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History of Science Francis Bacon, 1620

History of Science Online

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LibraryThing: Science in Ancient Mesopotamia Week 14: 17th-century science

Reading 1: Background

# Due Date Pts Activity Time
2 Wednesday
11:59 p.m.

Topic 1 + Quiz
Background: Without a sense of context, history is anachronistic.
Primary sources: Without documentary evidence, history is speculation
The first of two topic assignments per week involving both background and primary sources.

90 min.

The background reading for this week consists of readings from one of your textbooks plus one chapter that is found in D2L:

TOPIC QUIZ: The statements are either True or False. When you take the quiz at Janux, you will see 12 of these statements, chosen at random, worth 2 points each.

In the readings for this week, focus on the interplay between many broad and complex traditions:

Be attentive to the way the authors of your readings define and contrast these various broad perspectives, or combine them in various interesting ways, because to a large extent the conflict and tension between them characterized science in the 17th century.

  1. T or F ? The 16th century writer Petrus Ramus proclaimed that everything Aristotle said is false.
  2. T or F ? Francis Bacon deplored the secrecy of the natural magic tradition.
  3. T or F ? Francis Bacon thought that the ancients once held a pristine knowledge of nature.
  4. T or F ? Francis Bacon's scientific method was quantitative and mathematical in nature.
  5. T or F ? Francis Bacon's scientific method was experimental and inductive.
  6. T or F ? Descartes' Discourse on Method (1637) included lengthy appendices on meteorology, optics and geometry.
  7. T or F ? Descartes called for a new way of knowing based on sensory experience.
  8. T or F ? Descartes regarded his method as the best way to acquire provisional, probable knowledge.
  9. T or F ? Galileo argued that neither Bacon nor Descartes gave sufficient attention to the search for causal knowledge.
  10. T or F ? For Galileo, a mathematical description of natural phenomena is not scientific unless it also explains the causes of the phenomena.
  11. T or F ? Galileo relied upon both inclined plane and pendulum experiments to explore the physics of motion.
  12. T or F ? Torricelli demonstrated his vacuum pump before the citizens of Magdeburg in 1657.
  13. T or F ? Pierre Gassendi confirmed Galileo's thought experiments about falling bodies using horses at full gallop and fast naval ships.
  14. T or F ? Gassendi defended the atomic (or corpuscularian) philosophy from the charge that it was atheistic.
  15. T or F? In a utopian vision entitled New Atlantis, Bacon described an institution called Salomonís House directed to effect all things possible.
  16. T or F? In the New Atlantis, Francis Bacon called for the establishment of state-sponsored institutions dedicated to new discoveries by collective effort that would improve crafts, trades, and the natural sciences.
  17. T or F ? Campanella wrote City of the Sun while he was imprisoned.
  18. T or F ? Campanella's City of the Sun described the amazing discoveries of Christian Rosenkreuz.
  19. T or F ? The Fama fraternitatis was an obscure work, written in Hebrew, that circulated only in manuscript.
  20. T or F ? The utopian Christianopolis of Andreae (1619) portrays chemistry and astrology as central sciences for society.
  21. T or F ? Robert Fludd defended the mechanical philosophy against the criticisms of Libavius.
  22. T or F ? Kepler contrasted his quantitative approach to Fludd's symbolic mysticism.
  23. T or F ? Father Marin Mersenne looked to alchemy as the most promising means for establishing a Christian form of natural science, integrated with religion and theology.
  24. T or F ? The weapon salve expressed a common belief in sympathetic relations in nature.
  25. T or F ? In Van Helmont's chemical philosophy, earth is derived from water.
  26. T or F ? Van Helmont's emphasis on quantitative methods derived from his mechanistic philosophy.
  27. T or F ? The early issues of the Transactions of the Royal Society of London reflect a concern with practical issues.
  28. T or F ? Debus argues that the so-called Scientific Revolution took place over centuries rather than decades.
  29. T or F? According to Westfall, Gilbertís magnetic philosophy represents the mechanical philosophy.
  30. T or F? According to Westfall, the chemist van Helmont represents the mechanical philosophy.
  31. T or F? The writings of Descartes represent a rigorous and influential statement of the mechanical philosophy.
  32. T or F? Descartes separated animistic or psychic characteristics from matter, and he regarded matter as inert and mechanical.
  33. T or F? According to Descartes, qualities of things like color that are perceived by the senses are real, not just apparent.
  34. T or F? Descartes argued against Aristotle for the existence of a vacuum, or empty space.
  35. T or F? Descartes argued that the heavens are composed of an indefinite number of vortices, or whirlpools, where the mechanical motion of each vortex carries planets around its own central star.
  36. T or F? Descartes interpreted magnetic phenomena as animistic in origin, as evidence of active forces within nature.
  37. T or F? According to Westfall, Pierre Gassendi represents the mechanical philosophy.
  38. T or F? Gassendi rejected the Cartesian and Aristotelian ideal of causal demonstration by arguing that knowledge is probable and that science should emphasize description.
  39. T or F? According to Westfall, the chemist Robert Boyle represents the mechanical philosophy.
  40. T or F? According to Westfall, the mechanical philosophy required the mathematization of nature in a Pythagorean perspective.


Do you have a great quote for this page? Let me know! (If used, a new quote is worth 1 point extra credit)

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HSCI 3013. History of Science to 17th centuryCreative Commons license
Kerry Magruder, Instructor, 2004
Brent Purkaple, TA

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Many thanks to the pedagogical model developed in Mythology and Folklore and other online courses by Laura Gibbs, which have been an inspiration for this course.

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This course is currently undergoing major reconstruction to bring it into alignment with the new version of the course at Janux