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Lecture 8

lecture 8 Nov 6, 2013.docx

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Western University
History of Science
History of Science 2220

HIS 2220: Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment 16-17 Centuries • Shifting from a medieval society to early modern society in Europe • Major theme: medicine and theology separate o Takes almost a century to fully separate • European society is changing o Urbanization happening  Effects diseases and the way people perceive religion  Allowing for this = technological advancement (also allows expansion in farming) o Farming for mechanised o Developments in mining • Microenvironments (immediate surroundings) = able to better control the environment through the new technologies being developed o Means nature becoming more predictable and this results in more control o Means less need to imagine God to be present or in control of your daily life • Declining rates of plague also happening – people becoming more susceptible • Rise of market capitalism – merchant entrepreneurs exploring world o Bringing back stories of new land/riches – results in people wanting to know more about these new places and new riches • These sorts of things result in less need for religious rituals Scientific Revolution • Problems with term = Revolution = rapid change o Medieval scholars were not as “backwards” as revolution makes it seem like they were o Science = referring to natural philosophy (study of nature, universe and how it works)  At this point, if you read the word science, it is being used for synonym for ‘knowledge’  Philosophers reconceptualising the way the world is understood  Nature = including the body  Nature is being investigated with new intensity • 1550-1700 approx • New ways of seeing the world during scientific revolution • Shift in perception = shift in the way you perceive everything in your life • Also see during this time: dismantling of Aristotle’s world view • Aristotle = natural philosopher – found metaphysics o Metaphysics = fundamental natural of being o Questioning nature of humanity, questions of being o Presented abstract quality of life itself • By Sci Rev – natural philosophers begin to see rejection of Aristotle o New generation of philosophers o Push away from Greek theories to new scientific theories • Thinkers now encouraged to dismiss the divine • Secondly, mindset promoted by Rene Descartes o Descartes and his followers encouraged a view of the body as a machine th o His philosophy of rationalism dominated Western thought until 20 C o Descartes was first to argue for separation between mind and matter o From this thinking, came dualism between mind and matter o Human mind by using reason could attain a certain path to knowledge and this path was paved by mathematics  He viewed material world as pure mechanism o Believed world was like a machine governed by its own laws o That world was created by God, but conceptualizes God as a Geometrician (funneling into world view) o Descartes separation of mind and matter had philosophers view matter as dirt – part of the Earth – could be studied independently o Split between mind & body = Westerners put identity, thought, emotion within the mind  this line of thinking is why Descartes is called Father of modern Rationalism o Descarteian Dualism (separation between mind and matter) o Church = not pleased with the separation of mind & matter o People have a soul  found within the “pineal gland” within the brain  “principle seat of the soul” = pineal gland  Point of intellect between brain and body  Because it was in the ideal spot of the brain and also because it’s the only element within the brain that is “whole” – didn’t have a left or right side, it was whole o Even though he allows for existence of a soul, his philosophy embraced idea that most movement of body was mechanical  Everything could be explained by mechanical movement o Sickness conceptualized through this mechanical view o Physicians begin viewing body as a machine as well to explain how it functions o Reference to body working like a clock – these metaphors are slowly replacing Galen’s humoral imbalance o Disease seen when “pipes” were constricted or blocked – preventing movement within them o Most influential of medical cartician Boerhaave • Thirdly, a new enthusiasm for new activity at the very heart of a scientific endeavor o Scientific Method – experiment  Observation  hypothesis  experiment  analysis  conclusion th th o Rare during 16 – 17 C o By later 17 C, scientific societies across Europe, nat philosophers were getting together to test their hypothesis o This sci method served most chip away at authority of religion o Natural that the churches would continue to believe in religion, but to emerging scientists, theologians had little knowledge in what they were talking about o Main thing turning scientists against church: multiple interpretations of the bible whereas sci method ensures consistent results everytime o Therefore religious beleifs begin to decrease o Secularization  separation – less looking at God, more looking at science Enlightenment • Sci method takes hold most prominently amongst intellectuals • Enlightenment  don’t rely on church, capable of determining your reason (everyone can think for themselves), make rational decisions • Centre of this movement = Paris – people known as Philosophes: o Spread rationality, resist authority, decide own fate o Ideas permeating into political thought, social life and medical thought o Philosophes Enlightenment movement rejected Christianity  Rejection bc of response to disgust with results to the religious wars that were taking place (30 years of war)  Longest, most continuous war in Europe, bloodiest war to take place (Protestants and Catholics against each other)  The brutality from this had Philosophes reject Christianity and embracing the scientific rev thought  Key characteristic: medical profesh are increasing turning backs on religion • Enlightenment = associated inbeleif with power of reason o Age of Reason o Power of reason was to be underpinned by science and this would allow people to remake their world o E philo preached gospel of progress through sci and medicine o Science they insisted will set us free of restrain of religion • Spirit of enlightenment was captured by: Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794) o Improvement of medical practice o Progress of reason o Progress of social order and end of disease th th o Start to see in late 17 , 18 C = medical profession looking away from individual to explain disease and looking toward external factors as potential causes of disease o Nat philo = use human reason to understand the functions of human society –what made humans tick o If figured this out, then they could progress to better society • Three Key People: • John Locke (1632-1704): o 1690 – he published an Essay called Essay concerning human understanding o His principle argument – the Blank Slate o Born blank slate and the way you experience the world is what shapes you o Molded by your environment o If you can change the enviro, subject people to new experiences then those people can be changed and society as a whole can be changed o This thinking really reflects the “reason” o Role of enviro plays in shaping human life  connects to how medical profession views disease • Voltaire (1694-1778): o Argued fundamental freedoms:  Freedom of expression, religion, separation of Church and State o In terms of enlightenment  encouraging medical thinkers to move away from religious thought • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) o Influenced by enlightenment o Political theorist o Find way to preserve human freedom o People born naturally free but restrained by society • These three Philo = typical of enlightenment and changed peoples outlooks on the world, incl medical profession Medicine in the Enlightenment • What gives the human body life? • Different views • Two notions most popular: o Mechanical view  Hermaan Boerhaave (1668-1738) • Mechanical view of body
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