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Flashcards in Lecture 1: Intro Deck (10)
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1

"Scientist" ?

Comes from "knowledge". But prior to 1800's, "Natural Philosophers" who concerned themselves with the truth and wisdom IN NATURE. No politics, morals, experiments.

2

"Triumphalism"

Science is preordained, we only need to find it. It's inevitable that reason (us, today) triumphs or irrationalism.

3

Introduce me to Babylon

~1360's, was part of Mesopotania.
-Very literate
-strict laws (Stellae, and BIRTH OF CIVIL CODE).
-Had centres for learning math, science.

Above all, they were excellent record keepers (using cuneiforms).

4

Babylonian Astronomy?

-Known for their ability to predict.
-Look up tables + math = useful for crop timings, festivals, seasons, tides.

Interested in how the heavenly bodies changed Earth (e.g. Moon and tides)
-> but no physical model of heavens.

5

Babylonian Numbers

Base 60 -> many factors, good when no decimals.
-> important for trade
-> 30 day moon cycle, 12 zodiacs, helps agriculture
-> we keep our B60 time

No 0, just ' ' or '//'

6

Egypt

Focused on Astronomy, Agriculture.
->floods drought harvest plant
Created our calendar
->30 day months, 5 month-less party days
No systematic method or physical
->records and practical skills, no theory
->many "rule of thumb" skills
->no how/why of the world
->God, Religion? no link to their knowledge

7

Why is Greece different?

The how and why, the value research
->who cares if it isn't practical

8

Who is the "father of science" and why?

Thales of Miletus, for differentiating appearance and reality
->must use speculation to see what they are
->identify the cause, the underlying knowledge

9

What is Thales' core belief? How do we know what he believed?

All is water.
->e.g. water, fog, it's all one state
->can transition (gold melts, wood burns)

We have no records, only what Aristotle said he did.
->While Aristotle's interpretation is literally "you are all water", Thales might have been figurative

10

What do we know of Thales' character?

Two stories (who knows if true) showing arrogance
->"so much knowledge but you're not rich"
-> predicts olive boon and gets rich
->Falls into well
->seen as out to lunch, values theoretical even at detriment of practicality