational quantities, principles or axioms (or “definitions” as one utilizes in geometry) from which all the relations of bodies to water can be deduced and are in principle susceptible to measurement. 2 The relation of a body to a medium may or may not be the same for different mediums, i.e., water and air. There is similarity in that both mediums present resistance to motion; 3 however, there is also one difference: An account in terms of specific and absolute gravities will not give and, for the motion of bodies in water, cannot give us the law of inertia: Even in the logical, limit case, one does not speak of a vacuum when speaking of water. (Galileo never arrived at

a universal law of gravitation, for, unlike Newton, he did not have a concept of gravity, of attraction at a distance). The entire discussion of the Discourse on Bodies in Water is

determined by the dispute with Colombe as evidenced by far the longest section of the work, 4

in which Galileo attempted his demonstration of the proposition (the shape of body, shape

itself, cannot causally determine its sinking or floating) that crystallized his opposition to Colombe in the first place. We shall come back to inertia, but here and now we must stay with the peculiar nature of the kind of knowledge that Galileo’s thought and activity devolved on, namely, science in the entirely modern sense itself.


the same time, while recognizing that Galileo first established the modern sense of science,


is also necessary to note in what way his differed from the manner in which the modern

science of nature developed: For Galileo, the experiment(s) that might yield measured results and that would function as a test of theorems or hypotheses derived (deduced) from his definitions (and thus at a remove might validate those definitions or axioms themselves), are, unlike the modern science of nature as it develops after him, altogether secondary or, stated more adequately, the experiment because it moves in the element of the sensuous and thereby constitutes for us perceptual evidence confirms for him what he already knew, what he had arrived at cognitively, and in this agreement (between the “senses” and the “intellect,”

1 Ibid. Whether his denial was made in the original discussion or only in recounting it is not clear from the text. 2 The definitions are really quite simple and include (1) equal specific gravity (grave in specie) which is achieved in a relation where two different (wax and wood) bodies are equal in mass (volume) and in gravity (weight); (2) equal absolute gravity (equal grave in absolute gravity) which is achieved where two different bodies (lead and wood) are of equal gravity (weight) and different in mass (volume), the wood having more mass; (3) greater specific gravity (more grave in specie) which is achieved where two different bodies (lead and tin) are equal in volume (mass) and different in gravity (weight), lead weighing more; (4) greater absolute gravity (more grave absolutely) which is achieved where two different bodies (wood and lead) are different in gravity (weight) without regard to mass (volume); (5) movement is defined as the virtue (using the Aristotelian term), force or efficacy with which the mover moves and the moved resists. Ibid, 5-6. From these determinations, Galileo deduced basic ”axioms” such as weights that are absolutely equal, and that are moved with equal velocity, are of equal force and moment in their operation; the moment or force of weight is increased by velocity of a moving object (the two axioms of which come very close to a statement of Newton’s second law, that of constant acceleration); weights that are absolutely unequal, alternately, counterpose and become of equal moment as their weights (in contrary proportion) “answer” to the velocity of their motions (meaning the amount that one body weighs less than the other determines the speed, faster, that it moves than the other). On this basis, Galileo then advanced to his discussion of which bodies descend, submerge, in water tending to the bottom and those that float. Ibid, 6-8. The fundamental theorization, as we would say, establishes the framework in which the discussion of the phenomena, now quantitatively determined, can be at all undertaken. 3 Water more than air, but only in the context of the relation of the gravities (weights) of bodies to that of the medium (its density or rarity), Ibid, 67. 4 Ibid, 26-45. By and large, Galileo does not even speak of bodies in this text. Rather, he used the geometrical term, shapes, which already suggest his mode of demonstration that we shall come to in the section that follows.

as he says) 1 completes the demonstration, i.e., renders it sufficient and fully reasonable. Let’s see if we can draw this out more fully.

Galileo and Aristotle, II The Peripatetics (Aristotelians), “Method” and the New Science Named Professor of Mathematics in 1592, for the next eighteen years Galileo taught and conducted his research at the University of Padua. He published little: In 1606, he brought out his first book on a compass he invented; he engaged in lengthy correspondences with, among others, del Monte, Clavius, Kepler and Sarpi (who introduced him to the telescope and to whom, during 1609-1610, he adequately formulated the law of inertia); in spring 1610 just prior to his resignation at Padua, he published the Starry Messenger in which he cataloged the phenomena he had witnessed through his vastly improved telescope. What Galileo appeared to pursue most aggressively during this period of his life was an agenda of experimentation, not in our sense but in the sense of his new science. He began experiments on magnetism in 1602 (which he would again take up anew in 1626); by 1604, his research has given him a(n) (inadequately formulated) law of falling bodies (the law of constant acceleration, Newton’s second law); in 1606, ongoing work culminated in invention of his compass; in summer 1609, his efforts to redesign the telescope produced an astronomically adequate instrument both with commercial and military value he was quick to exploit and, of overriding import, the ability to engage in a thorough demonstration, that is, science as he understood it; finally, bringing this period to close, his experiments and reflections on bodies that float upon water beget a publication of similar title in 1612. 2 What is important at this lengthy moment in Galileo’s development, as we are suggesting, was not the research, experimentation or reflections taken separately, but the manner in which they formed for him a unitary practice. While he did not engage in a discussion oriented exclusively to methodology in the modern sense, in that very sense his science was methodologically determinist. Thus, he expressly spoke of the centrality of “grounds, procedures, and demonstrations” for understanding “the Copernican doctrine,” 3 and the “positive assurances” that “experiments, long observation, and rigorous demonstration” provide in validating astronomical “propositions.” 4 For, it was here at this moment and it was Galileo who for the first time, first, produced the relations among theory, hypothesis, experiment and fact characterizing the modern science of nature; second, consciously produced the complex of these relations, thus generating its form, which has been reproduced endlessly by scientists (with obvious modification as to “testing”) as a methodologically distinctive orientation to phenomena; and, third, laid out the meaning and significance of each of these terms (theory, hypothesis, etc.) within the whole of this relation. This is Galileo’s achievement, for all of these prevail in and essentially characterize the modern science of nature in contrast to Peripatetic (Aristotelian) natural philosophy and, beyond it, other culturally generalized forms of knowledge as they have appeared throughout human history… We must draw out this achievement, explicatively examine and rehearse it, since Galileo

1 Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 143. 2 He would formulate the law of falling bodies in his final work, Discourses and Demonstrations, thusly, “a heavy body has an inherent tendency to move with a constantly and uniformly accelerated motion…” The English translation of this work is mistitled Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences. For the citation, Ibid, 74

A “corollary,” if you will, of this “law,” is, “in a medium totally devoid of resistance all bodies would fall with the same

speed” (Ibid, 72, which, curiously, having been arrived experientially and observationally, was “highly probable”: It was


this Galileo “concluded" after observing the variations of the speed of bodies, specifically metals as they descend


arise in quicksilver and this in comparison to the same metals as they fall when dropped in normal atmosphere.)

The “law” finds geometrically demonstrated, “precise” mathematical treatment in Ibid, 174, 215.

3 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 195. 4 Ibid, 197.

himself… this is not unusual in a revolutionary thinker… may not have been fully conscious of precisely what he had accomplished… 1 The complex of these relations as we have characterized it can be extracted from remarks and accounts of the published works of this period (Starry Messenger, Letters on Sunspots, Discourse on Bodies in Water) on which we have already made a start, but it should also be noted that to exhibit these relations, their unity and their significance, i.e., the complex we call science, will, because Galileo did not systematically discuss them until his late in his life, compel us to reach forward to that later period in order to document his position. 2 Note, first, the centrality of the construction of the instrument. Galileo offers a lucid, detailed explanation of how he produced his telescope (inclusive of accounts of the manner of determining magnification and measuring distances between stars). 3 In part, the explanation may or may not be motivated by a legitimate pride in his achievement, but that is beside the point, for what Galileo intends in his meticulous description is to make its construction plain so that anyone can in principle produce a telescope, as a condition of reproducing his observational results. So what is really at issue here for him in this account is a characteristic feature of his science, namely, the public accessibility of his method of work 4 (say, in contrast to esoteric scriptural interpretation among prelates operating behind closed doors as the foundations of Church dogma). The parenthetical remark is not an afterthought. Publicly accessible results, because they can be reproduced by anyone utilizing the same instruments and same procedures, are of the essence of Galileo’s new science, a science he explicitly counterposed to the mindless regurgitation of Aristotle, the commentators and pronouncements of the Church Fathers: “…there would be good reason to reject this,” namely, “prevailing opinion,” for “in the sciences the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man.” 5 …Manifest on every page, the Starry Messenger was a genuinely revolutionary work (Galileo knew it), and had to have been an extraordinarily exciting text for those to whom it was directed, a coalescing scientific intelligentsia of the bourgeoisie. (Thus, addressed to the individuals relationally constituting this social layer, it was written in Latin.) 6 Taking a newly

1 See Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, 6, where Salviati, one of the interlocutors who conducts the discussion, states in reference to the “Academician” (i.e., Galileo) that “according to his custom [he]… demonstrated everything by geometrical methods so that one might fairly call this a new science.” This is a self-misunderstanding of the extent and development of method in Galileo. 2 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) and Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences (Discourses and Demonstrations, smuggled out of Italy and published in Leiden, 1638). 3 Starry Messenger, 29-31. 4 This is clear throughout the three texts in question, but a particularly good formulation can be found (though not expressed in our terms) in the Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 136. 5 Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 134. “As to the mere authority of ancient and modern philosophers and mathematicians, I say that has no power at all to establish a knowledge of any physical proposition.” Ibid, 132. These “modern” gentlemen were Peripatetics. In a letter written with the explicit intend of mollifying opinion within the Holy See, they constituted a stand-in for Church theologians, rabidly, scripturally literalist preachers and the practitioners who ran the Inquisitional Terror. 6 “Serious scientific and intellectual work of international importance was written in Latin, for this was the language understood by the scientific community.” Charles Schmitt, “A Fresh Look at Mechanics in 16 th Century Italy” in Studies in Renaissance Philosophy and Science, 167. Galileo noted he had made his observations for a period of two months (Starry Messenger, 31, 51). Why this period? Why not much longer (like the astronomical observations of Tycho Brahe)? Thirty days determines the complete cycle of all phases of the moon’s “movement”… Earth's moon, not the Medicean (Jupiter’s) moons, was decisive for Galileo’s project, since it established, even without saying so, a de-centered Earth… The first month (cycle) permits Galileo to make all his observations, the second to check, compare and confirm them. Two months, then, was the minimally requisite time he needed to complete this task. As we said, the work was self-consciously revolutionary, thus the Latin, the rush to get it into print, to put it in the hands of others like himself.

invented instrument, he qualitatively improved it and then did what no one else had ever done, put it at the very center of that demonstration (which in its most rigorous form, he considers mathematical, i.e. geometrical)) bringing his theorization, observations, their description and his conclusions together in a unity whole. While what he saw may to us appear quite transparent, after all, the telescope qua instrument gives us phenomena straightforwardly, i.e., everyone can see the objects that appear through its lenses (well, not everyone, there were those contemporaries of Galileo who questioned whether the telescope itself did not produces illusions), this is not so. 1 Later on, once the instrument becomes more complex, i.e., becomes a grouping of instruments housed in the same setting or a laboratory in contemporary sense, which as a social development already presupposes systematization of scientific and technical inputs into production, and situations are experimentally produced (largely in laboratories) that do not occur in nature, the decisive character of instrumental mediation can be fully seen for what it is, and the significant of experiment in science, in mediating relations between science and technology, can be revealed. (But by that time, this mediation is difficult to apprehend for different reasons: The material forms generated as scientific inputs to production become systematic and continuous mask the role of the instrumental mediation precisely because those forms have become taken-for-granted elements, components and aspects of the construction of our daily lifeworld.) Again, the phenomena present are not given straightforwardly. Instead, they are constructed (in contemporary science particularly) on the basis of the experiment: The signification they achieve begins from a projection of a mathematical world-in-itself, an assemblage of bodies in motion calculable in advance; or, in very contemporary rendition, theory (as an aggregate totality of postulates or axioms, mathematical in form, at least in one tradition of science and the dominant one today) for the first time appeared in the distinctively scientific sense, that is, in the form of an axiomatic systematization. 2 (Even in production and alignment of Galileo’s telescope, especially in the measurement of distances between stars, there is already presupposed a mathematical appropriation of the world, a certain level of competency in utilizing geometrical concepts.) And this deployment of the instrument… as consciously constitutive of the knowledge achieved… is different, and novel, for even among those Aristotelian philosophers and astronomers who themselves made telescopic observations (the most famous case being that of the Jesuit Orazio Grassi), this new insight and understanding did not enter into and shape the underlying theory (which, in Grassi’s case, as with all defenders of the old order both in thought and social practice, remained basically unchanged, and) which at best compelled the addition of adjunct hypotheses to the original theory. But let Galileo speak for himself… So, second, in his account of the surface of the Earth’s moon he stated, “…the boundary that divides the dark part from the light does not extend uniformly in an oval line as would happen on a perfectly spherical solid”; 3 “into the luminous part extended a great dark gulf… [into]

1 Sensuous perception is not simply given with humanity. As Marx once said (perhaps in the 1844 Manuscripts), the senses themselves are socio-historical products: Seeing is always learned, manifested in different forms, a cultural achievement. [Thus, as Will noted elsewhere, a New Guinea people, the Abelam, had extreme difficulty in “seeing,” i.e., immediately apprehending the image that is reproduced in, photographs. If shown a picture of a person who has been captured in a rigidly straight ahead position, an Abelalm can see the image. But if the person is captured in action, or for that matter, not looking right at the camera, the Abelam is at a loss at to what is viewed. See the lengthy footnoted discussion in Why the Study of Human Origins is Necessary and Why it is Essential to an Emancipatory Project, Part VI, “Expanded Concept of Consciousness” appearing in Origins and Endings. Editor.] Should we surprised that among Galileo's contemporaries the Peripatetics were unable to see what he saw? 2 As in, e.g., Karl Popper and the contemporary philosophy of science. See the Fourth Study, Part II, “Science as Method,” below. 3 Starry Messenger, 32. Emphases added.

which a bright peak began to emerge, a little below its center… Gradually growing, this presented itself in a triangular shape”; 1 in comparison, “on earth the summits of several mountains close together appear to be situated in one plane if the spectator is a long way off and is placed at an equal elevation,” while on the moon, “regarding these from a great distance, [mountains lie] nearly in the plane of their summits” and “appear as arranged in a regular and unbroken line.” 2 In all these excerpts Galileo viewed the moon in its different phases in and around dawn and dusk as the sun rises or sets on it. Thus, the play of light and shadows (present in all his observations, but recognizable only in the first two of these excerpts) reveal mountains, ridges, craters, etc., i.e., reveal, much like Earth, an irregular, rugged and uneven surface. We shall return to the astronomical significance of this shortly, but here we stress the mathematical projection that underlay Galileo’s account. (In point of fact, an attentive reading of the text reveals that Galileo’s is what we’ll call the extreme situation, one that is rarely the case among social groups and in a culture where this mathematical projection is present, for what he actually immediately apprehends, what he sees, what is present to him intuitively in perception, are geometrical shapes, lines, triangles, spheres within the context of the play of light and dark.) 3 It is only on the basis of this projection, and in a comparison with similar features as seen on Earth, that he relates that this patch of darkness is a crevice, ravine, valley or (to use our term) crater, that this shadow is the backside of a mountain and that light is a peak. (What is sensuously given in immediate experience for you or I, is, for him, constructed.) The prior theoretical organization of experience in Galileo’s experiments is even more evident in his discussion of sunspots (Letters on Sunspots), where he is presented with phenomena that are not immediately intelligible (and to which there is nothing comparable on Earth). For here he explicitly lays out the theoretical assumptions that are operative in understanding and explains their instrumentally mediated sensuous appearance. In this regard, he states, “The different densities and degrees of darkness of the spots, their changes of shape, and their collecting and separating are evident directly to our sight.” 4 But the position and motion of sunspots are not. Accordingly, in order to show “that the spots are contiguous to the sun and are carried around it by its rotation” requires that they be “deduced and concluded from certain particular events which our observations yield.” 5 Those events? It is seeing “twenty or thirty spots at a time move with one common movement.” But there is a problem here, for seeing them “is a strong reason for believing that each does not go wandering about by itself, in the manner of the planets around the sun.” 6 So in point of fact they are not deduced from those events, which, because the events pertain to the sunspots and their motion, cannot generate a determination of their motion, a point which, in another quite similar context Galileo fully recognized. 7 At any rate, immediately following

1 Ibid, 33. Emphases added. 2 Ibid, 38-39. Emphases added. 3 This is, we suggest, only possible for Galileo to the extent that the phenomena he immediately apprehended were those that appear familiarly in his lifeworld. If they were strange, foreign or entirely unfamiliar to him, they would not have appeared as immanently geometrically meaningful and he would have been required to make the mathematico- theoretical framework operative in his experience explicit in order to render such phenomena intelligible. 4 Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 106-107. 5 Ibid, 107. 6 Ibid. 7 The insight can be found in a series of unpublished notes appearing in the critical edition of his Works, (Opere, v, 367-370), prepared perhaps for a response he intended to send to the Carmelite priest, Paolo Antonio Foscarini. Foscarini's work, Letter Concerning the Opinion of the Pythagoreans and Copernicus (Lettera sopra l’opione dei Pitagorici e del Copernico), had appeared shortly after at the Letters on Sunspots appeared (spring 1613). He defended Galileo’s discoveries and, in particular, the Copernican system from charges of heretical deviation from scriptural interpretations (see Drake’s summary, Opinions and Discoveries of Galileo, 160), in particular earthly motion.

this passage Galileo undertook to elaborate for us (his readers) this theorization on the basis of which the deduction was made. He tells us, “In order to explain this, let us define the poles in the solar globe and its circles of longitude and latitude as we do in the celestial sphere. If the sun is spherical and rotates, there will be two points of rest called the poles, and all other points on its surface will describe parallel circles which are larger or smaller according to their distance from the poles. The largest of all will be the central circle, equally distant from the two poles. The dimension of the spots along the circles will be called their breadth, and by their length we shall mean their dimension extending toward the poles and determined by a line perpendicular to that which determines their breath.” 1 The theory is a specification of the mathematical projection or, if you prefer, the axiomatic systematization to which we referred above. Third, there is lengthy deduction itself. (We shall not rehearse it here.) 2 Proceeding, i.e., developing his deduction, and along the way a critique of the inconsistency of other “imaginable hypotheses,” 3 Galileo concluded it thusly: “…sunspots are situated upon or very close to the body of the sun; …they are of material which is not permanent and fixed, but variable in shape and size; … they are movable to some extent by little irregular motions… they are all generated and dissolved, some in longer and some in shorter times… [and] their rotation is about the sun.” 4 All of these form a set of coherent, logical conclusions he drew from what he saw through the telescope and on the basis of his basic axiomatic assumptions. Fourth, these assumptions are of a methodologically specified character. They are compact, entailing the minimal number coherently possible: 5 “…dealing with science as a method of demonstration and reasoning capable of human pursuit, I hold that the more this partakes of perfection the smaller the number of propositions it will promise to teach, and fewer yet will it conclusively prove.” 6 Now the theorization (mathematical projection) from which these propositions are coherently deduced is the perspective of the Copernican system, i.e., the heliocentric perspective of the (local) universe for which the planets… including the Earth… rotate around the sun, 7 and for which these bodies all of which including the Earth appear in the sky, are essentially no different one from the other, i.e., they are an assemblage of bodies in motion, and as bodies are indistinguishable from one another [and this regardless that some are terrestrial and others gaseous, a distinction which Galileo hasn’t the technical wherewithal to recognize, though, to be sure, it would not be inconsistent with his fundamental assumption]. This basic theorization stood, of course, in sharp opposition to the Ptolemaic system in which the sun

The insight itself involves the movement of a beach seen from a ship at sea relative to the movement of the latter seen from the former, the point being if one saw the one or the other only and always from the other or the one, whether beach or ship, the one or the other would appear to be in motion when viewed from the other or the one. This

was a counter critique of Roberto Bellarmino, known as the “hammer of the heretics” (Pietro Redondi, Ibid, 5, 39), one of the inquisitors of the Congregation of the Holy Office (alternately, the Roman Inquisition and the Holy Office or the Congregation of the Supreme and Universal Inquisition), and the leading authority in the Roman Church on doctrinal matters from circa 1590 until his death in 1621. Bellarmino's perspective… formulated to demonstrate the absurdity of the Earth moving around the sun… was that of the ship viewing the beach only. Opinions and Discoveries of Galileo,


1 Ibid. 2 Galileo, Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 107-111. 3 Ibid, 111. 4 Ibid, 112. 5 Similarly, contemporary philosophers of science, for example, Karl Popper. See the Fourth Study, Part II, “Science as Method,” below. 6 The Assayer, 239-240. 7 Thus, on this basis Galileo was able to recognize the stars are countless bright bodies grouped together in clusters at great distances from the Earth. (“The galaxy is, in fact, nothing but a congeries of innumerable stars grouped together in clusters.” Starry Messenger, 49.)

and other planets revolve around the Earth (in convoluted orbits, i.e., epicycles on circular motions) and the stars are fixed, permanent and perfect bodies attached to a celestial firmament. Thus, on these assumptions Galileo could in the Starry Messenger systematically compare the Earth and moon with a view to these similarities: “…the boundary which divides the dark part from the light [on a waning moon] does not extend uniformly in an oval line as would happen on a perfectly spherical solid, but traces out an uneven, rough, and very wavy line”; “there is a similar sight on earth about sunrise”; “meanwhile more and more peaks shoot up as if sprouting now here, now there, light up within the shadowed portion… And on the earth, before the rising of the sun, are not the highest peaks of the mountains illuminated by the sun’s rays while the plains remain in shadow?” The similarities are, in other words, unmistakable. To say this was itself a revolutionary undertaking: Galileo had completely abandoned the old (Aristotelian and Scholastic) metaphysics. He did not consider the sublunary and celestial spheres qualitatively dissimilar and ontologically distinct “…the surface of the moon is not smooth, uniform, and precisely spherical as a group of philosophers believe it (and the other heavenly bodies) to be, but is uneven, rough, and full of cavities and prominences, being not unlike the face of the earth, relieved by chain of mountains and deep valleys.” 1 Though this is not Galileo’s term, call these hypotheses…

Galileo and Aristotle, III Law, the New Science, Anti-Aristotle The theorization itself has certain important, logically “secondary” features, first “corollaries,” call them “laws,” which like the core of the theory itself are not subject to immediate and direct verification (which is to say that hypotheses, like the ones just recounted, are). These laws are also present in Galileo, the most prominent being the law of inertia, which not by coincidence (if not well integrated with the rest of the text) found its first published formulation in the Letters on Sunspots. Speaking about the movements of spots relative to the sun, then in a general way about the possible types of motion of bodies, and in a lawful way about these motions, he states, “And it [a body] will maintain itself in that state in which it has once been placed; that is, if placed in a state of rest, it will conserve that; and if placed in movement… it will maintain itself in that movement.” 2 Though following upon him it is no longer specific to Galileo, 3 there is something here that is unique in his thinking; that is, it occurred for the first time with him. It is manner in which the law is arrived at. This is thought experiment (Gedankenexperiment), or what we might more adequately refer to as the imaginary formulation of laws governing natural phenomena, their movement, interactions, etc., understood merely as bodies. For in what conditions, pray tell, do we find that a body “will maintain itself in that state in which it has once been placed” indefinitely, whether in motion or at rest, unless it is acted upon by some force, thus dis-placed? The situation can only be found in vacuum, which is, according to Galileo, found in nature but only in nature to the extent that nature is identified with geometrical space. The second feature is something else that is unique in Galileo. Perhaps “unique” is the wrong term, or the right term only with a view to the entire history of the development of the modern science of nature, for what is distinctive and singular in this regard is such because it has been lost in that development, especially in the ubiquitous physicalist formulations of this

1 Ibid, 31 (citation) and passim. 2 Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 113. A complete formulation of the law of inertia is found in the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (second day), 147. 3 See the Third Study, the various discussions of Einstein and Heisenberg, below.

science. 1 It is the epistemological connection between “intellect” and our “senses” the agreement between which constitutes the endpoint of a demonstration. 2 It is, and this is of paramount significance, an agreement that is constituted as, and only as, the “senses” are

brought into agreement with the “intellect,” with “reason,” while, dialectically, once achieved, once perception has aligned itself with reason, the demonstration is conclusive. Thus, Galileo stated, “it seems to me a matter of no small importance to have ended the dispute about the Milky Way by making its nature manifest to the very senses as well as to the intellectual.” 3 (I.e., the galaxy can no longer be considered a firmament, an abode, as it were, of fixed, permanent, perfect bodies. Instead, it is made up of innumerable stars configuring themselves in clusters, with different degrees of brightness). Contrary to the theoretically rigid determination of contemporary science (axiomatic system, theory, experiment, testing as verification), Galileo’s hypotheses… at least those large-scale astronomical ones… could not be tested (not until recently, i.e., not without satellite imagery and probes), but testability was not in this sense part of his science. (This is clear from our discussion above of the text, Discourse on Bodies in Water, where the mode of demonstration

is narrow, strictly geometrical

argumentative, without any recourse to experiment in our sense.) Instead, his science is the unity of theorization, the phenomena that are instrumentally mediated and perceptually or sensuously adduced as evidence, and the rigorous (mathematically based) argument to comprehend the latter in terms of, as confirmation of, the former: It is this “deduction” as a whole, or what elsewhere 4 he calls the necessary demonstration (or, as in the Starry Messenger, simply demonstration), whose necessity is that of the rigor and logic or “force” evinced in “geometric demonstrations” 5 , that constitute his science, “arguments… [that] depend upon observations… demonstrations… subtle, grounded on abstractions” 6 and that might, misleadingly and inadequately to be sure, be termed as what counts as a “test.” And it would be misleading: While Galileo engaged in countless experiments, precious few of them would today pass muster as an experiment in our sense. This is simply because in that, our sense, experiments had no meaning for him. An experiment, for Galileo, was not intended to validate a hypothesis; it did not aim at verifying (or falsifying) a conjecture, because in these senses it did not function as a control, it was not based on artificial conditions that obtain nowhere in nature and was not aimed at prediction. (Recall, again, that the modern science of nature did not emerge full-blown or fully developed in Galileo.) For him, experiment was not de rigueur, and it was not a necessary requirement of his science: As a function of sensuous perception it was not “designed” to do anything other, coming at the end of a process of reasoning, than complete a demonstration by aligning itself with that reason (intellect). Thus, in the Dialogue, Galileo has his interlocutor Salviati say, “tell this philosopher, in order to remove him from error, to take with him a very deep vase filled with water some time when he goes sailing, having prepared in advance a ball of wax… which would descend slowly to the bottom – so that in a minute it would scarcely sink a yard. Then, making the boat go as fast as he could, he should gently immerse this ball in the water and let it descend freely, carefully observing its motion. And from the first, he would see it going straight toward that point on the bottom of the vase to which it would tend if the boat were standing still. To his eye and in

and logical, i.e.,

which to be sure, is decisive for Galileo

1 I.e., an “axiomatic systematization,” the fundamental propositions of which in this case are reductionist assumptions, atomistic postulates of a theoretical analysis projected as real, as underlying “realities.” See the Fourth Study, Part III, “The Materialist Dialectic,” below. 2 Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 143. 3 `to the extent necessary demonstration (or “rigorous demonstration”) brings it into line with thought (intellect). 4 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 182 (twice), 183-184, 186 (twice), 209. 5 Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 119. 6 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 200.

relation to the vase its motion would appear perfectly straight and perpendicular, and yet no one could deny that it was a compound of straight (down) and circular (around the watery element).” 1 The experiment thereby demonstrates that the latter, analogous to the circular motion of the Earth as it rotates on its center (axis), is “common to” the ball and the watery element and “continues to be imperceptible,” while the “downward motion” of the ball is “peculiar to it and not shared” and hence perceptible. 2 The experiment completes the demonstration aligning our senses, here what we see (upward or downward motion, animated motion as in the flight of birds, etc.), with what we have reflectively reasoned to (that the common or shared motion of the Earth is not sensibly given). But if an experiment did not complete a demonstration, i.e., if it was in our terms “unsuccessful,” it was simply irrelevant, discarded (and Galileo, as it were, moved on). Now, in point of fact, some of Galileo’s experiments (such as those in which he argued his theory of bodies floating in water with objects placed in a bucket of water) were quite impressive, convincing to those who witnessed him (which was the only reason why he performed them). But there was no necessity that inhered in these “demonstrations,” in making these impressions: It should be obvious that winning the certainty of another or casting doubt in the mind of still another alone did not and could not make them intrinsic to his science. They weren’t.

Galileo and Aristotle, IV Social Elements in the Struggle for and against the Roman Church Sanctioned Old Order Throughout the entire life of Galileo, the Roman Church was the largest and greatest landlord on the Italian Peninsula. During this period (Galileo's lifetime), several forms of labor (and tenure) co-existed in the countryside. These included a free peasantry that, regardless of the quality of life and

livelihood its activity generated, constituted a social relation at the center of which stood the peasant as proprietor of land, tools and cottage; waged labor; and a sharecropping tenantcy. The last was the predominant form in Tuscany and perhaps all of central Italy (Moderna, Ferrara, Emilia, Romagna). It is important not simply because waged labor was largely adjunct

to sharecropping, both forms additionally found in the same peasant personages, but because

it incarnated really and tendentially a hidden form of proletarianization, i.e., it was an important social form through which capitalist social relations penetrated the Italian countryside. Called mezzadria, sharecropping tenancy stretched back to the early thirteen century (and forward down to the first imperialist world war). It was a contractual relation, though not one

that was formalized in a written contract. The landlord, i.e., aristocrats such as Galileo’s friend, Frederico Cesi, and above all the Church institutionally embodied in its orders and monasteries, provided the land, the peasant tenant the labor. 3 Established with and as part of the institution of capital's formal domination, it appeared to possess elements of both the old and new order as this peasantry was simultaneously subject to labor services and underwent

a hidden proletarianization. Yet it was neither serf nor waged laborer (though, this the latter comes closer to the truth): The peasant, altogether absent capital (in money form), took advances of seed, whatever draft animal may have been used in plowing or harvesting and

1 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 250 (second day). 2 Ibid. These remarks anticipate the final section of this Study, “Polemic and the Logics of Argument in the Dialogue,” below. 3 Often referred to as “Prince” Cesi, he was titular head of the Academy of Lynceans, the group of oppositional intellectuals of which Galileo had officially been a member since 1611 (a membership he prized) and who, on the basis of Galileo’s draft, by prior agreement edited and brought The Assayer to publication. For the latter, see Redondi, Ibid, 45-46.

thus in fodder also, and, though perhaps possessing a hoe and rake of his own, tools and equipment (plough) requisite to his activity. If the contract called for an equal split (share) of the product, the tenant invariably crushed by the weight of debt, rarely if ever saw equality in shares and just as rarely lived above subsistence (which in the socially and historically specific sense sunk to an appallingly low level). Now, there were other, further forms through which the peasant and his family were robbed of his and their livelihood (e.g., accounting practices which, always conducted by the landlord, just as invariably were conducted on his behalf), that appear again and again in other historical forms of sharecropping tenancy, but what concerns us here are those which reinforce the seemingly “feudal” nature of this relation. 1 These included the performance of services to the lord (digging ditches to improve property), and provisions to the owner gratis of a portion of the agricultural product, olive oil or wine, wood for fuel and game killed as food. Like the situation as it prevailed on the Junker estates east of the Elbe from the middle nineteenth century through the thirties of the following century, these services manifestly had the appearance of “feudal” dues. And they were forms of labor service, but they were not “feudal” having none of the decisive characteristics of the latter already described 2 (or they were at least to those inclined to find “feudalsim” everywhere, in other words, to find in it a universal “stage” of human development). Neither the Church nor lords like Cesi were old order lords, those who the Florentines had proscribed as magnati (to the contrary among the most enlightened landlords, there was a tendency to “liberate” themselves from the ignobility of this ancient form of exploitation, to forgo labor services in favor of a “strictly business” relation): Far more important than services provided to these lords, all of them (and the patriarchal paternalism which was the other side of this relation), was, first, the waged labor that the peasant (and his family) provided the lord, or a merchant representing the Church (which was ironically and unknowingly encouraging the insinuation of a social relation, in the form of capital’s formal domination, that would eventually undermine its social and political power), that went uncompensated but was calculated as a monetary set-off for the debt incurred, and, second, and this is crucial, the total situation of the peasant (family). First, sharecropping is a form of lease, here an informal contractual relation, and has appeared in history (in England, and western Europe) as a solvent of the customary proprietary rights (whether formally free or not) that protected peasants from the naked financial relation that characterized capital’s formal domination. 3 Second, the sharecropper was not an independent proprietor, either as a peasant or capitalist farmer. He did not produce exclusively for himself and his family a subsistence (nor did he produce for himself and provide the state with a portion as tribute). He also did not produce for a market with a view to the conditions the prevailed in it, and on this basis decide what and (if not what, then) how (much or little) to produce. Yet the value of his product was determined by the market and, after the share out, his return on his and his family’s labor were decided on this basis (and lowered, often vastly, but a cheating landlord, his factor, or merchant). Instead, the produce which he kept for self-sufficiency amounted to, had the structure of, a concealed wage below its value in the market. Thus, he was effectively a disguised proletarian on the land subject to

can be found in almost all

forms of this odious relation. See, for example, Civil War and Revolution in America, “Theses on Racial Apartheid, the Origins of ‘Sunbelt’ Capital, and the Re-Ascendancy of Southern Property in the American Polity,” for the situation in

the United States from the end of Reconstruction until the last imperialist world war; and, Frank Snowden, The Fascist Revolution in Tuscany, 20-21, 28-29, 31-33, 41-42, 53-55, 99-100, for the same set within the context of the crisis situation in mezzadria relations from 1870 down to the eve of the first world war. 2 Reference is footnoted discussion concluding “Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination,” above. 3 This is extensively developed, below. See the various discussions under the heading “formal domination” in the First Interlude.

1 These other forms

bilking, swindling, defrauding, robbing and plundering the tenant

a relentless effort to drive that concealed wage down far below reproductive costs (i.e., family subsistence levels). If the formal domination of capital over labor was insinuated in this manner, it was “feudal” features of this relation that, for all the advantages accruing to the landlord, “retarded” the unequivocal, and unrestrained penetration of the value form, and rendered capitalism as it did develop on the Italian Peninsula “backward” all the way down to the first imperialist world war (1914) especially in central Italy, the rest of the Papal States and even more so in the Neapolitan regions of the south. Now it was labor services and with it the appearance of “feudal” social forms, and the patriarchal paternalism (a gift from the lord at a peasant wedding, monetary assistance from the Church, e.g., a congregation’s priest, in times of really dire need), that arose from and reinforced them, which the Church defended, for it was this mastery of masses of men and women, peasant families largely, that formed the visible, material aspect on which Church power and the old order rested. For the old order which the Church organized, and, especially for its conscious self-defense conducted by its vanguard (and here we have the Jesuits in mind), the theoretical struggle against scientists and philosophers, the literati, dramatists, poets and musicians, in a word, the innovators, who raised the banner of a new science, philosophy on different foundations and a literature that was sensuous, “debased” and expressed in new forms, was just another front in the struggle to maintain its hegemony, to sustain itself as Power. Against heretical deviations like those of Foscarini’s effort to assimilate Copernicus, or Galileo invocations of a different, more “tolerant” Augustinian tradition in The Assayer, following the Council of Trent (1545-1563), “Rome… opted for an all-out defense of the Aristotelian Scholastic cosmology and the literal significance of the Bible,” 1 not because this cosmology had any truth value… this has never been an issue for those men who self- consciously defend Power… but because it was the traditional manner in which the Bible was philosophically interpreted, and was on the tripartite pillars of tradition, labor services, and scriptural literalism that its power and mastery rested. Above all, as the institutional expression of the power of a priestly caste, it was Biblical interpretation… from which this caste had derived its own legitimization, the justifications for the right (i.e., existing) order of society, sanctions and rewards that accrued within this order (and the afterlife) that the Church had elaborated for over a thousand years… and its exclusive right to that interpretation on which its immediate control over and mastery of the demographically dense peasantry was based. From Copernicus to Galileo, the new astronomy directly challenged and contravened the scriptural account of the world sanctioned by the Church and elaborately, convolutedly, defended by the clerical orders (especially the Jesuits) and Peripatetics. It was because in astronomy Galileo had crossed a line… in The Assayer he did far more than cross a line… from a “prudent” “hypothetical” position regarding the motions of the Earth and sun (one for which mathematical calculations were merely said to aid in determining, e.g., the locations of stars in a fixed celestial firmament) to a “positive” assessment of their relation (i.e., an assertion of the real heliocentric structure of this relation), that Galileo came under Jesuitical Inquisitional scrutiny. 2

1 Redondi, Ibid, 40 (citation). 2 Redondi states, “The principal fronts of the Counter-Reformation struggle are neither the corridors of the Curia nor the salons of the Academy, but rather the plains and cities of Hungary and Bohemia, where the fathers of the Society, following the imperial line regiments, are triumphing… in the territories just wrested from the Protestants, whole populations are reconverted en mass to Catholicism, by every means, at all costs – even with solid coin, as Cardinal Bellarmino had cleverly suggested.” Ibid, 47. “Prudence,” “hypothetical,” and “positive” are terms that the ubiquitous Bellarmino used to describe the contrasting positions in a letter to a correspondent concerning Foscarini’s work. Cited in Drake’s introductory remarks to the letter Galileo wrote Christina (mother of the Duke of Tuscany), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, 163.

Historically Specific Themes in the Work of Galileo Materialist Atomism, Copernicanism, Anti-Aristotelianism Galileo’s distinctively different positions with regard to astronomy and physics in his later works have to be understood within the context of his willingness to subordinate his fundamental theorization to the Church; thus, to the Counter-Reformatory, implicitly counterrevolutionary struggle against, not merely heresy but dissent, deviation and unorthodoxy, against profanation and the merest scent of sacrilege with a view to maintaining

Power (here sustaining the Church’s ideological, political and socio-economic domination within the old order). At the heart of this struggle we find its counterrevolutionary vanguard, the Jesuits. 1 What is at issue were Galileo’s shifting positions, i.e., from entertainment of a Copernican view of the solar system as a hypothesis to the assertion of its validity as an ontologically real description of planetary relations. Moreover, later still he returned to the former position, returning from a Promethean concept of human cognitive limitations to a very Christian view of those capacities: His mature defense of an atomistic metaphysics was abandoned in favor of a mathematical phenomenalism (from a sort of an encompassing theoretically coherent, experientially and experimentally ungroundable, underlying axiomatic systematic and from which, as a point of departure, specific projects for further, future investigation of natural phenomena could be undertaken, call it a program for research within science, to a set of mere hypotheses.) 2 The Church sanctioned the phenomenalism, for it was believed mathematical hypotheses of this sort neither imply nor require pursuit of a commitment to a determination of the essence of things or to an ontological assessment of the structure of

If we hold, and argue, 4 such an orientation is impossible, an

illusory project (it was nevertheless fully congruent with the Church’s evaluation of the role of

philosophy, mathematics and logic, i.e., their subordination, in relation to theology in Galileo’s

nature and the universe 3

If, as a “research program,” this metaphysics was perhaps the most interesting,

intriguing and arguably the most productive perspective Galileo might have more fully developed (regrettably he did not), it was not at the center of his self-understanding of his own theorization, and though it implications (discussed below) created a good deal of trouble for him with the Church, the response to it was only an element in a socially overdetermined complex of pressures brought to bear on him that were decisive for his shifts in position and perspective.


1 As in our own case, it may require a personal formation within the Roman Church, and perhaps a personal acquaintance with the Order of Jesus to fully comprehend (that is, to understand and know) the Jesuitical suspicion of Galileo. Redondi is, nonetheless, helpful in this regard. Dissecting Grassi’s aggressive dispute (written under the pseudonym, Lothario Sarsi) aimed at Galileo's earlier works and essays discussed above, Redondi states, “…the Libra [Libra astronomica ae philosohica… 1619] transcends the terms and style of a normal scientific dispute. It reveals the controversial and apologetic matrix that saturates all forms of Jesuit polemic. The mysterious Sarsi betrays an invincible propensity to introduce into the scientific dispute hypocritical conclusions and insinuations about his opponent’s religious opinions” Ibid, 43. There is no fight the Jesuits ever entered without the unshakable conviction that they engage the most dangerous of opponents in a life and death struggle, that there are no means that are not licit in the defeating this enemy, and without the overwhelming sense they are pursuing a divinely inspired mission. 2 For usage within modern science of the concept of a research program in this sense, see, for example, the entire discussion of the closing sections to Karl Popper’s Quantum Mechanics and the Schism in Physics. 3 In the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 341, Galileo has Salviati provide a concise statement of this attitude: “…you must know that the principle activity of pure astronomers is to give reasons just for the appearances of celestial bodies, and to fit to these and to the motions of the stars such a structure and arrangement of circles that the resulting calculated motions correspond with those same appearances. They are not much worried about admitting anomalies which might in fact be troublesome in other respects.” 4 See the Fourth Study, Part III, “The Materialist Dialectic,” below.

There are three features of this situation that must be grasped if his changing perspectives are to be adequately explained. These were the Barberini pontificate and the liberalizing opening it created, the political struggle within the Curia for supremacy in guiding overall Church policy and practice, and the specific doctrinal contents of the Roman Church’s dogma (the Eucharist phenomenon, geocentrism, unquestioned clerical authority). All were central to the Church’s emotive, political and cognitive hegemony over masses of women and men. Effectively Galileo challenged all three. Start with the papacy. Maffeo Barberini was the son of a Florentine “aristocrat,” i.e., a wealthy landlord with large holdings in the Tuscan countryside. His father died when he was only three, and, desirous that he have a Jesuit education, his mother relocated to Rome (where another branch of the family resided and) where eventually he was enrolled in the great Jesuit school, the Collegio Romano. Living with his uncle, Francesco, he was ordained, and in 1589 he graduated as a doctor of laws. His rise in the Church was quick. 1 On 6 August 1623, days after the death of Gregory XV (a Ludovisi and pro-Spanish), Cardinal Maffeo Barberini was elected pope, taking the name Urban VIII, by an overwhelming majority (fifty of fifty-five) in the conclave of eminences designed specifically for that purpose. The vote was significant, not because it exhibited agreement between the two opposing factions with the Curia (the one pro-French led by Cardinal Prince Maurizio of Savoy, the Cardinal of Savoy, the other pro- Spanish led by Cardinals Ludovicio Ludovisi and Francesco Borgia, the Borghese faction), but because of the depth of the French support the new pope achieved. Maffeo Barberini was also a literary figure (he had two volumes of poetry published in his lifetime), possessed a liberal sensibility with a view to the objectifications of Absolute Spirit in the Hegelian sense (art, philosophy, religion), was considered lively and a brilliant conversationalist; and was far more political than religiously doctrinaire in his appreciation of the great events of the day. (He also had the distinction of practicing nepotism in the Church to an extent not seen before or since his time.) His elevation had two immediate consequences. First, it created the hope, then the reality, of a cultural liberalization in a Roman atmosphere stultified by Aristotelian-Scholastic orthodoxy. 2 Second, a policy shift within the Church was directly forthcoming: His explicit pro-French leanings lent tacit support, absent monies or men, to the Richelieu guided French (financial) commitment to Protestant forces against the great French nemesis, the Hapsburgs (Austria and, in particular, Spain), in the Thirty Years War. This put Barberini in opposition, not yet open (since before 1630, Hapsburg armies were largely ascendant in the various phases of the struggle then to date), to the Society of Jesus with its clearheaded assessment of the balance of forces in the war and its unequivocal defense of the “program of renewal and struggle set forth by the Council of Trent for the Counter-Reformation Church” 3 embodied by Catholic Castile. Barberini did not, it appears to us, have a particularly astute analysis of the depth of the opposition in Europe to the Roman Church. He patently did not grasp a tendency of all social struggle… the second feature of Galileo’s situation… wherein two historically significant and diametrically opposed forces confront one another, namely, a polarizing tendency in which

1 In 1592, he was made Governor of Fano; in 1601, he was assigned the position of papal legate to the French king, Henry IV; in 1604, he was appointed archbishop of Nazareth, which, apart from the rise in the Church hierarchy, was meaningless since the entire Levant was in the hands of the Ottomans; at the same time, he was made papal nuncio at the French court; in 1606, he was made a cardinal formally attached to at the Church of S. Pietro in Montorio (later S. Onofrio); in 1608, he was appointed bishop of Spoleto; and in 1617 he was made papal legate of Bologna. With regard to nepotism (see the text, immediately following), Barberini elevated three nephews and a brother to the status of cardinals, and distributed among them lucrative sinecures that vastly enriched his family. For this as well as his rise in the Church, see the Catholic Encyclopedia online. Search under “Urban VIII.” 2 Redondi, Ibid, 48. 3 Ibid, 47.

each forcefully asserts and defends what it considers fundamental to it, in the case of the Church, its power and that from which it was derived, unquestioned authority in matters of specifically religious concern, theological doctrine. But he was right about one thing, namely, the secular character of the struggle that was, for us, inseparably intertwined with its religious features: For every pious prince, lord or even burghers who objected to mandatory fasting, to priestly confession, to the worship of saints, relics and images, to indulgences, to the belief in purgatory, to Latin languages services, to the orders and monasteries, etc., etc., there were two, three, four or more princes, lords and (towns and cities who leading lights were) burghers who coveted church lands and pursued a policy and practice of expropriation. The Tudor king who financed (but alas, for him, only in part) a fruitless war with France (1543-1551) on the basis of the sale (to local gentries, effectively the origins of parliamentary power in England) of the monastic and chantry properties he seized is only the most outstanding example of the era. 1 And, on the continent, any forceful reassertion of Catholic power would have led to an effort to retake those properties and lands. Thus, the Austrian Hapsburg Ferdinand’s promulgation (1629) of the Edict of Restitution… But let us return to Barberini. Even among those forces that opposed pope Urban’s papal direction and orientation (most prominently for us, the Jesuits), the papacy as an institution, hence Barberini as its bearer, carried a lot of weight within the Curia. It was Bellarmino who, for example, not only had argued for papal infallibility (long, long before it became doctrine) but for the subordination of secular princes to his temporal as well as spiritual power, 2 and it was the same Jesuits who were the greatest supporters of the papacy as an institution. They, moreover, fully supported Spanish hegemony in Europe, their military efforts to retain and enhance it, since in their Castilian brethren they recognized themselves, a spearhead against Protestant heresy, which they saw as a threat to Church political and ideological hegemony, a genuine threat to the old order, or at least the supremacy of the Church within it. Obviously, the Jesuit focus on the struggle against the Reformation put them at odds with the liberalizing Barberini with his political sensitivities to the French, and his (largely unsuccessfully realized) territorial aggrandizing appetites and proclivities for military expenditure restricted for the most part to the Peninsula… During his pontificate, Barberini lavished monies on fortifications (constructing Fort Urbano at Castelfranco, strengthening defenses of the Castel of Santo Angelo on Monte Cavallo, and on the right side of the Tiber River in Rome) and armaments (remaking Civitavecchia into a military port, establishing a weapons manufactory at Tivoli)… In considering the third feature of the socio-historically specific situation of Galileo, namely, its ideational moment, we can start in medias res, with The Assayer. Though we need not linger here, 3 we can remark upon severe noteworthy features of the work. Written by a stylistic master, a witty, urbane, culturally refined man who, by all appearances was deeply immersed in the high culture of his day, The Assayer was a breakthrough event, one that proclaimed what had the taste and feel of a genuine cultural opening, a torrent aimed squarely at the rigid traditions defended by biblical literalists (largely ordinary clerics, especially among the Dominicans), above all, the university Peripatetics and Aristotelians, and most recently and most dangerous to Galileo, the Jesuits. 4 In this regard, it was “presented in Rome as the official manifesto of their intentions and as their effort at polemical legitimization vis-à-vis the crushing force of institutions which based their power on tradition and authority.” 5 But if it was

1 Here, we are of course speaking about Henry VIII. See the Introduction to The English Civil Wars and the Birth of Freedom. 2 Redondi, Ibid, 104. 3 See tNote 2 , “Galileo and the Jesuits: Atomism and the Eucharist Controversy,” below. 4 Redondi, Ibid, 174. 5 Ibid, 29.

effectively thrust in the face of those guardians of the prevailing Scholastic culture, we should point out that, among them, the range of Jesuitical dogmatism was restricted to the core issues of Church doctrine (and, of course, the conviction that all reason should be subordinated to Roman theology). In other respects, in astronomy for example, the Jesuits kept abreast of all contemporary scientific development, and assimilated much of it or at least as much as did not even mediately infringe on that doctrine. Thus, for example, they had the very latest in modern instruments (e.g., telescopes) and their astronomers were first rate. Christopher Clavius with whom Galileo had corresponded up until the former’s death (1612) was an accomplished astronomer (and mathematician). The same could be said about Orazio Grassi, astronomer, mathematician and perhaps the best architect on the Italian Peninsula of his generation. So, even as a bourgeois, in penning the manifesto of a tiny, cultured bourgeois stratum on the out, in taking aim at elements of Scholastic civilization, Galileo consciously took on Jesuit intellectuals… onetime supporters (as long as he had respected Church strictures on astronomy), and he had to have known that the pseudonymous Lothario Sarsi was in fact Grassi. Now Galileo had long been wrong on his specific characterization of the motions of planetary bodies. (Like the Ptolemaic tradition tenaciously clung to by the Peripatetics, he maintained their orbits were circular, and thus to deal with retrograde motion he similarly was forced to uphold epicyclical motion.) He did this in full knowledge of Kepler’s work (The New Astronomy, 1609) 1 in which, basing himself on Tycho Brache’s meticulous decades long observations, he, Kepler, explained orbital motion as elliptical. In The Assayer Galileo continued an ongoing dispute, one in which he was also wrong against Grassi in regard to comets. Grassi had, in astronomically modern Jesuit fashion agreed with and added new observations supporting Tycho’s view that as real phenomenon comets originated from deep within the solar system beyond the moon. Galileo, not unlike Aristotle himself, had argued comets were solely and strictly optical effects, the outcome of atmospheric refractions. 2 In his manifesto, Galileo had gone a long, long way toward effectively, if only for polemical purposes, embracing Aristotle…

merely in order to counterpose himself to a don of

and even if solely on this specific issue

the reigning Scholastic culture. Galileo’s remarks, his puns and witticisms, his entire mode of presentation, were haughty and arrogant. He had made the issue personal. And it would come back to haunt him, though Grassi, a highly disciplined warrior, knew how, where and when to draw the line, and Galileo provided him with precisely an issue that would contribute to his later undoing. That issue was atomism. In The Assayer, Galileo explained heat in terms of the motion (speed which he calls velocity), quantity (number, in this case vast) and shape (invisible and indivisible) of particles in relation to our sense organs. 3 Clearly laying down a marker that would come to characterize all scientific theorizing in the following centuries, Galileo not only distinguished between qualitative and quantitative characteristics of things (in the Aristotelian-Scholastic language he employed, substances), he not only determined that the essential features of things are its shape (in the geometrical sense) and its occupancy of objective space (and time), in a word, its extension, 4 he designated the objects of sensible perception (what is seen in seeing, what

is heard in hearing, etc.) as qualitative and purely “subjective” without independent reality, as

The “their” refers to the literati and innovators, amongst them Galileo and Cesi, most immediately housed in the Academy of Lynceans but also in the various literary palaces and “saloons” of Rome. 1 This is confirmed by a 1612 letter of Kepler to Galileo. See Emerson McMullen, “Galileo’s Condemnation.” 2 The dispute dates to Galileo’s Discourse on Comets (1619) where this argument was originally made. 3 The Assayer, 277. 4 Ibid, 276.

words and words only. 1 In an anonymous denunciation to the proper tribunal of the Holy Office (i.e., to the Inquisitional body constituted for this purpose), Grassi had identified the core doctrinal liability of atomism, or at least Galileo’s formulation: If those sensuous qualities that characterize a substance… the case in point being the bread and wine prior to the pronouncement of those words that signify the act of transubstantiation has occurred, for example, the white color of the wafer, its texture as it touches the tongue… disappear if and when there is no sensing being to perceive them, if they are as Galileo said “annihilated,” 2 then the specific nature of the transubstantiation… the transformation of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood all the while the qualities, “accidents” or sensuous appearances that characterize the bread (and wine) remain just as they were… cannot be true. Such was an error of the grossest, most heretical sort, at least according to the denunciation. 3 At this historical moment at least, however, determination of the relations between “substance” and “accidents” could not be so unequivocally set forth, for the dogma as laid down by the Council of Trent was not intended to theologically parse doctrine, and did not employ a language that would permit such to be done. 4 This was not, though, the case with Copernicanism, or what had been subsumed under that term, namely, the view that the sun is the center of the universe and the Earth itself not only is not but also moves (about the sun). Interestingly, this was not a doctrinal aspect of the work of the Council of Trent. There was in principle no reason, after all, why these issues could not have been addressed: Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs) was published in Nuremberg in 1543 in the year of his death, and the Council, meeting first in 1545, did not finish its work until 1563. 5 (The Council operated in three phases, the first, 1545-1547, in which procedural, ostensible reform and some doctrinal issues were taken up; the second, 1551-1552, devoted mostly to doctrine especially sacramental issues; and, the last 1563-1565 in which disciplinary concerns predominated. In no phase was the chief, burning non-Catholic issue of the role of the papacy in the Church ever addressed.) In point of fact, the Council itself was a rearguard action. Wagons were circled: The core doctrines which the Church could and would defend in securing itself as Power were identified and spelt out, and the spirit (a fanatical temperament) if not the specific institutional arrangements (especially, the Inquisition) on the basis of which the Church might go over to the offensive was identified and invoked. Beyond this, as Galileo’s one-time friend Paolo Sarpi eloquently demonstrated, the Council and its aftermath was shot through with controversy, dissension and maneuver which gave a lie to its veneer, for it was a rampart constructed against heresy; above all, Sarpi viewed the Council and its outcome as tragic, and demonstrated the great hopes and high expectations of Church reform that were vested in it were frustrated from the outset. 6 In this respect, the Jesuits, as an order

1 Ibid, 277. 2 Ibid, 276. 3 Redondi, Ibid, 159-165. 4 Again, see the note, “Galileo and the Jesuits: Atomism and the Eucharist Controversy,” below, where this question is discussed in detail. 5 There were, in fact, problems with Copernicus’ work: In a strict sense, astronomers took their point of departure in their calculations from the Earth as fixed body in respect to the heavens. Copernicus required that the Earth’s orbit itself now assume that point in regard to celestial bodies. But these, the stars also assumed to be fixed, did not indicate the Earth was in motion (annually) by showing an annual parallax (i.e., an apparent difference of location, a spatial displacement, motion, with respect to the fixed stars). If Copernicus was nonetheless right, the heavens had to be vast and immeasurable in a sense not previously imagined. It would be largely due to Kepler’s effort… working out a theorization, its details, with observations to substantiate them… that a non-geocentric universe would become not only conceivable but reasonable. 6 History of the Council of Trent. See, e.g., the account of the years 1551-1552 in Book IV. Sapri’s work, in some respects reminiscent of Guicciardini (the History of Italy was first published in 1561), was in one respect at least strictly “modern” and critical: In it, he explicitly sought to not merely engaged in narration or recount

founded in the decade prior to its initial convocation, were a perfect instrument for pursuit of the Council's real aims, the rollback of Protestantism, the prosecution and persecution of all those who might be deemed enemies, the banishment of ideas that did not fit the mold and the affirmation of Church dogma as the sole valid expression of the truth of God and man. Copernicanism in its astronomical aspects decidedly did not fit the mould. But it was not until 1615 that this became clear. Based on his recent publications (1610-1612), a Florentine Dominican cleric had accused Galileo, no less, of contradicting Scripture. The monk had been questioned in Rome. Galileo made his own deposition. Entirely consistent with their astronomical modernism, Jesuit astronomers informed Bellarmino that Galileo had demonstrated the Ptolemaic system was largely erroneous (perhaps that it had generated a convoluted complex of auxiliary hypotheses to do what Galileo could do with much more simplicity and eloquence on different assumptions), but he had not proven the validity of Copernicus’s heliocentric system. A committee of theologians examined Galileo’s ideas at Bellarmino’s request. (This was procedurally de rigueur.) They (all eleven) concluded that Copernicus was philosophically and most of all theologically erroneous. On 25 February 1616, Paul V instructed Bellarmino to warn Galileo not to specifically hold the Earth moved or the sun was at the center of the universe. It was an injunction, but there was no official criticism or accusation of heresy. From 1616 (Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina) onward, though, Galileo had more and more openly, always carefully, indicated his support for a Copernican view of the “universe,” that is, the relation of the Earth and the various known planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn) 1 to the sun. Barberini himself may have been a Copernican, and not just in the sense that he considered On the Revolutions a statement of an elaborate, consistent mathematical hypothesis. 2 But the success, including papal support, which The Assayer had enjoyed permitted Galileo to pursue in earnest, as long as his health held out, a project he had first announced as far back as 1610. 3 Without any real opposition, with a benevolent pope smiling on his efforts and output, the whole decade of the twenties, its liberality and tolerance, had to have swirled about in Galileo’s head, vastly encouraged him, told him that now the moment to forcibly as possible formulate and openly state his Copernican convictions, to once and for all in this regard undercut and destroy the Aristotelian scaffolding that supported his Ptolemaic and Peripatetic opponents. The book on the system of the world had been reviewed by the usual array of

events but to compose a history based upon available sources that permitted him to disclose the real course and logic of events. (See, for instance, his remarks in Book III, 253). Sarpi was Catholic, but more important effectively the state theologian of independent Venice. He himself was no stranger to controversy, having been citizen and official theologian of Venice in 1605-1607 when Pius V had imposed an interdict on the city, denying it administration of the sacraments, all pubic religious services and had, to boot, excommunicated the entire Venetian Senate all in a dispute over ecclesiastical rights. (In retaliation, among others things, the Jesuits, always contentious and always in the middle of disputes, had been expelled from Venetian territory.) 1 Actually, there were six bodies were designated as planets, since Earth’s moon was also considered one. 2 In his essay on Galileo, Emerson McMullen relates the following: “While Galileo was writing the Dialogue, an interesting conversation occurred between Urban and Tommasso Campanella in 1630. Campanella told the pope ‘that he had had the opportunity to convert some German gentlemen to the Catholic faith and they were very favorably inclined; however, having heard about the prohibition of Copernicus, etc., they had been scandalized, and he had been unable to go further.’ Urban answered with the following exact words: 'It was never our intention, and if it had been up to us that decree would not have been issued.’” See “Galileo’s Condemnation” and the sources cited therein. 3 The Starry Messenger, 43.

Church censors, and had all the proper religious seals of approval. 1 In early spring 1632, Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems appeared in Florence. Under official Church sanction of Copernican doctrine, Galileo would not… without a clear conviction that there would be no consequences… have lightly engaged in an open, rather ferocious attack on basic elements of Aristotelian metaphysics (Physics, De Caela) from the

perspective of Copernicus. But this precisely what he did in his Dialogue. In his introduction,

all mediately or directly flowing from

the intent to affirm the Copernican view of the universe (solar system). 2 While speaking the language of astronomical hypotheses, this intent manifestly demonstrates where Galileo’s views lay and what he aimed at, namely, establishing the reality of the Copernican view of the world (universe). One does not assault Aristotelian thought at its foundations unless he plans to overturn it. And Galileo did: From the get go (Day One), 3 articulated by Salviati and Sagredo he presents an extended critique of the ontological basis of the distinction between the celestial heavens and the terrestrial sphere… between perfection, the immutability, inalterability, invariance, etc., of celestial bodies when counterposed to the “dregs of the

universe, the sink of all uncleanness” 4 (the Earth itself), features which formed a metaphysical

bulwark that separated heavenly bodies from the Earth in its inferiority

constituted a sustained broadside against Aristotelianism It was in late May that a limited number of copies of Galileo’s work appeared in Rome. So, if Galileo's publication was sanctioned, why was an Inquisitional tribunal assembled against him shortly after the Dialogue reached this city? …The Thirty Years War had been ongoing since 1618. It was fought in the most backward parts of Europe, overwhelming in the central continental zone that was politically dominated by the “Holy Roman” empire. The latter included imperial Hungary, Hapsburg lands (Tyrol, Carinthia, Styria, Austria, Moravia, Bohemia, Silesia and Lusatia), and in excess of a thousand, largely German speaking quasi autonomous statelets and principalities nominally under the suzerainty of the emperor among which the largest where Brandenburg, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, Bremen, Saxony, Bavaria, Hessen-Kassel and Württemberg as well as bishoprics and archbishopric centered in cities (Fulda, Würzburg and Bamberg, and Cologne, Mainz and Trier), and countless smaller “political units” some amounting to no more than the private estates of nobles. 5 Because this, the arena of the war, was the largest region (considered as a region) where the formal capitalist development in Europe had taken hold the least, the armies that conducted the war were… unlike, for example, in England where in the same era a civil war was fought and historically novel social strata, artisan proletarians, capitalist farmers and capitalist tenants figured decisively in one, Cromwell’s, of the armies… composed of social groups attached to the old order, led by large landowners holding hereditary titles to land and estates, elements of warrior strata (e.g., Gaelic fighters) and declassed nobles engaged as mercenaries, and impressed peasants. Formally free cities (e.g., Bremen), and burghers, where they were involved, and such was minimal, lined up

The whole argument

he stated the tasks he set himself

they were threefold

1 Here it might be appropriate to remark that we should not underrate either the extent or the thoroughness of Church practices of surveillance and censorship: “At the gates of the cities, messengers and merchants are searched for new books; bookstores are watched and policed; bequests to libraries are not granted without scrupulous inquires; the catalogues of international fairs are under control of the omnipotent Congregation of the Index, which collaborates with the Holy Office in the work of surveillance and intimidation of authors, publishers, bookstore owners, and private libraries.” Redondi, Ibid, 81. 2 Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems, 6. 3 Ibid, 40-50, 58-60, 84-85. 4 Ibid, 60. 5 Richard Brzezinski, Lützen 1632. 8 (map), 9.

behind Protestant princes but played no independent role in any phase of the conflict. In any case, these were not national armies. 1 In speaking of “phases,” we have adopted the language of conventional, bourgeois historiography merely as a matter of convenience and not with a view to any inner logic of development of the war or even an adequate reconstruction of that development. Since we intend no account of either, this conceptual usage is passably legitimate. Thus, in the first two phases of the struggle (the Bohemian, 1618-1625, and the Danish, 1625-1629), Catholic forces emerged vastly victorious, so that, the Spanish faction itself within the Roman Curia felt no necessity to intensify its pressure on Urban to change course, to plead or argue with, to cajole or even threaten, Maffeo Barberini as pope to abandon his pro-French policy orientation. The Barberini pope was, accordingly, able to impose his line: The war is largely a secular affair. It is territorial aims that dominate it. As Galileo was deeply involved in writing his Dialogue, in its latest Danish phase, Austrian Catholic Hapsburg forces fielded two armies. Wallenstein (Albrecht von Wallenstein, duke of Friedland) had assembled a large army of mercenaries and hired his services out to Ferdinand; while the forces of the still intact Catholic League (largely recruited from southern German principalities and loyal to the Roman Church) were commanded by Tilly (Johannes Tserclaes, graf von Tilly). In April 1626, Wallenstein defeated units of the Protestant Danish king Christian's army at Dessau in Germany; and 26 August 1626, Tilly destroyed the main body of Christian's army at Lutter am Barenberge (Germany). Together, the combined forces of Wallenstein and Tilly, the latter known as Imperials, overran all of northern Germany, plundering towns and villages in their wake. Christian's forces retreated into the next year to the Jutland Peninsula with Wallenstein's mercenaries in pursuit. Here they attempted to regroup, but there was no further fighting. On 6 March 1629, Ferdinand II, Austrian Hapsburg and Holy Roman emperor, decreed the Edict of Restitution, a document voiding Protestant titles to all Roman Catholic property expropriated since the Peace of Augsburg (1555). On 22 May 1629, Danish king Christian capitulated, signed the Treaty of Lübeck, and on this basis gave up a number of minor holdings in German lands. Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of French king Louis XIII, had been alarmed by the settlement achieved by Ferdinand, that is, the aggrandizement of Hapsburg power and prestige in central Europe. Internal crisis had prevented his intervention, but he had made overtures to Protestant Gustav II Apolph (Gustavus Adolphus), king of Sweden. Gustav had long been inundated with appeals from German Protestant princes. With the promise of French financial support, and with territorial designs of his own in the Baltic region, the Swedish army entered the fight. In summer 1630, his well-trained peasant army beached on the coast of Pomerania and opened a new phase in the war. The princes of Pomerania, Brandenburg and Saxony, had promised support but afraid of a fight, especially with a view to a dozen years in which Hapsburg combat forces had largely carried the day. Indecisive, they wavered, delaying the campaign, costing Gustav the advantage of surprise and the offensive.

1 In the third, Swedish phase (1630-1635), Gustavus Adolphus’ army had Swedish, Finnish, German speaking and Scottish and English infantry units, while his cavalry was Swedish, Finnish and Germany speaking. In the same phase, the Hapsburg Imperials consisted in German speakers, Austrians, Czechs and Poles, Magyars, Croats, Italians, and even Walloons. The latter enumeration, moreover, does not include the ethnicities of Wallenstein’s mercenary army. Ibid, 19-20, 23.

Tilly, in sole command of the Imperials, laid siege to Magdeburg (Germany), a city in which nearly the entire Protestant population had risen against the Holy Roman emperor. His forces captured, then pillaged, sacking the city, destroying much of it on 20 May 1631. That summer, Tilly’s Imperials advanced on the Swedes three times and were beaten back on each occasion. Notably, the last battle (Breitenfeld), 17 September 1631 (in which the Saxons had broken ranks, fled, exposing Gustav's left flank), the Swedes had nearly lost. In their subsequent regroupment, they routed Tilly's forces. (Six thousand were killed or captured.) This was a turning point, because it opened up central German lands to Gustav, whose army marched uncontested into southern Germany down “Cleric’s Alley” (i.e., through the Catholic bishoprics of Fulda, Bamberg and Würzburg, taking the cities of Frankfurt am Main and Mainz, the latter of which as an archbishopric was the seat of one of the seven Electors of the Holy Roman emperor), where winter camp was made. 1 In late March, Swedish forces broke winter camp. They had all the appearance of being unstoppable. In Rome, there was panic. The struggle between the opposing forces at the pinnacle of Roman power exploded into the open. The pro-Spanish cardinals demanded that the Barberini regime abandon its liberality and tolerance, and renew its at any rate half-hearted commitment to the fight against Reformation in all its manifestations, in particular to the struggle against heresy and the subversive ideas of the innovators; and that it drop its pro-French orientation and align itself with the Spanish (meaning, of course, with Catholic forces in the field, i.e., the Austrian Hapsburgs). 2 Against the background of events in Bavaria, a secret concave, a council of state of the Roman Church, opened. Supported by the entire array of cardinals of his faction, Borgia read a statement openly denouncing Urban, Barberini as pope. It condemned him for a heretical alliance with the Swedish Protestant king. Barberini ordered him silence, but the entire Spanish party, both its cardinals and Italian cardinals in the faction, gathered around him protecting him while he finished the statement. News of these events, and the accusation that Urban hid heretics under his wing, was carried to all the embassies, and official secretariats of Europe. Spanish and Austrian ambassadors demanded immediate, direct and open support. 3 The secret concave reopened on 11 March. There were further recriminations from both sides. On the 18 th , Urban struck back, expelling Cardinal Ludovisi, second among equals in the Spanish party, from Rome. There was no resolution. At the end of March, acting as special representative of the Austrian Hapsburgs, Cardinal Pazmany arrived in Rome. To the pro- Spanish party’s demands for abandoning the French alliance, in addition he insisted on the Austrian need for money. In the heart of the southern German speaking lands, the Swedes attacked Tilly’s Imperials on the banks of the Lech River on 14 April 1632, Tilly himself was mortally wounded, and München was taken. Hapsburg forces were in disarray. 4 In Rome, the pro-Spanish Borghese faction threatened Barberini with an apocalyptic scenario:

Gustavus Adolphus, with his army now sitting astride München, is preparing to debouch from

1 Ibid, 9-11. 2 Redondi, Ibid, 229. 3 Ibid, 229-231. 4 At this point, Ferdinand II, the emperor, immediately recalled Wallenstein (who had been dismissed following upon much pressure from high ranking Imperial officers who disliked his mercenary status, and the powers and wealth that had accrued to him in the years of war). Wallenstein possessed vast military resources of his own and was able to very rapidly assemble a creditable, massive mercenary force. He soon had his army in the field, and by the end of May 1632, he had already recaptured Prague, held by the Saxon allies of Gustavus. Brzezinski, Ibid, 11.

the Alps and descend on Rome. They have already plundered the Jesuit colleges and expelled the order in toto from the city. Memories (none living) of a little over a century old event were immediately stirred, for on 11 May 1526 a Castilian army of Charles V sacked Rome. Recounted in Francesco Guicciardini’s History of Italy, 1 which every literate Roman (and native of the Italian Peninsula) without exception had read, still a hundred years later the event left an indelible impression on clerics… rapacious plundering, rioting and even murder without regard to faction or personage, i.e., without respect to whether or not one was of the old Roman oligarchy, held position and status within the Church, or was a wealthy foreign merchant… which is difficult for us to either imagine or describe. Whether it was a ruse or the surfacing of depth-psychological anxieties or both (the latter underpinning the former), the Borghese faction exploited a fantasy fear that provoked a nightmarish dreamscape of Protestant atrocities (not unlike that white masters in the old planter South imagined in the American Civil War when male black slaves were left alone with white mistresses while the masters gathered in legislatures at state capitals… they weren’t doing any fighting… to plot ways and means of running the Union embargo on cotton). After all, it had happened once before (carried out by a Catholic army to boot). Feeding the fantasy was the knowledge of the vast treasures of Rome, the center of the universe of western Christendom for the past 1500 years, much of which was illicit gain, and, incident upon the logic of the master that knows he has wronged those he oppresses, rightfully the object of plunder. The fear was imaginary. 2 Imagining or no, the Church hierarchy had no man in its midst of military stature, not even one with enough insight to adequately assess Gustav’s intentions. Fantasy, and the real forces that underlay it… supremacy within the Curia and a return to a pro-Spanish, i.e., openly counter Reformation policy… freely ran amuck. By late May, Barberini capitulated to the pressures engulfing him.

1 Guicciardini, The History of Italy, 376, 384-385, wherein he expresses some of the horror this event symbolized for a

contemporary thirty-five years after the event. 2 First, the Swiss army would have to climb mountainous terrain, sometimes narrow passages, with armor (infantry), horses (cavalry), artillery pieces in excess of a thousand pounds, their caissons, the entire train of food supplies, and officer accommodations carried into the field. This was no mean feat in and of itself but its enormous difficulty would have been magnified since the most reliable, shortest route from München to Milano was through the Austrian Hapsburg Tyrol and was over 360 kilometers, two-thirds of which was mountainous and snow covered, passages which would have likely been manned by small Imperial detachments. Second, a line of communications over the mountains and a line of supplies could not be maintained. The Swedish army would have been forced to forage on the countryside, multiplying and vastly deepening any pre-existing hostility it was sure at any rate to encounter. Third, beyond the Alps lay 535 kilometers of march by way of Bologna and Florence, a portion (that between the two cities) which was also mountainous (the Apennines), though nothing like the Alps, and which would have surely hosted irregular peasant guerrillas defending their faith and its institutions with whatever damage they might inflict on the Swedish army. Mercenary forces could also be mobilized on the Peninsula, along with the comparably far smaller forces of Tuscany, Emilia, Romagna, and the Papal States. Fourth, Gustav had no immediate, practical reason to risk his forces in such an adventure, one that might trap him on the Italian Peninsula without recourse. Wallenstein was still in the field and could (and did) compel certain tactical adjustments on the part of Gustav. The Swedish king’s ally and in part his financier, the French (who had right up to this moment been supported by the papacy under Barberini who, in turn, had studiously avoided the conflict until this time maintaining the Thirty Years War was secular), was territorially motivated and pursued dynastic ambition. Fifth, though the cardinals assembled in Rome could not have known with any certainty, Rome was not the object of

the Swedish campaign. Rather, putting an end to the war there and then

was much more in tune with Gustav’s sensibilities, but even this he could not

by assaulting Vienna and toppling the

entire edifice of the Hapsburg Empire

Published earlier in the spring, at the same moment (late May 1632) the first copies of the Dialogue reached Rome. At this