Summary Of Steven Shapin's The Scientific Revolution

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In Steven Shapin’s book, The Scientific Revolution, he described the massive scientific changes that occurred from the late 16th to the early 18th centuries. Shapin utilizes the scientists and their findings to demonstrate the changes that affected Western civilization. He describes his theory of the Scientific Revolution as he proves that the world has always had scientific advances. Steven Shapin states his thesis which influenced the modern world, that the Scientific Revolution did not happen during a single time period through the use of the three essential questions: What was known, How was it known, and What was the Knowledge for. Shapin’s thesis is thought to be illustrated through the first line in the book, “There was no such thing as the …show more content…

There were scientific findings before the 16th century and there were more to follow the 18th century. Shapin’s thesis covers that there was no specific scientific distinction between the 17th century and the rest of time for this period to stand out and be a revolution but he explains that the Scientific Revolution is more of a process. Shapin still believes that the scientific findings of this time can be considered revolutionary. Shapin explains that “Science remains whatever it is-certainly the most reliable body of natural knowledge we have got” (165) to show that he still understands how important science and the findings in science are to the world and civilization. Steven Shapin proves his thesis throughout the book through the use of primary and secondary sources in his three different sections of the book. The first section is titled “What was it Known?”. In this section, he utilizes important figures such as Galileo and his findings about the heavens and the earth along with Aristotle, Newton, Descartes, Boyle, and others to explain the scientific ideas presented in this time period.

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