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2nd century , Greek mathematician and astronomer. Believed that Earth is the center of the universe, 10 crystal spheres around the earth, Beyond, the heavens were composed of unchanging matter

Nicolaus Copernicus, On the Revolutions of Heavenly spheres, 1543

Opposed the work of Ptolemy. He believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the universe which had tremendous scientific and religious implications. His book was not published until his death .

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)

he refuted the theory of the celestial spheres by showing the celestial heavens were not in an immutable or unchanging state of perfection as previously assumed by Aristotle and Ptolemy. Observation of planets and stars. He believed that all the planets except earth revolved around the sun

Johannes Kepler

Tycho Brahe's assistant. He formulated three famous laws of planetary motion. (1) orbits of the planets around the sun are elliptical. (2) planets do not move at a uniform speed. (3) the time a planet takes to make its complete orbit is precisely related to its distance from the sun.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Developed the experiment method, that the proper way to explore the workings of the universe was through repeatable rather than speculation. Formulated the law of inertia,

The law of inertia

A law formulated by Galileo that stated that rest was not the natural state of an object. Rather, an object continues in motion forever unless stopped by some external force.

Dialogue on the Two Chief systems of the World

Published in 1632 Italian language book by Galileo Galilei comparing the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system.

Isaac Newton Principia Mathematica, 1687

., Newton set forth the laws of motion, including the famous law of gravitation, which ex¬plained falling bodies on earth and planetary motion.

Francis Bacon

English politician and writer. Propagandist for the new scientific method. He formulaizes the empirical method, into the general theory of inductive reasoning known as empiricism.

Rene Descartes

French philosopher and mathematician, French philosopher, famous for his discovery of analytical geometry ( correspondence between geometry and algebra). Uses deductive reasoning from self-evident principles to ascertain scientific law. Wrote about dualism.

Cartesian dualism

The premise of Rene Descartes that all of reality could ultimately be reduced to mind and matter.

Cartesian dualism

The premise of Rene Descartes that all of reality could ultimately be reduced to mind and matter .

deductive/ inductive reasoning

Deductive-Using accepted general principles as a "guide" to explain specific observations Inductive-Discovering general principles through examination of specific cases

scientific community

The new international group of scholars with shared values and professional institutions taht emerged in the years following the scientific revolution.

Marie Curie

the first female to win two Nobel prizes


An eighteenth century intellectual movement whose three central concepts were the use of reason, the scientif method and progress.


method of natural science could be used to examine and understand all aspects of life.


The general opinion among Enlightenment thinkers that nothing should be accepted on faith and that everything should be subjected to secular criticala examination.

social science

the study of laws of human society as well as those of nature.


the goal of Enlightment thinkers to create better societies and better people by discarding outmoded traditions and embracing rationalism.

John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding

(1690)A new theory about how human beings learn. Insisted that all ideas are derived from experience.The human mind at birth is like a blank tablet.

Tabula rasa

Literally, a "blank tablet". It is incorporated into Locke's belief that all ideas are derived from experience and that the human mind at birth is like a blank tablet on which the environment writes the individual's understanding and beliefs.


The premise, enunciated most clearly by the French huguenot Pierre Bayle, that nothing could be known beyond all doubt.

Montesquieu Persian Letters, Spirit of laws

a writer for the enlightened public, wrote the Spirit of the Laws which is about government, how people should have liberty and not under tyrannical rule, he believed in the separation of powers, that the parliament and monarch should share power, he also made Persian Letters, which were not actually from anyone but letters which he wrote about the monarchy criticizing them without getting in trouble for it


Intellectuals in France who proclaimed that they were bringing the light of knowledge and reason to their fellow creatures in the Age of englightment.


The most famous philosophe. He mixed the glorification of science and reason with an appeal for better individuals and institutions. Challenged the Catholic Church and Christian theology.


The religion of the Enlightenment (1700s). Followers believed that God existed and had created the world, but that afterwards He left it to run by its own natural laws. Denied that God communicated to man or in any way influenced his life.

Diderot & Alembert Encyclopedia

first volumes in 1751, help spread Enlightenment ideas to educate Europe. Upset: French (middle class), Catholic Church (essays not within religion), more and more people read them because in vernacular languages


Regular social gatherings held by talented and rich Parisian women in their homes, where philosophes and their followers met to discuss literature, science and philosophy. Created a cultural realm free from dogma and cencorship.

Rousseau Social Contract

He attacked rationalism and civilization as destroying, rather than liberating, the individual. Two theories : the general will and popular soverignty. {social contract}

Frederick the great

Prussian king of the 18th century; attempted to introduce Enlightenment reforms into Germany; built on military and bureaucratic foundations of his predecessors; introduced freedom of religion; increased state control of economy.

Catherine the great

German-born Russian tsarina in the 18th century; ruled after assassination of her husband; gave appearance of enlightened rule; accepted Western cultural influence; maintained nobility as service aristocracy by granting them new power over peasantry.

Maria Theresa

This was the queen of Austria as a result of the Pragmatic Sanction. She limited the papacy's political influence in Austria, strengthened her central bureaucracy and cautiously reduced the power that. nobles had over their serfs

Joseph II

This was the ruler of the Habsburgs that controlled the Catholic Church closely, granted religious toleration and civic rights to Protestants and Jews, and abolished serfdom

enlightened despotism

philosophes inspired and supported reforms of Enlightened despots-believed absolute rulers should promote good of people-religious toleration, streamlined legal codes, increased access to education, reduction or elimination of torture and death penalty


the part of Austria that Frederick the Great captured, and it started the War of Austrian Succession (Maria Theresa)

Pugachev's rebellion

A peasant who claimed to be Peter III and led a peasant revolt against Catherine but it resulted in worse conditions for them than before

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