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Chapter 14

HIST 1010 Ch. 14 Textbook Summary (F11)

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HIST 1010
Peter Goddard

1 HIST 1010 Chapter 14 Summary: New Directions in Thought and Culture in the 16 and th 17 Centuries o Natural philosophy at the time, challenged modes of thought associated with late medieval times o With new knowledge and science cam new wave of superstition and persecution Scientific Revolution o Process that established new view of universe o Scientific concepts and methods set standard for assessing validity of knowledge in Western world Nicolaus Copernicus Rejects Earth-Centered Universe o Polish priest and astronomer o On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres challenged Ptolemaic picture o Ptolemaic systems: Basis of which they made mathematical calculations relating to astronomy; most of these writers assumed the earth was the center of the universe (geocentrism) o Adopted many elements of the Ptolemaic model, but transferred them to a heliocentric (sun-centered) model, assumed earth moved about the sun circularly o Argued that the farther the planets were from the sun, the longer they took to revolve around it; made easier to determine the order of the planets Tycho Brache and Johannes Kepler o Tycho Brache (1546-1601): Danish astronomer; spent most of life advocating earth-centered system; suggested that Mercury and Venus revolved around sun, but moon, sun, etc. revolved around earth o Johannes Kepler (1571-1630): German astronomer; set forth first astronomical model that actually portrays motion (path of planets) as elliptical, not circular; The New Astronomy (1609) – used Copernicus’s sun- centered universe and Brahe’s empirical data to solve the problem of planetary motion Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) o Italian mathematician and natural philosopher o Telescope o Starry Messenger (1610), Letters on Sunspots (1613) o Observed physical evidence, phases of Venus o Problems with RCC arose from his ideas and his flair for self-advertisement o Argued nature displayed mathematical regularity in its most minute details Isaac Newton (1642-1727) o Englishman o Established basis for physics and endured for more than two centuries o Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy AKA Principia Mathematica (1698) o Reasoned that planets and all other physical objects in universe moved through mutual attraction (gravity) 2 o Attraction of gravity explained why planets moved in an orderly manner o Believed in empiricism – one must observe phenomena before attempting to explain them o Great opponent of the rationalism of French philosopher Rene Descartes Philosophy Responds to Changing Science o Bacon stressed importance of empirical research o Descartes attempted to find certainty through exploration of his own thinking processes Francis Bacon (1561-1626): Empirical Method o Englishman; lawyer; high royal official; author of histories, moral essays, and philosophical discourses o Graded as father of empiricism and of experimentation in science o The Advancement of Learning (1605), Novum Organum (1620), The New Atlantis (1627) – attacked the scholastic belief that most truth had already been discovered and only required explanation o Believed that human knowledge should produce useful results – deeds rather than words o Compared himself with Columbus, plotting new route to intellectual discovery o Believed the pursuit of new knowledge would increase the power of governments and monarchies Rene Descartes (1596-1650): Method of Rational Deduction o Gifted mathematician; invented analytic geometry o Scientific method relied more on deduction o Discourse on Method (1637) o Doubt everything except those propositions about which he could have clear and distinct ideas; proceeded to deduce existence of God o Separated mind from body to banish nonmaterial matters from realm of scientific speculation and analysis o Emphasis on deduction, rational speculation, and internal reflection by the mind – Meditations (1641) Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): Apologist for Absolute Government o Most original political philosopher of 17 century o Leviathan (1651) – aim was to provide rigorous philosophical justification for a strong central political authority o Portrayed human beings and society in thoroughly materialistic and mechanical ways o Human reasoning penetrated to no deeper reality/wisdom than those physical sensations o Rejected view that human beings are naturally sociable; they are self- centered creatures who lack masters o Human beings in this sate of nature were constantly haunted by fear of destruction and death o “Do not that to another which you would not have done to yourself” o Argument for an absolute political authority that could assure order aroused sharp opposition 3 John Locke (1632-1704): Defender of Moderate Liberty and Toleration o Most influential philosophical and political thinker of 17 century o Literal political philosopher in Europe and America o Became deeply involved with the tumultuous politics of English Restoration period o Portrayed the natural human state as one of perfect freedom and equality in which everyone enjoyed, in an unregulated fashion, the natural rights of life, liberty, and property o Regarded human beings in their natural state as creatures of reason and basic goodwill rather than of uncontrolled passion and selfishness o Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) – defend extensive religious toleration among Christian
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