1. The Renaissance and Reformationn paved the way for the new science and philosophy of the
17c and 18c.
2. The transition from the Middle Ages to early modern times represented a shift in emphasis
from authoritative truth to factual truth.
I. The Scientific Revolution:
A. Basic questions were asked: Who am I? What is my purpose in life? How can science and natural
laws be applied to society? What is the nature of the good society?
B. Rene Descartes --> deductive method; systematic doubting (I think, therefore I am.) --> Cartesian dualism
C. Sir Francis Bacon --> inductive reasoning.
D. Changing views of the universe:
-- classical and medieval view --> geocentric theory (Ptolemaic view).
-- Copernicus --> heliocentric theory.
-- Kepler --> Laws of Planetary Motion (elliptical orbits).
-- Galileo --> perfected the telescope; analyzed the nature of motion.
-- Newton --> Law of Universal Gravity; the universe is seen as one great "machine" operating
according to unalterable universal laws and principles.
II. Affects of the Scientific Revolution:
A. Philosophical --> 17c was a period of intellectual transition (weariness with religious strife).
-- Blaise Pascal --> reason will bring one to faith and a dependence upon divine grace.
-- Spinoza --> mind and matter are extensions of the infinite substance of God.
-- Deism --> God is seen as the "first cause" in the universe; but the world operates without
God's constant intervention.
B. Literature --> Milton (Paradise Lost); John Bunyon (Pilgrim's Progress).
C. Other scientific discoveries --> chemistry (Boyle), botany, anatomy (Harvey), physiology.
ADDITIONAL TERMS TO KNOW: