About This Chapter
AP European History: The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
In the Age of Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason, new inventions and discoveries in science were paired with a new-found respect for an egalitarian and reason-seeking public. In this chapter, you'll learn about the important discoveries made in the realms of astronomy, mathematics, physics, and other sciences as well as the outpouring of philosophy on the nature and rights of man. Our instructors have broken this chapter into smaller lessons so that you can study one concept or person at a time. You'll learn some of the philosophy on which much modern thinking is based as well as the scientific discoveries that we now take for granted. This chapter is designed to teach you:
- Enlightenment thinking, ideas, philosophy, and theories
- The scientific inventions and discoveries made in this period
- How society shifted to a more rational mode of thinking
- About the explosion of scientific and philosophical work
|Timeline of Events Leading to the Scientific Revolution||Get an overview of events leading up the scientific revolution, including the invention of the printing press and the Renaissance.|
|How Thomas Aquinas Saved the Faith from Reason||Understand the philosophy and theology of this Italian Dominican priest, particularly in regard to natural reason.|
|Ptolemy and the Ptolemaic System||Learn about this ancient astronomer's rendering of the universe that was accepted until the scientific revolution.|
|Tycho Brahe and Copernicus Take On the Known Universe||Explore how these two astronomers challenged the leading view of a geocentric universe.|
|Galileo, the Telescope, and the Church||Study what Galileo discovered and why it angered the Church enough to place him under house arrest.|
|The Enlightenment and Copernicus, Galileo, and Sir Isaac Newton||Examine the ideals of the Enlightenment and the contributions made to astronomy and physics.|
|Renee Descartes and the Union of Religion and Philosophy||Understand the philosopher's famous statement and foundational concept, 'I think, therefore I am.'|
|Francis Bacon: History, Ideas, and Legacy||Learn about Bacon's role in advocating the scientific method and as creator of empiricism.|
|Blaise Pascal: Biography||Get an overview of Pascal's life and work, including the invention of a mechanical calculator and studies with pressure and fluids.|
|Thomas Hobbes and Absolutism||Explore the political philosophy of Hobbes, including the influential social contract theory.|
|A Person's Role in Society According to John Locke, Voltaire, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau||Examine the ideas that these three men had, from Locke's theory of mind to Rousseau's natural human.|
|Immanuel Kant: Biography and German Enlightenment||Get an overview of this important German philosopher's life and writings, including his formulation of the categorical imperative.|
|Baron de Montesquieu: Biography||Understand this French political thinker's life as well as his theory of the separation of powers.|
|Denis Diderot and the Encyclopedia||Learn about this French philosopher's founding, editing, and writing of the 18th-century French Encyclopedie.|
|Scottish Enlightenment: Hume, Gibbon, and Smith||Explore the writings of these three men and what they contributed to new thinking in Scotland.|
|Cesare Beccaria and Jurisprudence||Study the treatise on torture and the death penalty by this Italian politician and criminologist.|
|Women During the Enlightenment||Examine the role that women played in Enlightenment society and some of the writings of female intellectuals of the time.|
1. Pre-Scientific Revolution: Logic, Reason & Scientific Experimentation
In this lesson, we explore the reasons behind the typical narrative surrounding the Middle Ages and the advances in reason and science made during this period.
2. Thomas Aquinas' Influence on the Catholic Church
St. Thomas Aquinas was perhaps the most important figure of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. This lesson examines what he did to help protect the Church against a rebirth of critical thinking by using critical thinking to defend the Church.
3. Ptolemy and the Ptolemaic System
In this lesson, we explore the work of the ancient Greco-Egyptian philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer, Ptolemy, whose system explaining the structure of the universe was believed for centuries.
4. Tycho Brahe and Copernicus Take On the Known Universe
Astronomy according to Ptolemy was the popular theory until Copernicus turned it on its head. This lesson explores the theories of Copernicus and Brahe and how the two changed astronomical study.
5. Galileo, the Telescope & the Church
This lesson explores the contributions of Galileo to modern science. It examines his early steps toward a scientific method, his work on falling bodies and, of course, his astronomical discoveries. Finally, the Church's reaction to these discoveries is explored.
6. Science During the Enlightenment Period: Innovations, Discoveries & Major Figures
In this lesson, we will learn about the Scientific Revolution that preceded the Enlightenment. We will highlight the major themes, innovations, discoveries, and figures associated with this revolution in science.
7. Rene Descartes and the Union of Religion and Philosophy
This lesson explores the beliefs and works of Rene Descartes and how he explained the relationship between the mind and body as well as religion and science.
8. Francis Bacon: History, Ideas and Legacy
This lesson examines the contributions of Sir Francis Bacon to science. We take a long hard look at the scientific method, with special emphasis on experimental science. Then we briefly examine how Bacon sold science to the world.
9. Blaise Pascal: Biography & Contributions to Science and Philosophy
In this lesson, we will learn about the 17th-century French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal, who invented a rudimentary calculator in addition to making significant contributions to math and philosophy.
10. Thomas Hobbes: Absolutism, Politics & Famous Works
In this lesson, we discuss one the key political theorists of the 17th century, the Englishman Thomas Hobbes, whose theories concerning absolutism, the basis of government, and human nature still resonate to this day.
11. The Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Ideas
In this lesson, we discuss the varied and diverse 18th-century intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment. In addition to exploring its background and nature, we highlight several of the era's chief philosophers and their ideas.
12. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Philosophy and Legacy
In this lesson, we will learn about a famous philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We will understand the specific views he advanced and identify his contributions to the field of philosophy.
13. Immanuel Kant: Biography & German Enlightenment
In this lesson, we explore the life and philosophy of arguably the German Enlightenment's greatest philosopher, Immanuel Kant, and his theories concerning ethics.
14. Baron de Montesquieu: Biography, Theories & Philosophy
In this lesson, we explore the life and theories of the the French Enlightenment's foremost political theorist, Charles-Louis de Secondat - more commonly known as Montesquieu.
15. Denis Diderot and the Encyclopedia
In this lesson, we explore the life of the 18th-century French philosopher Denis Diderot and the project that eventually consumed over 30 years of his life, the Encyclopedia.
16. Scottish Enlightenment: Hume, Smith, and Others
In this lesson, we discuss several leading thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment, including its two giants, the philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith.
17. Cesare Beccaria: Theories, Impact & Jurisprudence
In this lesson, we explore the life and theories of the Italian man who first formulated many of the theories upon which our modern penal systems operate: Cesare Beccaria.
18. Women During the Enlightenment: Roles & Treatment
In this lesson, we explore the traditional gender roles for women in 18th century Europe and how the Enlightenment affected attitudes that encouraged future change.
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Other chapters within the AP European History: Exam Prep course
- AP European History: Overview of the Renaissance
- AP European History: Renaissance Philosophy, Art & Literature
- AP European History: Reformation Roots & Teachings
- AP European History: The Reformation's Effects Across Europe
- AP European History: Wars of Religion
- AP European History: The Age of Expansion
- AP European History: The Rise of Monarchical Nation States
- AP European History: English History (1450-1700)
- AP European History: 18th Century Powers
- AP European History: The French Revolution
- AP European History: The Napoleonic Empire
- AP European History: 19th Century Revolutionary Movements
- AP European History: The First Industrial Revolution
- AP European History: Unifications of Nation States in the 19th Century
- AP European History: Europe 1871-1914
- AP European History: World War I
- AP European History: Russia After World War I
- AP European History: The 1920s & 1930s
- AP European History: The Rise of Fascism
- AP European History: World War II
- AP European History: Post-War Europe
- AP European History: Cold War Europe
- AP European History: Integration: Europe after the Soviet Union
- Portions of the AP European History Exam
- How to Write a Good Essay on Your AP Exam
- Developing and Writing Your AP Exam Essay