During the period of enlightenment and scientific discovery of the 17th century, differing concepts of the scientific method emerged. Amongst these, René Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton had some of the more prominent ideologies. Through The Discourse On Method Descartes describes his rules for “discovering the truth”(Sherman. P.74) based on his mathematical background. Many of these are based on logical deductions and examining individual sections of a hypothesis to determine their truths. A few decades later, Sir Isaac Newton published Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy containing the results of his mathematical and scientific work. To arrive at the conclusions, which Newton had, he came up with his “four rules for arriving at knowledge”(Sherman. P.76). While these methods have had a positive impact on many great minds, the nature of Descartes’s and Newton’s methodologies threatened the church as it promoted critical thinking and independence from the Roman Catholic Church.
If we were to look at the methods and rationale that both Descartes and Newton used to arrive at their conclusions, we would see many similarities between the two but fundamentally they also have a few differences. In the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Newton uses 4 rules to arrive at his conclusions. These rules declare that: “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearance” (Sherman. P.76); natural effects
The year 1543 saw the publication of two monumentally important scientific works and for that reason is often considered the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. The first was Andreas Vesalius’s On the Structure of the Human Body, which founded the modern study of anatomy. Vesalius, a trained physician, was deeply influenced by the naturalism of the Renaissance.
The Enlightenment was a period characterized by the idea that people’s use of reason could unlock the mysteries of the world around them. Thinkers of the Enlightenment saw all aspects of the world—religion, wealth, and the earth itself—as being understandable through natural laws. The reliance on and application of reason on the different aspects of the world used by Enlightenment thinkers was directly informed by the Scientific Revolution. In essence the presentation of and descriptive power of Enlightenment theories and ideas would not have been possible without the strengthened exploratory and explanatory rigor established in the Scientific Revolution.
This essay will explore parallels between the ideas of the scientific revolution and the enlightenment. The scientific revolution describes a time when great changes occurred in the way the universe was viewed, d through the advances of sciences during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The enlightenment refers to a movement that grew out of the new scientific ideas of the revolution that occurred in the late seventeenth to eighteenth century. Although both the scientific revolution and enlightenment encapsulate different ideas, the scientific revolution laid the underlying ideological foundations for the enlightenment movement. A number of parallels
What were the major ideas behind the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment? Include three major Enlightenment scientist and/or philosophers in your essay. How did the Enlightenment change the world view of Western civilization?
The Scientific revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries changed the way that people views the world. Scientific philosophers such as Galileo and Descartes threw out the old teachings of the church and challenged them with new ways of thinking. These men sought to prove that rational thought could prove the existence of God. They also challenged that it was an understanding of a series of rational thoughts, not faith, would bring understanding of how the world worked. Traditional ways of thinking were ultimately challenged by logical and sensible rationale.
In Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes takes the reader through a methodological exercise in philosophical enquiry. After stripping the intellect of all doubtful and false beliefs, he re-examines the nature and structure of being in an attempt to secure a universally valid epistemology free from skepticism. Hoping for the successful reconciliation of science and theology, Descartes works to reconstruct a new foundation of absolute and certain truth to act as a catalyst for future scientific research by “showing that a mathematical [rational-objective] physics of the world is attainable by creatures with our intellectual capacities and faculties” (Shand 1994, p.
In the 17th Century, there was much controversy between religion and science. The church supported a single worldview that God’s creation was the center of the universe. The kings and rulers were set in their ways to set the people’s minds to believe this and to never question it. From these ideas, the Enlightenment was bred from the Scientific Revolution.
In Rene Descartes’ Discourse on Method he expresses his disappointment with traditional philosophy and with the limitations of theology; only logic, geometry and algebra hold his respect, because of the utter certainty which they can offer us. Unfortunately, because they depend on hypotheses, they cannot tell us what is real, i.e. what the world is really like. Therefore Descartes suggests a method of thought combining the consistency of mathematics but based on natural truths about what is real, basic knowledge which could not be wrong (like the axioms of geometry). He calls into question everything that he thinks he has learned through his senses but rests his entire system on the one truth that he cannot doubt, namely, the reality of his own mind and the radical difference between the mental and the physical aspects of the world.
He assumed and concluded that God didn't exist since he wasn't deceived and his ideas could be false. Descartes had a unique style of scientific method that relied more on deducting from the general principle to arrive at facts. Descartes later addressed his scientific method in “Meditations”. In this writing, deduction was emphasized, his speculations were rationalized and he wrote about his personal reflections. Along with being a scientific author, Descartes was also a genius mathematician who invented analytic geometry.
At its climax the scientific revolution would bring enormous change with the revolutionary contributions made by Isaac Newton. Newton, building on previous works produced the concepts of gravity, and he developed the three laws of motion which could be accurately proved through mathematical calculations. These discoveries about the natural world would serve to mend past uncertainties which in turn gave people real hope. It was the beginning of an end of Europe’s dark times and the birth of many new innovations and developments that were to come in the eighteenth century. It was truly a new age where through reason one could become fully become enlightened.
These ideas of scientists led to study the societies more and understand them and see how they were before the enlightenment and after it. Before the enlightenments it does not allow for the scientists and philosophers shows their ideas, innovations and discover to the public, and it shows the negative way that was at that time to stop the mdernilty to happen. For example, in Europ before the enlightenment the scientists were under control of the church, and they cannot do anything or say their ideas and show the innovation because the church did not accept any ideas and they want to live with the past ideas because they do not want to change it. Intellectuals cannot say their ideas because the church will punish them and kill them (Hamilton,1992).
Secondly, Descartes, by embarking on this reconstruction of his thoughts, hopes to find a stable basis for the sciences. Since Descartes was trained as a mathematician, he likes to find proofs for ideas, so that he can know them with absolute certainty. Initially, he believes philosophy to be the basis for the sciences “insofar as they [the sciences] borrow their principles from philosophy.” However, he concludes that philosophy cannot be the basis for the sciences, saying, “one could not have built anything upon such unstable foundations.” Now, he has to find a stronger foundation for the sciences and it is only through the reconstruction of his thought that he is able to do this.
Although it is irrefutable that both Aristotle and Isaac Newton are great scientists and have made phenomenal contributions to scientific development, their scientific methods vary to a large extent. With reference to Scientific Method in Practice, Aristotle investigated the world by using inductions from observations to infer general principles and deductions from those principles to conduct further observational research (Gauch, 2003), while in Isaac Newton's Scientific Method, the author describes Newton’s method as aiming to turn theoretical questions into ones which can be explained by mathematical ideas and measurement from phenomena, and to establish that propositions inferred from phenomena are provisionally guides to further research
Descartes spent his first four years in Holland, 1629 to 1633, writing Le Monde, which attempts to give a physical theory to the universe. He learned, however, that its publication would likely bring to him animosity from the church 4. Descartes felt no desire to become a martyr; therefore, he abandoned it. Following this work, Descartes began work on Discours de la méthode pour bien conduire sa raison et chercher la vérité dans les sciences which was a disquisition on universal science. Descours de la méthode was published in 1637