The Scientific Revolution and Universities

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This lecture discusses the dual origin of the modern university. The presenter poses the question of whether the scientific revolution was a break or a continuity and formulates temporal and spatial …

This lecture discusses the dual origin of the modern university. The presenter poses the question of whether the scientific revolution was a break or a continuity and formulates temporal and spatial concepts through historical drawings and art.

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  • 1. The Scientific Revolution and Universities
    • HEDDA, 12.11.2007, vidar.enebakk@iakh.uio.no
  • 2.
    • Clearly, the question of the contribution of universities
    • to this Scientific Revolution must hinge upon precisely
    • how that revolution is viewed. ( Porter 1996, 536)
    • When ? 1543 or 1300-1800?
    • Who ? Copernicus, Bacon, Newton?
    • What ? Worldview, Method, Institution?
    • What for ? Religion, Technology, Power?
    • Western ? ’The West and the Rest’
  • 3.
    Ptolemy (100 AC) Copernicus (1543) Tycho Brahe (1588) Johannes Kepler (1609)
  • 4. Galileo Galilei (1632) Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
  • 5. Intervening and Inventing Caravaggio (1602) The Incredulity of Thomas Vesalius (1543) On the fabric of the human body Robert Boyle (1660) New Experiments Physico-Mechanical: Touching the Spring of the Air and their Effects
  • 6.
    • Ancients
    • VS
    • Modern
    ’ The Battle of the Books ’ Jonathan Swift (1697)
  • 7.
    • The Great
    • Restauration
    Nicolas Copernicus (1627) Temple of Astronomy Francis Bacon (1620) Instauratio Magna
  • 8.
    • Standing on the Shoulders of Giant
    Chartres Cathedral (1225) ’ South Rose Window’
  • 9.
    • The
    • Scientific
    • ’ Revolution’
    Nicolas Copernicus (1543) On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres Execusion of Charles I in 1649 Restoration of Charles II in 1660
  • 10.  
  • 11.  
  • 12. 1. Koyré Thesis
    • Koyré (1939) Galileo Studies ” The Scientific Revolution”
    • Copernicus (1543) -> Newton (1687)
    • ” Newtonian Synthesis” Mechanism + Mathematization
    Isaac Newton (1687) Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
  • 13. 2. Duhem Thesis
    • Pierre Duhem (1913) Galileo’s Parisian Predecessors
    • Continuity (Catholicism)
    • University of Paris:
    • Buridan and Oresme
    Nicole Orseme and the Earth
  • 14. 3. Crombie Thesis
    • Alistair Crombie (1953) Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100–1700
    • Grosseteste & Roger Bacon at Oxford University
    • Rationalism –> Empiricism
    Roger Bacon of Oxford
  • 15. 4. Shapiro Thesis
    • Barbara Shapiro (1983):
    • Probability and certainty in seventeenth-century England
    • Humanist attack on Scholasticism
      • The attack on scholasticism was perhaps the most important intellectual contribution of the humanists to the scientific movement.
    Galileo Galilei (1632) Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems
  • 16. 5. Yates Thesis
    • Frances Yates (1964) Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition
    • Alchemy and Mysticism
    • Science as Experiment
    Joseph Wright (1771) The Alchemist, in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone
  • 17. 6. Zilsel Thesis
    • Edgar Zilsel (1942) ”The Sociological Roots of Scientific Thought”
    • Science from Craftsmen or ”Artist-Engineers”
    Leonardo da Vinci (1505) Albrecht Dürer (1525)
  • 18. 7. Merton Thesis
    • Robert K. Merton (1938)
    • Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth Century England
    • Science and Puritanism (Weber)
    • The Other Merton Thesis (Marx)
    Thomas Sprat (1667) History of the Royal Society Leonhard Zubler (1607) Novum instrumentum geometricum
  • 19. 8. Hessen Thesis
    • Boris Hessen (1931) ”The Social Roots of Newton’s Principia ”
    • Foci of Interest
    The brilliant successes of natural science during the sixteenth and seventeenth century were conditioned by the disintegration of the feudal economy, the development of merchant capital, of international maritime relationships and of heavy (mining) industry. F.J. Henckel (1725),  Pyrotologia   William Roy (1790) Account of the trigonometrical operation
  • 20. 9. Needham Thesis
    • Joseph Needham (1954-)
    • Science and Civilization in China
    Compass Paper Print Gun Powder =Four Great Inventions of Ancient China ( 四大发明 ) Francis Bacon (1620) Novum Organum : Printing, gunpowder and the compass: These three have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world; the first in literature, the second in warfare, the third in navigation; whence have followed innumerable changes, insomuch that no empire, no sect, no star seems to have exerted greater power and influence in human affairs than these mechanical discoveries. Karl Marx (1861-63) Economic Manuscripts : Gunpowder, the compass, and the printing press were the three great inventions which ushered in bourgeois society. Gunpowder blew up the knightly class, the compass discovered the world market and founded the colonies, and the printing press was the instrument of Protestantism and the regeneration of science in general; the most powerful lever for creating the intellectual prerequisites.
  • 21. Navigation and Construction Zheng He ( 1371 – 1433 )
  • 22. 10. Islamic Science
  • 23. The Muslim Heritage
    • Arabic Numbers
    • Fibonacci (1202) Liber abbaci
    • I II III IV V VI VII VIII XI X
    • 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 (0)
    Astrolabe
  • 24. Roy Porter (Part 1)
    • Between Internalism and Externalism
    • [If] the broad sociological explanations of the Scientific Revolution assumed to much, this idealist account, surely, denies too much. (p. 542)
    • None of the above readings of the Scientific Revolution can allow any major initiatory or formative role to the university. (p. 540)
  • 25. Porter (Part 2)
    • Between Everything and Nothing
    • If the universities were not oases of science, neither were they utter deserts (Porter 1996, 533)
    • Examining the evidence
      • Education
      • Employment
      • Conseptual Change
    • The great scientific revolutionaries rejected Aristotle; but it was their academic grounding in Aristotle that gave them the ability to do it (Porter 1996, 551)
  • 26. Porter (Part 3)
    • A Scientific Revolution – from within
    • [The] Scientific Revolution involved a revolution ’from within’,
    • in theorethical and academic science. (Porter 1996, 551)
    • [The] essence of the Scientific Revolution lies in fundamental transformations made in conceptualizations of nature (Porter 1996, 559)
    • [The] early modern university did not, as an institution, habitually forster collective scientific investigation. (Porter 1996, 547)
    • Thenceforth, the university shared the advancement of science with other plants for intellectual production, such as the courtly academy, the voluntary society, and specialized research centers like observatories. (Porter 1996, 560)