The Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century was based on the intellectual & scientific accomplishments of previous centuries



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The Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century was based on the intellectual & scientific accomplishments of previous centuries

  • The Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century was based on the intellectual & scientific accomplishments of previous centuries

    • Influences:
      • Mathematical & naturalistic skills of Renaissance artists
      • The Hermetic belief in magic & alchemy
      • The humanists 'rediscovery of Greek mathematicians & thinkers
      • The inspired work of a few intellectuals
    • Leonardo da Vinci believed that Mathematics was the KEY to understanding the nature of things.
    • Scholars devoted to Hermeticism saw the world as a living embodiment of divinity where humans could use mathematics and magic to dominate nature.
    • Greatest achievements in science during the 16th & 17th Centuries came in:
      • ASTRONOMY,
      • MEDICINE,
      • & MECHANICS






Geocentric Universe

  • Geocentric Universe

    • Ten Spheres surrounded the Earth (see slide)
    • Christianized Ptolemaic Universe (see slide) called Geocentric Universe – Earth the Center, Sun revolves around Earth
  • Copernicus

    • Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543), Polish – studied at Krakow, then in Italy at Bologna & Padua
    • On The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
      • Heliocentric Universe – Sun the center, planets revolve around it
      • Copernicus’ ideas were nearly as complicated as those of Ptolemy
      • Luther & other Protestant leaders condemned his discovery as contrary to their literal interpretation of the Bible.


Tycho Brahe – Danish Nobleman built his own castle w/ an observatory & instruments he designed

  • Tycho Brahe – Danish Nobleman built his own castle w/ an observatory & instruments he designed

    • made accurate observations of the planets
  • Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630)

    • Used data to derive the 3 laws of Planetary Motion that confirmed Copernicus’s heliocentric theory but that showed the orbits were Elliptical.
  • Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642)

    • The Telescope
    • The Starry Messenger
        • Condemned by the Church (put under house arrest) for ridiculing the Ptolemaic model in PRINT.
        • He was forced to Recant
        • Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican – was an attempt by Galileo to support Copernicus through a publication in Italian accessible to a wide audience.
        • He discovered the Principle of Inertia
    • Scientific leadership passes to England, France and the Netherlands






Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge University

  • Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge University

  • Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1684 – 1686): The Principia

    • Three Laws of Motions
    • Gravity
    • Calculus
  • Newton’s scientific discoveries were readily accepted in England but were resisted on the continent

  • The Planets obey the same laws as do the objects on Earth.





Medieval Medicine dominated by Galen (the 4 humors – blood, yellow bile, phlegm, black bile)

  • Medieval Medicine dominated by Galen (the 4 humors – blood, yellow bile, phlegm, black bile)

  • Paracelsus – Philippus Aureolus von Hohenheim (he was vain & short-tempered; didn’t hold onto jobs very long b/c of his bad temper)

    • He & his followers used very careful attention to the proper dosage of their chemically prepared metals & minerals.
  • Andreas Vesalius (1514 – 1564)

  • William Harvey

    • On the Motion of the Heart and Blood (1628) – refuted the ideas of the liver as the beginning point of the circulation of blood.
    • Circulation of the blood




New Opportunities for Women – ONLY FOR THE ELITE

  • New Opportunities for Women – ONLY FOR THE ELITE

  • Largely informal education

  • Margaret Cavendish (1623 – 1673)

    • Observations upon Experimental Philosophy
    • Grounds of Natural Philosophy
    • Attacked the belief that humans through science were masters of nature.
  • Maria Sibylla Merian

    • Entomologist
    • The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam
  • Maria Winkelmann (1670 – 1720)

      • German astronomer
      • Discovered comet
      • Rejected for a post by the Berlin Academy








Benedict Spinoza believed that women were “naturally” inferior to men

  • Benedict Spinoza believed that women were “naturally” inferior to men

  • Women portrayed as inherently base, prone to vice, easily swayed, and “sexually insatiable”

  • Women joined debate in the 17th century and reject this view

  • Science used to “perpetrate old stereotypes about women”

  • Scientific revolution reaffirmed traditional ideas about women’s nature



Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650)

  • Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650)

    • Discourse on Method (1637)
    • “I think, therefore I am.”
    • Separation of mind and matter
    • Cartesian Dualism
    • Father of modern rationalism
    • Descartes believed that the world could be understood by the same principles inherent in mathematical thinking.




The Scientific Method

  • The Scientific Method

    • Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)
      • The foundation of Francis Bacon’s methodology was Inductive Reasoning
      • Rejects Copernicus and Kepler; Misunderstands Galileo
      • The Great Instauration (The Great Restoration)
      • Correct Scientific Method built on inductive principles
      • Proceed from the particular to the general
      • Experimentation
      • Control and domination of nature
    • Descartes
      • Deduction and mathematical logic
    • Newton
      • Unites Bacon’s empiricism and Descartes rationalism


People recognized Science’s rational superiority

  • People recognized Science’s rational superiority

  • Science offered new ways to exploit resources for profit



English Royal Society – began as informal meetings among scientists as early as 1640s but did not receive formal charter until 1662 under King Charles II.

  • English Royal Society – began as informal meetings among scientists as early as 1640s but did not receive formal charter until 1662 under King Charles II.

    • Received little government encouragement & tis fellows simply co-opted new members.
  • French Royal Society - also began as informal meetings in Paris around the 1650s but was chartered by King Louis XIV in 1666.

    • Received abundant state support
    • Remained under government control
    • Its members were appointed & paid salaries by the state.






Conflict between Science and Religion

  • Conflict between Science and Religion

    • Scientific beliefs triumph
    • Religious beliefs suffer
  • Benedict de Spinoza

    • Philosophy of pantheism (see next slide)
  • Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662)

    • Sought to keep science and religion united
    • Mystical vision (1654)
    • Pensées (Thoughts)
    • Attempted to convince rationalists that Christianity was valid by appealing to their reason & emotions.
    • Christianity not contrary to reason
    • Reason had limits – Humans could not understand infinity only God could.








During 17th century royal & princely patronage of science became an international phenomenon

  • During 17th century royal & princely patronage of science became an international phenomenon

  • The scientific societies of early modern Europe established the first scientific journals appearing regularly

  • Science became an integral part of Western culture in the 18th century because it offered a new means to make profits & maintain social order

  • The Scientific Revolution was a major turning point in Western Civilization



How did the Middle Ages and the Renaissance contribute to the Scientific Revolution?

  • How did the Middle Ages and the Renaissance contribute to the Scientific Revolution?

  • Why were advances in Mathematics so important during the Scientific Revolution?

  • Why did religious leaders react so negatively to the new advances in Science, especially in astronomy?

  • Why is Newton’s Principia called the “hinge point of modern scientific thought?

  • How did women come to play such an important role in the Scientific Revolution?

  • Why did the scientific society refuse to recognize women involved in the sciences?





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