Science and the Enlightenment - Chapter 1, The Character of the Enlightenment Summary & Analysis

Thomas L. Hankins
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Chapter one discusses some of the general themes of the enlightenment thinking and how these ideas influenced scientific thinking. The 16th and 17th centuries were times of great scientific advances, especially in mathematics. This period was known as the "Scientific Revolution" and many of the scientists saw the 18th century as a culmination and continuation of that revolution. At the time natural science was considered a branch of philosophy known as natural philosophy.

Some of the key advances made in the late 17th and early 18th century were in mathematics, specifically the development of calculus and analytic geometry. Progress in mathematics helped foster optimism about the powers of pure reason in general. It is this belief in the power and efficacy of reason and progress that comes to characterize the enlightenment.

Nature also plays a...

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This section contains 560 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Science and the Enlightenment Study Guide
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