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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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
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?
A revolution in human understanding and knowledge about the physical universe
Began with Kepler, Galileo
Ended with Newton
René Descartes (1596–1650)
French philosopher and mathematician
Cogito ergo sum (“I think, therefore, I am”)
Shift toward empiricism a hallmark of the Scientific Revolution
Helped lead to the development of the scientific methodEmpiricism
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