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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsDuring the last two weeks, you discovered how 17th-century natural philosophy challenged the previously widespread Aristotelian tradition. You've reflected upon how new instruments, laboratories, and hypothesis shaped early modern scientific practises. During this week, we look more broadly at the cultural background of early modern science. Scientific ideas are disseminated and circulated in complex social environments that are affected and shaped by religious and political views. You'll learn that any scientific investigation is hardly an isolated enterprise. On the country, during the early modern period, a number of scientific issues were connected with broader questions, some of them about religious issues. First, you'll study our 17th-century authors, reflecting upon questions such as, how can science help improve society?

Skip to 1 minute and 3 secondsAnd how can science help us living better lives? By reflecting upon these questions, several philosophers came to realise that the reform of science was an integral part of a broader reform of society. Second, you will discover how certain scientific notions give rise to questions that go far beyond the limits of a strict scientific investigation of the natural world. You will learn, for instance, how this connection between science and religion is nestled in the notion of final causation, which is the centre of a number of controversies in early modern science. Third, you'll investigate more in detail how the controversial relationship between science and religion changed over time, and now this transformation can be captured by the notion of secularisation.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsBut in other cases, it's also possible to observe how concepts originally introduced in theological debate found a new usage in the conceptual toolkit of scientists. The overall purpose of this week is to allow you to critically reflect upon highly complex issues that surrounded the cultural value of early modern science and its emergence.

The Scientific Revolution in context

Welcome to the third week of the course The Scientific Revolution! You made great progress so far and we hope you enjoyed what we discussed during the previous two weeks.

In this video, Andrea Sangiacomo shares the topics of the third and final week. We’ll take a closer look at the social, religious and theological background that surrounded the emergence of modern science. During the week we’ll try to better understand the interplay between science and the other elements that characterised the early modern world.

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This video is from the free online course:

The Scientific Revolution: Understanding the Roots of Modern Science

University of Groningen

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