There are areas in which philosophy is affected and influenced in every period. 15-17. century philosophy was also influenced by science. In order to explain the philosophy of this period, the subjects such as humanism, scientific method, cartesian philosophy and philosophy of law should be mentioned.
The conception of humanism is the work of a thought that takes man away from the dogmatic influence of 2-AD 15th century philosophy and leads him back to Ancient Greek philosophy. This return means reinterpreting the human and the universe. Humanism is not a philosophy, it is a nomenclature, and it involves an effort to subjectify human beings. Humanism is a point of view where people are centered and their minds are emphasized. This perspective consists of a new understanding of life and a desire to make philosophy on human and world.
Humanism first appeared in Italy today. The translation activities in this geography and the philosophical background based on Ancient Greek thought are the main reasons for this emergence. Humanism is a general expression and the first studies of philosophy were seen at the Plato Academy in Florence. Here Plato’s works were translated and Plato’s philosophy spread throughout Europe. A similar situation is observed in Aristotle’s philosophy. Aristotle ‘s interpretation of Ibn Rushd ‘ s comments about Aristotle ‘s has led to re – consideration. The focus of this trend was to separate the philosophy of Aristotle from the scholastic approach.
15-17. century ‘s greatest success has been in the field of science. The Renaissance, as well as many other areas, opposed the understanding of science that took shape in the Christian thought in the 15th century AD. Instead of experiment and observation in science, the authority tried to explain the scientific subjects with the information they accepted. Renaissance thought was directed towards experiments, observations and computable scientific studies, not knowledge that became an authority in science.
15-17. Century is the period in which science and scientific method developed. Observation, controlled experiment, hypothesis and mathematical computations contributed to science gaining methods. Observation is a stage of scientific study since ancient times. In the Renaissance, it provided information about astronomy and anatomy. Controlled experiments, on the other hand, are an important step of scientific research, which enables scientific calculations, especially in the field of physics, and validation of hypotheses, which are the temporary explanatory models. Mathematical calculations after observation, controlled experiment and hypothesis; scientific knowledge.
Francis Bacon , one of the first philosophers of 17th century thought and modern philosophy , argued that en knowledge is for power bilim and that science is the most reliable way to reach the knowledge of nature, and that scientific method can provide it. Bacon describes the scientific method as an instrument of reason.
Philosophy was based on trust in scientific knowledge in the 17th century. The most important condition for providing this trust is; to form scientific knowledge by using the steps of scientific method. The fields of science cannot be understood only by the information provided by sensations; science overcomes this by resorting to mathematical calculations. For example, it can be sensed whether the air is hot or cold, but measuring the temperature of the air allows information to be handled scientifically. Cartesian philosophy is also known as Descartes philosophy. Descartes tried to establish a clear link between science and religion, which began to multiply in the 15th century and accelerated in the 17th century. Descartes established his philosophy with a method known as methodical doubt.
Descartes seeks an unquestionable basis for knowledge. He tries his methodical suspicion on his own knowledge in this respect. Descartes states that he can doubt everything he knows and feels, but at the last point he cannot doubt himself or himself. He reaches one of the famous words of philosophy:, I think, then I am .. This jurisdiction claims that human beings can access certain information through reason and that they can establish the accuracy of the information obtained throughout their lives. Descartes suggests some preliminary assumptions for this conclusion, which can be explained as thinking on thinking. His assumptions are based on ontological proofs of the existence of God.
This inference constitutes the main point of Descartes philosophy; it gives rise to a result that bases the thinking self and subjectifies it. This subject perception 15-17. century has been the starting point of philosophy. The subject is also the center of knowledge. Descartes, after deduction about knowledge, makes analyzes about the subject of knowledge. There are two main substances in the field of being: Creator and created substances. The substance that creates is the eternal substance that does not need anything but itself and creates everything. The substance that is created is composed of two sub-substances that cannot be reduced to each other and at the same time they are finite soul and substance substances (Figure 3.2). Soul; matter is the substance that takes up space in space. In this respect, Descartes philosophy is a dualist philosophy.
Philosophy of Law
Feudality is the system that determines the socio-political order of 15th-century Europe. It has a social structure built with peasant class and built around feudal lords in an economic order generally dependent on the agricultural economy. The weakening of the strong states at the beginning of the period led to the birth of the feudal system. Humans are bound to the feudal lords, not the king, who represents a central state authority. The feudal lords, although attached to the king, have the power to do whatever they want due to the weakness of the king’s authority. With the rapid expansion of Christianity, the donations made, and the religious devotion of the people, the church became increasingly rich and strengthened. In time, the church became the most powerful authority.
The increase in geographical discoveries in the Renaissance gave rise to new economic resources and enrichment over time. Nation identity awareness and reform movements have increased the ideas on state and law and the power of the church has gradually decreased. Europe has shifted to a monarchic state order. Philosophers; It has put forward ideas on governance, natural law and sovereignty. Niccolo Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes on state and law in politics opinions are important. Machiavelli foresaw the nation-state and argued that Italy could achieve national unity when ruled by a powerful prince. He states that the prince must have absolute power and that all institutions must be subordinate to him. According to him, her Every way is possible to achieve the goal ”and the prince should rule the state according to this principle.
Hobbes’ ideas are particularly prominent in 17th century state and law philosophy. According to Hobbes, the emergence of the state is imperative. The state starts its vision by defining people in a natural situation. He states that people are equal in natural situations and struggle with each other in line with their own wishes and aims. Naturally, he says that everyone has a right to everything but that they are confronted with security conflicts of interests. Hobbes describes an environment where everyone fights everyone: “Man is man’s wolf.. It states that people do not necessarily have the rights to a manager or a class because they do not have security of life and passed to the artificial state system. Hobbes says that the state is the absolute power and connects the source of this power to the social contract between the people.
In terms of legal philosophy 15-17. century philosophies are encountered with utopias. Utopia is an imaginary state. Ideal government and society are designed in this imaginary state. Among these, Thomas More ‘s “Utopia es is important in terms of both being a name for such works and criticizing the political structure of the period with the fiction of state and society. More believes that private property is the source of all kinds of unhappiness. He designs an island country in his work which he calls utopia; there is no private property in this country. This island is organized in an egalitarian mindset and everyone works as much as he can. Stating that managers should be elected by the people, More proposes a democratic and social state.
Utopian-style works contain insights that are ideal for people. In the proposed system, human is valuable and justice is dominant. The importance of these works is to make an intellectual contribution to the establishment of a good living order. This type of work was also written before T. More. Plato’s “State” and Farabi’s “El Medinetü’l Fazıla” are some of them. Throughout history, people have wanted to establish ideal living spaces. Utopias were divided into two as narratives that envisaged the ideal and the opposite.
These second types of utopias are called reverse utopia, fear utopia or unwanted utopia; These are the designs of the society that explain that the existing political situation will worsen. This type of utopia emerged as the product of the pessimistic effect that occurred after the First World War. Aldous Huxley ‘s “Brave New World” and G. Orwell’s “Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty Four” are some of them.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook