The Role Of Tools In The Scientific Revolution

1075 words - 4 pages

Up until the 17th century, everything was believed to be of a certain way: apples fell from trees, theologians knew everything and most importantly, the Earth was the center of our solar system. Although this belief stems back to the grasp that theology held on the expression of new intellectual thought, there were great strides being made through the 16th and 17th centuries that would force a change of the geocentric belief. It is the argument of this paper that the Scientific Revolution, whereby the shift from a geocentric to heliocentric model, was necessitated by the tools and socio-cultural conventions developed in response to emerging intellectual thought. Before I can present my argument, I need to define the basis for which I call a tool. In the scope of this paper, a tool is referred to as certain principles and/or instruments which are used to heighten the basic level of intellectual thought.
Until the 15th century, due to the ways in which the four faculties of the university were intellectually weighed against each other, it was very hard for any discovery not based in theology to be brought to the forefront of intellectual investigation. This belittlement of the arts faculty would be a troublesome task to overcome if the geocentric model was to be overturned and the new heliocentric model was to be validated. To further the complication, “other faculties[outside of theology] could not delve into theological matters, but theologians could use other sciences for theological interpretations ”(Course Lecture) which presents two sides both seeking the pursuit of truth through two different paths but one discounts and guards itself out of fear of being disproved. It wouldn't be until the mid-16th century that a published theory would come out that was not based in theology which would overturn prior knowledge of our universe.
The basis for scientific discovery is that discovery will not happen unless there is a need for some question to be answered. The first occurrence of this is after Nicolaus Copernicus published De Revolutionibus and problems of Copernican theory became apparent. While Copernican theory explained some of the shortcomings of the Aristotelian system it still had several problems which weren't accounted for with basic geometry. In order to facilitate the transition from geocentric to heliocentric, advancements in mathematics were necessary to explain the blatant issue of predictability that was lacking with Copernican theory. It was this problem which facilitated the discovery of elliptical orbits and the mathematics used to explain the new orbital pattern whereby alleviating the issue of predictability and bolstering the validity of a heliocentric model.
Following with Copernican theory both Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler furthered the shift to heliocentrism by expanding on the basic principles which Copernicus had established a half century earlier. Brahe’s contribution stems directly from his ability to make...

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