Unit 2 - 17th century philosophers - Unit 2 17th Century...

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Unit 2 – 17 th Century Philosophers Rationalism : sees knowledge existing independently of physical reality Empiricism : sees knowledge as based on observable, physical reality v During the 17 th century, empiricists Francis Bacon and John Locke were rejecting the old, magical ideas and arguing that physical reality works according to mechanical principles The Middle Ages v In monasteries, the copying of old manuscripts by hand v The Church’s authority was supreme v More time – intellectual interests v Medieval philosophy – the joining of faith with reason v Philosophy as the handmaid of theology; reason was subordinate to faith v Tension between reason and faith was now heightened v By 12 th century, books by Plato are available and philosophical battle is waged v Religious authority – faith alone vs. religious philosophers, interested in teaching of Greek philosophers v 1348 – the Bubonic Plague ( Black Death) – small outbreaks of Plague until 1600’s; wiped out more than half the urban population o Seen as a sign of divine wrath, warning of a sinful humanity OR o Fear of death intensified the desire to enjoy life o A springboard for economic growth Historical Background Around the Time of Hobbes: Renaissance Baroque a) Magnetic compass – greatly impelled intellectual innovation b) Gunpowder – contributed to the demise of the old feudal order c) The mechanical clock – became the paradigm of modern machines d) The printing press – allowed the

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