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Author Topic: THE RENAISSANCE  (Read 5066 times)
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« on: October 12, 2008, 04:02:34 pm »


              Averroes, founder of the Averroism school of philosophy,
              was influential in the rise of secular thought in Western Europe

Philosophical and scientific teaching of the Early Middle Ages was based upon few copies and commentaries of ancient Greek texts that remained in Western Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Much of Europe had lost contact with the knowledge of the past. This scenario changed during the Renaissance of the 12th century. The increased contact with the Islamic world in Spain and Sicily, the Crusades, the Reconquista, as well as increased contact with Byzantium, allowed Europeans to seek and translate the works of Hellenic and Islamic philosophers and scientists, especially the works of Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Plotinus, Geber, al-Khwarizmi, Rhazes, Abulcasis, Alhacen, Avicenna, Avempace, and Averroes, among others. The development of medieval universities allowed them to aid materially in the translation and propagation of these texts and started a new infrastructure which was needed for scientific communities.

Medieval scholars sought to understand the geometric and harmonic principles by which God created the universe.  At the beginning of the 13th century there were reasonably accurate Latin translations
of the main works of almost all the intellectually crucial ancient authors, allowing a sound transfer of scientific ideas via both the universities and the monasteries. By then, the natural science contained
in these texts began to be extended by notable scholastics such as Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus and Duns Scotus. Precursors of the modern scientific method can be seen already in Grosseteste's emphasis on mathematics as a way to understand nature, and in the empirical approach admired by Bacon, particularly in his Opus Majus.

The first half of the 14th century saw much important scientific work being done, largely within the framework of scholastic commentaries on Aristotle's scientific writings.  William of Ockham introduced the principle of parsimony: natural philosophers should not postulate unnecessary entities, so that motion is not a distinct thing but is only the moving object  and an intermediary "sensible species" is
not needed to transmit an image of an object to the eye.  Scholars such as Jean Buridan and Nicole Oresme started to reinterpret elements of Aristotle's mechanics. In particular, Buridan developed the theory that impetus was the cause of the motion of projectiles, which was a precursor of the modern concept of inertia.  Meanwhile, the Oxford Calculators began to mathematically analyze the kinematics of motion, conducting this analysis without considering the causes of motion.

Even though the devastation brought by the Black Death (mid 14th century) and other disasters sealed a sudden end to the previous period of massive philosophic and scientific development, two centuries later started the European Scientific Revolution, which may also be understood as a resumption of the process of scientific change halted during the crisis of the Late Middle Ages.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 04:34:29 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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