Forme di lettura, Forme di cultura.
This essay tries an examination of the verbal and non-verbal
lections of incunabula, conducted in function of the reader's culture.
Are put under analysis all those subjective interventions that allow to
gather in the text the cultural forms interacting and modelling a text
reading as well as the determination of its meaning. However the printed
text itself already contains objective and concrete elements predeterming
the form of lection.Various authors are involved in the essay, such as
among others Leibniz, Descartes and Nicholas de Lyra. From a general standpoint
this is an attempt having the aim of singling out both facts and concepts
useful to reconstruct, at least partially, the complex and elusive act
G. STRANO, The
Identification of entry no. 482 of Claudius Ptolemy's star catalogue (IIth
century) and circumstance that has prevented it up to now.
Y. ZIK, GALILEO
AND THE TELESCOPE The status of theoretical and practical knowledge and
techniques of measurement and experimentation in the development of the
Galileo's presentation of the refinement of the telescope, by which he
was able to view heavens and the enormous influence it had, created vast
interest and raised controversies among scholars. Although scholars who
dealt with the subject agreed that by using long focal lenses and a diaphragm,
Galileo was able to improve the magnification and quality of the image,
still the common view is that Galileo was able to build the telescope
because he was a talented artisan and not because he colud acquire knowledge
about the laws of optics that lay behind his success. This paper will
shed new light upon and clarifies the empirical working methods and the
extent of Galileo's knowledge of the optical principles involved in the
construction of the telescope.
E. BENSA - G.
ZANARINI, LA FISICA DELLA MUSICA Nascita e sviluppo dell'acustica musicale
nei secoli XVII e XVIII.
The scientific revolution of XVII century concerned also the domain of
music theory, deeply investigating the nature of musical sounds and the
physics of their production. Also the classical explanations of musical
consonance were questioned, looking for its hidden causes through physics
experiments and mathematical models.The passionating history of musical
acoustics from Galileo to the end of XVIII century is revisited, with
a particular emphasis on consonance theories.
accounts of chemical manufacture in Italy prior to unification.
In the broad socio-economical context the accent is placed on the of the
characteristics of the 'chemical industry' and on the absence of a 'chemical
conscience' necessary for an adequate launch.
A. ROSSI, Galileo
Ferraris (1847-1897) tra scienza e tecnologia.
Galileo Ferraris (1847-1897), the most eminent Italian «electrician»
in the last quarter of the XIX Century, is wrongly considered a pure technician
who invented a new kind of electric induction motor. Instead, in introducing
the new device, he also contributed, as a valuable mathematical physicist,
to the deepning of Maxwell's electromagnetic theory itself, and, if ever,
he did not draw all consequences of his invention from a practical point
of view. Here are well exemplified the main characteristics of the beginning
of Italian politechnical culture at the end of the XIX Century, which
was also characterized by G. Ferrari's deep engagement in innovative teaching
of electrical science and technology.
C. POGLIANO, Bachi,
polli, grani. Appunti sulla ricezione della genetica in Italia (1900-1953).
Italian geneticists managed to establish the boundaries and structures
of their own community only after the Second World War, when they promoted,
in the space of a few years, a series of initiatives culminating in the
Ninth International Congress of Genetics (Bellagio 1953). This essay traces
the ways in which, from the beginning of the century, the revolutionary
and swift development of the discipline found its context and interested
audience in Italy. in contrast to our standard picture, there was no shortage
of naturalists to dedicate themselves enthusiastically to genetics, even
launching a campaign in the 30's for its 'political' recognition.
But cultural trenda after the First World War, and especially the directives
of the Fascist regime, tended to favour scientific practical and economic
values and keep the theoretical and interpretative nature of their work
to a minimum. This was ultimately futile, given the indifference with
which the centres of power responded. It was the reason, too, for their
extremely weak, or almost non-existent participation in the preparations
for the «evolutionary synthesis» in which European and American
scientists were involved, which changed appreciably the character and
methods of biology.
D. MONTI, Creation
and destruction of corpuscles.
The main subject of this paper is the detailed analysis and discussion
of a particular historical framework. The framework comprises two structurally
symmetrical physical descriptions based on two theories which are apparently
incommensurable from the point of view of research framework, the problems
that generated them and the aims of their authors. The two descriptions
concern the phenomena of the emission and absorption of light (in an article
published by Dirac in 1927, commonly referred to as «Dirac's QED»)and
of the creation and destruction of e+ - e -
pairs (in Dirac's socalled «holes model» of 1929). This
symmetry has occasionally been mentioned in scientifica literature, but
the intention of this paper is close study to gain a better understanding
of the terms as support for the following thesis:the relationship between
the two theories is not simply one of parallelism but is the product of
a precise historical process, which can be sustained at a logical
level. In this sense Dirac's holes model can be seen as a result of a
process of reflection which began in Dirac's QED and concenrned the mathematical
foundations and conceptual framework of the«new» quantum mechanics.
The two theoretical structures contain certain permanent forms which,
when extracted from one context and re-introduced into the other, involve
a transfer and generation of knowledge.
F. BONOLI - M.
ZUCCOLI, On two sixteenth-century instruments by Giovanni Magini (1555-1617).
This paper aims at stressing the importance of the Italian astronomer
Giovanni Antonio Magini (1555-1617) as instrument designer, describing
two of his quadrants. The quadrant has manifold uses, in astronomy, topography,
cartography and mathematics. Magini practises all these disciplines, as
professor of Astronomy at the University of Bologna and the author of
many important works, such as Italia ( a cartographic representation
of Italy) and his Ephemerides.The history of the ownership of the
quadrants designed by Magini, which can be followed until recent times,
shows they were appreciated not only as antiques but as demonstrations
of Magini's mastery of instrument design.
A. LUALDI, Biagio
Burlini, un ottico del '700 veneziano
The sphere of activity of Biagio Burlini, an optician and instrument-maker
working in Venice around the middle of the eighteenth century, is here
pointed out. A research in the Archivio Patriarcale of Venice allowed
to find the year of his birth (1709) and his death (13.1.1771). A survey
of signed microscopes and telescopes now in various public and private
collections contributes to a better knowledge of optical instrument-makers
in that century.
Per un Archivio
della Corrispondenza degli Scienziati Italiani
F. ABBRI, «Commercio
di libri e produzioni naturali»
II. Lettere di Carl Peter Thunberg a Giovanni Mariti
In this paper Carl Peter Thunberg's letters to Giovanni Mariti are published.
The present essay is a contribution to the history of the Italian-Swedish
relationships at the end of the Eighteenth century and it is a sequel
to a paper on the same topic published in 1992.
Corrispondenza di Giovanni Battista Amici con Carlo Matteucci e Angelo
We here publish 28 letters from the coppespondence of Giovanni Battista
Amici, belonging to the Estense Library in Modena, concerning his relationship
with two of the greatest Italian scientists of the XIX century: Carlo
Matteucci and Angelo Secchi.
Pierre Gassendi's De Philosophia Epicuri Universe Rediscovered New
perspective on the Genesis of the Syntagma Philosophicum
This article deals with a manuscript, recently discovered at the British
Library, which contains books VIII-XI of the De vita et doctrina
Epicuri, the earliest extant version of Pierre Gassendi's Syntagma
philosophicum.The contents of books IX to XI, composed between 1636
and 1637 and dedicated to Epicurus' canonics, have already been known
through Ms. Carpentras 1832. Book VIII, however, which was finished in
March, 1634, is the De philosophia Epicuri universe thet Pintard,
Rochot and Bloch have declared lost. The present article provides an analysis
of its contents and shows how those of its parts that had not been used
for the Liber prooemialis of the Syntagma philosophicum (called
De philosophia universe) were instead integrated into the apology
De vita et moribus Epicuri, published in 1647. It now appears that,
contrary to what has so far been assumed, the latter work, which was composed
between 1633 and 1634, was modified before being printed.
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