Project #82562 - Scientific Revolutions Assignment 3 - Student Reply - Newtonian Revolution

200 word reply to the following student post, explore their strengths and weaknesses. 

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One of the most evolving moments of scientific history occurred when Issac Newton, a famous physicist and mathematician of the 1600s, published his written work Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), also more commonly know as Principia. This work consisted primarily of his various mathematical denotations of the causes of phenomena in the physical world, and is most famous for the explanation of gravity and its appliance to the motion of the celestial spheres--the sun and planets. In using mathematical techniques, Newton could describe why the planets were able to circle the sun by showing the relationship of the invisible force that causes objects to fall to the surface of the Earth (gravity) with the same force that the sun exerts on the planets to cause their perpetual spiraling towards the star in a circular fashion. The importance of this Newtonian publication brought about the "culminating point of themathematization of the world picture," or the introduction of mathematics as an integrated part of scientific studies (31). Previously, natural philosophers, the scientists of the time before the Scientific Revolution and also know as instrumentalists, considered natural philosophy (the predecessor of modern science) to be a qualitative discipline rather than a quantitative one. Therefore, since qualitative refers to observing natural phenomena and making deductions about its causes, and quantitative refers to actual measurements, natural philosophy had no need for mathematics to explain the physical world, and thus considered it "too abstract to have any relevance" (1). This work also helped to incorporate the experimental method (a by-product of the Scientific Revolution in which measurements as well as blatant observations are used to test hypotheses, and can, in turn, also be synonymous with the scientific method of the modern day) in scientific studies. 

In these ways, Newton's Principia contributed to the Scientific Revolution, or the period of time in the 1700s that established the foundations for modern science. Since mathematics were not widely used in scientific research in the time of natural philosophy, the Principiaacted, in part, as a revolutionary bridge to bring together the instrumentalist views of thepre-1700s and the realist (scientists who support their findings with mathematics) views of the post-1700s. This then helped to establish the experimental method, a main result of the Scientific Revolution, that is most commonly seen as a foundation of modern science.

 

Henry, John. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science. Hampshire:Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Print.

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/18/2015 11:00 pm
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