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studyguide1 - December 2009 History of Science 100 Study...

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December 2009 History of Science 100 Study Guide Part II: Reading Summaries Robert Hooke’s Micrographia o The notion that the microscope can be used as an extension of man’s sense which had somehow been corrupted and is now unable to see such small things in nature o The preface emphasizes that everything is now in the human’s grasp thanks to the new instruments o The fly’s eye in the work demonstrates intelligent design o “So infinitely wise and provident do we find all the Dispensations of Nature, [that those philosophers] must very little have consider’d them, who ascrib’d those things to the production of chance, that will, to a more attentive considerer, appear the products of the highest Wisdom and Providence.” o “Who knows but Adam might from some such contemplation, give names to all creatures? If at least his names had any significancy in them of the creatures nature on which he impos'd it;… but the Creator may, in those characters, have written and engraven many of his most mysterious designs and counsels, and given man a capacity, which, assisted with diligence and industry, may be able to read and understand them.” Renee Descarte’s Treatise on Man o dualism: everything in the body can be explained mechanically except for the soul o was criticized for the degree of certainly with which he asserted his mechanical philosophies o I suppose the [human] body to be nothing but a statue or machine made of earth… Robert Boyle’s New Experiments Physico-Mechanical o “In almost every one of the following essays I . .. speak so doubtingly, and use so often, perhaps, it seems, it is not improbable , and other such expressions, as argue a diffidence of the truth of the opinions I incline to, and that I should be so shy of laying down principles, and sometimes of so much as venturing at explications.” o Examples of induction as an experimental approach o Shows that with some certainty, man-made experiments can show truths about nature because they attempt to mimic nature o Tries to appeal to the everyday man by using analogies o Experiments so detailed that the reader felt he was there; the notion of “virtual witnessing” Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society – 1667 o Proposes a reform of the natural philosophy to make it produce more reliable information that is more accessible to everyone o Advocates for the vita activa o Hopes to separate science from religion, moral, politics – the need to create the ideal environment for collaboration o Asserts that experiments are a good way to built reliable knowledge
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o “It is a usual saying, that Where the Natural Philosopher ends, the Physitian must begin: and I will also add, that The Natural Philosopher is to begin, where the Moral ends . …He who goes about such an undertaking, should first know himself, should be well practis’d in all the modest, humble, friendly Vertues: should be willing to be taught, and to give way to the Judgement of others. ..Such men, whose
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studyguide1 - December 2009 History of Science 100 Study...

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