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[12] Scientific Revolution.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Kenneth Bartlett

November 17, 2010 The Scientific Revolution - Set of preconditions that deal with man and nature - Sci rev = true revolution that shifted observer and observed - Empirical method to see, replicate - Francis Bacon (1561-1626) + Rene Descartes (1596-1650) - Work: 1620-1640 - How do we know anything for sure? Is there an objective truth we can test things against? - Traditionally these ideas were so big, people didn’t address them --> people looked to authori- ties that told you everything:Aristotle, bible - What was true in those books became basis for everything - Deductive reasoning/logic --> assume first priorities - It is better to exist than to not exist --> conclusion: god must exist - Descartes + Bacon: Knowledge should be the conclusion of logic and reasoning --> not just ac- cepted w/o testing - Abandon all authorites, prejudices - Look @ universe without preconceived ideas --> then you can move using reason and observa- tion - Everything had to be reevaluated - Incorrect thinking/method --> we have to go back - We can’t assume classic thinkers’ideas are right --> were part of same system Descartes - systematic doubt -- apply reason and observation to the problem, come up with new idea --> it’s provable - What you know to be true inside vs. hwat you can see outside - Cogito ergo sum => you know you can think, you exist - you create a universe outside your- selves which can be tested b/c of objective testing - Everything outside must be knowable via science - Discourse on method -- challenged european thinking --> suggested method of acquisition of knowledge --> created scientific method --> instrument of acquiring knowledge independent of church etc. - Mankind can stand alone Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) - Struggle b/w science and faith - Belived in scientific method + PRACTICED IT - Came up with hypothesies, then came up with materials to test it - Cam up with conclusions, published them --> so that people can test them to see if he’s right - Obsession: planetary movement - Developed most powerful telescope in europe --> turned it to the sky - Redefined relationship b/w heaven and earth - Published book that proved Jupiter had moons; our moon isn’t smooth but bumpy - Challenged theological belief that only the eARTH fell, everything else is perfect (bumps = not perfect) - 1597: only way mathematical calculations would work is if the sun is the centre of the universe and the earth goes around it Challenges biblical, classical thought: we are centre - agreed with Nicolas Copernicus (polish priest) - Nicolas Copernicus’De rEVOLITIOnibus (1543) - Galieo was challenged by the church - Mocks old testament to show he can be right --> identified by church as dangerous - 1616: charged with herecy - Let off because he had powerful friends but told not to teach copernicuan methods - Revolutionary book: proved beyond any doubt that sun is centre of the universe - Summoned back to Rome and charged as a heretic: choose either burning at stake or abjure (say he’s wrong) - Important: no interest in (religious) revolution, politics --> more dangerous because he believed his own experience, his own reason supported by fact -- rather than church or king --> refused to believe something juss b/c someone said it’s true ** Challenged status quo that some things are true, and everyone has to agree that it’s true All scientists worked with scientific doubt: - don’t accept anything as true until you can prove it’s true by rational thought, experimentation, etc. - Result: world begins to fray --> why should we accept what churches or kings say at all -- prove that this is how we s
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