HPS100 LEC & READINGS (Revised).doc

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University of Toronto St. George
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

HPS100 ReadingsLecture NotesHistoryofScienceQuestionWhatdowe mean by thisstThe 1 Chapter revolves around worldviews this is defined as the system of beliefs that are interconnected in the manner of a jigsaw puzzle Then the example of the Aristotelian Worldview is given to illustrate the conceptTopic OverviewAristotles belief and the Aristotelian WorldviewDewitt defines it as the dominant system of beliefs ranging from about 300 BC to 1600 AD based on a set of beliefs articulated most clearly and thoroughly by Aristotle 384322 BC These collections of beliefs were not specific to Aristotle but rather a set of beliefs shared by a large segment of western cultureHe then lists a number of Aristotles beliefs pg 9 such as the Earth is located at the centre of the universe the Earth is stationary with no orbit or axiomatic spin etc and draws attention to the fact that despite each being wrong with evidence we have currently does not mean that the ideas were haphazardly thrown together One such being his belief that objects fell to the Earth because thats where the centre of the universe is and so it logically follows from his first belief that the object falls due to this The belief system is created much like a jigsaw you can remove outer pieces beliefs but the structural integrity of the system collapses when you remove foundational beliefsThe Newtonian WorldviewEarly in the 1600s new evidence emerged that the Earth moved around the sun and as discussed above you cannot remove a foundational belief without destroying the system therefore the Aristotelian worldview was no longer viable and was replace with the Newtonian
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