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Free «Scientific Revolution Analysis» Essay Sample

The dawning of modern science is the scientific revolution. This was during the early modern period. Developments in Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Medicine transformed views of nature and society. Traditional accounts show that Europe was the hub of scientific revolution. This happened towards the end of Renaissance Era and continued through to the late 18th Century. It influenced intellectual social movement, i.e. the Enlightenment. By 18th Century, the Age of Reflection succeeded the scientific revolution. It resulted from a monumental series of discoveries. This revolution was significant in establishing the basis of modern science. It replaced superstition, religion and fear with reason and knowledge. This period led to a fundamental transformation in scientific ideas across physics, biology, astronomy and mathematics (Shapin, 2008).

Scientific revolution came in several changes. Some of the ideas that contributed to scientific revolution are Heliocentric, which was the replacement of the globe as the center of the universe. It also led to the depreciation of the Aristotelian Theory. It stated that matter is continuous and made up of elements of water, earth, fire and air because of its classical rival. Atomism led to mechanical philosophy of matter. This led to the replacement of Aristotelian idea, which stated that heavy bodies move down straight towards their natural places by their nature. It also implies that light bodies, by their nature, move in unchanging circular motion. This base on the idea that all bodies move according to the same physical law, and are heavy. Medieval impetus theory replaced inertia. This unnatural motion, either violent or forced rectilinear, caused by continuous action of original force imparted by movement, that which it moves. William Harvey’s concept, which states that blood circulates from arteries to veins, replaced Galen’s treatment of arterial and venous system as two separate systems. This movement is a state of ceaseless motion impelled in a circle (Osler, 2000).


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Scientific revolution builds on the ancient Greek learning foundation and the middle age science. Major scientific ideas changed drastically, dating back to classical antiquity. Most of these did not get credit and only a few transformed fundamentally during the scientific revolution. These include the Aristotle’s Cosmology and the Ptolemaic Model of Planetary Motion. Aristotle’s Cosmology placed the earth as the centre of a spherical hierarchic cosmos. It has both terrestrial and celestial regions made up of different elements. These regions also have different kinds of natural movement. The terrestrial region consists of concentric spheres made up of four main elements, which are fire, air, water, and earth. All bodies move naturally in straight lines until they reach a sphere that is appropriate to their terrestrial composition, or natural place. All other terrestrial motions are either violent or non-natural. The celestial region on the other hand consists of the fifth element known as Aether. Aether is an element that is unchanging and moves naturally in uniform circular motions (Kuhn, 2012).

The Ptolemaic model of planetary motion bases on geometrical model of Ptolemy Amagest and Eudoxus of Cnidus. This demonstrates that calculations must compute exactly the positions of the moon, the sun, the planets and the stars, both in the past and the future. They also must show how these computations derive their models from astronomical observations. Ptolemaic models therefore invoked layers of spherical shells. It is therefore important to note that the existence of ancient precedent was for alternative developments and theories that prefigured later inventions and discoveries in the area of mechanics and physics. However, such developments still are obscure for centuries. In addition, traditionally they have little effect on re-discovery of such phenomena. This is in light of the limited number of works that survived translation in a period when warfare led to the loss of many books. On the other hand, the printing press invention made wide dissemination of such incremental advances of knowledge commonplace. Meanwhile, there was significant progress made in mathematics, geometry, and astronomy during this medieval era, particularly in Europe as well as in the Islamic world (Baigrie, 2004).

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However, with the dawn of modernization, there are new approaches to the nature of scientific revolution. These are the chemical philosophy, the mechanical philosophy, empiricism, and the role of mathematics, which is always increasing. This does not mean that historians now disregard traditional scientific revolution models. Mechanical philosophy considers the four kinds of causes that lead to natural processes. The final cause is the most important of them all as it was the main goal, aim or purpose of a number of natural processes or man-made actions. The chemical philosophy was important in the aspect of scientific course of thought. It indicated the range of important scholars who engaged actively in chemical research. It stressed on the active powers of matter, or the spirits operating in nature. Empiricism was the primary mode that led to the interaction with the world through searching and observation. The use of mathematics helped to establish that scientific knowledge was accurate (Teich & Porter, 1992).


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