Galilei, Galileo, Discourse concerning the natation of bodies, 1663

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Democritus con­
futed by the
But Democritus notes, that this Caufe only takes place when we
treat of raiſing and ſuſtaining of Plates of Matters, but very little
heavier than the water, or extreamly thin: but in Matters very
grave, and of ſome thickneſs, as Plates of Lead or other Mettal, that
ſame Effect wholly ceaſeth: In Teſtimony of which, let's obſerve
that ſuch Plates, being raiſed by the Fiery Atomes, aſcend through
all the depth of the water, and ſtop at the Confines of the Air, ſtill
ſtaying under water: but the Plates of the Opponents ſtay not, but
only when they have their upper Superficies dry, nor is there any
means to be uſed, that when they are within the water, they may
not ſink to the bottom.
The cauſe, therefore, of the Supernatation
of the things of which Democritus ſpeaks is one, and that of the Super­
natation of the things of which we ſpeak is another.
But, returning

to Ariſtotle, methinks that he hath more weakly confuted Democritus,
than Democritus himſelf hath done: For Ariſtotle having propounded
the Objection which he maketh againſt him, and oppoſed him with
ſaying, that if the calid aſcendent Corpuſcles were thoſe that raiſed
the thin Plate, much more then would ſuch a Solid be raiſed and
born upwards through the Air, it ſheweth that the deſire in Ariſtotle
to detect Democritus, was predominate over the exquiſiteneſs of Solid
Philoſophizing: which deſire of his he hath diſcovered in other oc­
caſions, and that we may not digreſs too far from this place, in the
Text precedent to this Chapter which we have in hand; where he

attempts to confute the ſame Democritus, for that he, not content­
ing himſelf with names only, had eſſayed more particularly to de­
clare what things Gravity and Levity were; that is, the Cauſes of
deſcending and aſcending, (and had introduced Repletion and Va­
cuity) aſcribing this to Fire, by which it moves upwards, and that to
the Earth, by which it deſcends; afterwards attributing to the
Air more of Fire, and to the water more of Earth.
But Ariſtotle
deſiring a poſitive Cauſe, even of aſcending Motion, and not as Plato,

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