Briefly Explain What Is Meant by the “Scientific Revolution” That Took Place in Seventeenth Century Europe, and How It Marked a Departure from Ancient and Medieval Philosophy.

Topics: Isaac Newton, René Descartes, Science Pages: 5 (1595 words) Published: December 20, 2011

Briefly explain what is meant by the “scientific revolution” that took place in seventeenth century Europe, and how it marked a departure from ancient and medieval philosophy.

The term Scientific Revolution refers to a period in the 17th century when the intellects of Europe had a revolution. This was an illustrious time for science and the initiation of modern science. During that period famous people such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Isaac Newton all lived and contributed greatly to many areas of science. Just about that time period these people changed the viewpoint of our universe from geocentric (the earth at the center) to heliocentric (the sun at the center). Kepler came up with the laws, which explains the orbits, and Newton was able to come up with an understanding of gravity. He developed laws and new ideas, which could describe every facet of gravity in the universe. This was completely new and very revolutionary. It is considered the start of the modern science age. A great many other men lived and contributed in that time period as well, but those were some of the biggest and most well known. The reason it is believed to mark a departure from ancient and medieval philosophy because people felt confident that they could determine natural laws that govern human behavior. New medicines were invented at this time. The scientific was also invented, and people looked at problems with logic instead of blindly following the church.

Briefly explain the effect that European expansion into other parts of the world combined with new ways of thinking brought about by the “scientific revolution” had on the way Europeans viewed mankind, society, and traditional beliefs?

The discoveries and exploration of the world overseas became key new influence on the European views of human cultures and nature of the human beings. Although Europe was a prominent figure during that time, Europe began rooting its territories overseas to analyze its comparison. The influence of European expansion can easily be seen: the Indian societies of America were modified or overshadowed; the indigenous societies of Africa were dislocated and many of their members were enslaved and transported; in the long run even the ancient societies of Asia were disrupted or destabilized. From the beginning the counterinfluence of the rest of the world upon Europe was equally great. The expansions were mostly in favor of Europe; it came in form of new medicine, new diseases, new foods, new and exotic manufactures and tremendous growth in wealth. Along with these goodies came new questions and ideas. People questioned about the diversity of the religious traditions, the history of language, and the origins of human civilizations. Rapid growth and collaboration with other cultures a changed the perception of the old Europe, just the same it was doing overseas undermining. With the new discoveries comes the new thinking, during this era Europeans were the first civilization to discover the globe as a whole, to establish colonial outpost around the world, and to realize the variety of human race and its manners and custom. However these realizations were unsettling, thus gave birth to new breed of thinkers called skeptics.

Define the concept of “enlightened despotism”, listing the attributes of “enlightened despots.”

Enlightened despotism, also known as enlightened absolutism, is a form of absolute monarchy where the monarchs strove to improve the lives of their subjects in an effort to reinforce their own authority. The emphasis was on rationality, and religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and the right to hold private property were usually allowed.  the most extensive influence of the enlightenment was in Prussia, Russia, and Austria.

Essay Questions (choose any two (2) to answer)

Discuss why the seventeenth century in Europe is called the “age of genius”, and explain the major...
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