The Scientific Revolution & Enlightenment By Mia May, Ally Bridge, Dilpreet Kaur

The scientific revolution and enlightenment proved that synergy allows us to create better ideas, rather that generating them on our own.

Roots of the scientific revolution

Even thought the scientific revolution was in the 1500's it actually started way before in 300 B.C when Aristotle wrote about logic. He argued that reason could be used to support Christianity and God's existence. After Aristotle many European philosophers were influenced by Greek rationalism.* Later the Age of Exploration helped spur the growth of science.

*Rationalism is the belief that reason or logical thought can be used to discover basic truths about the world.

These are all things that can be used to represent the roots of the Scientific Revolution.

Four Figures of the Scientific Revolution

Figure One

Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who believed that the sun was the center of the universe and the earth revolved around it. He was one of the first great thinkers to believe this. He was influenced Ptolemy, Aristotle, Aristarchus of Samos, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Al-Battani, Martianus Capella. He used some of their ideas to help support his own, which proves that when more than one minds work together, greater things can be achieved. He ran into some trouble with the Church disliking his ideas, but later a man named Kepler found scientific evidence that proved Copernicus's theory.

Figure Two

Galileo created as advanced telescope based off the designs of a German-Dutch lens maker Hans Lippershey. It allowed him to observe and describe the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, the moon's surface, the phases of Venus, and sun spots, which all led to great discoveries of space. This helped influence scientific findings of the space we know today. Galileo also created the first basic thermometer, but it was later improved by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. This just goes to show that when two people work together, and even greater product/idea can be formed.

Figure Three

Jonas Kepler was a German astronomer who founded the three major laws of planetary motion. The first law is the law of orbit, which states that all planets move in elliptical orbits, with the sun at one focus. The second is the law of areas, which means that a line which connects a planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times. The third id the law periods which says that the square of the period of any planet is proportional to the cube of the semi major axis of its orbit. He helped prove that Copernicus's theory was correct, and the Church's belief was wrong, which impacted the whole world's view of our planet.

Figure Four

Isaac Newton discovered the reason why things fall to the earth: gravity. He also created a new branch of mathematics called calculus. Newton developed three laws of motion which formed basic principles of modern physics. Newtons first law states that every object will remain at rest, or in uniform motion, in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. The second law explains how the velocity of an object when it is subjected to an external force. The third law states that for every action we make, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Many people inspired Isaac Newton such as Kepler, Copernicus, Rene Descartes, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon,

Top Left: Galileo Top Middle: Copernicus Top Right: Isaac Newton Bottom: Johannes Kepler

main ideas and roots of the enlightenment

What Is the Enlightenment?

The enlightenment was a time of advanced thought and culture throughout the mid-decades of the seventeenth century through the eighteenth century.

Main Ideas of the Enlightenement

The thinkers of the enlightenment asked questions that others had just blindly accepted before, even thought they weren't necessarily true. They asked questions about human life and experience. Philosophers of the enlightenment put their trust in reason and observation instead of what was considered the truth before. The used the scientific method to test and prove new hypotheses.

Roots of the Enlightenment

The Enlightenment had influences in the Renaissance and the Reformation. The humanists of the Renaissance questioned old beliefs and tried to create new ones. The great thinkers of the Enlightenment also did the same thing. Also, like the humanists of the Renaissance, many Enlightenment thinkers were influenced by classical culture. For example, trust in reason and the idea that people should have a voice in the government goes all the way back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Enlightenment thinking was also influenced by Christian ideas.

Influence of enlightenment Thinkers

Many great people influenced the enlightenment. These were men who were willing to think outside of the box, try new ideas, and most importantly, they weren't afraid to fail. One of these great thinkers was named John Locke. Locke was an English philosopher and physician, he was known as one of the greatest influential thinkers of the Enlightenment. Charles-Louis Montesquieu was a French lawyer and political philosopher. Many founding fathers, like Thomas Jefferson, were influenced by many of the ideas that came from these Enlightenment thinkers.

John Locke wrote a document called The Second Treaties of Civil Government to help his democracy. This document was very important because it demonstrated enlightenment ideas, but also included Locke's own ideas.

Montesquieu advanced the concept of separation of government powers into three branches. The legislative, judiciary, and the executive branch. In his book, he shaped our knowledge of democracy in which each branch of government is separate and has individual powers. The three branch concept influenced the way our government is run as a democracy.

Thomas Jefferson urged the idea of natural rights, which are rights that don't originate from the government, and every person deserves to have. This became a huge influence on democratic thought. The democratic thought on human rights, is very similar to natural rights.


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