Scientific Revolution

Revolution and Enlightenment
Mr. Lanphier
 What freedoms did Voltaire want for the people?
 Freedom of Speech and Religion
 What types of punishments was Beccaria against?
 Torture and excessive punishment
 Where can we see examples of Voltaire’s ideas in America?
 Bill of Rights, 1st amendment
 Who is considered the First Feminist?
 Mary Wollstonecraft
Setting the Stage:
The Scientific Revolution
The Renaissance & The Reformation
The Renaissance brought fourth the questioning of everything. Scholars began to
question ideas that had been accepted for hundreds of years
The Reformation prompted religious followers to challenge accepted ways of
thinking about God and salvation.
What Was the Scientific Revolution?
 A revolution in human understanding and
knowledge about the physical universe
 17th century phenomenon bookended by the
Astronomical discoveries of Kepler, Copernicus, and
Galileo and the publication of Newton’s works
The Roots of Modern Science
The Medieval View
 Most knowledge in
the Middle Ages
comes from the Bible
and Greek/Roman
 Supports geocentric
theory—moon, sun,
planets revolve
around earth
The Scientific Revolution
A Revolution is a complete change, or an
overthrow of a government, a social system,
The Scientific Revolution changed the way
Europeans looked at the world.
People began to make conclusions based
on experimentation and observation, instead
of merely accepting traditional ideas.
“Science” Before
the Scientific Revolution
 “Science” as we know it today is a habit of mind.
It involves using reason, observation, testing, and
systematic thought to uncover truths about the
world and about people, animals, and things in
the world.
 Unlike today, scientists in ancient and medieval
times were really philosophers who drew
conclusions based on deductive reasoning; they
rarely conducted practical experiments
“Science” Before
the Scientific Revolution
 Medieval “science” had very little basis in fact and drew
more from superstition and religious belief.
 Alchemy (Like Chemistry) aimed to develop potions that
would do things such as change iron into gold, cure all
disease, or bestow immortality.
 Astrology was based on the concept that the positions and
conditions of celestial bodies could influence human
existence, both positively and negatively. Practitioners of
astrology would often claim that human suffering
(including sickness) could be explained by the position of
the stars.
Before the Scientific Revolution…
•European scholars accepted
and believed the teachings of
Ptolemy, an ancient Greek
astronomer. Who taught the
earth was the center of the
universe (Geocentric Theory)
and was supported by the
• It was not until some
startling discoveries caused
Europeans to change the way
(87-140 A.D.)
they viewed the physical
Nicolaus Copernicus
• Copernicus was a Polish astronomer
who studied in Italy.
• In 1543 Copernicus published On
the Revolutions of the Heavenly
• In his book, Copernicus made two
1. The universe is
heliocentric, or suncentered.
2. The Earth is merely one of
several planets revolving
around the sun.
The Copernican Heliocentric Model
A Revolutionary Model of the Universe
 The Heliocentric Theory
 Challenged the Widely
accepted geocentric theory
as inaccurate
 Copernicus develops the
heliocentric theory—
planets revolve around the
 Later scientists
mathematically prove
Copernicus to be correct
Nicolaus Copernicus
• Copernicus came to
these conclusions
using mathematical
• The Copernican
conception of the
universe marked the
start of modern
science and
Reaction to Copernicus
•Many scientists of the
time also felt that if
Ptolemy’s reasoning
about the planets was
wrong, then the whole
system of human
knowledge could be
At the time his theories did little more than spark
debate among scientific thinkers and had little initial
impact outside of academic circles. His ideas would
provide the foundation for the revolutionary work of
later scientists.
Models of the Universe:
Geocentric vs. Heliocentric
Geocentric: the Earth is at
the center of the universe;
all heavenly bodies move
around the Earth
Heliocentric: the Sun is at the
center of the universe; all
heavenly bodies move around
the Sun—including the Earth
Tycho Brahe
•1500s, the Danish astronomer
Tycho Brahe provided evidence
that supported Copernicus’
heliocentric theory.
•Brahe set up the most
sophisticated astronomical
observatory of his time
•Every night for years he carefully
observed the sky, accumulated data
about the movement of the stars,
planets, and comets.
•Created some of the most accurate
star charts of the time.
Tycho Brahe
 Owned both a paper mill and
a printing press and selfpublished The Dream,
considered one of the first
works of science fiction.
 Theorized a system distinct
from both the Ptolemaic and
Copernican ones
 Argued that the Moon and
Sun revolve around the Earth
while other planets revolve
around the Sun
C. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
After Brahe’s death, his
assistant and student, the
German astronomer and
mathematician Johannes
Kepler, used Brahe’s data
to calculate the orbits of
the planets revolving
around the sun.
 Planetary motion conforms
to mathematical formula
and Heliocentric Theory
Johannes Kepler
His calculations also
showed that the planets
moved in oval shaped
orbits or Elliptical orbits.
and not perfect circles,
as Ptolemy and
Copernicus believed.
 Planets do not move at
uniform speeds in their
Galileo Galilei
• Galileo Galilei was an Italian
astronomer who built upon the
scientific foundations laid by
Copernicus and Kepler.
• Galileo assembled the first
telescope which allowed him to
see mountains on the moon and
fiery spots on the sun.
• Galileo also discovered
that objects fall at the same
speed regardless of weight.
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642)
 Italian mathematician, astronomer
 “Father of Science”
 Observed from his scope:
• Stars were farther away than
There were mountains on the
Jupiter has four moons
Saturn has rings
drawing of
the moon
Galileo Galilei
• Galileo’s discoveries caused an
uproar. Other scholars came against
him because like Copernicus, Galileo
was contradicting Ptolemy.
• The Church came against Galileo because it
claimed that the Earth was fixed and unmoving. It was
easier to label his work as foolish and heretical than to
work to see how it fit in the Catholic framework
• When threatened with death before the
Inquisition in 1633, Galileo recanted his beliefs
and declares his and other new findings are
wrong even though he knew the Earth
• Galileo was put under house arrest,
and was not allowed to publish his ideas.
Galileo vs. the Catholic Church
19th-century depiction of Galileo before the Inquisition tribunal
The Scientific Method
 A Logical Approach
 Revolution in thinking leads to development of scientific
method—a series of steps for forming and testing scientific
 Bacon and Descartes
 Thinkers Bacon and Descartes help to create scientific
 Bacon urges scientists to experiment before drawing
 Descartes advocates using logic and math to reason out basic
The Scientific Method
• By the early 1600s, a new approach to science
had emerged, known as the Scientific Method.
Scientific Method – painstaking method used to
confirm findings and to prove or disprove a hypothesis.
• Scientists observed nature, made hypotheses, or
educated guesses, and then tested these hypotheses
through experiments.
• Unlike
earlier approaches, the scientific method
did not rely on the classical thinkers or the Church,
but depended upon a step-by-step process of
observation and experimentation.
The Scientific Method
Science as a multiple-step process:
1. Observe an 2. Develop a
object or
theory that
explains the
object or
3. Test the
theory with
The (modern) Scientific Method
State the problem
Collect information
Form a hypothesis
Test the hypothesis
Record & analyze data
State a conclusion
Repeat steps 1 – 6
• Scientists soon discovered that the
movements of bodies in nature closely
followed what could be predicted by
• The scientific method set Europe on
the road to rapid technological
The Scientific Method
• Sir Isaac Newton was an
English scholar who built upon
the work of Copernicus and
• Newton was the most
influential scientist of the
Scientific Revolution.
• He used math to prove the
existence of gravity - a force
that kept planets in their orbits
around the sun, and also
caused objects to fall towards
the earth.
The Scientific Method
• Newton published his scientific ideas in his
book Mathematical Principles of Natural
•Argues for a universe governed by natural
• He discovered laws of light and color, and
formulated his 3 laws of motion:
1. A body at rest stays at rest
2. Acceleration is caused by force
3. For every action there is an
equal opposite reaction
• He invented calculus: a
method of mathematical
Newton Explains the Law of Gravity
 Newton’s Theories
 Theory of motion—states
some forces rule motion of
planets, matter in space,
and earth
 Motion in space and earth
linked by the law of
universal gravitation—holds
that every object is universe
attracts every other object
 Newton views the universe
as a vast, perfect
mechanical clock
Isaac Newton in 1702
The Scientific Method
According to a popular
story, Newton saw an
apple fall from a tree, and
wondered if the force that
pulled the apple to the
Earth also controlled the
movement of the planets.
Newton argued that nature
followed laws.
The Scientific Method
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
René Descartes (1595-1650)
The Scientific Method
• Francis
Bacon was an
English philosopher who
wrote Advancement of
• Bacon popularized the
scientific method and used it
with philosophy and knowledge.
• Bacon argued that truth
could not be known at the
beginning of a question,
but only at the end after a
long process of
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon and
the Scientific Method
 Inductive reasoning and method:
involves using concrete facts to
extrapolate broader conclusions.
(Inductive reasoning is the opposite
of deductive reasoning.)
 Father of the Scientific Revolution
 Emphasis on practical, useful
 He believed that all scientific
research should rely on careful
observation and experimentation
rather than simply relying on one’s
own thought and reasoning, as
earlier scientific thinkers had
The Scientific Method
• Descartes
René Descartes
was a French
scientist, mathematician, and
• Descartes emphasized human
reasoning as the best road to
• Like
Bacon, Descartes also
believed that truth was only found
after a long process of studying
and investigation.
 Reason, not tradition,
is the source of all
 Prior knowledge was
René Descartes
subject to doubt
because it was based
on traditional beliefs
rather than on
G. Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
 Significance of Doubt: Going so
far as to doubt whether he was
awake or dreaming—or if he
even existed.
 he knew that his thoughts
existed, which then suggested
the existence of a thinking
being—himself: Cogito ergo sum
(“I think, therefore, I am”)
 The Deductive Reasoning
Method: involves using a general
principle to draw conclusions
about a specific instance
The Scientific Revolution Spreads
simple mercury
 Scientific Instruments
 Scientists develop
barometer, and
 New instruments lead
to better observations
and new discoveries
Other Scientific Advances…
• In the 1600s Robert Boyle
distinguished between
individual elements and
chemical compounds.
• Boyle also explained the effect of
temperature and pressure on gases
•He argued that matter is
made of many different
•Boyle’s law reveals
interaction of volume,
temperature, and gas
Robert Boyle
first air
Other Scientific Advances…
Medicine and the
Human Body
• In 1543 Andreas
Vesalius published On
the Structure of the
Human Body.
• Vesalius’ book was the
first accurate and
detailed book on human
anatomy and Greatly
Improved Knowledge of
the Body.
Andreas Vesalius
Medieval human
anatomy drawing
before Vesalius
Drawings done by Vesalius
Other Scientific Advances…
William Harvey
• An English scholar
who described the
circulation of blood
for the first time.
•He showed how
the heart served
as a pump to
force blood
through veins and
• Venal valves had
already been discovered,
but here Harvey shows
that venal blood flows
only toward the heart.
He ligatured an arm to
make obvious the veins
and their valves, then
pressed blood away from
the heart and showed
that the vein would
remain empty because it
was blocked by the valve.
Other Scientific Advances…
• French physician
Ambroise Paré
developed a new and
more effective
ointment for
preventing infection.
• Paré also developed
a technique for
closing wounds and
Ambroise Paré
Cauterizing Instruments of Ambroise Paré
Other Scientific Advances…
A Dutch inventor
who perfected
the microscope
and became the
first human to see
cells and
Anton von Leeuwenhoek
Medicine and the Human Body (continued)
world’s first
1802 caricature of Jenner vaccinating patients who feared it would make them sprout cow like
The Enlightenment
Not only did new ways of thinking apply
to science, but were also applied to all
aspects of society: government,
religion, economics, and education.
This spurred on the Enlightenment: a new
intellectual movement that stressed
reason and thought and the power for
individuals to solve problems.
The Age of Reason
The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment
grew largely out of
the new methods
and discoveries
achieved in the
The Enlightenment movement began in the 18th century in France and
advocated Reason (To Think Logically) as the basis of authority in all
decisions and using reason and logic to solve social and Political
Enlightenment Principles
 Religion, tradition, and
superstition limited
independent thought
 Accept knowledge
based on observation,
logic, and reason, not
on faith
 Questioning Spirit of the
Renaissance, choosing
to focus on human
nature rather than on
spiritual and religious
A meeting of French Enlightenment thinkers
 Scientific and academic
thought should be
The French Salon and the Philosophes
• Madame de Pompadour
was a devotee of art
and philosophy
• Began holding Salons:
gatherings for
aristocrats to discuss
new theories and ideas
• Philosophes: French
Enlightenment thinkers
who attended the
Madame de Pompadour
Thomas Hobbes
The Enlightenment
Thomas Hobbes
Believed All humans are naturally selfish and wicked and we need a
strong and stern ruler to govern (Absolutism)
Hobbes called for a social contract, a government where people
agreed to give total control to a monarch because people acted in
their own self interest.
Thomas Hobbes
 Hobbes believed people are naturally
selfish, cruel, and greedy.
 In 1651, he published a book called
Leviathan. In this book, he wrote that
people are driven by a restless desire
for power.
 Without laws, people would always be
in conflict. Argued that the only way to
avoid war, chaos, disarray was a strong
central ruler
 In such a “state of nature”, life would
be “nasty, brutish, and short.”
 His idea: Governments were created to
protect people from their own
Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)
Applied rational analysis to the study of
Attacked the concept of divine right of
Kings (God chose them), yet supported a
strong monarchy
 Argued that the people and the
leader had a Social Contract: an
agreement between people and
their government, in which
people give up some things in
return for the benefit of having
 Hobbes’ Social Contract:
people give up their rights to an absolute
ruler in exchange for protection, law, and
order. People do not have the right to rebel
Hobbes continued….
 Later Enlightenment thinkers might not have
agreed with Hobbes…
 But, he was important because he was one of
the first thinkers to apply reason to the
problem of politics
 His ideas may sound harsh, but it was based
on his own observations of human nature
and reasoning.
John Locke
John Locke
More positive view of society than Hobbes; people
could learn from experiences and improve
All people are born free and equal with three
natural rights: life, liberty, and property.
Natural rights: rights that people have simply for
being human.
The purpose of government is to protect these
rights, if they fail to do so, the citizens have the
right to over throw it.
John Locke (1632–1704)
 Locke believed that before people
formed societies, they lived in a “state
of nature.” That all men were equal
because they were “creatures of the
same species and rank” with the “same
advantages” and “same faculties.
 Believed people are born with minds as
a blank slate “Tabula Rasa” to be filled
up by environment and experience: not
naturally good or bad
 Believed it was human nature to want
to figure things out and to want to
make sense of the world around you
 Believed humans were reasonable
creatures capable of figuring out
John Locke: Social Contract and Natural Rights
 He wrote Two Treatises of
Government in 1690.
 He believed the purpose of
government was to protect people’s
natural rights. He said government
should protect,” his life, liberty, and
property—against the injuries and
attempts of other men.”
 The true basis of government was a
social contract between people and
their government. If the government
didn’t respect people’s rights, it could
be overthrown.
John Locke: Social Contract and Natural
 In exchange for protection, people gave government the power
to rule on their behalf. We call this idea the “consent of the
 The idea that government could be overthrown if it failed to
respect people’s rights had wide influence and was ultimately
echoed in the American Declaration of Independence.
 Locke was in favor of constitutional monarchies. This meant
laws or a constitution limited the power of the monarchs (or
 In 1689, the English set down a new set of rules called the
English Bill of Rights. This strengthened the power of the
people and their representatives in Parliament (an English
Baron de Montesquieu
• French noble and
political philosopher
• Wrote The Spirit of the
Laws studying types
of governments, then
put forward his own
theory of
Believed in 3 types of governments:
● Monarchies: ruled by a king/queen
guided by honor
● Republics: ruled by elected officials
guided by virtue
● Despotisms: ruled by absolute dictators
guided by fear
Montesquieu (continued)
Montesquieu did not believe that democracy was the
best form of government. Instead, he favored a
constitutional monarchy based on the British model.
He greatly admired Britain’s government because he
felt that Parliament, the king, and the courts worked
separately and efficiently since each could limit the
power of the other.
Montesquieu identified three sorts of governmental
power: legislative, executive “in respect to things
dependent on the law of nations,” and executive “in
regard to those things that depend on civil law”
(i.e., the judiciary).
Baron Montesquieu
Separation of Powers
 Believed power in
government had to be
divided amongst different
 Believed checks and
balances are necessary to
keep one branch from
becoming too powerful
Heavily influenced America’s founding
fathers 1770’s-1780’s
3 Branches of Gov’t included in US
 Believed the people
needed safeguards from
government becoming too
Montesquieu continued….
 Each branch of government checked the other branches.
When powers were not separated this way, Montesquieu
warned, liberty was soon lost. He said: “When the
legislative and executive powers are united in the same
person…, there can be no liberty.”
 Like Locke and the other Philosophes,
Montesquieu greatly influenced the men who
wrote the U.S. Constitution. We now have a
separate legislative (Congress), judicial
(courts), and executive (President) branch.
Voltaire was French and the
most brilliant and influential
of the philosophes
He used satire against the
clergy, aristocracy, and
Even though Voltaire made
enemies, he never stopped
fighting for tolerance,
reason, freedom of religion
and freedom of speech.
Voltaire (1694–1778)
 Wrote plays, essays,
poetry, philosophy, and
 Championed social,
political, and religious
tolerance (Open to
different beliefs and
 Staunch supporter of
individual liberties
 “I disapprove of what you
say, but I will defend to the
death your right to say it.”
 Supporter of right to a fair trial
 Disapproved of Censorship
 Known for his wit and
 Believed all governments were
susceptible to tyranny
 Voltaire met Benjamin Franklin,
and when the U.S. Bill of Rights
was written, the ideas of
freedom of religion and freedom
of speech were added to our 1st
amendment to the Constitution.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
 Philosophized on the nature of
society and government
 Wrote: The Social Contract
 viewed societies as having been
created through mutual
consent of all members
 The social compact balanced
benefits with obligations. Those
who entered into it would
receive mutual protection and
E. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
 In return, the social compact
obligated members of society to
subordinate their “natural
liberty” (i.e., the freedom
enjoyed by individuals in the
state of nature) to “the supreme
direction of the general will.”
 Rather than liberation,
rationalism and civilization
destroys the individual
 Man by nature was alienating,
solitary, good and free
Cesare Beccaria: The Rights of the Accused
 In the Middle Ages,
torture of criminals was
common. The rack was
often used, as well as
devices like
 Beccaria, an Italian,
wrote a book called On
Crimes and Punishments
in which he argued
against brutal
Beccaria continued….
 His ideas: A person accused of a crime should receive a
fair and speedy trial. Torture should never be used.
Capital Punishment (death sentences) should be done
away with.
 “For a punishment to be just it, should consist of only
such gradations of intensity as to suffice to deter men
from committing crimes.” This means that “punishment
should fit the crime” and not be more than necessary to
stop someone else from doing it again.
Beccaria’s impact
 Beccaria’s ideas were adopted straight
into our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. In
fact our 8th amendment prevents “cruel
and unusual punishment” for crimes,
and our 6th amendment provides for a
speedy trial. (The only exception is the
Death Penalty, which we still have in the
United States today.)
Mary Wollstonecraft
 Mary Wollstonecraft argued that
women’s education should not be
secondary to men’s and that women
need to education to become more
virtuous and useful.
 Wrote: A Vindication of the
Rights of Women in response
to Declaration of the Rights
of Man
 First Feminist
Deists believed in God but rejected
organized religion
Morality could be achieved by
following reason rather than the
teachings of the church
Deists viewed God as the “great
watchmaker” whose creation—the
universe—operated as smoothly as a
fine Swiss watch.
Deism thus centered around a belief
in a God who operated according to
reason and whose existence could be
seen in the natural order and logic of
all that He had created
The Enlightenment
 The Enlightenment writers challenged long held beliefs and ideas
about society. They challenged the church, state, monarchs, and
unequal social classes. These ideas would spread and ultimately
help start two of the most influential events of World History: The
American and French Revolutions.