The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
Science tries to explain the world without reference to God or gods. It sees the world as an object, and tries to explain how it moves and interacts. Science is therefore distinct from technology which is a way of manipulating the world. Many cultures had technological knowledge, but scientific thinking was first developed in an extensive way by the Ancient Greeks. It was the Greeks thoughts which dominated Europe up until the Scientific Revolution. The big issue for the Greeks was trying to explain how and why things moved. Since they believed everything happened for a reason, they thought there had to be an explanation for any motion at all. This is seen stated in the Perry book, “In that view, a stationary earth stood in the center of the universe just above hell. Revolving around the earth were seven planets: the moon, Mercury, Venus, the sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Because people believed that earth did not move, it was not considered a planet. Each planet was attached to a transparent sphere that turned around the earth.” (Perry ch. 2; pg. 28). It was overturning this idea that was Isaac Newton's greatest triumph. From this the Enlightenment was born, which further analyzed the facts stated during the Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was a time of greater learning and understanding that led to a better understanding about the natural world. By directly observing nature and carefully controlled experiments mysteries were unraveled that previously stumped scholars. Between the publication of Copernicus On the Revolution of the Heavenly Orbs in 1543, which proposed that the earth and other planets went around the Sun but did not show how or why, and the publication of Isaac Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy in 1687, which provided an explanation about European thought about the natural world underwent a...
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