The Scientific Revolution
Jul 06, 2007
The seventeenth century marked a turning point in the history of human thought. At the beginning of the century, the scientific knowledge that we take for granted today was virtually nonexistent. By the end of the century, physics had subsumed the science of astronomy and reached full maturity; the efficacy of the inductive method, based on experiment and mathematics, had been demonstrated and universal laws of motion and gravitation had been proven. This achievement was largely the work of a few men. In this course, Mr. Harriman focuses primarily on Galileo, Kepler and Newton. The goal is to present the unbroken chain of reasoning that led from observations to Newton's fundamental laws. This course is based on three chapters of Mr. Harriman's book in progress, "Induction in Physics and Philosophy," and it contains substantial new material not covered in previous lectures and articles.