July 23, 2024

How the Scientific Revolution Changed Thought

The Scientific Revolution occurred during a period of time during the 16th and 18th centuries, although the term was not coined until later in the 20th century. During this period of time many ideas changed. The scientific revolution was based around ideas such as math and astronomy instead of the natural philosophy people had believed before. These new ideas opposed the natural philosophers of the time. Many opposed these new thoughts as they did not adhere to the religious ideology of the time. Many fields such as astronomy, mathematics and many others changed from following natural philosophers to now being based in mathematics and scientific study. The Scientific Revolution was the first time there was an empirical method to test out knowledge.

Before the Scientific Revolution astronomy was based on the notion that earth was the center of the universe. This theory was referred to as the Ptolemaic system or the geocentric model. In this model it was assumed everything orbited the earth. During the Scientific Revolution Nicolaus Copernicus opposed this theory and proposed that it was in fact the sun that was in the center in which everything orbited around. Copernicus’ findings led to many more studies such as Tycho Brahe. Brahe’s data inspired Johannes Kepler who eventually proposed two new planetary laws utilizing empirical data. Kepler’s laws stated that “the planets travel around the Sun in elliptical orbits, one focus of the ellipse being occupied by the Sun” which coincides with Copernicus’ idea that the sun was the center of the universe. The second law was that “a planet moves in its orbit in such a manner that a line drawn from the planet to the Sun always sweeps out equal areas in equal times” (Britannica). One of the most prominent inventions during the Scientific Revolution was the telescope invented by Galileo Galilei. The new empirical evidence brought forward during the Scientific Revolution allowed for the subject of astronomy to be changed to become more scientifically accurate.

Astronomy was just the beginning of the Scientific Revolution, other subjects, such as physics, also grew during this time and became more based in study then natural philosophy. One important advancement in physics was Sir Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. These three laws were able to be put into use in other fields to, allowing for a better understanding of why the planets move as they do for example. Newton’s Laws are still being taught and utilized to this day.

The Scientific Revolution redefined thought and the nature of knowledge as a whole. Now people had a sense of certainty as things could be explained with somewhat certainty except just by gods and magic. Now people had new ways to discover what is real in the universe and create a basis for science which is still being defined today. Without the Scientific Revolution the state of the world would not be where it is today as it changed the way people think and go about finding information.


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