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A Philosopher Who Is More Influential in Science Than Scientists

Many of us considered Plato as a philosopher more than a scientist because his theories are mostly about how should we behave and a new perspective to see this world. Newton, by contrast, gives us various theories that we can use to solve scientific problems. Nevertheless, I disagree if you said that Plato does not have any influence on science. In fact, his influence is greater than Newton.

First of all, what is science? According to the Oxford dictionary, science is an intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Not only the development of science influenced by philosophy but also the opposite applies. Science helps philosophy in developing a number of descriptive and factual materials and essential for philosophical thinking, science also corrects philosophy by eliminating ideas that are contrary to scientific knowledge.

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Philosophy is the root of all science so that it is called The Mother of Science. There are two characteristics of philosophy, the first one is fundamental, means that we have to think deeply about the cause of everything. The second one is speculative, means that the results of the thoughts obtained will be used as new materials for further thinking and experiments. These characteristics are used as the basis for the development of the sciences. In short, you must be able to think philosophically to be able to understand or even create something new in science. On the other hand, two characteristics of science are knowledge and certainty. Knowledge begins with an attitude of curiosity, and certainty begins with an attitude of skepticism, and both are summarized in philosophical thinking. Philosophy encourages us to always know what we do not know and not ashamed to admit it.

That is the attitude shown by Socrates in his dialogues, asking about things to the experts that admit to know everything about it. His main student, Plato, wrote the Socrates dialogues in his books. Through these dialogues, Plato discussed a whole range of philosophical topics including ethics, metaphysics, aesthetics, politics, and epistemology. In his theory of Forms, Plato explains the two worlds, the world of ideas that are permanent and the world of matter or the world of experience that is not permanent. We can see the example of these two worlds in Republic, Plato said that geometrical diagrams as imperfect imitations of the perfect mathematical objects which they represent.

Another concept created by Plato is the idea of proving to get the accurate definitions and clear hypotheses. He mentioned that a theory cannot be claimed true if there is no experiment and valid proof. In this way of thinking, Plato succeeded in making his students become prominent scientists, nonetheless, Plato himself made no important mathematical discoveries, but he believes that mathematics is extremely important in the development of science. Another Plato’s contribution in education is shown by the way he established a university. It was written on the main door of the University: ‘Let no one unversed in geometry enter here’. Plato’s academy flourished until 529 when it was forcibly closed down. However, the university survived for 900 years and becomes the longest surviving university known.

On the other hand, we cannot resist that modern science is influenced by Isaac Newton. One of his books, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica is considered as the most influential book in the history of science. This book lays the foundations of classical mechanics, describes the law of gravity and the three laws of motion that dominate the view of science about the universe for three centuries. Newton succeeded in showing that the motion of objects on Earth and other space objects is governed by some natural laws, that some people claimed it as Theos (God). He succeeded in proving the theory by drawing a new conclusion from Kepler’s law and his theory of gravity. Thanks to that theory, scientists were no longer confused about heliocentric and it also trigger the science revolution. Newton’s biggest contribution in mathematics is the discovery of integral calculus which becomes the base of modern science.

If we look at the definition of science, then Plato will be more influential because he is the one that teaches us to think intellectually and systematically. He is the first person that gives us an idea about how to make a theory, starting from observing our surroundings, making hypotheses, doing experiments and finally draw a conclusion. Without knowing this way of thinking, our world may not be as good as now because no one can prove anything without Plato’s mindset.

Nevertheless, Newton was still a genius who was very influential in science. He is able to observe things that most humans do not care. The story of how he discovered the theory of gravity after he saw a falling apple can be a shred of strong evidence that Newton was indeed a genius. Even so, he admitted that without another scientist who had discovered theories before him, he would not be able to found those theories. If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulder of giants, this saying proves that he was not arrogant and humble. It is not a coincidence that Newton’s books teach us how to be humble.

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A Philosopher Who Is More Influential in Science Than Scientists
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Many of us considered Plato as a philosopher more than a scientist because his theories are mostly about how should we behave and a new perspective to see this world. Newton, by contrast, gives us various theories that we can use to solve scientific problems. Nevertheless, I disagree if you said that Plato does not have any influence on science. In fact, his influence is greater than Newton. First of all, what is science? According to the Oxford dictionary, science is an intellectual and prac
2021-12-24 06:06:40
A Philosopher Who Is More Influential in Science Than Scientists
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