Annals of Science 70 (2):175-195 (2013)

Michael Elazar
Tel Aviv University
This paper aims first and foremost to unravel and clarify an interesting 17th century controversy around superposition in projectiles, which allegedly existed between the French Jesuit Honoré Fabri and the Italian physicist and astronomer Giovanni Alfonso Borelli. This conflict ? initially described by the English mathematician John Wallis in a letter from 1670 to the secretary of the Royal Society ? has been erroneously identified with Fabri's Dialogi physici (1669), a work written in response to Borelli's De vi percussionis (1669). In fact, this ?conflict? was nothing but Wallis's account of a contradiction between Borelli's above mentioned work and Fabri's Tractatus physicus de motu locali from 1646, while Fabri's 1669 work expressed views very different from those contained in his Tractatus physicus. I will try here to reconstruct Fabri's change of heart between 1646 and 1669 concerning projectiles and superposition, while tracing the real bone of contention between (the later) Fabri and Borelli ? superimposing contrary motions ? to its Aristotelian origins. My analysis will lead me to problematize the way modern historians usually interpret the relation between Aristotle's physical thinking and projectile theories of early modern theoreticians (e.g. Nicollò Tartaglia's)
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DOI 10.1080/00033790.2012.656704
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References found in this work BETA

A Rational Controversy Over Compounding Forces.Gideon Freudenthal - 2000 - In Peter K. Machamer, Marcello Pera & Aristeidēs Baltas (eds.), Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 125.

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The Parallelogram Rule From Pseudo-Aristotle to Newton.David Marshall Miller - 2017 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 71 (2):157-191.

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