lecture 6 science - Religion and Science 1450-1750...

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Unformatted text preview: Religion and Science, 1450-1750 1450-1750 The New Scientific Spirit The • Like the Protestant Reformation, the scientific revolution in the 17th century challenged many of the beliefs long held by Europeans. • Intellectuals challenged the limits of Aristotle and classical thought classical • Skepticism, materialism and mathematics replaced common sense and superstition common • Printing facilitated the dissemination of scientific ideas Printing • it largely occurred outside of the universities and responded to practical problems. responded The Question of Origins: Why Europe? The • the Islamic world was the most scientifically advanced realm in period 800–1400 period • China’s technological accomplishments and economic growth were unmatched for several centuries after the millennium were • but European conditions were uniquely favorable to rise of science science • evolution of a legal system that guaranteed some independence for a variety of institutions by twelfth/ thirteenth centuries thirteenth • idea of the “corporation”—collective group treated as a legal unit with certain rights legal • autonomy of emerging universities autonomy • University of Paris recognized as a corporation by 1215 University • universities became zones of intellectual autonomy universities • study of natural order began to separate from philosophy and theology philosophy The Question of Origins: Why Europe? The • In the Islamic world, science remained mostly outside of the system of higher education system • in madrassas (colleges), madrassas growing disdain for scientific and philosophical inquiry inquiry The Question of Origins: Why Europe? The • Ming Chinese authorities did not permit independent institutions of higher learning institutions • Chinese education focused on preparing for civil service exams civil • emphasis was on classical Confucian texts Confucian The Question of Origins: Why Europe? The • Western Europe could draw on the knowledge of other cultures of • Arab texts were very important in the development of European science between 1000 and 1500 1000 • sixteenth–eighteenth centuries: Europeans were at the center of a massive new information exchange information • tidal wave of knowledge shook up old ways of thinking of • explosion of uncertainty and skepticism allowed modern science to emerge. allowed The Nature of “Pre-Science” The • Nature is unpredictable and unknowable and • Natural laws may exist but they are hierarchical in nature in • Knowledge often appealed to authority (Bible, Aristotle, etc.) (Bible, • Active involvement of supernatural beings in the world the The Meaning of Science The • Scientific method: a mixture of observation and hypothesis (induction and deduction) and • Basic assumptions about the natural world: world: • natural phenomena have natural causes that are predictable causes • “Occam’s Razor”--the simplest Occam’s explanations tend to be the most accurate and therefore the best accurate • Scientific findings should be public and verifiable (testable) through the scientific community. scientific William of Occam (1235-1347) Geocentric Model Model Copernicus (Polish, 1473-1543) Copernicus • Polish clergyman began the revolution in astronomy Polish • 1543, published On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres in which he attacked Aristotelian-Ptolemaic geocentric model and replaced it with a heliocentric model: the earth and planets revolved around the sun planets • By placing the sun at the center, he eliminated many of the epicycles from the calculations of the orbits and explained the phenomenon of the retrograde movement of Mars as an optical illusion Mars Retrograde Movement of Mars Retrograde Galileo Galilei (Italian, 1564-1642) Galileo • Found more evidence to support heliocentrism and to challenge the view of the universe as unchanging universe • He used a telescope that enabled him to view the moon in great detail, four moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, and sunspots and • Hypothesized that the moon, sun, and planets were no more perfect than the earth more Galileo before the Inquisition Galileo • Galileo’s discoveries challenged common sense views like the sun rising and setting. and • If the Bible were wrong about planetary motion, the error came from the Bible’s use of common language to appeal to the lower strata of society Bible’s •1616, the Church 1616, forbade Galileo from teaching that the earth moved moved • 1633, he publicly recanted his views to save himself from torture and death at the hands of the Inquisition hands • He spent his last years under house arrest and could publish his work only in the Dutch Republic Dutch Andreas Vesalius (Flemish, 1514-1564) Andreas • Contemporary of Copernicus, he used public dissections to show that human internal functioning was essentially a corporeal structure filled with organs arranged in three-dimensional space. space. • He better explained the functions of the organs and rejected supernatural explanations for bodily events. events. Francis Bacon (English, 1561-1626) Francis • Rejected appeals to authority in acquiring knowledge knowledge • Predicted that the scientific method would lead to social progress: “Knowledge is power.” lead • He argued that because of Roman church power most medieval scholars had been restricted to scientific knowledge that was defined by Aristotle; they could therefore only produce “cobwebs of learning.” produce • Scientific knowledge must be empirically based (observation and experiment) • He argued that the scientific method was superior to popular belief and superstition. superior • Advancement of scientific knowledge could only occur with the free circulation of ideas in a scientific community, unrestrained by church or government. government. • He considered Protestant England to be the only place in Europe where science could develop. develop. From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe the • In the 16th and 17th centuries, transformations in the sciences had profound effects on the way that Europeans looked at themselves and the world around them. • Nature is not mysterious, but can be known through the scientific method and mathematics method • Scientific ideas in the 17th century will lead to transformations in the social and political life of Europe in the 18th century. social • To know nature is to master it, and to master it is to dominate it. The effects of this domination would increase the quality of life for Europeans: increased longevity, reduction in infant mortality, better healthcare. It would also enable greater developments in technology from optics to steel to automobiles to computers. • But the scientific revolution of the 17th century will also lend itself to more dangerous and unforeseen effects such as the domination of nonmore European peoples, deadlier weapons of war, and the destruction of ecosystems. Enlightenment, 1740-1789 Enlightenment, Emerged as an intellectual movement before 1740, but Emerged reached its peak in the second half of the century. reached Applied the ideas of the scientific revolution to politics and Applied society. society. They emphasized progress and improving the human They condition. condition. French Enlightenment writers called themselves French philosophes. philosophes It was distinctively cosmopolitan, with writers It corresponding and traveling from Philadelphia to Moscow. corresponding What united them was not nationality, but reason, reform, What and freedom and Kant: “Dare to know”, have the courage to think for Kant: yourself. yourself. Enlightenment Enlightenment Intellectual Freedom Intellectual Philosophes wanted intellectual freedom Philosophes and freedom of the press. and Argued for natural rights, and freedom of Argued religion religion Progress depended on these freedoms. Most philosophes came from the upper Most classes. classes. Most philosophes did not hold academic Most positions because the universities were run by the clergy. by Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) Émilie Philosophes also Philosophes included women included Emilie du Châtelet Emilie wrote extensively on Leibniz and Newton, and was Voltaire’s lover for a time. time. French Salons French Enlightenment ideas circulated through letters, Enlightenment personal contacts, informal readings, periodicals. personal French “salons” gave intellectual life a forum outside French of the royal courts and universities. of Parisian salon of Madame Marie-Thérèse Geoffrin érèse (1699-1777) brought together many intellectuals of the time. the Her gatherings allowed for the discussion and Her debate of ideas that would otherwise not be published. published. Salons were very popular and spread throughout Salons Europe. Europe. French Salons French David Hume (Scottish, 1711-1776) David Criticism of religion was a Criticism touchy subject because the churches wielded much power. power. Hume argued that belief in Hume God was based on superstition and fear. superstition After Newton, more After Europeans questioned religion. Some became atheists and others deists. atheists deists Many writers disputed Many whether atheism would lead to immorality. lead Voltaire (1694-1778) Voltaire • In his most famous novel Candide, He warned that an ignorant, greedy, and unjust society could not serve as the basis for an Enlightened civilization. civilization. • He believed that religion was necessary for common people, though not necessary for educated elites. educated • He distrusted democracy and did not think the French bourgeoisie could serve as the catalyst for social and political change. change. Secularism and Modernity Secularism The Enlightenment advanced the secularism The that had begun following the wars of religion in 16th and 17th centuries. 16th Laid the foundations for the modern social Laid sciences. sciences. Many historians and philosophers today Many consider the Enlightenment as the beginning of “modernity,” the belief that reason should set the patterns for human social and political life. the Secularism and Modernity Secularism Many philosophers disagreed about what reason Many could and should do in society. could Adam Smith and Jean-Jacques Rousseau each Adam advocated different social arrangements based on rational secular principles. rational They had different concepts of the relation They between individuals and society. between Both thinkers were and still are very influential. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Jean-Jacques Communitarian philosophy, towards Communitarian democracy and communism. democracy Society threatened natural rights and Society freedoms. freedoms. “Man is born free, and everywhere Man he is in chains.” he He argued that science and art were He obstacles to moral freedom, because they separated human beings from their nature. beings Advocated simplicity and rural life Advocated close to nature. close The Social Contract (1762), argued that the tension between the individual and society could be relieved by individuals submitting themselves to the “general will,” by entering a social contract. entering Adam Smith (Scottish, 1723-1790) Adam Provided a theory of modern capitalist Provided societies, free markets, individual selfsocieties, interests. Wealth of Nations (1776), individual self-interest, even greed was compatible with society’s interests. compatible Laws of supply and demand Laws functioned like an “invisible hand.” functioned Rejected mercantilism, and the Rejected accumulation of national wealth in gold, silver or agriculture. gold, Argued that the division of labor in Argued manufacturing increases productivity, and generates more wealth and prosperity. prosperity. Endorsed “laissez-faire”, or the Endorsed freedom of the economy from government control. government Advocated free trade between states. Immanuel Kant (Prussian, 1724-1804) Immanuel The last major Enlightenment The philosopher philosopher Developed a critical philosophy Developed that he called “a Copernican revolution”; Idealism revolution”; Argued for the synthesis of rational Argued thought and empiricism. thought Concepts of space and time are Concepts intuited a priori conditions of all knowledge (prior to experience). knowledge In moral thought, the “categorical In imperative”: a good act is based on a rule that can be applied to anyone everywhere at the same time. “What is Enlightenment?” (1784) Immanuel Kant (Prussian, 1724-1804) Immanuel • For Kant, Enlightenment liberates us from authority. For • Those who hold authority have mystery. • The priest has special access to the mystery of religion; it is through him that God comes towards us. • The Enlightenment says that human reason is capable of answering all the questions that the previous authority had answers to. • When you have a rational claim, you’ve laid a path that someone else can easily follow to the same conclusion. • The “light” of the Enlightenment leads to knowledge in this respect. • For Kant, this frees us from authoritarianism; we now understand the light of the world through the use of our own reason. reason. Dialectic of Enlightenment Dialectic • In Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Max Horkheimer and Theodor Dialectic Adorno contest Kant and question the optimism of Enlightenment and the promise that science only improves the world. • Writing in the 20th century after WWII, the Holocaust, the creation of the atomic bomb, Horkheimer and Adorno argued that enlightenment is another form of myth, that enlightened reason conceals an irrational eruption of violence and destruction. eruption • “Man” becomes the master of nature through science and reason, but Man” this mastery creates destructive potentials as well. this Dialectic of Enlightenment Dialectic “Enlightenment, understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters. Yet the wholly enlightened earth is radiant with triumphant calamity.” (Adorno, Horkheimer, 1). “No universal history leads from savagery to humanitarianism, but there is one leading from the slingshot to the megaton bomb.” (Adorno, Negative Dialectics) Conclusion Conclusion • Europeans increasingly gained an expansive view of the world and their place in it. of • They developed “universal” and “objective” standards with which to analyze the world and to master it master • The scientific curiosity and mastery of the natural world was then applied to the social and political worlds of the eighteenth century. worlds • The Enlightenment promised to improve the human condition. human • The Enlightenment will pave the way for the revolutionary era. revolutionary Terms Terms • Occam’s Razor Occam’s • Heliocentrism Heliocentrism • Enlightenment Enlightenment • deism deism • Philosophes Philosophes ...
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