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  Quote mathwizard_100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Science
    Posted: 02-Jan-2007 at 22:14
How did the development of science (by this I mean the period from 1500-1700, with Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Galileo, Galen, William Harvey, etc.) change modern history? In particular, what philosophical impacts did it have (i.e. Enlightenment).

I just need some talking points. Thanks.
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2007 at 18:11
Well, Galileo and other astrologist proved the fact that Catholic Church could be wrong, and it caused people to question about whether God truly wants the people's best interest, but the impact was quite limited... and only to the enlightened middle class. One could say that, despite the little impact, this caused the major revolutionaries in the later time.

Don't remember the timeline, but Darwin and his theory regarding the survival of the fittest brought considerable impact on some groups. Idea that some races are superior and more adaptable than others brought huge impact to the Europeans. They began to see Asians, Africans and other Non-Europeans as subhumans...

Survival of the fittest theory also strengthened liberalism since the theory states that change is not only good and natural, it's the inevitable destiny. Conservatives, including the monarchs and Catholic Church, were outraged.

I just thought of this on top of my head. Someone else could fill the rest.
     
   
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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2007 at 21:19
Originally posted by mathwizard_100

How did the development of science (by this I mean the period from 1500-1700, with Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Galileo, Galen, William Harvey, etc.) change modern history? In particular, what philosophical impacts did it have (i.e. Enlightenment). I just need some talking points. Thanks.

What they did was help shed the complex towards antiquity. These days were so used at thinking about ourselves and our societies as the pinnacle of everyting that we take it for granted. The Renaissance was trying to restore lost splendours, they weren't assuming they were inventing anyting new.

And the 17th c. was often even bleaker. The kost common idea about history in that century might have been the "mundus senecens" theory, the "aging world", which in practical terms meant that modern humans were smaller, more short live, more disease ridden, more foolish, more stupid, less virtuous and the world was going to hell in a handbasket very, very soon anyway. Everything was better in the past, and modern man couldn't even hope to be able to reach the pinnacles of greatness of people during antiquity.

That's in fact the premise of the first discussion of "modernity" in late 17th c. France; the debate between the "Ancients" and the "Moderns", the former claiming exactly that modern man is so rotten he can't hope to produce anything of the value of the ancients (they were talking literary composition specifically), everything was already known and couldn't be done better, while the latter were daring enough to state that sure they could, or at least do as well.

These scientists were part of a long process where it was worked out how you could know and learn things about the world that had been complete blanks to the ancients, demolishing the traditional emphasis on textual authorities in favour of observation, experiment etc.
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2007 at 22:26
I guess that, to some extent, that all this enlightenment revolution and other major reforms began due to people slowly doubting the old feudal system. Is this life really the only path for me? Could I do better? Could there be a way for me to be more rich and powerful, despite the fact that I am a commoner? Can I have a life more fruitful and worthwhile than what I am having right now? And so on...
     
   
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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2007 at 01:40
Actually science provided an alternative social organisation to how the rest of society was put together. Science was based on loose networks of equals, often reffered to as "the republic of letters".

It did provide a different kind of social interaction than the surrounding society which could work as a model for how things might work differently. (Social historians lingo at times refers to these as "heterotopias", places were the normal hierarchical social relations are temporarily suspended.)

There were other kinds of "social laboratories" around of course. Somewhat surprisingly the Masonic Lodges was another place where republican and democratic ideals of social equality were played out.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2007 at 20:18
Originally posted by pekau

..Don't remember the timeline, but Darwin and his theory regarding the survival of the fittest brought considerable impact on some groups. Idea that some races are superior and more adaptable than others brought huge impact to the Europeans. They began to see Asians, Africans and other Non-Europeans as subhumans...
.
 
Well, perhaps the opposite was true. The "Social Darwinism" (the idea that there are superior and inferior people) was developed by Spencer and published BEFORE Darwin. And the term "survival of the fittest" come from Spencer works.
 
Racism, Classism and Nationalism got a pseudoscientific support in Social Darwinism, but not in science itself. Darwin just discover the mechanism of natural selection, that's all.
 
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2007 at 20:42

Oh wow. I didn't know that. Who is Spencer? Reference or his first name might help me to know more about him... I think. Thanks in advance.
    
    

Edited by pekau - 08-Jan-2007 at 20:43
     
   
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2007 at 03:46
Herbert Spencer.

He invented 'Social Darwinism' in effect, but he didn't give it that name. He did coin the phrase 'survival of the fittest'.
    

Edited by gcle2003 - 09-Jan-2007 at 03:47
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2007 at 22:07
Neat, thanks for info. The judgement day of the followers of Darwin in my school have come at last.
     
   
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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2007 at 09:38
Originally posted by pekau

Neat, thanks for info. The judgement day of the followers of Darwin in my school have come at last.
How do you mean?
 
Being a follower of Darwin (or biological evolution by means of natural selection) doesn't make you a follower of Spencer?
 
They were very different.
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 03:27
Well, perhaps the opposite was true. The "Social Darwinism" (the idea that there are superior and inferior people) was developed by Spencer and published BEFORE Darwin. And the term "survival of the fittest" come from Spencer works.


Yes, a minor detail so often over looked.
Psuedo-scientific racism was just an attempt to use the new ideas of the day to reinforce old prejidices, unsuprisingly real science totaly trashes it.

Incidently, i believe Spencer had a somewhat Lamarkian view of evolution, at least IIRC, which again, isn't totaly in line of the thinking of certain racists.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 08:14

Herbert Spencer book "Progress: Its Law and causes" is the founder of Social Darwinism, and it was published in 1857. TWO YEARS BEFORE The Origin of Species of Charles Darwin.

The ideas of evolution were going on since Lamarck.
 
This comes from wikipedia in the entry about Herbert Spencer.
 
 
Pinguin
 
Originally posted by wikipedia

 
Survival of the fittest

Herbert Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest," to describe changes in society. London School of Economics professor Rodney Barker writes:Like Darwin, Spencer employed a selective principle to explain social evolution, but he complemented natural selection with the Lamarckian notion of adaptation, and of the inheritability of a predisposition to successful adaptation. His familiar phrase, 'the survival of the fittest', can thus be misleading, in so far as it suggests an arbitrary process depending on the absence or presence of qualities over which the individual or society has no control. The fittest were those who adapted, and there was in principle no limit to the number who might make this accommodation. The struggle for survival was thus not of man against man, but of man against a changing environment

 


Edited by pinguin - 14-Jan-2007 at 08:16
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 08:33
But he used the phrase much earlier than when that book was published IIRC, as Darwin was aware of the phrase long before he wrote his book.
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  Quote Nurica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2010 at 22:37
oh boy, we should not forget the theologian (Reverend) Malthus when speaking of survival of the fittest or, why not, the broker david ricardo!
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