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The Scientific Revolution. What factors in Europe from the 12th century on helped to prepare Europeans and help them make the breakthrough to a modern scientific way of thinking?

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essential questions
What factors in Europe from the 12th century on helped to prepare Europeans and help them make the breakthrough to a modern scientific way of thinking?

Why was the question of the position of the earth and sun in the universe so important in debates about natural science in the late Middle Ages?

In what ways did ancient Greek thinkers like Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy and others prepare Europeans to make the breakthrough to modern science yet also thwart their efforts to do so somewhat?

Essential Questions
essential questions continued
Essential Questions (continued)

Why are the philosophers Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon seen as key to the development of the scientific method even though neither was actually a scientist?

Why are the contributions of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton often linked together as the key series of contributions that launched the Scientific Revolution?

How did the development of various instruments for making new kinds of observations and measurements contribute to the development of the Scientific Revolution?

what was the scientific revolution
What Was the Scientific Revolution?

A revolution in human understanding and knowledge about the physical universe

17th century

Began with Kepler, Galileo

Ended with Newton

science before the scientific revolution
Based almost entirely on reasoning

Experimental method or observation wasn’t used at all

Science in medieval times



“Science” Before the Scientific Revolution

A medieval alchemist

factors leading to the scientific revolution
Rise of universities

Contact with non-Western societies

The Renaissance


Factors Leading to the Scientific Revolution
Reason, not tradition, is the source of all knowledge

René Descartes (1596–1650)

French philosopher and mathematician

Cogito ergo sum (“I think, therefore, I am”)

Deductive reasoning


René Descartes

The belief that experience is the only true source of knowledge

Roger Bacon

Shift toward empiricism a hallmark of the Scientific Revolution

Helped lead to the development of the scientific method


Roger Bacon

francis bacon and the scientific method

English philosopher and empiricist

Inductive reasoning

Argued for experimental methodology

Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method
the scientific method
The Scientific Method

Science as a multiple-step process:

1. Observe an object or phenomenon

2. Develop a theory that explains the object or phenomenon

3. Test the theory with experiments