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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a historiographical and historical overview of the Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It surveys historical writing on the Scientific Revolution from the triumphalist accounts of the early twentieth century that glorified the scientific heroes of physics and astronomy, to the more sceptical and nuanced accounts of the later twentieth and early twenty-first century. Modern work gives attention to subjects like astrology and alchemy and incorporates a diverse range of contributors, including women and men, artisans and scholars, Islamic and indigenous peoples, as well as Europeans. This chapter discusses some of the dramatic shifts in understanding the natural world that took place during the early modern period, focusing particularly on the shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric cosmology and on the rise of experimental methods.

Keywords: Scientific Revolution, cosmology, experimental method, artisans, Islamic science, women in science, indigenous knowledge, alchemy, astrology, astronomy

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