SOCI 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Shapeshifting, Scientific Revolution

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4 Jun 2020
Scientific revolution
17th century
Galileo (Italy)- empirical examination of generalizations about nature
from the ancient world
Two objects of different weight fall at the same time, the sun at the
center of the universe
Isaac Newton (England) - combines observations of different kinds with
mathematical equations
Many observations of the physical world was in conflict with what we normally
believe it
The use of math to create scientific laws
Challenge to science
Without faith, ordinary truth cannot be touched
Christianity makes faith central to human knowledge
We now, through science, have the means to finding universal truth,
therefore religion has been wrong and taught us superstition
Universal truth?
The church hates science because they know it’s the pathway to the truth
Induction -> Hume
Hume: Galileo’s findings can’t be generalized from a single case. Even if
you drop a million weights, you cannot prove it will happen to the next
one after that unless you drop the next one.
You can prove the truth of a certain mathematical theorem but you cannot
prove the truth of the alternate, can’t prove absolutes
Science rescued
Human beings can never absolutely grasp the absolute
We live in a world of appearances, we can only know what we perceive
Humankind from birth is equipped with the concepts it needs for nature
We have equipment in our minds to help us understand what we do
Intellectual tools (“categories”)
Science teaches us the laws of appearances, not the laws of the absolute
We have to assume that everyone’s categories are the same
We can know appearances, but we will never ourselves be able to touch it
and know it definitely. Our minds are shape-shifting.
Even faith can be preserved. Faith is in science
There has to be a way of reconnecting people who want to know the world and
what they want to know
Kant’s problem was that he looks at the world as if he is looking at a photograph
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