Thursday, January 30, 2020

The European Enlightenment Essay Example for Free

The European Enlightenment Essay The scientific revolution is more of a new or modern way of thinking about nature. While science already had a presence prior to the 16th century, the teachings were based more on practical applications, rational thought and magic. s of science, 3elements permeated it – empirical practice, magic and rational thought which continued for thousands of years until the 16th and 17th century. With the scientific revolution, rational thought was enhanced through methods which can be the sole explanation for any phenomena of nature. Refute with reason but overwhelm by experiment. (Hall xvi). We think of Galileo as the first of the moderns because he broke the strangling hold of the traditional authorities – Aristotle, Ptolemy and Galen – upon scientific thought. He supported the Copernican hypothesis. He boldly countered errors of traditionally accepted beliefs and appealed to something new through the evidence of experiments. His system was enhanced by philosophers such as Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes who called their subject natural philosophy in an attempt to give a systematic explanation to the natural. With the entry of Sir Isaac Newton and the â€Å"invisible colleges†, discoveries and inventions came one after the other. Whereas religion used deductive reasoning in the arrival of its conclusions, the revolution brought on inductive reasoning which begins with a hypothesis that were tested using quantifiable data and methodical experimentation. By 1690, science had developed a philosophy – experimental and a method – mathematical and a goal – the improvement of the lot of mankind. (Baker ix, x). There came a paradigm shift in how the physical world was investigated. Reason slowly robbed magic of its power as it is an element of the irrational. Reason is initially used but compounded by experiment. The widely-believed Ptolemy system was anthropocentric based with an immobile earth is the center of the universe. While it was being discarded through deductive reasoning, i. e. , the world is vile and corrupt and therefore not worthy to be the center, the rational thinkers using the Copernicus hypothesis as reference and with observed facts and physical using reason, terrestrial mechanical phenomena, qualitative observation and quantitative observation by recalculating orbits went on to prove their heliocentric theory that the earth is only one of several planets that revolve around the sun. It also killed the Greek animism of appetites, natural tendencies, sympathies and attractions. Instead, explanation must be in terms of description of processes, mechanisms, interconnection of parts (Hall xvi, xviii). For Aristotle and his followers, bodies continually move so as to fulfill their natures. All matter is goal-oriented. They are of a teleological nature, which makes them animistic as they attributed soul-like properties. Modern natural philosophy used the machine metaphor, i. . the inner workings of a being are like the mechanism of a clock. They refer to their practice as mechanical philosophy. The development of mechanism gave rise to the view of matter-as-passive and is central to mechanical natural philosophy (Shapin 24-44). Traditional philosophies had been integrated into the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church which was the only Christian religion at that time. The Copernican theory was said to be contrary to the Holy Scripture and utterly heretical. It ran contrary to a decree in 1616 which was issued after the burning of Giordano Bruno for teaching the plurality of worlds or universes outside our own. As well, the present academe were slow in accepting that they have given their lives blindly to the defense of errors. The attitude in the middle ages was that where reason was incompetent to decide, faith should pronounce and that in many instances faith must prevail over reason. (Hall 74-75, 103-105). The medieval church had originally set its feet against and systematic scientific enquiry on the grounds that man was not intended to know the mind of God as interpreted by himself. Even Protestants stressed that all knowledge must come form the Bible. Bacon popularized that God actually intended man to recover its mastery over nature. In his text Instauratio Maga (The Great Instauration), the Book of Daniel was quoted in its cover, â€Å"Many shall pass to and fro and science shall be increased† (Shapiro 120). Thus, scientific enquiry became legitimate and prepared the way for scientific revolution. Later, there came about a new religious fervor in Deism, a name for the rationalized faith leading to the worship of the â€Å"divine clockmaker† which distrust anything mystical. It is based on the reasoning that if the universe was created by God, and the universe is a rational place then God was rational. (Baker x). Sir Isaac Newton in 1687 presented fundamental arguments of the mechanical universe in his book Principia Mathematia which basically summarizes the conceptual change brought about by the scientific revolution and the path it would take: mathematical models are accurate descriptions of the universe the universe moves rationally and predictably one need not appeal to revealed religion or theology to explain any aspect of physical phenomena\all planets and other objects move due to a physical attraction called gravity The universe concept is based on Inertia: every object remains at rest until moved by another object and stays in motion unless stopped or redirected by another object (Hooker).

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