"Pre-Galilean" Foolishness

 I am currently reading The Master and His Emissary, which appears to be an excellent book. ("Appears" because I don't know the neuroscience literature well enough to say for sure, yet.)

But then on page 186 I find:

"Asking cognition, however, to give a perspective on the relationship between cognition and affect is like asking astronomer in the pre-Galilean geocentric world, whether, in his opinion, the sun moves round the earth of the earth around the sun. To ask a question alone would be enough to label one as mad."

OK, this is garbage. First of all, it should be pre-Copernican, not pre-Galilean.

But much worse is that people have seriously been considering heliocentrism for many centuries before Copernicus. Aristarchus had proposed a heliocentric model in the 4th-century BC. It had generally been considered wrong, but not "mad." (And wrong for scientific reasons: Why, for instance, did we not observe stellar parallax?)

And when Copernicus proposed his model, what happened?

"In 1533, Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter delivered in Rome a series of lectures outlining Copernicus' theory. The lectures were heard with interest by Pope Clement VII and several Catholic cardinals." -- Wikipedia

Many people thought he was wrong, but I've seen no evidence that anyone thought he was "mad."


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