Advertisement

The Scientific Revolution

Traditionally, the ‘scientific worldview’ is said to have originated in Western Europe in 1543, when Copernicus's On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies was published in Vienna — a book that not only introduced much of literate Europe to the notion of a ‘heliocentric universe’, but was also contrary to Aristotelian teaching. In 1686, Newton published his Principia, which put a final nail in the coffin of Aristotle's physics. The 143-year period between these two publications is usually known as the Scientific Revolution.

The label ‘Scientific Revolution’ is not meaningless – the 16th and 17th centuries indeed witnessed a dramatic intellectual transition, as we indicated in Chapter 1 – but for the following reasons it can mislead:

  • Copernicus and his successors inherited the tradition of Classical learning that had continued, transmuted but unbroken, through the Islamic golden age and late mediaeval Europe (see Chapter 4 and below).

  • European views of the natural world had not become entirely ‘modern’ by Newton’s time.

  • Most importantly, the process of change was underpinned by a wider cultural transformation.

Keywords

Natural World Scientific Revolution Planetary Orbit Natural Philosopher Printing Press 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Reference

  1. Armitage A (1957) Copernicus, the Founder of Modern Astronomy. Thomas Yoseloff, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Armitage A (1966) John Kepler. Faber, London.Google Scholar
  3. Buchwald JZ, Bernard I (eds) (2001) Isaac Newton's Natural Philosophy. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  4. Dannenfeldt KH (ed) (1974) The Renaissance: Basic Interpretations. Heath and Co., Lexington, MA.Google Scholar
  5. Drake S (1957) Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. Doubleday, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Drake S, Drabkin IE (1969) Mechanics in Sixteenth-Century Italy. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  7. Dreyer JLE (1890) Tycho Brahé: A Picture of Scientific Life and Work in the Sixteenth Century. Black, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  8. Englander D, Norman D, O'Day R, Owens WR (eds) (1979) Culture and Belief in Europe 1450– 1600. Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  9. Hall AR (1983) The Revolution in Science 1500–1750. Longman, London.Google Scholar
  10. Hall AR (1996) Isaac Newton: Adventurer in Thought. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  11. Hallyn F (1990) The Poetic Structure of the World: Copernicus and Kepler. Zone Books, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Henry J (2002) Knowledge is Power: Francis Bacon and the Method of Science. Icon Books, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  13. Kenny A (1968) Descartes: A Study of His Philosophy. Random House, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Lattis JM (1995) Between Copernicus and Galileo. University of Chicago Press, London.Google Scholar
  15. Lindsay D, Price MR (1975) Authority and Challenge: A Portrait of Europe 1300–1600. Oxford University Press, London.Google Scholar
  16. McKnight SA (ed) (1992) Science, Pseudo-Science and Utopianism in Early Modern Thought. University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO.Google Scholar
  17. Murray A (1978) Reason and Society in the Middle Ages. Clarendon, Oxford.Google Scholar
  18. Pitt JC (1997) Galileo, Human Knowledge and the Book of Nature: Method Replaces Metaphysics. Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  19. Porter R, Teich M (eds) (1992) The Scientific Revolution in National Context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  20. Rothenstein J (1964) Francis Bacon: An Introduction. Thames and Hudson, London.Google Scholar
  21. Runciman S (1965) The Fall of Constantinople. Cambridge University Press, London.Google Scholar
  22. Shapere D (1974) Galileo: A Philosophical Study. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL/London.Google Scholar
  23. Shea WR (1972) Galileo's Intellectual Revolution. Macmillan, London.Google Scholar
  24. Thijssen JMMH, Zupko J (eds) (2001) The Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy of John Buridan. Brill, Leiden.Google Scholar
  25. Urbach P (1986) Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science: An Account and a Reappraisal. Open Court, La Salle, IL.Google Scholar
  26. Waley D (1964) Later Mediaeval Europe. Longmans, Green and Co., London.Google Scholar
  27. Wallace WA (1991) Galileo, the Jesuits and the Mediaeval Aristotle. Ashgate, Aldershot.Google Scholar
  28. Westfall RS (1980) Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  29. Wightman WPD (1972) Science in a Renaissance Society. Hutchinson, London.Google Scholar
  30. Williams B (1990) Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry. Penguin, London.Google Scholar
  31. Yates FA (1964) Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Personalised recommendations