Essay on Revolution in Scientific Affairs

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Europe changed dramatically in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries. In many ways, this change was a result of changes in intellectual’s approach to natural history, or science. This revolution in scientific affairs, sparked by thinkers like Bacon, Newton, and Descartes, resulted in a significant upheaval in the arts and literature of Europe. Research into this spread of scientific thinking, which would eventually come to influence ideas about such wildly disparate fields of human endeavor as physics, religion, and governmental theory, shows that Francis Bacon played a major role in encouraging the growth of the Scientific Revolution. Writing in the early part of the 17th century, Bacon painted a tempting picture of a world …show more content…
This eventually led to the idea that the universe was similar to a mechanical device which had been put in motion by God or a similar “First Cause,” who no longer took action in the universe. This idea, called Deism, would play a major role in the ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire and Diderot. However, it was a Frenchman who felt he had proven God’s existence who would provide the philosophical framework for the Enlightenment’s questioning of religion and tradition. René Descartes took Bacon’s ideas of scientific inquiry and used them not only to learn new information about the physical world and hard sciences, but also used them to try and make conclusions about the questions that had long dogged humanity, such as questions about the existence of God. However, in the end, by applying this philosophy of doubt to all fields of human endeavor, Descartes inspired later thinkers to apply even more penetrating and meaningful questions to these same fields of thought, particularly in philosophy and religion, but also in fields such as history and the other soft sciences. This led directly to the explosion of thought and rational inquiry that resulted in the Enlightenment, the “republic of letters,” and the art of the 18th century. While Bacon, Newton, Descartes, and other great thinkers of the Scientific Revolution did their part to spread scientific progress and rational thought, it fell to one man,

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