Chapter 17: Toward a New Worldview in the West, 1540-1789

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Nicholas Copernicus

Wrote "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres"; Pioneered theory that the earth revolves around the sun; Destroyed the impression that the earthly world was different from the heavenly world; Condemned by Calvin, Luther, and the Catholic Church; Had his book published in 1543, the year of his death, to avoid ridicule from other astronomers.

Tycho Brahe

Influenced by Copernicus; Built observatory and collected data on the locations of stars and planets for over 20 years; His limited knowledge of mathematics prevented him from making much sense out of the data.

Johannes Kepler

Assistant to Brahe; used Brahe's data to prove that the earth moved in an elliptical, not circular, orbit; Wrote 3 laws of planetary motion based on mechanical relationships and accurately predicted movements of planets in a sun-centered universe; Demolished old systems of Aristotle and Ptolemy.

Galileo

Italian astronomer and mathematician who was the first to use a telescope to study the stars; demonstrated that different weights descend at the same rate; perfected the refracting telescope that enabled him to make many discoveries (1564-1642).

Sir Isaac Newton

Greatest figure of the Scientific Revolution; organized ideas of previous scientists into one system of mathematical laws to explain the orderly manner in which the planets revolve around the sun. The key feature of this thesis was the law of universal gravitation, which states that every body in the universe attracts every other body in precise mathematical relationships. Such proof showed that the universe operated by rules, which could be explained through math, and that religious interpretation was not the sole means of comprehending the forces of nature.

Empiricism

The view that (a) knowledge comes from experience via the senses, and (b) science flourishes through observation and experiment.

Rene Decartes

Developed analytical geometry. Relied on math and logic to make scientific discoveries. Said "I think, therefore I am". Thinker who developed analytical geometry and approached truth from a perspective of mathematics and logic

Rationalism

The application and use of reason in understanding and explaining events.

Skepticism

This is a literary movement that questioned the ability to find the truth. A philosophy based on the idea that nothing can be known for certain

John Locke

English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the consent of the governed and in which the government serves the people; also said people have natural rights to life, liberty and property.

Philosophes

Thinkers of the Enlightenment; Wanted to educate the socially elite, but not the masses; were not allowed to openly criticize church or state, so used satire and double-meaning in their writings to avoid being banned; Salons held by wealthy women also kept philosophes safe; They considered themselves part of an intellectual community, and wrote back and forth to each other to share ideas.

Baron de Montesquieu

French aristocrat who wanted to limit royal absolutism; wrote "The Spirit of Laws", urging that power be separated between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each balancing out the others, thus preventing despotism and preserving freedom. This greatly influenced writers of the US Constitution. He greatly admired British form of government.

Voltaire

Wrote Philosophic "Letters on the English" & Treatise on Toleration. He admired the English freedom of the press, and religious toleration. He criticized France because of its royal absolutism and lack of freedom of thought. French philosopher and writer whose works epitomize the Age of Enlightenment, often attacking injustice and intolerance

Madame du Chatelet

Madame Chatelet (1706-1749) was an intellectually gifted woman with a passion for science. She became Voltaire's longtime companion. Madame du Chatelet studied physics and mathematics and published science articles and translations. She was the finest example of an elite French woman, though Madame du Chatelet suffered because of her gender. She was excluded from the Royal Academy of Sciences. She later became uncertain of her ability to make important scientific discoveries.

Denis Diderot

Philosopher who edited a book called the Encyclopedia which was banned by the French king and pope.

Salons

Informal social gatherings at which writers, artists, philosophes, and others exchanged ideas; a gathering room, an EVENT-hosted by rich upper class woman, ideas were exchanged.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

A French man who believed that Human beings are naturally good & free & can rely on their instincts. Thought reason was too trusted a formula for making decisions. Government should exist to protect common good, and be a democracy.

Immanuel Kant

A professor in East Prussia and the greatest German philosopher of the age, argued in 1784 that if serious thinkers were granted the freedom to exercise their reason publicly in print, then enlightenment would follow-suggested that Prussia's Frederick the Great was an enlightened monarch because he permitted freedom of press.

Enlightened Absolutism

European rulers who embraced many of the philosophes' reforms, monarchical government dedicated to rational strengthening of central absolutist administration at cost of lesser political power centers.

Frederick the Great

King of Prussia (1740-1786). Successful in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) and the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), he brought Prussia great military prestige in Europe. This was the Prussian king who embraced culture and wrote poetry and prose. He gave religious and philosophical toleration to all subjects, abolished torture and made the laws simpler.

Seven Years' War

This war was began as a follow-up of the War of Austrian Succession when Prussia invaded Austria., Fought between France/Russia and Prussia- Frederick kept fighting against heavy odds and was saved when Peter III took Russian throne and called off the war., Known in America as French and Indian war. It was the war between the French and their Indian allies and the English that proved the English to be the more dominant force of what was to be the United States both commercially and in terms of controlled regions.

Catherine the Great

This was the empress of Russia who continued Peter's goal to Westernizing Russia, created a new law code, and greatly expanded Russia, ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796, added new lands to Russia, encouraged science, art, literature, Russia became one of Europe's most powerful nations.

The War of Austrian Succession

Started by Frederick the Great when Maria Theresa took the Austrian throne, thought she was illegitimate, sparked when Prussia took
Silesia. Ended in a treaty and Prussia keeping Silesia.

The Scientific Revolution

A new way of thinking about the natural world. It was based on careful observation and a willingness to question accepted beliefs.

The Enlightenment

A philosophical movement which started in Europe in the 1700's and spread to the colonies. It emphasized reason and the scientific method. Writers of the enlightenment tended to focus on government, ethics, and science, rather than on imagination, emotions, or religion. Many members of the Enlightenment rejected traditional religious beliefs in favor of Deism, which holds that the world is run by natural laws without the direct intervention of God.

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