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HIS109Y1 Chapter Notes -Renaissance Humanism, Scientific Revolution, Planetary System

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Kenneth Bartlett

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Western Civilizations: p. 493 - 515
& Vol. 2: p. 182 - 215
& Seminar 7 - The Scientific Revolution
November 14th/2012
Western Civilizations...
-science entails at least 3 things: a body of knowledge, a system of inquiry, and a
community of practitioners
-the scientific revolution established this method of inquiry as well as forming a society
of brilliant thinkers and patrons
-science was slow to work its way into popular understanding; it did not necessarily
undermine religion
-one of the most decisive breaks between the middle ages and the modern world
-behind the efforts to understand the natural world lay a universal conviction that the
natural world had been created by God
-renaissance humanism helped to prepare the ground for this revolution
-the energies that many humanists put into translating classical texts, many of which
discussed concepts of the natural world, made these ideas available to a wider
-ie. the humanist rediscovery of works by Archimedes influenced modern scientists like
-the renaissance also encouraged the collaboration of artists and intellectuals like
Leonardo da Vinci who was an artist and scientist
-the view of an earth centered universe was influenced by the work of Aristotle
-however by the late middle ages, many scientists had observed things which
contradicted this early Greek theory
-Copernicus proposed that the earth was neither stationary nor the center of the
planetary system
-his ideas contradicted years of astronomical thought but he still published “On the
Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres” in 1543
-Galileo became famous for his discoveries made with the telescope in 1609
-he found that the moon wasn’t smooth but had mountains and plains, features of an
earth like landscape
-he then took a position as a tutor for the Medicis
-many people saw Galileo’s work as heresy although Galileo argued that if the church
took a position in scientific affairs, it would lose some of its credibility
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