The Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century
The Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century
Describe what led to the scientific revolution of the 17th century?
The 17th century rise in scientific development was a major landmark in the scientific way of thinking. Prior to the scientific revolution, the ancient world relied upon the church and authority figures of that time. However, the church and the authority figures could provide satisfactory answers about physical realities. Historians attribute the invention of a printing press and development of vernacular language as a major move towards growth of literacy. This growth in the urban setting produced persons that were not willing to accept the religious teaching blindly. Thus, they sought to experiment their doubts about the physical world. Additionally, the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation created an ample ground for advancing scientific thinking (Cohen, 1994). The Europeans engaged in numerous oversea voyages, which created a demand for accurate maps. This aspect led to the advancement of geographical science.
Who were the pioneers of the scientific revolution and what did they discover?
The 17th century great thinkers sought to overhaul every belief that had existed in the previous world and substitute them with human view, which was subject to experimentation. Some of the pioneers of the scientific revolution include Galileo, a mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. He developed a telescope that magnified objects 1000 times. He was able to see the moons of Jupiter and other stars using his telescope. Later, he invented the thermometer that he used to measure the temperature. Mathematical knowledge was critical to the scientific revolution. Torricelli, Galileo’s student developed the first barometer in 1643 and he was able to measure atmospheric pressure. William Harvey, in 1628, made major contributions in medicine by theorizing blood circulation. Later, Marcello Malpighi discovered capillaries in a frog’s lungs in 1661 (Cohen, 1994). Descartes took the scientific revolution a notch higher by discovering deductive reasoning. His major contribution was the discovery of analytic geometry. Throughout the 17th century, Cartesian associated the analytic geometry with algebra to make major contribution in both mathematics and other scientific discipline. In a bid to improve navigation, Newton devised the sextant. He also developed the law of motion. Leibniz and Newton came up with the idea of differential calculus and Christian Huygens discovered the inverse square law.
Why did astronomy lead the way and medicine follow?
Since the 17th century scientific revolution sought to overhaul the existing views, many scientists of the time used the existing information to seek the unknown information. Astronomy was the primary focus of many philosophers of the 17th century because of the availability of previous information regarding the universe. Aristotle views and intertwined the religious teachings about the universe proved handy in advancing the search for physical truth. Additionally, Europeans engaged in voyages that relied on astronomy. This need led to the advancement of astronomy as opposed to other scientific discipline. Medicine was the next discipline to advance because of the societal needs at that time. Arguably, advancement of scientific knowledge in 17th century bordered on societal demands. The growth in urban areas, a characteristic of 17th century, predisposed the society to diseases that required treatment.
How did this period affect the modern world?
The modern word applies a number of discoveries made in the 17th century to advance science. For instance, the Cartesian principle and the analytical geometry of Newton and Leibniz are instrumental in the present scientific and mathematical calculations. These early discoveries find application in various fields including navigation, development of machines, and air transport among other fields. Nearly every field in the modern society relies on science to run. Additionally, the principle of experimentation as advanced in the 17th century has been critical in the discovery of new medicines.
What was the role of women in the early science movement?
Available literature suggests that women made important contributions to science movement despite challenges imposed on them by the then society (Cohen, 1994). Margaret Cavendish and Anne Conway made significant contribution in theorizing science in the 17th century. However, women could only glean fragments of knowledge because of the traditions, which barred them from making an active contribution. Women also contributed in translating the scientific work of Newton and Descartes to the society.
What doubts did Descartes and Paschal have about the bright future of science?
Descartes and Paschal argued that epistemic nihilism was a threat to science. The two believed that epistemology was critical to advancing science. On the contrary, the Montaignean sceptic was responsible for the erosion of scientific reasoning.
What made science go forward despite its critics.
The scientific revolution was unstoppable because the advances in the society exposed people to reading, an aspect that influenced people’s opinion. For a long time, the church had subjected the society to religious thinking without physical proof. However, the discontent among the philosopher opened the chapter for experimenting facts. The quest for human views about the existing knowledge led to experiments and search for facts, which contributed to the advancement of the scientific movement despite the efforts of the critics.
Cohen, F. H. (1994). The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry. pp209-226. Chicago: University of Chicago.