Scientific Revolution: Major Figures and Man's Social and Political Worlds

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Scientific Revolution
Preceding the Enlightenment was a “scientific revolution”. In the seventeenth century, a group of scientists set the Western world on a new path known as the Scientific Revolution, which gave Europeans a new way of viewing the universe and their place in it. In this essay I will discuss the appropriateness of this label and also some of the major figures participating in it. I will also explain how the increased understanding of the physical world that came from “revolution” lead people to reexamine mans social and political worlds.

The Scientific Revolution ultimately challenged conceptions and beliefs about the nature of the external world that had become dominant by the Late Middle Ages. While only a small number of Europe’s educated elite were affected by the Scientific Revolution, it was important for the time nonetheless. One major contributor to the Scientific Revolution was Nicolaus Copernicus who was a mathematician who felt that Ptolemy’s geocentric system (a conception where the universe was seen as a series of concentric spheres with a fixed or motionless earth at its center) failed to accord with the observed motions of the heavenly bodies. Because of this, Copernicus developed his own heliocentric theory which argued that the sun was motionless at the center of the universe and the planets revolved around the sun. It also stated that the moon revolved around the earth. Johannes Kepler also contributed to the Scientific Revolution. Kepler backed Copernicus’s heliocentric theory, however claimed that the orbits of the planets around the sun were not circular but elliptical. Galileo Galilei was the first European to make systematic observations of the heavens by means of a telescope. He observed that there were mountains on the moons, four moons revolving around Jupiter, and sunspots. Isaac Newton, considered the greatest genius of the Scientific Revolution, defined three laws of motion that govern the planetary bodies, as...
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