MS#130. Galileo's Father, 2010
In: Bolt from the Blue, 2011, ch.5, pp. 79-94.
Subjects: Cultural History
Abstract: In connection with our joint work on the curriculum of the Ross School, William Irwin Thompson and I have proposed a division of world cultural history into five stages: the arithmetic, geometric, algebraic, dynamic, and chaotic mentalties.1 These stages are punctuated by four major bifurcations, or major cultural transformations. In this article we analyze the third of these, the A/D shift from the algebraic mentality to the dynamic. This coincides with the transition between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods in art history. A better understanding of the A/D shift may help us to understand the D/X bifurcation from the dynamic mentality to the chaotic, in which we are now enmeshed. Vincenzo Galilei, music theorist and composer of the late Renaissance, made significant contributions to science and mathematics, generally credited to his son, Galileo Galilei. Vincenzo, this great artist and scientist of the late Renaissance, is central to our analysis.
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Last revised by Ralph Abraham