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Paul Chaveriat The great scientific tragedy Aristotle Aristotle is often attributed with being the first real contributor to the coming of the scientific revolution However Aristotle and in specific his lack of real experimentation was actually a direct hindrance of scientific development from 300 BCE until at least 1500 AD Aristotles fundamental belief was that everything could be explained through observation of the world around us One might say that this is a step in the right direction as one main part of experimentation is indeed observation When viewed in contrast to Plato Aristotle seems to be even more of a help rather than a hindrance Many believe that Platos arguments against observation would have been even more detrimental to science however Plato merely believed that observation was not to be relied on as our senses are not to be trusted This is shown through the example of two objects of equal size object A and object B If object A was five hundred meters away and object B was only five meters away object B would appear to be larger than object A Therefore Aristotles insistence on observation is not entirely beneficial Another fallacy of Aristotles idea of observation was that observation was only to be carried out in the world around us as it is This brings to hand the topic of Aristotles distinct lack of real experimentation There are those who say Aristotle should be attributed with the idea of the experiment and that he was the first person to design any experiments This is true but what they may fail to mention is that he also never actually carried out any of his experiments and that he even taught that there is no need to An almost remarkable example of this is an experiment in inertia that could have brought physics right into the seventeenth century Aristotle described an experiment in which one would drop a mass
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