Chapter 14: New Directions in Thought and Culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries
Reading and Study Guide
(Divide and Conquer)
Taking the time to do a study guide well reduces the time required to study well for an exam. As you invest, so shall
From your ever-lovin’ teacher: I do not expect you to understand Aristotelian physics and or the mathematics that
tie in to all this science stuff. Save that for your senior physics class. The purpose of this study of science is to
understand how it fits into the big picture of European history.
BIG QUESTIONS: (as you work through the chapter, keep these questions in mind)
1. What were the astronomical theories of Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton? What is meant by
2. What was the impact of the new science on philosophy?
3. How did early modern science affect the social setting?
4. What role did women take in the scientific revolution?
5. What was the connection of science and religion?
6. Was witchcraft real?
Natural philosophers = scientists (the word “science” wasn’t really invented until sometime in the 1830s)
The understanding that the sun was only one of a gazillion stars transformed MiniDictionary--☺
humankind’s perception of its place in the larger scheme of things led to a profound
rethinking of moral and religious matters, as well as of scientific theory. Hey! Wait a Paradox-- a statement,
minute! I thought I was the center of the universe!!! Does this mean I’m not as proposition, or situation
important as I think I am? What a concept….. that seems to be absurd or
contradictory, but in fact is
Introduction through Isaac Newton Discovers the Laws of Gravity or may be true
1. What two large-scale factors occurred parallel to the Scientific Revolution in the 16th relating to, using, or
and 17th Centuries? conforming to science or
2. Explain the paradoxical existence of superstition which coincided with the expansion its principles
of scientific rationalism.
3. Explain how the SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION was both revolutionary and no-so- Revolutionary: so new and
revolutionary. different as to cause a
4. Cite two reasons why the Scientific Revolution is so important in the context of the major change in something
history of the West.
5. What was the leading branch of science in the 16th/17th centuries? (hint: starry, starry Context: the
night…) circumstances or events
6. Identify Nicolaus Copernicus and his key works. Why could he be considered more that form the environment
“revolution-making” than “revolutionary?” within which something
7. Briefly describe the Ptolemaic system and the problems associated with it. exists or takes place
8. How did the Copernican theory modify the Ptolemaic theory? What is an “epicycle?”
What “single most important factor in the developing new science” did Copernicus Key: vital in achieving
introduce? What did the Copernican system fail to do? understanding or success;
9. Identify the contributions of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and their key works. crucial
10. What did Galileo Galilei do to solidify the reality of the Copernican system? How
did the Dutch figure into this? What momentous intellectual shift in Western through did Coalesce: to merge or into
he help to hasten? List his key works. a single body or group
11. In what sense did the work of those earlier figures of the Scientific Revolution
coalesce in Sir Isaac Newton? What was his principle contribution and key work?
Philosophy Responds to Changing Science through John Locke: Defender of
Moderate Liberty and Toleration
pages 455-464 MiniDictionary--☺
1. What was the idea of MECHANISM? What did Kepler say about this, and why was Antiquity: ancient
the new mode of thinking so “earth-shaking” (or “earth-shattering”)? history, especially the
2. How did the methods of scientific research become apparent in the approaches taken period of time during
by the philosophers of the age? which the ancient Greek
3. Identify three aspects of Francis Bacon’s philosophy, and list his key works. What, and Roman civilizations
perhaps, has been Bacon’s most important contribution to present (today) scientific flourished
4. How did Bacon feel about antiquity and the goals of science? Implication: something
5. How did René Descartes differ from Bacon? List his key works. What did he believe that is implied or
could be used to understand human reason? involved as a natural
6. How did Thomas Hobbes view the human condition? How did Hobbes believe consequence of
humans could best advance their own good? How might the English Civil War something else (imply--
(Cromwell and all that) have supported Hobbes conclusions? List his key works. to make something
7. Why is John Locke such a significant political thinker? How did Locke believe that understood without
humans learn knowledge? List his key works. expressing it directly
8. In what ways did the views and philosophy of Locke differ from Hobbes? In what
ways were the English Civil War and The Glorious Revolution influential in the Realm: a defined area of
formation of the ideas of these two men? (This is a GREAT question, if I do say so interest or study
The New Institutions of Expanding Natural Knowledge through who believes that it is
Women in the World of the Scientific Revolution pages 464-468 impossible to know
whether or not God
1. What were the social implications of the expansion of new scientific knowledge? exists
2. Explain the role of universities and scientific societies in the Scientific Revolution (the
Royal Society, etc). Atheist: somebody who
3. Explain how Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels ws a product of the era of the does not believe in God
Scientific Revolution. or deities
4. Why were women excluded from the otherwise forward-thinking and enlightened
thought of the Scientific Revolution? What classes (economic) of women made inroads into the scientific
community? Name three important women in this realm.
The New Science and Religious Faith through The English Approach to Science and
Religion pages 468-474 (skip 470-471 for now) But it
1. What three main issues were at stake in the apparent conflict between science and move…
religion that emerged in the 16th and 17th centuries?
2. Were the great minds of the Scientific Revolution agnostic or atheist? Explain.
3. What was the backdrop (setting or context) for the case of Galileo? What did he do to
get in trouble? What was the result?
4. In what significant way(s) might Blaise Pascal been considered different from the
“run-of-the-mill” thinkers of his age? List his key works.
5. What is “Pascal’s wager”? To what did Pascal compare human beings and why do
YOU think he drew such an analogy?
6. For Sir Isaac Newton, how did the new scientific understandings of the universe make
more certain the existence of a divine Creator?
7. What is Physico-Theology, and why is it important in this context?
8. How did the progress of science and economic developments complement one another by the 17th century?
Continuing Superstition through In Perspective
1. Cite two essential reasons for the witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries (besides
the fact than men were doo-doo heads at that time!) Contemporaneous:
2. Who were the “cunning folk” and identify their role in witch hunts. existing, occurring,
3. What other societal theories are advanced by the authors of your text to explain the or beginning at the
spike in superstition and its practices? same time or during
4. How did Christian teachings and the role of the clergy contribute to the witch panics? the same period of
5. From a point of view contemporaneous with the age under study, why were more time as something
women than men witches? From our point of view, why was this the case? You may else (contemporary)
need to listen to your ever-lovin’ teacher’s best-ever lecture on this topic.
6. Identify three theories offered explaining the end of the era of superstition and witch
hunts. (Something to think about have “witch hunts” ended? …just a rhetorical question…)
7. Who was Matthew Hopkins and what happened to him? (from lecture)
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Contrary to popular belief—this is NOT your
ever-lovin’ teacher after school hours!