Skip to main content Accessibility help

Heidegger and Galileo’s Slippery Slope

  • Shannon Dea (a1)


ABSTRACT: In Die Frage nach dem Ding, Martin Heidegger characterizes Galileo as an important transitional figure in the struggle to replace the Aristotelian conception of nature with that of Newton. However, Heidegger only attends to Galileo’s modernity and not to those Aristotelian elements still discernible in Galileo’s work. This article fleshes out both aspects in Galileo in light of Heidegger’s discussion. It concludes by arguing that the lacuna in Heidegger’s account of Galileo is the consequence of Heidegger’s own self-conscious modernity − a modernity that he slyly hints at in a remark he makes in FD concerning Galileo and Democritus.

RÉSUMÉ : Dans Die Frage nach dem Ding, Martin Heidegger qualifie Galilée de figure importante dans la lutte pour remplacer la conception aristotélicienne de la nature par celle de Newton. Toutefois, Heidegger examine seulement les traits modernes de Galilée et non ceux qui ressemblent à Aristote. Cet article précise ces deux aspects à partir de la discussion dans Die Frage nach dem Ding. Il conclut par l’affirmation que la lacune dans le portrait de Galilée est la conséquence de la modernité consciente de Heidegger lui-même — une modernité à laquelle il fait allusion dans une remarque concernant Galilée et Démocrite.



Hide All
AWP 1977 “The Age of the World Picture.” Martin Heidegger. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. Edited and Translated by Lovitt, William. New York: Garland, pp. 115-154.
CTSH 2002 “The Concept of Time in the Science of History.” Translated by Taylor, Harry S., Uffelman, Hans W., and van Buren, John. Martin Heidegger. Supplements: From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond. Edited by van Buren, John. Albany: SUNY Press, pp. 49-60.
FD 1962 Die Frage nach dem Ding: Zu Kants Lehre von den transzendentalen Grundsätzen. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
MSMM 1977 “Modern Science, Metaphysics, and Mathematics.” Translated by Barton, W. B. Jr. and Deutsch, Vera. Martin Heidegger. Basic Writings. Edited by Farrell Krell, David. New York: Harper and Row, pp. 243-282.
ZG 1972 “Der Zeitbegriff in der Geschichtswissenschaft.” Martin Heidegger. Frühe Schriften. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, pp. 355-375.
ZW 1957 “Die Zeit des Weltbildes.” Martin Heidegger. Holzwege. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, pp. 69-104.
Cahoone, Lawrence E. 1986The Interpretation of Galilean Science: Cassirer Contrasted with Husserl and Heidegger.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 17/1: 1-21.
Drake, Stillman 1989 History of Free Fall: Aristotle to Galileo. Toronto: Wall and Thompson.
Drake, Stillman 1999 “Galileo and the Law of Inertia.” Stillman Drake, Essays on Galileo and the History and Philosophy of Science. Vol. 2. Edited by Swerdlow, N. M. and Levere, T. H.. Toronto: U. of T. Press, pp. 121-133.
Galilei, Galileo 1960 De Motu. Translated by Drabkin, I. E.. Galilei, Galileo. On Motion and On Mechanics. Madison: U. of Wisconsin P., pp. 3-131.
Galilei, Galileo 1914 Dialogue Concerning Two New Sciences. Translated by Crew, Henry and de Salvio, Alfonso. New York: Macmillan.
The Galileo Project 2008On Motion,” Accessed 18 October.
Glazebrook, Trish 1998Heidegger on the Experiment.” Philosophy Today, 42/3: 250-261.
Glazebrook, Trish 2000 Heidegger’s Philosophy of Science. New York: Fordham.
Hooper, Wallace 1998 “Inertial problems in Galileo’s preinertial framework.” The Cambridge Companion to Galileo. Edited by Machamer, Peter. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., pp. 146-174.
Kant, Immanuel 1956 Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Kemp Smith, Norman. London: Macmillan.
Kuhn, Thomas 2002 “Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice.” First Philosophy: Fundamental Problems and Readings in Philosophy. Edited by Bailey, Andrew. Peterborough: Broadview Press, pp. 369-387.
Machamer, Peter 1998 “Galileo’s machines, his mathematics, and his experiments.” The Cambridge Companion to Galileo. Edited by Machamer, Peter. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., pp. 53-79.
Newton, Isaac 1999 The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated by Bernard Cohen, I. and Whitman, Anne. Berkeley: U. of California P.
Reitan, Eric A. 1996Nature, Place, and Space: Albert the Great and the Origins of Modern Science.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 70/1: 83-101.
Wallace, William A. 1998 “Galileo’s Pisan studies in science and philosophy.” The Cambridge Companion to Galileo. Edited by Machamer, Peter. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., pp. 27-52.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed