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Science and philosophy before the revolution

In immediate contrast to modern times, only a few of Europe’s academics at the beginning of the scientificrevolution and the end of the sixteenth century considered themselves to be “scientists.” The words “natural philosopher”carried much more academic clout and so the majority of the research on scientific theory was conducted not in the scientificrealm per se, but in philosophy, where “scientific methods” like empiricism and teleology were promoted widely. In the 17th century,empiricism and teleology existed as remnants of medieval thought that were utilized by philosophers such as William of Ockham, anempiricist (d. 1349), Robert Boyle (Hall, p 172), a 17th century chemist, teleologist and mechanist, and by the proponents of Platoand Aristotle (1st century teleologists and abstractionists). Both empiricism, as the theory that reality consists solely of what onephysically experiences, and teleology, as the idea that phenomena exist only because they have a purpose (i.e. because God wills themto be so), generally negated the necessity of fact-gathering, hypothesis writing, and controlled experimentation that became suchan integral part of modern chemistry and biology at the beginning of the 17th century. In other words, the study of science beforethe scientific revolution was so concentrated on philosophy (such as Aristotle’s conception of “ideas” as ultimate truths) as topreclude the development of a scientific method that would necessitate the creation of an informed hypothesis to be tested.Certain medieval philosophers, however, such as Roger Bacon (1214-1294; no relation to Francis), did emphasize the necessity ofcontrolled experimentation in coming to a theoretical conclusion, but they were few and far between, and generally failed tocorrectly use the experimental method in practice. For example, author Hall wrote that “Bacon [and other advocates were]guilty of misstatements of fact which the most trifling experiment would havecorrected” (Hall, p 163).

The advent of the scientific revolution – 17th century

A. R. Hall, in his book The Scientific Revolution 1500-1800, made the observation that a main pointdividing scientific thought in the seventeenth century from that of the ancient Greeks and medieval Europeans was the choice ofquestions each group sought to answer through their methods of research or observation.

2Hall, p 164
He argued that the first group, that of Copernicus and da Vinci (15th and 16th centuries),focused more on questions of “how can we demonstrate that…” or “how may it be proved that…” that aimed to prove a defined hypothesistrue or false, while the second group (that of 17th century chemists and physiologists) emphasized questions phrased as “whatis the relationship between…” or “what are the facts bearing upon…” that necessitated fact-finding before a concrete hypothesis couldbe formulated. The most important point to remember here is that both the questions posed in the 15th century and those of the 17thcentury form part of the definition of a complete modern “experimental method” – the first type of question cannot standalone. A concrete hypothesis (question 1) must be accompanied by sufficient, independently verifiable observations (question 2) inorder for the scientist to make a vague inference (a form of hypothesis) that canthen be tested with a controlled experiment. The way the scientist/philosopher comes by this “vague inference”that will form a concrete hypothesis differs, and these differences can be described as the scientists’ different approaches toward an“experimental method.” The following portion of the module will give an idea of the types of experimental methods promoted by 17thcentury scientists as well as their impact on the standard experimental method utilized and accepted by chemists, biologists,and physicists today.

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Nanotechnology: content and context. OpenStax CNX. May 09, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10418/1.1
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