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Age of Enlightenment

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the project of modernity, as had been promoted by Bacon and Descartes, led to rapid scientific advance and the successful development of a new type of natural science, mathematical, methodically experimental, and deliberately innovative. Newton and Leibniz succeeded in developing a new physics, now referred to as Newtonian physics, which could be confirmed by experiment and explained in mathematics. Leibniz also incorporated terms from Aristotelian physics, but now being used in a new non-teleological way, for example "energy" and "potential". But in the style of Bacon, he assumed that different types of things all work according to the same general laws of nature, with no special formal or final causes for each type of thing.

It is, during this period that the word "science" gradually became more commonly used to refer to the pursuit of a type of knowledge, and especially knowledge of nature — coming close in meaning to the old term "natural philosophy".

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