Galileo Galilei and Aristotle
Galileo and Aristotle were both discoverers. Both made important, but not
necessarily correct discoveries, and we all know that. To find out, comparing and
contrasting the lives of both discoverers and their works are necessary.
Aristotle was born in Stageira, Chalcidice, Greece in 384 BC. He
was trained and educated as an aristocrat when he was young.
Later, at the age of eighteen, he went to a prestigious academy (at
that time), Plato’s Academy. He left only after Plato’s death,
which was twenty years later.
Aristotle had studied almost every subject possible at that time,
and also made significant contributions to most of them. In
physical science, Aristotle studied anatomy, astronomy,
economics, embryology, geography, geology, meteorology,
physics and zoology. In philosophy, he wrote on aesthetics, ethics,
government, metaphysics, politics, psychology,
rhetoric and theology. He also studied education, Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) in Plato’s Academy
foreign customs, literature and poetry.
Galileo Galilei was first educated in the age eight in the Camaldolese
Monastery at Vallombrosa. As a young man, he had wanted to be a priest.
He enrolled for a medical degree at the University of Pisa at his father's
urging though. He did not complete it. Instead, he studied mathematics.
“1592, he moved to the University of Padua, teaching geometry,
mechanics, and astronomy until 1610. During this period Galileo made
significant discoveries in both pure science (for example, kinematics of
motion, and astronomy) and applied science (for example, strength of
materials, and improvement of the telescope). His multiple interests
A portrait of Galileo Galilei included the study of astrology, which in pre-modern disciplinary
practice was seen as correlated to the studies of mathematics and
Although Aristotle had a lot of theories that were wrong, this is a list of claims that
include wrong and right:
He claimed that human males had more teeth than females had (wrong); massive
objects fall faster than less massive objects (wrong); he claimed that the moon was a
smooth perfect sphere (wrong); he also thought that: fire was hot and dry; earth cold
and dry; air hot and wet, water cold and wet (not all these were necessarily all true).
He also wrongly proved to the public that every other planet (including the sun)
revolved around the Earth.
Contributions made by Galileo Galilei:
Galileo improved the refracting telescope by using his own knowledge on that; he
invented and improved a Geometric and Military for gunners and surveyors to use; the
compound telescope was perfected by him; he was one of the creators to develop the
thermometer; he designed an escapement mechanism for a pendulum clock, a
vectorial model of which may be seen here; he discovered Jupiter had four moons,
and that Venus also had a similar phase; if Galileo hadn’t observed from his
microscope that planets such as Earth orbited the sun, we still might have thought that
every other planet revolved around us; he was also one of the first Europeans to
observe a sun spot; Galileo changed the belief that the moon was a perfect smooth
sphere, but was actually rough surfaced and had mountains etc. like the Earth.
The better discoverer was more likely to be Galileo Galilei. The main reason for this
is because he had made not as many mistakes, discovered as well as invented things
that actually worked, and has proved earlier discoverers to be wrong. If he hadn’t
discovered that the original theories made by earlier famous people were wrong or
that he invented the telescope, we would have still believed that the Earth was at the
centre of the universe, or that there were no such things such as sun spots on other
planets. We also might have still thought that the moon was a perfect sphere. Aristotle
had made some mistakes, but that was just because his period of time was very long
time ago, and had not enough sufficient technology.
Record of Sources
Step 1a: Task Definition
In your own words, outline the task that you have been given .
I have to write a two page report to compare and contrast the lives and
discoveries/inventions of Aristotle and Galileo.
Step 1b: Task Specifics
Text Information Needed (A list of questions to be answered) .
1 Where and when were they born?
2 Which invention/discoveries made them famous?
3 Were any of them scientifically trained?
4 What discoveries/inventions did they find/make?
5 Did their background affect their career?
6 What educational background do they have?
7 Had they always wanted to become discoverers/inventors?
8 How much did their discoveries/ inventions affect modern life as we know
9 How many discoveries/inventions did find/make?
10 What reasons are reasonable enough for me to decide which
discoverer/inventor is better?
Non-text Media Needed (A list of Images, Sounds, Photos, Video, etc… to be collected)
1 Pictures of the inventors/discoverers
2 Pictures of the inventors’/discoverers’ works
3 Picture of Galileo Galilei’s telescope
4 Picture of the inventors’ schools.
Step 2: Location of sources
Location Why will this source location be relevant to your research?
School Library To find a book on the inventors/discoverers
Public Library Find more ranges of books of the inventors/discoverers
School Website To find if the History department has any information on the
Wikipedia To cross reference with the information that has already been collected
Step 3: SOURCES TABLES
Text Information (from sources such as Newspapers, Books, Websites, Surveys)
Source Type Where you used Validity
Digital Primary/ information and why Timeliness Correctnes
Full Reference of Source chosen? of source. s of source.
. (P or [Or why not used] Up-to-date? If checked, how?
T1 D S http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Wikipedia: to view Go to the Just cross
Aristotle what other people’s website and reference with
opinion check the other sources.
bottom of the
T2 D S http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ (same as above) (same as (same as
Galileo above) above)
Non-text Media (for example Pictures, Sound, Animation, Video, …)
Source Type Where you used Validity
Digital Primary/ information and why
No. Full Reference of Source chosen? Permission to
(D or P) (P or S) [Or why not used] use source.
If ‘Yes’ then provide
M1 D S http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galile Wikipedia: because the Yes: “All text is
o pictures are “under the terms available under the
terms of the GNU
of the GNU Free Free Documentation
Documentation License”, License.”
M2 D S http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristo (same as above) Yes: “ All text is
tle available under the
terms of the GNU
Step 4: Raw Sources
Use this table to make a copy of any important parts of digital media or quotes from Paper Sources that
you might use – label each (e.g. T1, M2) so you know which source each item came from
No. Raw Dump
i Your teacher, parents and friends should be able to understand the task by just reading your summary
ii Add more rows to tables as necessary