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The European view of the universe and of nature had been largely unchanged since Classical GrecoRoma


... the objects on blue orbits (the moon and the sun) rotate around the earth. ... German. Used mathematics to test and prove the theories of Copernicus ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The European view of the universe and of nature had been largely unchanged since Classical GrecoRoma

  • The European view of the universe and of nature
    had been largely unchanged since Classical
    Greco-Roman times.
  • The Aristotelian-medieval views was of a
    motionless earth (geocentric theory), around
    which the heavens revolved in layers of
    crystalline spheres. These layers were said to
    revolve independently of one another, and were
    supposed to be very close to the earth, at no
    alarming distance from the viewer. They
    practically were a blanket wrapping the earth.

Aristotles View
  • At different spheres, one found different
    heavenly bodies. At the outermost sphere dwelt
    God and his angels, looking down and observing
  • This view suited the Church quite well, as human
    beings were positioned at the center of the
    universe. (Ptolemaic theory)
  • In the 16th and the 17th century things changed.
    The heliocentric theory gained hold. The
    unlocking of the secrets of the heavens became
    the foundation of the scientific revolution.

Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Polish astronomer
  • Claimed that the earth revolved around the sun
    and that the sun was the center of the universe
    (solar system), and published his beliefs.
  • He was unable to prove his theories

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Tycho Brahe
  • Danish astronomer
  • Built a state of the art observatory and
    accumulated huge quantities of data.

In this depiction of the Tychonic system, the
objects on blue orbits (the moon and the sun)
rotate around the earth. The objects on orange
orbits (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and
Saturn) rotate around the sun. Around all is
sphere of fixed stars.
Johannes Kepler
  • German
  • Used mathematics to test and prove the theories
    of Copernicus
  • He formulated the Three Laws of Planetary Motion
  • 1. Planetary orbits are elliptical, not oval
  • 2. Planets dont all move at the same speeds in
    their orbits.
  • 3. The time a planet takes to make its complete
    orbit is exactly related to its distance from the

Kepler's equal area law. If the time interval
taken by the planet to move from P to Q is equal
to the time interval from R to S, then according
to Kepler's equal area law, the two shaded areas
are equal. The reason it speeds up, as later
found by Newton, is that the planet is moving
faster during interval RS than it did during PQ,
because as it approached the sun along QR, the
sun's gravity accelerated it.
Galileo Galilei
  • Italian
  • Built his own telescope
  • Not a mathematician. Instead, he used observation
    to prove his theories, observation becoming a
    cornerstone of science.
  • His famous experiments included dropping objects
    off of the tower of Pisa.
  • This led to his formulation of a theory of
  • Was tried fro heresy in 1633 and forced to recant
    his views.

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Isaac Newton
  • Englishman
  • Probably the greatest mind before Einstein
  • Attended Cambridge, great mathematician
  • Intensely religious
  • His greatest accomplishment was the synthesis
    of all the discoveries of these previous men. By
    Newtons time, all of their theories had been
    widely accepted, but no one really understood why
    the planets moved as they did, what force set
    them in motion

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  • Newton theorized that a single factor (gravity)
    influenced every body in the universe. He lacked
    the necessary mathematics to prove this, so he
    invented calculus to help prove his theory. He
    published his masterpiece Principia in 1687,
    which showed that the universe was unified in one
    majestic system.

  • The new scientific discoveries, especially
    Newtons theories, shook traditional religion.
    The universe was no longer the comfortable
    blanket of stars created just for the pleasure of
    man. It was impossibly vast, cold, and distant.
    If God was no longer just above us, then where
    was he?

  • Furthermore, mathematics had unlocked the ancient
    mysteries of the universe. The motion of planets
    and moons, the arrival of eclipses and comets,
    the tides and waves, all could be predicted and
    seemed less mysterious, caused not by God but by
    simple calculations of a force that was
    everywhere. Religion is still adapting to

  • Copernicus theories especially were challenging.
    His views were the first to actually bring into
    questions several things
  • A) that the universe must be of staggering size
  • B) that there were no such things as crystal
  • C) that the earth was just another planet and
    therefore maybe not Gods only creation.

  • Francis Bacon was an Englishman, Rene Descartes
    was a Frenchman, who prompted what we call the
    scientific method. In the Middle Ages, scholars
    used deduction, whereby facts were derived from
    ideas that were already established. Bacon used
    induction, the idea that through observation and
    experimentation, the truth would be derived.

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  • Now, there was a true and reliable method of
    obtaining knowledge, and once men practiced it,
    science would explode. Bacon and Descartes
    heralded the birth of scientific civilization.

  • After about 1630 the Catholics tended to
    discourage science while the Protestants tended
    to be pro-science. Initially even Protestants
    were skeptical.

  • The emerging scientific establishment had
    several consequences
  • A modern scientific method whose primary goal was
    the expansion of knowledge emerged.
  • An international scientific community emerged
    whose primary goal was the expansion of knowledge
    (Royal Academies in London and Paris)
  • Traditional religion as Europe had known it was
    to never be the same.

The Royal Society
  • The Enlightenment was an intellectual and
    cultural movement that tied together certain key
    ideas and was the link between the scientific
    revolution and a new world-view these ideas
  • 1. Natural science and reason can explain all
    aspects of life.
  • 2. The scientific method can explain the laws of
    human society.
  • 3. Progress-the creation of better societies and
    better people-was not only possible, it was

  • The philosophes brought Enlightenment ideas to
    the ignorant masses and brought the Enlightenment
    to its highest stage, in France.
  • They were committed to bringing new thinking to
    the public, although not necessarily to the
    masses. They used plays, histories, novels,
    dictionaries, and encyclopedias to spread their
    messages. They also used satire and double

  • Voltaire- challenged traditional Catholic
    theology believed in a distant God who let human
    affairs take their own course. He opposed legal
    injustice and unfair treatment before the law.
  • Montesquieu- wrote primarily about the separation
    of powers, including the notion that power must
    be balanced.

  • "May we not return to those scoundrels of old,
    the illustrious founders of superstition and
    fanaticism, who first took the knife from the
    altar to make victims of those who refused to be
    their disciples."
  • "Where is the prince sufficiently educated to
    know that for seventeen hundred years the
    Christian sect has done nothing but harm?"
  • "One hundred years from my day there will not be
    a Bible in the earth except one that is looked
    upon by an antiquarian curiosity seeker."
  • "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very
    short one 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.'
    And God granted it."
  • "Now, now, dear man, this is not the time to be
    making enemies." (on his deathbed when a priest
    asked him to "renounce Satan")

The quote I disapprove of what you say, but I
will defend to the death your right to say it is
commonly misattributed to Voltaire, but is
actually a summary of his attitudes, based on
statements he made in Essay on Tolerance,
  • Rousseau- attacked rationalism as too cold and
    abstract. He believed children must develop
    naturally and spontaneously. He also argued that
    the general will of the public is sacred and

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  • Frederick allowed religious freedom and promoted
    education, legal reform, and economic growth.
    However, he never sought to change Prussias
    social structure. He enjoyed corresponding with,
    and hosting, the leading thinkers of the day,
    especially Voltaire.

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  • It was Frederick who used his fathers well-built
    army to seize Silesia and violate the Pragmatic
    Sanction. This was an important step toward the
    development of modern Prussia because it doubled
    the population and added rich towns and natural

  • Catherine imported Western culture, supported the
    philosophes, and began a program of reform. Her
    actions were said to have westernized the
    Russian nobility.
  • She also used force to expand Russian territory,
    winning battles against the Turks and carving up
    Poland along with Prussian and Austria. The fate
    of Poland to be discussed later.

Catherine the Great
  • The Russian nobles became very Westernized, with
    French custom, manner, and speech becoming
  • The serfs regressed, however. After the uprising
    of Pugachev, Catherine gave her nobles absolute
    authority over their serfs, and they suffered as
    they hadnt since before Peter the Great.

  • Russia became the continental power that Peter
    the Great had envisioned. From this point onward,
    Russia would have to be factored into any
    equation concerning balance of power.

  • After the death of Louis XIV, the French nobility
    began attempting to regain their power that had
    been lost during the time of the Sun King. This
    dispute caused France to Drift toward renewed
    financial and political crisis.