The motto of the Scientific Revolution, “knowledge is power,” describes the ever needful desire to attain knowledge about the world around us. Francis Bacon believed that knowledge gained through inductive reasoning (a means of seeking out truth through observing what is happening in the world and coming to conclusions based solely on those observations) was the greatest force of all, and had the power to eventually transform the human race. He also championed the idea that philosophy should be based off of reason and must be completely separate from religion. These ideas were the early steps toward shaping and establishing the scientific method.
Descartes, a French mathematician and philosopher, went even further than Bacon in stressing observation and was one of the first efforts to apply the new method of scientific inquiry to philosophy and theories of knowledge. He stressed that a person’s senses can deceive them, and that even with observation and experiments, knowledge gained cannot always be trusted. Through doubt, for Descartes, was the only way that a person could gain absolute knowledge. To except any conclusion other than through the use of doubt and a strict process of verification, was folly. The only idea that he believed was valid, was that of the ability of one to doubt and therefore, exist. The phrase, “I think, therefore I am” was the solution ...
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...y different in ideology than the other Enlightened thinkers, Rousseau nonetheless, used the power of thought, knowledge, and doubt that was promoted during the Scientific Revolution.
The main goal of the Enlightenment was to popularize the scientific method to be used to change the values and mindset of the western world. It was to use the Scientific Revolution as a basis to alter the study of human behavior—by studying it rationally. In continuation of popularizing the advance of science and philosophy, many works were translated and published in the vernacular so that as many as possible could be exposed to these ideas. The Scientific Revolution started with scientists and philosophers like Galileo and Francis Bacon, and expanded into the Enlightenment, where all educated people could be party to the dispersion of the ideas of Newton, Voltaire, and Rousseau.
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