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The Age of Exploration began in Europe in the middle of the fifteenth century and it was not long after that a Scientific Revolution also began to take place. Part of the reason for this was practical: as men left Europe in search of new trade routes and new lands to conquer, they faced many challenges in navigating the oceans and reaching these far-away destinations. It was these challenges which led to new advances in astronomy, mathematics and science.
Coming face-to-face with new cultures and make new discoveries also led the explorers to rethink and reconsider many of their existing ideas about the world. Empiricism, for instance, is a defining principle of the Scientific Revolution. This notion, that experience is the only true source of knowledge, was borne out of the exploration of the late medieval period and the new experiences which it created.
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