The book investigates the shared knowledge of preclassical mechanics by relating the work of Thomas Harriot on motion, documented by a wealth of manuscripts, to that of Galileo and other contemporaries. Harriot and Galileo indeed exploited the same shared knowledge resources in order to approach the same challenging subjects. While the paths Harriot traces through the shared knowledge are different from Galileo's, the work of the two scientists displays striking similarities as regards their achievements as well as the problems they were unable to solve. The study of Harriot’ s parallel work thus allows the exploration of the structure of the shared knowledge of early modern mechanics, to perceive possible alternative histories, and thus to distinguish between individual peculiarities and shared structures of early modern mechanical reasoning.
The English Galileo: Thomas Harriot’s Work on Motion as an Example of Preclassical Mechanics
- Matthias Schemmel
- Dept. I