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University of Guelph
HIST 1250
Tara Abraham

HIST LECTURE 1 SEP 10 TH Science in ancient civilizations What is “science” “techbology”  The shift of science from being its own state to helping the world  Tech and science--- one cant work without the other Ways of defining science  Modern idea of science: EXPIRIMENTS, was not always a part of ancient science  BCE: before common era An early civilization  All about gaining knowledge of the natural world  People expanded their learning mainly due to agriculture and those needs  Mathematics wasn’t just a theory people learned but was focused on specific things that were needed.  Science was a practical thing, not lots of theory and tests that we have today  They would look at the sky and not predict how the earth worked but as to how the movement affected their daily lives ie. Flooding season, seasons changed  Early civilizations gave us a form of time keeping ie. 7 days, 60 minutes because of they’re practically in its use.  At this early life it was about practicality not knowledge  Mathematics was always connected to engineering ie. The pyramids, great wall of china  They connected all science with supernatural beliefs ie. Stars movement was the movement of the gods or heavens. Ancient Greece  Believed that storms and lightning and all natural disasters was the wrath of the gods Emergence of “scientific” explanation  Mythology and science was separated from each other in the 6 centuary  Philosophers started asking questions about the natural world  They began to see that there was a natural explanation for all things and not a supernatural relation  They became interested in knowledge, not just practicality The pre-socratics  Agora or the marketplace was the key place for exchange of knowledge, gossip, news and political debates.  These 3 top people were on the pursuit of knowledge not practicality  They asked “whats the best way to aquire knowledge and can we do it?” The ultimate nature of reality  This was first time philosophers began to really separate the natural world from god and supernatural things  Thales was the first to say that the world was made of water not of the heavens. The problem of change  Heraclitus---- believed everything changed or was at a constant change, he supported his thoughts with what he saw around him  Zeno (zenos paradox) believed that to get to a point one must travel past the half way point first and since there were an infinite amount of halfway points then there was an infinite amount of time it would take to get to the end thus nothing moved  Parmenides thought that you could not believe your senses, that they illuded you and that all things could be proven by logic and facts.  Many favoured reason over senses, they wanted logic not what their senses were showing them  Plato founded THE ACADEMY IN ATHENS LECTURE 2 SEPT. 12 Science in Islam Aristotle’s philosophy of nature  The agora because it was public, it became very public to everyone, everyone’s opinions were heard. The academy was walled in, private from others, thus is it was only for philosophers  Different attitude then Plato, he did not believe objects had an outside ideal nature but were all concrete in what they were.  Everything in the world was composed of these four elements. All qualities of an object came from the for qualities : hot cold, wet dry. Which then led to elements ie. Water is cold and wet thus it is the element water  Four elements could align with for seasons, four avengelence and four medical humors. The four medical humors must be in balance to be a healthy person.  He did believe in change and was related to four causes: formal cause, (plan or design) material cause (the material), efficient cause(who’s building), final cause (reason for building)  The world is very organized and full of purpose was aristotles beliefs, he really believed you could trust senses unlike Plato Aristotelian Cosmology  ***DIAGRAM ON COURSE WEBSITE***  He believed the earth was a huge sphere, he thought planets nested on glass like spheres and there were two main regions: celestial region and terrestrial region.  He believed both spheres had very different happenings. Everything in terrestrial sphere was ruled by lots of change, lots of natural motion ie. Birth and death, this is where the four elements were because they constantly changed. Celestial region was perfect, everything was eternal and unchanging, everything moved In a circular pattern, it was filled with ether (a substance was an incorruptible element and incapable of change, very different from other four elements) EVERYTHING BEYONG THE LUNAR SPHERE WAS ETHER Conquests and empire  Alexander the greats conquests: Lasted 11 years till he died. In the Greek world science isolated from everyday activities, this was the case until alexander came in and conquered in the 4 thCENTUARY, he brought many city states together  HELLENIC- prior to alexander, very Greek  HELLENISTIC- after alexander, it was Greek like, two cultures unified  His conquests really spread Greek knowledge all through out the land, into Egypt, Persia, Macedonia  Natural philosophers became very accepted and were not isolated to just doing their work in the academy but were now connected to the state and accepted by the public. Ideas from other areas were infused with the Greek system thus lots of foreign knowledge mixed with Greek knowledge making it Hellenistic.  Roman Empire: Rome took over a huge space around them. The military conquests became a way to spread knowledge and diffusion of knowledge. The empire was divided into two cultural differences: Latin speaking west, Greek speaking east. This divide was of culture and language, lots of the Latin west was disconnected from the Greek natural philosophy, a European block. The birth of Islam and Islamic empire  Dominant in the 8 TH CENTUARY. Islam spread starting in the 6 TH CENTUARY. They severely reduced the eastern byzantine empire (east Greek speaking).  Huge cultural expansion, very built on agriculture which they expanded and rebuilt the irrigation practices. They urbanized and made Bagdad the largest city in the world. Science and Technology in Islam  They translated the Greek knowledge into Arabic. During the European dark ages, Islamic empire was the caretaker or the transmitter of old Greek knowledge and new Islamic knowledge to the Latin west or Europe.  This was a culture based on literacy, they were very tolerant to many civilizations and religions, which they conquered and let them practice.  Science was very state supported and centralized. Arabic philosophers adapted other cultures knowledge  For Islamic scholars spiritual perfection was more important then the Greek way of conquering nature, Greek science was adapted into this way  They annotated the Greek corpise, the commented on it  They made huge contributions to Greek mathematics, astronomy and medicine. Education was very important in the Islamic world Ibna Sina (Avicenna)  Wrote the book of healing on commentary of Greek medicine which became one of the most printed books of the time.  Galen of Pergamum thrived in 2 NDCENTUARY: dissected animals and did lots of surgical work. He had a famous medical text which was the base of lots of medical knowledge.  Sina’s books of medicine were very helpful during the 16 centuary. The books are very descriptive and spiritual medicine with lots of pictures.  The book was valued because it was organized and comprehensive not because it was original. The importance of place  Houses of wisdom, Mosques (learning with times set for prayer), Madrasas, hospitals  In the Islamic world schools would be attached to mosques same with hospitals  The largest place of learning/ library set up in Islamic empire was the house th of wisdom in the 8 CENTUARY.  Arabic at the time became the international language of studying the natural world  Madrasas were legal colleges, science was also taught here. th  The 13 centaury had a declin
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