Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler, and Galileo made significant contributions to human understanding of the universe. They revolutionized the scientific field of their time by their findings which were primarily concerned with the movement of the sun, planets, and other heavenly bodies. Namely, the common point in their ideas is that the Earth orbits the Sun, which signified that the human realm is not the major one in the solar system, with the Sun being its center (Leahey, 2017). This new knowledge was groundbreaking, “no longer could humans pride themselves on living at the center of the universe and being those around whom everything else revolved” (Leahey, 2017). This view was somewhat contrasting with the Church’s perspective on the world, which supposed that humans were created as the selected species. Thus, the Church was afraid that its doctrine might become irrelevant and rejected.
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Descartes was another philosopher of the age when new ideas penetrated medieval society with its limited understanding of mental functions. One of his concepts was something that we call instincts nowadays: the thinker proposed that animals were driven by a mechanical force, and their actions were thus predetermined (Leahey, 2017). This view supposed that not physiology was the primary apparatus for life but mental functions that were built in the minds in the case of non-humans.
The second idea was that of consciousness and its domination over the other spheres of human experiences. According to Descartes, consciousness preceded being and defined a person as an existent individual (Leahey, 2017). Thus, the philosopher discovered a new area of the human mind that was not discussed much before and which laid the foundations for all past and modern psychology.
Leahey, T. H. (2017). A history of psychology. Taylor & Francis.