HPS LEC 2.docx

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Department
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course
HPS211H1
Professor
Curtis Forbes
Semester
Winter

Description
HPS LEC 2 Descartes, Newton, and "The" Scientific Revolution 1. Aristotelean Scholasticism 2. Copernicus, Galileo, and the Mathematical View of Nature 3. Descartes' Mechanical Philosophy 4. Bacon and Boyle's Aristotlean Scholasticism  Aristotle (4th BCE)  "The Philospher"  formulated the first brand of logic  methods for understanding nature and wide variety of different topics  in a rudimentary way, he was an empiricist- way to understand the world is to go out and look at it  naturalism  empiricism  fresco with plato and aristotle walking together  plato saw objects as imperfect representations of a perfect world; how world departs from them in its imperfections; arisotle claims everything is right here in this world, all forms are here we just need to look at them  Aristotle not always a major figure in Christian tradition; Christian study based in Monasticism, studying scripture, living ascetic life and not looking beyond Church doctrine  1000 Scholasticism emerged; new texts were found in Europe that included almost complete versions of the Aristotlean world Copernicus, Galileo and the Mathematical View of Nature Copernicus (15th-16 c. CE)  Heliocentric Astronomy- earth is centre of cosmos, outside of that terrestrial spheres and planets but nott that important  he saw that there were practical difficulties with figuring out where planets, stars would be with a model that was geocentric, earth at its centre  he proposed alt that sun is at the centre, stationary body  his heliocentric astronomy was easy to deal with mathematically but difficult to digest esp by Roman Catholics who did not take it as literal that sun stationary and earth moved  around early 16th century, heliocentric view out Galileo (16th-17th c. CE)  was prosecuted by the Catholic church for advocating for heliocentric view that sun stationary and earth moves around  it was anachronistic for him to be speaking out  his career began with improvement on telescopes and the heavens (telescopes, spyglass invented just around beg of 16th c); he improved telescope magnification by 40x - could look at troops and examine the heavens  he discovered a set of stars orbiting Jupiter  Medici of Florence; Galileo named the stars after Medici's four children to gain patronage  eventually he becomes a court philosopher  universities would teach Aristotlean philosophy- earth centre of cosmos and mathematics supposedly not useful for understanding natural world; could only tell you numbers of things not the essence of their existence  Galileo as a court philosopher could work beyond this scholasticism sort of anti what was being taught; aimed to show the university teachings wrong  destroyed the prev world view, in fact earth was moving and sun not  was not taken very well; imprisoned  impacted the way research was conducted  advocated experimentalism; going out and looking at specific cases would help us understand  Galileo would look at specific instances rather than coming up with world view  rate of free fall of falling bodies with incline plane experiment  the reason why this was a classic experiment because in Aristotlean physics rule was heavier bodies fall faster than lighter ones; Galileo claimed it was air resistance which caused this, the fluid medium in which the body was falling  he drew out many contradictions Aristotlean physics demonstrating them to be glaringly wrong  claimed the language of the world written in mathematics- mathematics and the "Book of Nature"  Il saggiatore  mathematics key to understanding how things operated  Idealization and asymptotes - start with small incline then steeper, track them through time keeping device seeing how long it will take for the ball to role down incline and infer how it would be in free fall Descartes' Mechanical Philosophy Descartes (early 17th c. CE)  Quasi-  sought a secure foundation for physical knowledge  f
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