the scientific revolution, the enlightenment revolution ..

The most influential publication of the Enlightenment was the (). Published between 1751 and 1772 in thirty-five volumes, it was compiled by Diderot, (until 1759) and a team of 150 scientists and philosophers. It helped spread the ideas of the Enlightenment across Europe and beyond. Other landmark publications were Voltaire's (; 1764) and (1733); Rousseau's (1754) and (1762); Adam Smith's (1776); and Montesquieu's (1748). The ideas of the Enlightenment played a major role in inspiring the , which began in 1789. After the Revolution, the Enlightenment was followed by the intellectual movement known as .

"The Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution were twin ..

The Enlightenment has always been contested territory. According to Keith Thomas, its supporters "hail it as the source of everything that is progressive about the modern world. For them, it stands for freedom of thought, rational inquiry, critical thinking, religious tolerance, political liberty, scientific achievement, the pursuit of happiness, and hope for the future". Thomas adds that its detractors accuse it of shallow rationalism, naïve optimism, unrealistic universalism and moral darkness. From the start, conservative and clerical defenders of traditional religion attacked materialism and skepticism as evil forces that encouraged immorality. By 1794, they pointed to the Terror during the French Revolution as confirmation of their predictions. As the Enlightenment was ending, Romantic philosophers argued that excessive dependence on reason was a mistake perpetuated by the Enlightenment because it disregarded the bonds of history, myth, faith and tradition that were necessary to hold society together.


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If there have been so many revolutions, then why did the world have towait for Kuhn to see them? Because, he said, they are largelyinvisible. For, after a revolution, the winners rewrite the history ofscience to make it look as if the present paradigm is the brilliantbut rational sequel to previous work. The implication is that onlysomeone of Kuhn’s historical sensitivity could be expected tonotice this. (Skeptical critics reply that Kuhn invented the problemfor which he had a solution.) Indeed, in his large book on the historyof the early quantum theory (Kuhn 1978), he moved the origin of thequantum theory revolution forward five years, from Planck in 1900 toEinstein and Ehrenfest in 1905. Revisionist historiography by whiggishscientists, he claimed, had smoothed out the actual history bycrediting Planck with a solution that he actually rejected at the timeto a problem that he did not then have—and by diminishing thetruly radical contribution of Einstein. Kuhn’s move again raisesthe question whether the authors of a revolution must knowingly breakfrom the received research tradition.


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This book amounted to the foundation of my research and was my main resource utilized for analysis because it detailed a comprehensive investigation on all written material regarding the Scientific Revolution from the beginning stages to more recent historical interpretations.

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Scientific academies and societies grew out of the Scientific Revolution as the creators of scientific knowledge in contrast to the scholasticism of the university. During the Enlightenment, some societies created or retained links to universities, but contemporary sources distinguished universities from scientific societies by claiming that the university's utility was in the transmission of knowledge while societies functioned to create knowledge. As the role of universities in institutionalized science began to diminish, learned societies became the cornerstone of organized science. Official scientific societies were chartered by the state in order to provide technical expertise. Most societies were granted permission to oversee their own publications, control the election of new members and the administration of the society. After 1700, a tremendous number of official academies and societies were founded in Europe and by 1789 there were over seventy official scientific societies. In reference to this growth, coined the term "the Age of Academies" to describe the 18th century.

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Commitment to the existence of deep scientific change does not, forall experts, equate to a commitment to the existence of revolutions inKuhn’s sense. Consider the historically–orientedphilosopher Stephen Toulmin (1953, 1961, 1972), who wrote of“ideals of natural order,” principles so basic that theyare normally taken for granted during an epoch but that are subject toeventual historical change. Such was the change from the Aristotelianto the Newtonian conception of inertia. Yet Toulmin remained criticalof revolution talk. Although the three influential college coursetexts that he co-authored with June Goodfield recounted the majorchanges that resulted in the development of several modern sciences(Toulmin and Goodfield 1961, 1962, 1965), these authors could write,already about the so-called Copernican Revolution: