The Scientific Revolution

Meagan Jones

What is the Scientific Revolution?

The Scientific Revolution was a point in time where ancient theories and ideas were revisited and challenged. This created a brand new view of the universe. It took place over a long period of time and only involved a few hundred people studying in fairly different areas. The concepts and methods found during this revolution set the standard for proving the discoveries made today in the Western world. In fact, an intellectual revolution such as this one may be more outlasting than any political revolution as it is still evident we use the same theories.

Political Philosophies: Locke vs. Hobbes

John Locke

Locke is the most influential political thinker of the seventeenth century. He envisions a government that celebrates one's natural rights of life, liberty, and property. He writes of humanity as logical and basically good. His ideas of government are of limited power. The relationship between an authority figure and the people is one of trust and the authority may be replaced if the trust is broken. Rebellion may also take place when the government violates natural rights. He supports religious toleration. He also created the theory that a human mind starts as a blank slate and is formed throughout experiences of life.
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Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes was the most original political thinker of the seventeenth century. He believed in having an extremely strong central government due to bad nature of humanity. He said our motivations are egotistical, and intend to increase pleasure and reduce pain. Humans only exist to fulfill daily needs of life instead of higher spiritual purposes like originally thought. He describes the world as "a war of every man against every man." This led him to fear the dangers of Anarchy and conclude that all rulers should be strong and absolute because the mankind cannot make decisions for itself.
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Controversy and Conflict

Women in Science

Science had never been associated with a woman's gender role. They stay home and cook and clean and take care of the kids. Women's work was more likely to be overlooked for a man's work instead. Women however had a better understanding of the family relationship since they were at home with the kids. This also gave them a chance to observe their children's behaviors.

Disagreement with the Church

The church disliked the heliocentric theory because it differed from the previous geocentric theory which supported the idea that God put the Earth in the center of the universe. This means the church was against controversial minds such as Copernicus and Galileo.

Witch Hunts

Although this was a time of advancement and new thought, there was definite evidence of repression. Extremists used superstition to explain things that contradicted their beliefs. There were also exorcisms along with witch hunts and accusations of magic. They could explain science and the new views of the universe so they had to look to their religion. The reformation may have been a cause of this because of how it split the church. Many different Protestant faiths formed out of the reformation and many of them were extremely conservative and radical.