Lecture Eight: Technology in the Renaissance and Early Modern Period
October 6, 2011
Science and Technology in the Renaissance
Renaissance means “rebirth” in French - represents a revival of classical texts,
as well as a renewed interest in travel, adventure and navigation.
Natural Philosophy - was considered to be the pursuit of knowledge for
knowledge sake. It was believed to be knowledge about the world that was not
necessarily used in a technical way.
There was now a shift away from just learning for the sake of learning. Now,
people wanted knowledge in order to use it for some kind of purpose.
Some reasons for studying natural philosophy
- For oneself or their country
Technical Arts - by this time period, those who studied this type of knowledge
began to gain popularity. Engineers and engineering pursuits became popular
Court sponsorship - The court would pay for projects that were being done for the
royal elite such as: military technology, architecture, artwork, writing ect
- The engineer now held more status in society
Another reason why there was a change in attitudes was that there were new
techniques being developed in the arts. This increased the quality of the arts and
therefore a new enthusiasm in them.
Linear perspective - it was now possible to paint in three dimensions, which
never had been done before. This created an interest in painting and artwork.
Before this, people were drawn and painted according to their status in society.
- The higher the status you had, the larger you were drawn or painted
- This was the kind of paintings popular at that time Linear perspective makes everyone drawn to scale, so everyone was the same
height compared to the person beside them.
The Closer Relationship between Science and Technology
Increased Use of Instruments in Scientific Practices
Aristotle was the main philosopher before this, especially when he was inked to
He did not support experiments, b