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.Know More
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 occurred between 1550 and 1700 A.D., thanks, in part, to Copernicus' heliocentric cosmos theory. Newton's Universal Laws and Mechanical Universe are considered the end of the Scientific Revolution.Full Answer >
The historical and cultural period that follows the Renaissance is known as the Enlightenment. This period lasts from the middle decades of the 17th century through the 18th century.Full Answer >
Some of the major ideas that originated during the Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, were confidence in humanity's intellectual powers, a much lesser degree of trust in the older forms of traditional authority and the belief that rational and scientific thought will lead to an improved human existence. The Enlightenment thinkers viewed the natural world as one governed by mathematical and scientific laws that could be understood by humankind through its own self-empowered and unaided faculties. The philosophy of the Enlightenment was often at odds with the traditional authority wielded by established religion that sought to maintain its role in directing human thought and actions.Full Answer >
Voltaire's contributions to Enlightenment philosophy were primarily in the form of the popularization of British ideals amongst French intellectuals and his outspoken calls to action when it came to promoting the "common sense" ideas of the Enlightenment. According to Oxford University's Voltaire Society, Voltaire's contributions to the Enlightenment were generally not particularly original, and his philosophy was based heavily on the works of English writers like Newton and Locke.Full Answer >