According to the History Channel, the Scientific Revolution influenced the Enlightenment by providing metaphors of precision for the philosophical speculations that triggered the Enlightenment. Newton's "Principia Mathematica" and the earlier scientific discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and other natural philosophers helped propel Enlightenment thinkers beyond the vague mysticism of the Middle Ages into the new Age of Reason.Continue Reading
One of the foremost figures of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, wrote that "everything in the universe can be rationally demystified and catalogued." The work of early scientists laid the basis for such a claim. In 1543, Copernicus shattered geocentricism when he theorized that the planets revolve around the sun. In 1609, Kepler theorized that the planets move in elliptical, not circular, orbits. In 1609, Galileo invented a telescope that he used to make a number of key astronomical discoveries. According to the History Channel website, these discoveries created a widening rift between church doctrine and scientific findings that helped trigger the Enlightenment.
Newton, in his explanations of calculus, optics and gravity, demonstrated the precision inherent in the universe and the measurable forces that held it all together. This encouraged philosophers to strive for the same precision in the realms of thought. As the History Channel website points out, this forced Christians to search for explanations for their beliefs along rational, rather than mystical, lines.Learn more about Renaissance & Reformation
The Scientific Revolution is the time period between the 1500s and the late 1800s when modern science was shaped through scientific innovations and achievements in multiple fields of study. The science community is not certain of the exact dates this revolution began.Full Answer >
Experts believe that Nicolaus Copernicus' heliocentric theory stating that the sun is the center of the solar system was one of the factors that led to the scientific revolution. Other factors included economic expansion, translations of Greek scientific texts and the idea that nature could be understood logically.Full Answer >
The Enlightenment influenced the American Revolution in numerous ways, with core Enlightenment ideals including liberty, equality and justice leading the creation of conditions for the American Revolution and the Constitution that followed. Many ideas and concepts, including natural rights, freedom from oppression, and innovative ways of thinking regarding government structure came directly from Enlightenment philosophers, and helped to form firm foundations for colonialism and modern day America.Full Answer >
French intellectuals, leaders of Enlightenment, saw the religious wars as proof and condemnation of the irrational worldview based on religion rather than reason and of the negative effects of churches' involvement in civic affairs. French Enlightenment thinkers called for the rule of reason in society and elimination of the churches' authority.Full Answer >