Descartes’ reaction to Galileo’s conviction

The philosopher René Descartes in 1633:

“I inquired in Leiden and Amsterdam whether Galileo’s World System was available, descartesr-100for I thought I’d heard that it was published in Italy last year. I was told that it had indeed been published but that all the copies had immediately been burnt at Rome, and that Galileo had been convicted and fined. I was so astonished at this that I almost decided to burn all my papers … .”

Source: René Descartes, Letter to Mersenne, November 1633. In Selected Correspondence of Descartes, edited by Jonathan Bennett.

Related: My post, Galileo and the Modern Compromise.”

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