DEVEL OF SCIENCE
DEVEL OF SCIENCE HON 280
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Date Created: 10/25/15
HON 280 LECTURE SEVEN HELLENISM THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE 1 Last time we nished with Aristotle Note that certain aspects of his cosmology eXist in religious thought even now think about how children think about heaven and hell It was formally dominant even more powerfully think about Dante39s trilogy II Hellenism was the period of time running from the death of Alexander the Awesome 323 BCE to the fall of Greek political power to the Romans The latter date is differently reckoned by different historians Some reckon it to be the year when the Romans conquered the Greek heartland 146 BCE Others reckon it to be the year that Rome conquered Egypt 3 OBC since Egypt was the last remaining in uential bastion of Greek civilization having been conquered by Alexander 111 During this period Aristotelian physics faced competition from the atomists Remember them Their central doctrines were 1 all that eXist are differently assembled collections of atoms in the void 2 the ways in which these atoms assemble and disassemble are governed by chance collisions not purpose That is things happen in nature due to causes NOT for reasons IV The major advocate of atomism during this time was Epicurus 270 BCE Interestingly he offered atomism as the basis of a moral doctrine or at least as a doctrine telling us how best to live Speci cally he thought that atomism alleviated two central obstacles to the good life 1 Fear of the gods 2 Fear of death Refer here to your own lecture notes for details HON 280 LECTURE TEN COPERNICUS AND HIS WORLD THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE So we39re up to about the 15th and 16th centuries We39ve seen the new humanism set in A rediscovery of ancient texts and the sense that the ancients knew it all if we could only go back to that An expanding geography What else don39t the experts know Before we go on let39s return to something we didn39t cover before We noted why Aristotle was initially popular with the Christians But why was Aristotle so problematic B People were attracted to Aristotle The world had not ended in 1000 CE There was a growing interest in the natural world perhaps because people decided that judgment day was not just around the comer But there were problems using Aristotle to supplement the Bible Aristotle said things like 1 The universe always existed 2 A prime mover existed but was not a personal god She didn39t intervene so no miracles 3 No immaterial souls functionalism Form could not exist independently of matter and vice versa hylomorphism and anticipation of Functionalism So this became the real task How to reconcile the two Broader question reason vs revelation or reason vs faith One philosopher Anselm approx 1100 CE said that faith made reason possible it opened the mind to the light of truth Well back to humanism As the author describes at the beginning of Ch 4 medicine made some advances After 1500 more of Galen39s works reentered Europe and many of the religious restrictions on dissection went by the wayside Also medical illustration Look at p 72 What is odd about this illustration I39ve always wondered about the following if you took one of these books of illustrations and you ipped through it real fast if you39d get the rst Zombie movie A very odd theme that lasts for less than 100 years Why do you think that medical illustration took this form What was the point of it Fossils were collected and illustrated for the rst time in a big way But with little understanding of their nature Fossils won t really become important till extinct animals Main event during this period beginning of humanism to Galileo is the advancement of astronomy Goal today is to take us up to the doorstep of Galileo which we will nish next week Let s begin with Copernicus about 1500 I really ought to standardize What we ve done so far Remember we have Ptolemaic and Aristotelian systems Astronomers took Ptolemaic system more seriously Not theologians l Eccentrics The center of this construction C is not earth E 2 Epicycles The planet P revolves around the center of the epicycle D which in turn revolves around the center of the larger circle C 3 Equanm The planet P revolves around the center of the circle C but moves uniformly around the center of motion M The planet goes through each section of the circle in an equal amount of time so it would speed up as it gem farther from M Copernicus39 problem Theoretical problems Changing speed and off center universe Practical problems Julian calendar Leap years You need a colander which Why was this important to a religious culture Easter is the rst Sunday following the rst full moon after the spring equinox Length of day and night are equal Also more practical When to plant Since Caesar an extra ten days had accumulated New years day was celebrated 10 days prior to when it should have been His most Violent objection was to the changing speeds Made the world irrational Why 1 The earth is the center of heaviness for objects and the center of the moon39s orbit 2 Fixed sphere of stars enormously far away 3 Days due to rotation 4 Years due to revolution around the sun Not completely different No equants But epicycles remain Emphasis remains on perfect circles What are its consequences moving earth and much larger universe What does this explain Let39s go back to the retrograde motion of mars What does it explain This was all published in a small book the little commentary What to do with it How would you go about popularizing these results at a time when the religiously accepted world view is that Aristotle not even Ptolemy is correct Copernicus had two champions Reticus who did most of the legwork in getting Copemicus39s work published and this fellow Osander who wrote the preface to Copemicus39 book What was the difference Info box on 87 Ok Cultural acceptance varied Ok instrumentalistically construed Not ok realistically construed Relation to the reformation was strange No intermediary Direct reading Luther condemned it Calvin didn39t know about it HON 280 LECTURE FOUR PLATO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE As we noted last time the rst systematic philosopher with the rst systematic theory ff nature was Plato born 427 BCE From Athens a wealthy aristocratic family Originated western philosophy especially western political philosophy Great story Syracuse Dionysius I II I As we also noted last time he has a peculiar de ationary attitude toward the natural world A He denigrated it That is he didn39t think that it was the highest object of study because it didn39t have the highest possible level of existence B We illustrated this by recalling the allegory of the cave 1 What is the horse shadow Probably a Visual impression of a horse Real 2 What is the horse puppet A horse Really real 3 What is the horse running around on the surface of the earth The Form of horse The really really real C The idea is this Concrete objects have less reality than the forms of which they are implementations or in which they participate Why Because the forms make concrete instances intelligible in a way in which concrete instances don39t make the forms intelligible More abstract things 1 make possible the existence of concrete things in a way that doesn39t work the other way around And this is what makes them more real D Thus true knowledge for Plato was a movement from the concrete to the abstract 11 How can we think about this in a way that keeps it from sounding too mystical A Think about the relation between the shadow and the puppet The puppet eXplains why the shadow exists it makes the occurrence of the shadow explicable or intelligible to us Let39s think more about this quotmaking intelligiblequot relation What is it supposed to be Perhaps it39s pretty clear in the case of the puppet shadow case What is it here B What is it in the case of the horseform of horse case Not causal right Let39s look at some of the examples that Plato cites in which he tries to eXplain what it is 1 One occurs in a Platonic dialogue called the Symposium 210a21 lb in which Plato describes a party involving Socrates and a bunch of his drunken pinhead friends In this dialogue Socrates is trying to gure out the nature of beauty This may seem odd that beauty has a nature as horses have a nature but it didn39t seem odd at the time 2 Here Plato talks about the Ladder of Love The Love Ladder Something for the ladies And I say this tongue in cheek Because of Diotoma There is thus textual evidence that the fundamental investigative methods of western philosophy came from a woman not Socrates whom we nothing about 3 Anyway here a quotloverquot is de ned as someone who loves and quotlovingquot is de ned as a desiring for something that one does not have He describes the following progression as one proceeds up the ladder of love in search for beauty in its most direct form a beautiful body b All beautiful bodies Lover of everybody c Beautiful souls The quotlover of everybodyquot must quotbring his passion for the one into due proportion by deeming it of little or of no importancequot Instead the passion is transferred to a more appropriate object the soul d The beauty of laws and institutions The next logical step is for the lover to love all beautiful souls and then to transfer that love to that which is responsible for their eXistence a moderate harmonious and just social order e The beauty of knowledge Once proceeding down this path the lover will naturally long for that which produces and makes intelligible good social institutions knowledge f Beauty itself This is the platonic quotformquot of beauty itself It is not a particular thing that is beautiful but is instead the essence of beauty Plato describes this level of love as a quotwondrous visionquot an quoteverlasting loveliness which neither comes nor ages which neither owers nor fadesquot It is eternal and isn39t quotanything that is of the eshquot nor quotwordsquot nor quotknowledgequot but consists quotof itself and by itself in an eternal oneness while every lovely thing partakes of itquot g Even above this is the form of the Good The form of beauty is itself a good to the extent that it participates in the form of the good The form of the good we may say is really really really real What could be clearer than this 4 Anyway The idea is that knowledge concerning other things is similarly gained by progressing from a base physical instance of the thing sought to the eventual form of the thing sought One then has knowledge of the thing by having familiarity with its de ning essence 5 So in connection with natural science what you have to understand first about Plato is that he doesn39t credit it with much importance There isn39t much to know about it because it really isn39t an object of knowledge It doesn39t have as much reality as the forms that it implements or instantiates 6 But having said this however he does credit it some importance He has a cosmogony and a cosmology The cosmogony in the T imeas involves a demiurge who imposes order on the chaos a Because he is divine he tries to order the world as intelligibly as possible but the way this works is that he imposes an order on nature which then continues to operate more or less on its own without divine intervention But mind is still present in nature to the extent that that it encodes the original intention b As for Plato39s physics he assumed with everyone else that there are four basic elements earth water air and re and then associated these elements with different geometrical solids and then tried to understand compounds as the result of the combined component triangles of these solids That last aspect is one of which I have never been able to make much sense It39s more mystical than scienti c But at least he is trying to give an account of nature in quantitative terms 111 Most of what he had to say of any importance about the natural world is astronomical He and his students Eudoxus 400 BCE tried to account for longknown astronomical facts eg the retrograde motions of the planets especially Mars and various uneven motions of the sun and the moon with the following model You can nd a great visual explanation of what retrograde motion is at httn39 nlnhn lasnlle edn NsmithscA J html It is a system of spheres moving within spheres which are themselves moving in different directions to create complicated messes like that below for the moon y HON 280 LECTURE TWELVE GALILEO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE Galileo say 1600 is like Socrates He is often remembered as martyr to truth Except that he39s not really a martyr because he didn39t actually die He didn39t drink any hemlock milkshake He was born into a family of moderate means His father was a cloth merchant but his mom and dad also had eleven kids which means that Galileo was driven by nancial worries his entire life When his dad died in 1591 Galileo became responsible for his sisters39 dowries and that meant money So unlike a lot of the people we have looked at Galileo was constantly obsessed with getting more and more prestigious appointments with higher and higher salaries In part that39s what got him in trouble because he got those positions and a lot of folks hated him for it He originally entered the University of Pisa sort of a backwater to become a doctor but he hated it But in 1587 he developed mathematical interests and found that he had real talent for it He found a sponsor who got him a job at the University of Padua with an increase in salary and he was just thrilled He didn39t have a whole lot to say about astronomy the Copernicus affair early on though he did correspond with Kepler whom I think was living in Prague In 1587 Kepler had two copies of his book espousing heliocentrism to Italy and Galileo got hold of one of them and wrote Kepler agreeing with his views professing to nd in Kepler a kindred intellectual spirit In any case his early work wasn39t on astronomy It was on physics Everyone39s heard the story about Galileo dropping his balls off the leaning tower of Pisa right What was supposed to be happening there What was he trying to prove Anyway it probably didn39t happen Instead he did empirical studies with angled drops so that the rate of descent was slow enough for him to observe the results And in addition to this he did thought experiments One brilliant thought experiment showed that a central claim of Aristotle39s physics couldn39t be right Describe What does this show and how How does it generate a contradiction Other things he showed with real experiments were no less important For instance the movement of pendulums He just attached a metal ball to a string and observed that a pendulum39s period is the same no matter what the angle of swing The isocronism of the pendulum Why would that be of immense practical importance It helps make time keeping devices possible for one thing Here39s another thing he noted by 1604 about freefalling bodies If an object falls for four seconds for instance it displays an unexpected mathematical pattern The distance traversed in equal times increases in accordance with the sequence of odd numbers Who would have thought that So in the rst second of its descent it will fall 1 unit in the second it will fall 3 units in the third second of its descent it will fall 5 units etc And from this he noticed that the total traveled during a given number of seconds is given by the square of the elapsed time After falling for 1 second it will travel one unit lsquared After falling for 2 seconds it Will have traveled four units 1 unit plus 3 units 22 After three seconds it Will have traveled 9 units l 3 5 32 It39s not that he had a theory about this He just had an equation But it seemed odd to him that this should be the case for reasons we Will return to in a moment Here39s another discovery he made look at p 118 Describe mechanics of experiment carefully y is proportional to X2 formula for a parabola If you chart a line against X and y axes you get a parabolic graph Since X2 is proportional to time X is going to be longer the higher the height that the ball is dropped from he could then substitute time for horizontal distance and say that y prop to t2 Why are these results important What did Aristotle say about moving arrows More broadly what39s important about these experiments is that they involve imagining limit cases He did his experiments with inclined planes just because he couldn39t measure the fall of bodies otherwise But inclined planes are not perfect right So he39s imagining what would be the case if they were if there were no iction at all for instance Now let39s return to a thought we had before He39s nding out that the world around him at and around the surface of the earth is capturable by de nite mathematical relations How does that upset the Aristotelian world view Info box on p 120 Well now comes astronomy Telescope is invented in 1608 In 1609 Galileo gets one and starts looking at the sky in a serious way and begins to see all sorts of thing that folks had not expected 0 The moon is crater with mountains 0 There are many more stars than folks had suspected Milky Way 0 Jupiter has four moons of its own Is this going to upset the reigning world view in a big way do you think Not really Some minor contradictions moon in particular So he publishes a book called the Starry Message which gets a terri c popular reception In case it gets him a better job In part this is because he kisses the right asses the grand duke of Tuscany still doing horoscopes He also sends a copy of his book to Kepler Who becomes his main champion So he becomes the court mathematician to the grand duke of Tuscany Lots and lots of additional money and even more important no teaching duties no insufferable sarcastic students And he pisses more people off For one thing instead of asking for a big salary bump he asks instead for a change in title He became the court mathematician and philosopher Logical because he has commented on not just the motions of the heavens but on their geography and constitution But then he makes a more serious discovery Venus has phases just like the moon Why is this going to be important to the criticism of Aristotle or Ptolemy but not Copernicus or Kepler Because in the Ptolemaic system Venus always lies between the sun and the earth and it would always show a crescent phase The Copernican system predicts a full range of phases for Venus as it passes from between the sun and the earth to being on the opposite side of the sun from the earth This is clear once we consider the effects of Venus39 epicycle upon our View of it For instance look at the diagram below to see why Aristotle Ptolemy Copernicus To see how phases work go to httpwwwastroillinois edu ro39ectsdataMoonPhasesindexhtml To see a website concerning all things Galileo go to htt ircameraasarizonaeduNatScil02NatSci102lectures al ileohtm So now Galileo is out in the open He explicitly endorsed Copemicanism because he thinks he has incontrovertible proof of it And this is the really interesting thing Galileo has no objections to Brahe p 102 He never mentions Brahe even though Brahe39s model generates exactly the same predictions of Copernicus or Kepler They are empirically equivalent in all observable respects at the time Look at diagram illustration on p 102 to see why This is the high time for Galileo He39s like a pig in mud But forces are rallying behind the scenes One reason he39s made so many jealous enemies Another reason churchmen start clamping down generally A third reason the philosophers feel that he39s been encroaching on his turf In 1612 a Dominican Priest writes an essay emphasizing that Copernicanism runs contrary to scripture and he engages in a piece of correspondence with the grand duchess who is worried about such priestly concerns She asks how he would reconcile Copernicanism with the Bible What39s his answer Metaphor some things in the bible are stated in a way tailored for their audiences In Genesis God walks in the cool of the garden Do we really want to say that God has a shoe size We don39t want to take these things literally Eventually the church gets very good at this No real antiscientific fundamentalism in Catholicism Unfortunately that comes later And a copy of Galileo39s letter makes its way to the church authorities So he39s summoned to Rome and has a very pleasant conversation with Cardinal Bellermine a guy largely in charge of identifying and stamping out heresies What is the form of the debate that place there Realism vs Instrumentalism Cardinal Bellermine was no dummy This was a sophisticated dispute in the philosophy of science But he gave Galileo mixed messages He said that the Bible can never be wrong about anything Which means that if we discovery evidence that seems to be at variance with it this just means that we haven39t understood the Bible correctly How might this give Galileo encouragement to publicly endorse Copemicanism It sounds like exactly what he said to the grand duchess So I can understand his confusion at this point What is he being ordered to do He is nally explicitly ordered by the Pope not to publish anything that promotes more than an instrumentalistic interpretation for Copernicanism But this isn39t what he39s gotten om his conversations Now here39s the ironic thing Why was Galileo a realist regarding Copernicanism at this point Because of his theory of the tides On Galileo39s account they result om the combination of the rotation and revolution of the earth The amazing fact of course is that this is the one part of Galileo39s theory at this point which is false But probably we can gure out why the argument concerning the tides was so important to him Given his observations the only real competitor to Copernicanism at this point is Brahe39s system Does Brahe39s system give us an explanation of the tides Galileo didn39t think so but he was wrong The tides are primarily caused by the moon as Kepler and Brahe suggested But Galileo rejected this because he thought that it appealed to occult powers This dispute will arise again later when Newton introduces gravity In any case Galileo doesn39t know quite what to do at this point What can he say What can39t he say But then something very encouraging happens His personal iend gets elected Pope Urban VIII and Galileo goes to Rome to directly plead his case And he has a very pleasant conversation However it is not a very interesting conversation It goes something like this Galileo says something like this quotLook the tides give us very good evidence that the earth is both revolving and rotatingquot And the Pope responds quotNo because God can always work miracles Aristotelianism can be true and yet God can always though some other means make the tides behave in the way that they doquot Is a conversation like this every going to go anywhere Why or why not Avery fundamental difference in orientation between these two guys right I heard the same thing in debates I39ve had about evolution Why does the embryo develop in the way that does quotOntogeny recapitulates phylogenyquot A fetus at siX weeks has gills and a tail like a sh I looked at the Wikipedia reference to check spelling and started having serious doubts about Wikipedia Fundamentalist propaganda So beware I recommend the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy In any case Urban tells him write what you want But do not endorse Copemicanism and Galileo takes him at his literal word ignoring the spirit of his command and writes quotDialogues on the Two Chief Systems of the worldquot Here he has 3 characters discussing heliocentrism and geocentrism The two defenders of heliocentrism are named for two of his friends The defender of geocentrism is named quotSimplicoquot Galileo says that the name is that of an Aristotle commentator but the implied insult is obvious Discussion happens over four days Day 1 Arguments presented that the heavenly realm is not incorruptible and changeless comets supernova craters on mars phases of Venus Day 2 Counterarguments are provided against old standard arguments that the earth cannot possibly move Shooting an arrow up into the air Galileo rearticulates an idea we39ve seen before that the arrow falls in the same place because in addition to its own arrow motion it also has the motion of the earth 12 What39s at stake here Aristotle39s account of motion Force needed for movement because it39s natural for things to be at rest Galileo imagined something entirely different and this was made possible by thought experimental invocations of limit notions of regulative ideas as well as his experiments rolling balls down inclined planes He asked what if we set an object in motion and it encountered no resistance What would happen to the object This was a sea change in thinking Abstracting away om those instances of motion that people were familiar with Pulling a cart through the mud He revised the very idea of what it is for a kinematic state of a body to be natural This idea is at least as important as his astronomical discoveries probably more But to be fair you can see why some people thought this was all unnecessary Why not just say that the earth didn39t move at all And on a moving ship it was just that the mast wasn39t tall enough for the fall to last long enough for the earth39s rotation to be detectable Day 3 Argument for the movement of the earth In particular his argument about the tides l3 Day 4 On day 4 Simplicio nally has the stage And he has no real arguments to offer He simply says that he has been told that geocentrism is true om a very quotlearned and eminent personquot a reference to the pope and that before this person39s authority one must fall silent Well unless the Pope is a total idiot how is going to react Galileo is brought to trial at age 70 an interesting age by the way Socrates was tried at age 70 and ordered to recant There is a controversy at this point about documents But Galileo is shown the instruments of torture and recants The rest of his life is sort of sad His second daughter dies He39s almost blind om looking at the sun through a telescope smoked lenses He39s put under house arrest Yet still manages to write two manuscripts on the tides and on moving bodies which get smuggled out of the country and published elsewhere And he does a lot of pure mathematical work on the notion of in nity for instance But then he dies It39s a love story The end
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