What were the principal scientific and philosophical movements of the baroque period?

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When we talk about the baroque period, which lasted from about 1600-1750, we are talking about a period that introduced ornate and lavish architecture and interior design, as well as emotionally expressive painting and sculpture. The works of Italian artists, such as Bernini and Caravaggio, provide the best-known examples of the baroque.

The intellectual movements that coincided with this and to which you are referring are the Scientific Revolution and the early stages of the Enlightenment. The Scientific Revolution was nearing its end in the early 1600s, when baroque becomes a predominant art form. In 1609, the German mathematician Johannes Kepler made the important discovery that the planets move in an elliptical orbit.

The discoveries of the Scientific Revolution disproved the Catholic Church's geocentric theory—that is, that the sun revolves around the Earth. Its discoveries in anatomy helped to continue an appreciation for humanity that began to develop two centuries earlier during the Renaissance.

The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, began around 1715, when the art world was still in the midst of the baroque. Empiricism, or the development of learning through experimentation and direct experience, also developed out of the experiments which were conducted during the Scientific Revolution. Perhaps the best example of this is Isaac Newton's work to prove gravity. The Enlightenment also introduced Skepticism into philosophical thought to attack traditional themes in science, metaphysics, and religion. This Skepticism also found its way into some of the fiction written during the Enlightenment, particularly the work of Voltaire.

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