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The Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century

Info: 1797 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 9th Nov 2021 in History

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The seventeenth-century commencement is famous and called the "scientific revolution" because of the significant transformations. The modifications are evident in the methodology by Europeans to science throughout that era. The term revolution indicates a time of disorder besides a period of a social disturbance where notions that concern the changes in the world largely and entirely a new time that gives way to academic thought. The expression, therefore, indicates quite accurately the events that occurred in the scientific society that succeeding the sixteenth century. The medieval experimental philosophy saw abandoning during the scientific revolution, paving the way to new approaches suggested by Galileo, Newton, and Descartes. The significance of experimentation to the scientific method got reaffirmation. It alludes to God's prominence to science, which in many cases, had invalidation as well as the search of science itself (rather than philosophy) and got validation on its expressions. 

The transformation to the medieval notion happened because of various reasons.

At first, there was an excellent collaboration between the seventeenth-century scientist and philosophers. The partnership was together with members of the astronomical and mathematical groups to effect progress in every sector (Butterfield, 1960).

Secondly, the scientists noted the lack of medieval experimental procedures for their activities and needed to try other approaches.

Thirdly, Academics got admittance to European legacy as the Central Eastern scientific thinking they would employ as a beginning argument (through invalidating or constructing on the propositions).

Fourthly, the British Royal Society aided in the authentication of science as a sector by offering an outlet for the publication of scientists' work.

The transformations indicate a step towards Enlightenment thinking, which a revolutionary is for the period. Evaluation of the condition of science before the scientific revolution and the assessment of the differences in the experimental methods used by diverse "scientists" in the seventeenth century, as well as the progress made during the scientific revolution, impacted the scientific approach used in that period. It will offer insights on how radical the innovations of the seventeenth century influenced that era.

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Philosophy and revolution before science

At the start of the scientific revolution, only a few of Europe's academics and at the end of the sixteenth century regarded themselves as scientists. "Natural philosopher" expressions had a lot of academic influence; hence, many of the studies on scientific theory did conduct evaluations on the scientific realm as per se. The conducting is on a philosophy basis where logical means such as pragmatism, as well as teleology, had promotion broadly (Butterfield, 1960). Empiricism, together with teleology in the 17th century, happened as fragments of medieval thinking, which philosophers like William of Ockham utilized. Empiricism is a theory that ascertains that truth encompasses exclusively of what physically proficiencies (Cohen, 1994). On the other hand, teleology is the concept that phenomena occur because they have a function that is because God requires them to do so. Primarily, this refuted the importance of hypothesis writing and detail collecting, which are a vital portion of chemistry in addition to biology at the commencing of the seventeenth century.

The beginning of the scientific revolution

The Scientific Revolution 1500-1800 book by A.R Hall notes that a significant point diving scientific notion in the seventh century from that of ancient Greeks together with medieval Europeans (HALL, 1965). He cites that the initial group, which consists of Copernicus and da Vinci is more on responses of how can we validate that" and something it could to prove it. The vital part of understanding here is that both queries posed in the fifteenth century, as well as those of the seventeenth century, form part of a conclusive definition of today's experimental approach.

Significance of the scientific revolution

In understanding the way the scientific revolution changes the mode in which the society observed the globe and the function of a person in the community, one needs to comprehend that the medieval perspective has rulings. The ruling is in the third century B.C.E., theologians, Aristotle, and Ptolemy (HALL, 1965). The great philosopher's ideas got recovering in the Middle Ages as Western Europe started trading with the East. The scientific revolution contributed to an excellent method of gaining understanding.

Two essential theorists, Francis Bacon of 1561- 1626, together with Rene Descartes (1596-1650), are accountable for crucial facets in the advancement of scientific practice. Francis Bacon, an English novelist, as well as a politician, supports that new wisdom needs to obtain via an inductive reasoning manner (Barnett, 2017). It is by use of particular instances to demonstrate a supposition from a universal fact of interpretation referred to as empiricism. The feudal standpoint of awareness founded on tradition gets a rejection from Bacon, and he instead believes that it is essential to collect information, observe, and draw conclusions. Hence, this methodology is the basis of the scientific way.

Rene Descartes, a philosopher from French and a mathematician similarly To Bacon, scorns the traditional science and breaks with the historical through writing the Discourse on the method (1637) in French and not in the rational dialectal of the middle centuries. Contrary to Bacon, his emphasis is on deductive thought. He believes that it is vital to disbelief everything that has uncertainties. Cogito ergo sum (I contemplate; therefore I am), a famous quotation by Descartes, proves his standpoint in his life and nothing else. He has belief in geometry that it is essential to apply deductive perception and logic to decide scientific laws principal to things.

The most prominent figure of the Scientific Revolution is Sir Isaac Newton. As an English man, in his work, "Principia Mathematica" (1687), he encompasses the notions of Copernicus the philosophies of Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler into one method of mathematical rules to elaborate the systematic manner though, which the planets revolve around the sun (Henry, 2017). His main point is the law of universal gravitation thesis, which argues that each person in the world attracts any other body in precise mathematical associations. According to the regulation by newton, it mathematically substantiates that the earth, sun, planets, earth, and any other bodies move about the same elemental force of gravitation (Cohen, 1994). The evidence illustrates that the world operates through rules that have an explanation through mathematics and that a religious elucidation is not the only way of understanding the forces of nature.

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The standpoint of Aristotle backs the Ptolemaic view of stationary earth in the middle of the world. They say that the world structure has four elements, namely water, air, fire, and earth, where this outlook offers a collective logic methodology for Christian believers who put people at the epicenter of the universe (HALL, 1965). During the Renaissance, the traditional standpoint of science, the view, although widely accepted, started to receive questioning by diverse leaders like Florence's Medici family who maintained the inquiries of Galileo. Nicholas Copernicus shatters the standpoints of Aristotle and Ptolemy in his works "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres," where he cites that the sun is the midpoint of the cosmos and that the globe together with the other planets revolves in circular paths. The ideas of Copernicus have a significant influence on other scholars in the science field. The Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), for instance, sets the stage for the exploration of modern astronomy through building an observatory as well as a collection of statistics for more than twenty years on the planets and stars' location.

Boyle, one of the greatest philosophers of the seventeenth century, continued using medieval technology together with the Galilean mechanism and Baconian induction in elaborating occurrences. Boyle has a belief that God makes instructions of motion as well as the corporeal command, which is the decrees of nature (Henry, 2017). It indicates that a phenomenon exists to serve a particular function within the stipulated order. Boyle uses this notion to clarify the way the geometrical structure of the molecules defines the biochemical features of the matter. Generally, the connection of Boyle's idea to teleology is not a peculiar one to the seventeenth century because Descartes' plea to an advanced creature is the foundation of exactness logic.

The Royal Society first curator of Experiments from 1662-1677, Hooke contemplates science as a method of enhancing society. The idea contradicted the medieval belief where science and philosophy existed for the sake of knowledge solely together with ideas tested (Henry, 2017). Hooke agrees with the notion of Bacon that the history of nature and the arts are the foundation of science. Hooke is also a leader in publicizing microscopy.


The scientific revolution-defining features lie to what degree scientific notion transformed in the era of only a century. The antiquity of the scientific revolution teaches that all the opinions of the seventeenth epoch logicians obligate a great significance in the setting of the advances they created by way of a whole hypothetical. The inventors understood more of the faculty rationality and free experimentation. For example, the genius philosophers, together with scientists like Descartes and Boyle, experienced a problem with non-scientific reasoning like teleology. The scientific century philosophers have built a great legacy in the success of the scientific revolution.


Barnett, L. (2017). Autonomous Nature: Problems of Prediction and Control from Ancient Times to the Scientific Revolution. By Carolyn Merchant.

Butterfield, H. (1960). The scientific revolution. Scientific American, 203(3), 173-193.

Cohen, H. F. (1994). The scientific revolution: a historiographical inquiry. University of Chicago Press.

HALL, A. R. (1965). The Scientific and the Puritan Revolution.

Henry, J. (2017). 5 The Scientific Revolution. The Oxford Illustrated History of Science, 143.


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