Ideas in action chapters 9-10
With the dawn of a new era in both science and art; the renaissance naturally had great effects on philosophy. The theologians of the middle ages implemented philosophy as a tool for explaining the sacred tests, with this “rebirth”, the lines between theology and philosophy became much more defined. One of the new philosophical modalities established was humanism. Humanists who primarily studied the impacts of rational human exploits on the world and the works of traditional thinkers, like plato and aristotle. Machiavelli, an italian thinker, wrote two books roughly on the topic of political science, his he argued in “the prince” single quasi tyrannical ruler is required for a strong state. He lives on in today’s lexicon with the word machiavellian, and famous quotes like this “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” Another man who while not being a traditional philosopher had great impacts on philosophy, was Martin Luther. Luther was priest who condemned the roman catholic church and created a schism which resulted in the protestant and ultimately lutheran denominations.
Easily the most important advances of the renaissance, were of a scientific nature. Among these notable advances are: Francis Bacon’s scientific method of induction, Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and the introduction of a heliocentric model of the universe.
Thomas Hobbes is well known for his authoritarian political philosophy, primarily he found his influences in mathematics, specifically geometry, and his own theory of motion.
Continental Rationalism created a dynamic change in the philosophical zeitgeist of the seventeenth century. This modern philosophy focused on the same rational exploration that scientists like Bacon had discovered prior. Descartes one of the core rationalists, alongside Spinoza and Leibniz, sought to give philosophy tools to achieve the same certainty found in mathematics. He constructed a set of twenty one rules for thought which he believed could create this effect. This process gave rise to systematic doubting of everything’s authenticity, by this action Descartes finally alighted on the only thing he was certain of, and one of the most famous philosophical tropes of all time”I think, therefore I am”. He then goes on to build logical links of organization in order to find truth by reflecting on this, and theorizing accordingly. All though they were in no way is followers, Spinoza and Leibniz share many similarities for Descartes. They all revolved their philosophy on the core of Continental rationalism; that is, Humanity is capable of rational thought which can explain everything.
This new development in the Philosophical method is integral to the science as a whole, from thereafter. Without it philosophy would be far more of a pseudoscience; being incapable of finding certain truth it could not be called a science. Descartes’ most famous assertion is a common trope to this day, and is mirrored in the minds of all. The majority of people doubt like Descartes at some point in their lives, not as procedurally, but still arise at the same conclusion. Everything may be an illusion and one could be the only real person in existence, and yet because of that intrinsic thought that makes up an entity, the thinker does indeed exist.