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Scientific Revolution


OLD ARISTOTELIAN IDEAS ABOUT UNIVERSE


  • Aristotle (384–322 BC)

  • Earth is at the center of an unchanging universe (geocentrism)

  • Planets and stars move around earth in perfect spheres

  • Day and night comes from universe rotating around earth every 24 hours

  • A heavenly abode exists beyond universe made of pure matter (ether)

  • The universe is put into motion by a perfect "prime mover" that "moves without being moved."

CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATION OF ARISTOTLE'S IDEAS

  • God is the Prime Mover

  • Earth is God's primary concern

  • Heavenly abode of angels exists beyond universe

PTOLEMY'S IDEAS

  • Ptolemy (AD 100 –c. 170)

  • Planets move in small individual orbits ("epicycles") as they travel around earth

  • See also Ptolemy's map (below)



REASONS ARISTOTELIAN AND PTOLEMAIC IDEAS WERE QUESTIONED

  • Neoplatonism:

  • Stressed idea that people should look beyond appearances (think of Plato's Cave)

  • Hermetic Doctrine:

  • All matter contained divine spirit.

  • Humans could understand the physical world by unlocking secrets through mathematical formulas

  • Sun transmits divine spirit

  • Discovery of New World

  • Need for new instruments for navigation

  • Disproved Ptolemaic geography

  • Printing press = spread of new ideas

  • Reformation = challenged religious authorities (Catholic Church) and emphasized personal study of Bible (hence, education and critical reading)

  • Support of rulers: for prestige, and desire for new tools of war

  • Religious leaders hoped to improve calendar to better date Easter

ASTRONOMY AND PHYSICS


  • Copernicus (1473-1543)

  • Polish clergyman

  • Influenced by Neoplatonism and Hermetic doctrine

  • Convinced sun at center of universe (heliocentrism)

  • Earth is not stationary

  • Earth moves in perfect, divine, circles around sun

  • Day and night because of earth rotating on axis

  • Waited till year of his death to publish works in Latin - only read by a few scholars

  • Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)

  • Danish aristocrat

  • Convinced King of Denmark to build him an astronomy lab on an island

  • Meticulously recorded detailed observations about movement of planets and stars over 20 years

  • Seen by naked eye (no telescope)

  • Discovered new star (1572) and comet (1577)

  • challenging Aristotle belief that sky was fixed

  • Believed earth at center of universe (geocentrism)

  • Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

  • German aristocrat.

  • Worked for Brahe but believe in Copernican heliocentrism

  • 1609-1619 developed three laws of planetary motion

  • Planets move in elliptical orbits around sun

  • Planets speeds varied according to their distance from sun

  • Relationships between planets can be measured mathematically

  • Introduced ideas to Galileo

  • Kepler served as official mathematician to Rudolf II in Bohemia

  • Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

  • Italian

  • Conducted experiments to establish rules of physics (like object in motion stays in motion)

  • Improved and used telescope (invented by Dutch) to study skies

  • Saw that moon's surface was rugged and imperfect (like earth) not made of ether

  • Discovered Jupiter had moons and sun had spots

  • Published Dialogue of Two Chief Systems of the World in Italian not Latin (could be read by larger audience)

  • Promoted Copernican heliocentrism

  • Roman Inquisition tried to force him to renounce his views at trial

  • Defended his belief that the earth moved

  • Church put him under house arrest but his ideas spread

  • Galileo became court mathematition to Cosimo de Medici in Tuscany

  • Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

  • British physicist

  • Studied Copernicus and Galileo

  • Very religious - hoped to harmonize Christian beliefs with science

  • Developed three laws of motion

  • Inertia: Object at rest remains at rest, object in motion remains in motion unless acted upon by another force

  • Acceleration: Sum of forces on an object is equal to the mass of that object multiplied by the acceleration

  • Action/reaction: If one object exerts force on another object, the second object exerts equal and opposite force on the first.

  • Discovered laws of gravity which he applied to apples and planets

  • 1687 published Principia (The Mathematical Principles of Natural Knowledge)

  • Brought astronomy and physics together and explained it through physical laws.

  • Newton became a member of Britain's Parliament and director of the Royal Mint


MEDICINE

  • Rejection of humor system

  • Belief that imbalance in the humors -- blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm -- caused disease.

  • Illnesses cured by readjusting the humors, for instance, by bleeding patients.

  • Practiced by Greeks and Romans (including Hippocrates) until 15th century.

  • Paracelsus (1493-1541)

  • Believed in Hermetic doctrine

  • Said healers should look for truth not in books but in nature.

  • Concluded that all matter was composed of salt, sulfur and mercury (not earth, water, fire and air)

  • Looked for chemical imbalances to explain illnesses (instead of humor system)

  • Father of toxicology. (effect of chemicals on human body)

  • Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)

  • Flemish

  • Wrote first textbook on structure of human body based on observation On the Fabric of the Human Body (1543)

  • Challenged old assumptions about human anatomy

  • By dissecting cadavers

  • Became personal physician to Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V

  • William Harvey (1578-1657)

  • Englishman

  • Dissected hundred of animals

  • Discovered that the heart (the spiritual center) works like pump pushing blood to circulate through body.

  • Became Royal Physician in England

  • Robert Boyle (1627-1691)

  • Irish nobleman, devout Anglican

  • Inspired by Galileo and Pacelsus

  • Searched for basic elements of matter.

  • Boyle's law

  • Relationship between pressure and volume of a gas

  • If the volume of a gas is decreased, the pressure increases proportionally

  • Laid foundations for modern chemistry

  • Argued that matter composed of indestructible atoms that behave in predictable ways

  • Anton Leeuwenhock (1632-1723)

  • Dutchman

  • Chief pioneer in use of microscope.

  • First saw bacteria

  • "Little animals" in water, cheese, flour, mold, saliva etc.

  • That were 1000x smaller than creatures seen with naked eye.

DEDUCTIVE V INDUCTIVE REASONING

Deductive Reasoning (Aristotle, Descartes)


  • General to specific

  • Start with general statement, theory or hypothesis

  • All men are mortal (premise 1)

  • Socrates is mortal (premise 2)

  • Work way down to conclusion based on evidence

  • Therefore (ergo) Socrates is mortal

  • If conclusion is wrong it's because one of the premises are wrong

  • Descartes

  • What thinks must exist (premise 1)

  • I am thinking (premise 2)

  • Therefore I must exist -- Cogito ergo sum (conclusion)

Inductive Reasoning (Francis Bacon, Novum Organum 1620)

  • Specific to general

  • Start with observation or facts (empiricism)

  • This bee has a stinger (fact 1)

  • That bee has a stinger (fact 2)

  • That bee has a stinger (fact 3)

  • The greater the data, the more accurate the result

  • To formulate a probable theory

  • Therefore all bees have stingers (probable conclusion)

  • Challenged by David Hume because presupposed facts not always true.

SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION AND ROYALTY


  • Kings hoped sponsorship of science would give them prestige a powerful, educated people

  • Furnished laboratories and subsidized scientists.

  • Hoped scientific inquiry would yield practical discoveries

  • Building projects

  • Better weapons

  • Better navigation and map making

  • Mining

  • etc.

  • Royal Societies (second half of 17th c.)

  • Charles II chartered Royal Society in England

  • Louis XIV (under finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert) founded Academie des Sciences in France.

  • Government support added prestige and legitimacy to science.


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