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Chapter 14 New Directions in Thought and Culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries


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Title: Chapter 14 New Directions in Thought and Culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Chapter 14New Directions in Thought and Culture
in the 16th and 17th Centuries
  • AP European History
  • Mrs. Tucker

Key Topics
  • The astronomical theories of Copernicus, Brahe,
    Kepler, Galileo, and Newton and the Scientific
  • Impact of the new science on philosophy
  • Social setting of early modern science
  • Women and the Scientific revolution
  • Approaches to science and religion
  • Witchcraft and witch-hunts

Scientific Revolution
  • Not everything was new Much of this was
    rethinking from the ancient and late middle ages
  • The Scientific Revolution was NOT rapid
  • Term Scientist did not exist until 1830s
  • Scientific societies and academies developed in
    the latter half of the 17th century
  • New knowledge emerged in Medicine, Chemistry, and
    Natural history but the most popular were the
    strides made in Astronomy

The Ptolemaic System
  • Ptolemy wrote the Almagest
  • Standard explanation of mathematical astronomy
    since 150 C.E.
  • Geocentrism
  • Planets moved uniformly about an epicycle and
    the center moved uniformly about a deferent

Nicolaus Copernicus (14731543)
  • Polish priest astronomer
  • On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543)
  • Catholic Inquisition places Copernicuss On the
    Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres on Index of
    Prohibited Books, 1616

Heliocentric Universe
  • heliocentric versus geocentric view of the solar
  • challenged Ptolemaic/Aristotelian models in use
    since antiquity
  • Copernican system no more accurate than
    Ptolemaicimportant as a new paradigmslow to
    gain ground
  • Publishes on deathbed

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)
  • Believed in Earth-Centered System
  • Suggested the moon and sun revolved around earth
    and other planets revolved around sun
  • He produced tremendous astronomical data for his
    successors to work with

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
  • Brahes assistant and inherited his work
  • Belived in Copernican Theory but found that the
    motion of planets were elliptical not in
  • Wrote The New Astronomy in 1609 using
    Copernicuss sun-centered universe and Brahes
    empircal data.

Galileo Galilei (1564 1642)
  • Italian mathematician, Physicist, natural
  • broke ground using telescopefound heavens much
    more complex than previously understood
  • became high-profile Copernican advocate
  • articulated concept of a universe governed by
    mathematical laws

Galileo Facing the Inquisition
  • Representative incident Roman Catholic
    authorities condemn Galileo, 1633under house
    arrest for last nine years of his life
  • Roman Catholic Church formally admits errors of
    biblical interpretation in Galileos case, 1992

Isaac Newton (16421727)
  • English Mathematician and Physicist
  • discovered laws of gravityall physical objects
    in the universe move through mutual attraction
    (gravity) explained planetary orbits
  • explained gravity mathematically
  • Principia Mathematica (1687)

Isaac Newton
Francis Bacon (1521 1626)
  • English lawyer, government official, historian,
  • Considered father of empiricism, scientific
  • Set intellectual tone conducive to scientific
  • Attacked scholastic adherence to intellectual
    authorities of the past
  • championed innovation and change as goals
    contributing to human improvement
  • two books of divine revelation the Bible and
  • since both books share the same author, they must
    be compatible

René Descartes (1596 1650)
  • Gifted mathematician, inventor of analytic
  • Most important contribution scientific method
    relying more on deduction (deriving specific
    facts from general principles) than empiricism

René Descartes
  • Discourse on Method (1637)rejection of
    scholastic philosophy and education in favor of
    mathematical models rejection of all
    intellectual authority except his own reason
  • Concluded (God-given) human reason was sufficient
    to comprehend the world
  • Divided world into two categories mind
    (thinking) body (extension)

Thomas Hobbes (1588 1679)
  • Most original political philosopher of 17th c.
  • Enthusiastic supporter of New Science
  • for absolutist government
  • Humans not basically social, but basically
  • State of nature is a state of war life in this
    state is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and

Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan
  • Turmoil of English Civil War motivated his
    Leviathan (1651)
  • Leviathan rigorous philosophical justification
  • The right of nature... is the liberty each man
    hath to use his own power, as he will himself,
    for the preservation of his own nature that is
    to say, of his own life.

John Locke (1632 1704)
  • Most influential philosophical and political
    thinker of the 17th c.
  • Contrast with Hobbes
  • First Treatise of Government argued against
    patriarchal models of government
  • Second Treatise of Government government as
    necessarily responsible for and responsive to the

Two Treatises of Government
  • Humans basically creatures of reason and goodwill
  • Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) argument for
    religious toleration
  • Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)
    described human mind as birth as a blank slate
    with content to be determined by sensory
    experiencereformist view, rejects Christian
    concept of original sin

Women in the Scientific Revolution
  • Generally excluded from the institutions of
    European intellectual life
  • Queen Christina of Sweden (r. 16231654) brought
    Descartes to Stockholm to design regulations for
    a new science academy
  • Maria Winkelmannaccomplished German astronomer,
    excluded from Berlin Academy

Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673)
  • Married William Cavendish, Marquis of Newcastle
    in 1645
  • Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy (1666)
  • Grounds of Natural Philosophy (1668)
  • Asked to attend a session of Royal Society of
    London which met with much controversy

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
  • French Mathematician and Inventor
  • Mathematical prodigy studied Geometry proving
    Euclids 32nd proposition and finding error in
    Descartes work at 13
  • opposed both dogmatism and skepticism
  • erroneous belief in God is a safer bet than
    erroneous unbelief
  • In 1968 a computer programming language was named
    for him, (PASCAL)

  • The Pascaline, the first accurate calculator
  • Was not a commercial success although it could
    do the work of 6 accountants, people feared it
    would cause unemployment.
  • Pascal to studying religion after rejection of
    his calculator
  • Believed a leap of faith required in religion

Rise of Academic Societies
  • The New Science threatened vested academic
    interests and was slow to gain ground in
  • Establishment of institutions of sharing
  • Royal Society of London (1660)
  • Academy of Experiments (Florence, 1657)
  • French Academy of Science (1666)
  • Berlin Academy of Science (1700)

New Philosophy
  • Scientific revolution ? major reexamination of
    Western philosophy
  • Nature as mechanismclock metaphor God as
    clockmaker (Deism)
  • Purpose of studying nature changes
  • search for symbolic/sacramental meaning ? search
    for usefulness/utility
  • path to salvation ? path to human physical

New Science and Religion
  • Faith in a Rational God
  • Three major issues
  • Certain scientific theories and discoveries
    conflicted with Scripture.
  • Who resolves such disputes religious authorities
    or natural philosophers?
  • New sciences apparent replacement of spiritually
    significant universe with purely material one.

  • Economics technological and economic innovation
    seen as part of a divine planman is to
    understand world and then put it into productive
    rational use

Continuing Superstition
The Hammer of the Witches
  • The Hammer of the Witches, The Malleus
    Maleficarum, written by Jacob Sprenger and
    Heinreich Kramer, 1486, an important medieval
    treatise on the existence of and how to
    interrogate witches

Continuing Superstition
  • belief in magic and the occult persisted through
    the end of the 17th c.
  • witch-hunts 70,000100,000 put to death,
    14001700 80 women
  • Cunning Folk - village society magic helped cope
    with natural disasters and disabilities
  • Christian clergy practiced high magic
    (Eucharist, Penance, Confession, exorcism

  • 1. Which of the following does NOT characterize
    the nature of the Scientific Revolution?
  • A. It occurred several places in Europe at the
    same time.
  • B. It was not revolutionary in the normal sense
    of the word.
  • C. It was a complex movement involving many
  • D. Its proponents were hostile to established
  • E. Its proponents believed that the study of
    nature would shed light on the nature of the

  • 2. Which of the following figures played a key
    role in the popularization of the Copernican
  • A. Newton
  • B. Bacon
  • C. Locke
  • D. Kepler
  • E. Galileo

  • 3. Pascal believed that
  • A. there was a danger in following traditional
    religious ways.
  • B. misery loves company.
  • C. Gods mercy was for everyone.
  • D. it is better to believe in God than not to
  • E. all men and women were destined for

  • 4. In Thomas Hobbess view,
  • A. man was a person neither good nor
  • B. a self-centered beast.
  • C. essentially God-fearing.
  • D. perfect at birth, but devolved over time.
  • E. not the creator of human society

  • 5. Most proponents of the new science sought to
  • A. explain the natural world through the lens
    of Christian revelation.
  • B. mechanical metaphors.
  • C. metaphysical concepts.
  • D. religious analogies.
  • E. Aristotelian logic.

  • 6. Galileo believed that all aspects of nature
    could be described in terms of
  • A. virtues and vices.
  • B. divine harmonies.
  • C. celestial ratios.
  • D. logical hierarchies.
  • E. mathematical relationships.

  • 7. Most English natural philosophers of the
    seventeenth century believed that
  • A. religion and science were incompatible.
  • B. all important contributions to science had
    been made by Englishmen.
  • C. natural philosophy revealed deeper truths
    than theology.
  • D. religion and science were mutually
  • E. nature revealed little about the divine.

  • 8. Tycho Brahes major contribution to science
    was his
  • A. discovery of the planet Mercury.
  • B. proof of the Copernican system.
  • C. compilation of a large amount of
    astronomical data.
  • D. discovery of the moons of Jupiter.
  • E. support of Galileo.

  • 9. Bacon, Descartes, and Newton all sought to
    explain the universe in _______ terms.
  • A. metaphysical
  • B. symbolic
  • C. mystical
  • D. mono-causal
  • E. mechanistic

  • 10. Descartes divided existing things into two
    categories, mind and
  • A. body.
  • B. God.
  • C. metaphor.
  • D. modality.
  • E. mindlessness.

Key and Notes
  • 1-D, 2-E, 3-D, 4-B, 5-B, 6-E, 7-D, 8-C, 9-E,10-A
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