Theories That Incapacitate Men, Part 5 to blupete's Essay
Unlike the classical Greek period, when study or action proceeded without any, or very little concern about faith or dogmatism, the thinkers of the Medieval Ages had to be aware of the blind tenets of the times. The church, it must be remembered, in addition to spiritual power, had corporeal power.
Religious dissenters up to 1400, or so, were not much heard from -- not because there was no dissention; but, rather, that the dissenters had no means to get their views abroad. It was to be 1450 before moveable type, such as was used by Johannes Gutenberg was to be used for volume reproduction of the printed word.
The powerful Roman Catholic church came down, hard -- not only on those who professed novel religious ideas, but on any of those who gave, or who adopted a mechanical or scientific view of the world. You either subscribed to the dictated views of the church, immediately when called upon, or, you were branded a heretic and treated as such. One can hardly imagine the difficulties which both Galileo and Copernicus faced as they advanced their scientific theories.
The church philosophers of the time, - for example the French philosopher, René Descartes (1596-1650) - employed what we have come to call the deductive method of thinking. But for a new breed of thinkers, a different approach was being adopted.9 Fearless men were stating that for knowledge to be valid it must be the result of experience; the natural world we live in must be approached by building, on, thoroughly tested theories, theories that fit in with our real life experiences; these theories were built up by employing an induction method of thinking.
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