History of Science

History of Science

History of Science Study of the change of natural knowledge claims over time and also the cause of these changes. Science dynamics. A vast field (Plato-NATO) embracing many different scientific traditions, from Algebra to Zoology. Todays science is tomorrows history of science.

Aristotelian Cosmology Geocentrism Heavens: Uniform circular motion Perfect and incorruptable Quintessence or aether Sublunar realm: Natural place and natural motion

Generation and corruption Four elements: earth, water, air, and fire Cold, hot, most, dry, affinity and opposition The sub-lunar realm Aristotelian natural philosophy

Hippocrates, Airs, Waters, Places Emphasized the effects of climate and other geographical factors on human health. People inhabiting harsh climates in rugged and mountainous terrain are large, naturally courageous, and warlike; while people living in leas and hollows where hot winds prevail tend to be broad and fleshy with dark complexions. Asians are more gentle and less warlike than Europeans, due in part to

milder changes of seasons which reduce rapid physical and physiological changes and their accompanying mental shocks. Climate is a primary influence, but human institutions could have a moderating effect. Overall, however, the relationship between health and lifestyle is under the direct influence, if not the control, of airs, waters, and places. Hippocratic medicine

Scientific Revolutions Scientific Revolution(s) The Scientific Revolution is a term commonly referring to the transformation of thought about nature through which the Aristotelian tradition was replaced by so-called "modern" science. Most see it as a series of events focused in the period 16th and 17th

century or, more precisely, from 1543 (De Revolutionibus of Copernicus) to 1687 (Principia of Newton). Others grant it some status from 1300 to 1800. Still others, see revolutions all around, Glorious, American, French, Industrial, Chemical, Darwininan, Freudian, Russian, Quantum, and Plate Tectonics. Revolution, revolutions, or evolution of ideas, it depends on whom you read.

Nicholas Copernicus (1473 1543) Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) De humani corporis fabrica, 1543 On the fabric of the human body

William Harvey (1578 1657) and the circulation of the blood De Motu Cordis 1628 Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Natural Philosopher

Government Official Lord Chancellor Novum Organon Great Instauration New Atlantis Compass, Gunpowder, Printing The ant, the spider, the bee

William Gilbert De Magnete (1600) Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Kinematics and Astronomy Telescope Sunspots, Phases of Venus, Lunar craters, Moons

of Jupiter, Milky way made of stars Support of Heliocentrism Experiments with falling bodies Mathematics of motion Galileo explains his discovery to the Pope Ren Descartes (1596-1650)

Mathematics and Natural Philosophy Analytic geometry Le monde (1633) LHomme (1637) Discours de la Mthode (1637) Principia philosophia (1644) Les Passions de lme (1649) Dynamics

Evangelista Torricellis Experiment (1644) Nature does not abhor a vacuum and the air has weight. Blaise Pascal and Florin Prier On September 19, 1648, Florin Prier and some friends perform the

Torricelli experiment on top of Puy de Dme in central France. The height of the mercury column is 85 mm less than in Clermont-Ferrand at the base of the mountain, about 1000 meters below. Robert Boyle (1627-1691) Experimental Method, Natural Philosophy Air Pump Skeptical Chymist (1661)

Boyles Law Royal Society of London Public Verification of Science An experiment on a bird in the air pump, by Joseph Wright Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Theory of Light Theory of Motion Theory of Gravity Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1667) Dynamics Alchemy

Theology Master of the Mint Newtonian World System Mechanical Philosophy Natural law Reductionistic Mathematical

Materialistic Anti-teleological Inductive Observation Experimental method Clockwork universe Herbert Butterfield (1949)

Since the Scientific Revolution overturned the authority in science not only of the middle ages but of the ancient world Since it ended not only in the eclipse of scholastic philosophy but in the destruction of Aristotelian physics It outshines everything since the rise of Christianity and reduces the Renaissance and Reformation to

the realm of mere episodes, mere internal displacements, within the system of medieval Christendom. Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature. The removal of animistic, organic assumptions about the cosmos constituted the death of naturethe most farreaching effect of the Scientific Revolution. Because nature was now viewed as a system of dead, inert

particles moved by external, rather than inherent forces, the mechanical framework itself could legitimate the manipulation of nature. Moreover, as a conceptual framework, the mechanical order had associated with it a framework of values based on (masculine) power, fully compatible with the directions taken by commercial capitalism.

Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions What are scientific revolutions all about? 1. The community's rejection of a time-honored scientific theory in favor of another incompatible (or incommensurable) with it. 2. A shift in the problems available for scientific scrutiny and the standards of legitimate problem solving.

3. Each involved a transformation of the scientific imagination and worldview. 4. Each involved heated controversy. 5. Each was followed by a period of normal science 6. Examples: Copernicus, Newton, Lavosier, Einstein. Is there a Post-normal science? 'Post-Normal Science', a mode of scientific problem-solving

appropriate to policy issues where facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, stakes are high and decisions are urgent. Todays blogs are becoming the equivalent of printing which empowered the Protestant revolution against the Church. Scientific elites vs. the extended peer-to-peer community with its new technological base, the internet. Wikipedia, post-normal science Opens more of science to the democratic process.

Problems: Critics are not usually researchers. Junk science. Conspiracy theorists. Needed: ethics in science and reform of peer review.

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