John Henry's text is a tour-de-force. It provides the best insight so far we have on the Scientific Revolution (SR from here on) conceived as a period of intellectual innovation in European history. Just to emphasize the SR was a revolution in human understanding and knowledge about the physical universe. As such, it began with Kepler, Galileo and ended with Newton. "Science" or Natural Philosophy before the SR was based entirely on reasoning. Experimental method or observation was not used at all, and there was a skepticism towards experiments as ones senses could not be trusted, an idea which can be traced to the Greeks in antiquity. Factors leading to the SR were the rise of Universities, contact with non-Western societies (we'll read this week), exploration and the intellectuals arising from the Renaissance.
English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon laid the theoretical groundwork for what became known as the scientific method. His ideas about science incorporated what is known as inductive reasoning, which involves using concrete facts to extrapolate broader conclusions. (Inductive reasoning is the opposite of deductive reasoning.) Bacon argued that scientists should work from the specific (observable data) to the general (rules and theories based on that data). He believed that all scientific research should rely on careful observation and experimentation rather than simply relying on one’s own thought and reasoning, as earlier scientific thinkers had. The data obtained should then be recorded and analyzed according to logic and reason, then used to produce a testable hypothesis.
Issac Newton was particularly important as he synthesized the works of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo and 1665-66 is usually called the "miraculous year" where Newton came up with the binomial expansion, laws of gravity (inverse square law and the laws of universal theory of gravitation), differential and integral calculus.
Most importantly remember there was a wider significance of the SR and its global reach and this brings us to this week's readings.
Check out the cool stuff on Newton done by our friendly Canadian neighbors :-)
These talks were held in October at King's College, Halifax. The King's symposium on Newton's General Scholium was one of two conferences on Newton held in 2013 to commemorate the tercentenary of the second edition of the Principia (1713)
Book: 4) The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science--John Henry
Read the remainder of Henry especially chapters 4,5, 7 and 8.
Read also the chapter "The Scientific Revolution in Asia" (taken from the book by William Burns, The SR IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE) which has been posted and answer either of the questions:
What role did magical traditions play in the "paradigm shift" from scholastic natural philosophy to the more empirical "science" of the SR?
How was the Scientific Revolution different in China versus India?
Your post within 300 words is due by the end of business on 24th Sept.
Read also your colleague's post and to move the discussion forward, explain in 150-200 words what you liked/disliked about your colleague's post and why? Your follow up post is due by the end of business on 26th Sept.
|Due By (Pacific Time)
||09/27/2015 11:00 pm