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Lecture 2

HPS211H1 Lecture 2: LECTURE2

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Department
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course Code
HPS211H1
Professor
noahstemeroff

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Description
LECTURE2: THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION CONCEPTS • Aristotle’s world view- Geocentric ie. the earth doesn’t move because that would be 1) unnatural 2) noticed by us. The earth’s a sphere in the center of the universe. All natural motion is directed towards or away from the center of the earth. Motion that is not towards/away from center of earth is forced/unnatural. Also, bodies fall proportional to their weight. Heavy objects (earth) fall faster than lighter objects (us). Weaknesses- 1) deferents and epicycles complicated the supposedly simple universe. 2)Tycho Brahe’s observation of a new star with no stellar parallax meant the heavens are corruptible. 3) Aristotle’s arguments had flaws. Supporters- Tycho Brahe? • Copernicus’s planetary model- Heliocentric. The sun is at the center and earth revolves around it. Strengths- 1) Explanation for retrograde motion of planets. 2) Able to calculate distance of planets from Sun. 3) Able to calculate period of planets around sun. Weaknesses- 1) Was too complicated. 2) Copernicus unable to argue with Aristotle. 3) Earth not special. Just another planet. 4) No observable proof of earth’s motion. Supporters- Galileo, Kepler • Galileo’s arguments against Aristotle- 1) Used his telescope to show heavens are corruptible (moon landscape, phases of venus, jupiter’s moons, earth illuminated moon’s shadows, sun is spotted, new stars exist) 2) How can the earth be moving if we can’t feel it? G’s changes to notion of matter and motion- 1) Movement or rest at constant speed is the natural motion for earthly bodies. 2) Objects fall at a rate independent of their weight. Ship I- If you drop an object from the top of the mast on a sailing ship the object will land a little away from the base of the mast (away in the direction opposite to ship’s motion). Since on land an object dropped from a tower lands at the base, the earth cannot be in motion. G responds with Ship II- When you’re in a lower, windowless deck of a smoothly sailing ship you cannot tell whether you’re sailing or not. Same for earth. It’s ‘sailing’ but you cannot feel it => RELATIVITY! Therefore, Aristotle cannot disprove that earth is in motion. But G didn’t explain what causes the earth to move. • Kepler’s Laws- 1) Planet’s orbits are elliptical with the sun at one of the foci 2) Moving in their orbits, planets sweep out equal area in equal intervals of time 3) The period of a planet in orbit is related to its average distance from the sun. • Natural motio
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