Second Exercise: Revolutions in Science and Political Theory
History 104 / for February 8, 2013

Please see the General Guidelines for overall instructions on how to prepare this assignment. Address both questions outlined below.

This exercise asks you to refer to Brophy document readings from weeks three to five of the course. Specific texts from the Brophy reader are recommended for each question. It is not necessary for you to read every portion of each document; skim to find relevant passages. However, in formulating your responses, be careful not to take quotes out of context. Your arguments will be much stronger if you take the time to understand the distinct perspective of each author.

1. What grounds do various authors of the "scientific revolution" provide for going beyond the authority of the Bible and the ancient Greeks and Romans? What sources of authority do Copernicus, Galileo, Francis Bacon, and Descartes consider to be more relevant in pursuit of scientific or philosophical understanding? (pp. 183-199, 203-7)

2. Where does true liberty or freedom come from, and what steps must be taken to secure that liberty? Consider how John Locke (pp. 148-58), the Baron de Montesquieu (pp. 232-38), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (pp. 244-53) address this question in their writings. Which of these three strikes you as most pessimistic about the nature of human society, and why?