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Atoms And Alchemy

Author: William R. Newman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226576973
Size: 19.33 MB
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Since the Enlightenment, alchemy has been viewed as a sort of antiscience, disparaged by many historians as a form of lunacy that impeded the development of rational chemistry. But in Atoms and Alchemy, William R. Newman—a historian widely credited for reviving recent interest in alchemy—exposes the speciousness of these views and challenges widely held beliefs about the origins of the Scientific Revolution. Tracing the alchemical roots of Robert Boyle’s famous mechanical philosophy, Newman shows that alchemy contributed to the mechanization of nature, a movement that lay at the very heart of scientific discovery. Boyle and his predecessors—figures like the mysterious medieval Geber or the Lutheran professor Daniel Sennert—provided convincing experimental proof that matter is made up of enduring particles at the microlevel. At the same time, Newman argues that alchemists created the operational criterion of an “atomic” element as the last point of analysis, thereby contributing a key feature to the development of later chemistry. Atomsand Alchemy thus provokes a refreshing debate about the origins of modern science and will be welcomed—and deliberated—by all who are interested in the development of scientific theory and practice.

Scientific Revolution Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide

Author: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199809240
Size: 51.79 MB
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This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of Islamic studies find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Renaissance and Reformation, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study of European history and culture between the 14th and 17th centuries. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.oxfordbibliographies.com.

The Routledge Companion To Literature And Science

Author: Bruce Clarke
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136950435
Size: 25.95 MB
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With forty-four newly commissioned articles from an international cast of leading scholars, The Routledge Companion to Literature and Science traces the network of connections among literature, science, technology, mathematics, and medicine. Divided into three main sections, this volume: links diverse literatures to scientific disciplines from Artificial Intelligence to Thermodynamics surveys current theoretical and disciplinary approaches from Animal Studies to Semiotics traces the history and culture of literature and science from Greece and Rome to Postmodernism. Ranging from classical origins and modern revolutions to current developments in cultural science studies and the posthumanities, this indispensible volume offers a comprehensive resource for undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers. With authoritative, accessible, and succinct treatments of the sciences in their literary dimensions and cultural frameworks, here is the essential guide to this vibrant area of study.

Distilling Knowledge

Author: Bruce T. MORAN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674041224
Size: 13.86 MB
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Alchemy can't be science--common sense tells us as much. But perhaps common sense is not the best measure of what science is, or was. In this book, Bruce Moran looks past contemporary assumptions and prejudices to determine what alchemists were actually doing in the context of early modern science. Examining the ways alchemy and chemistry were studied and practiced between 1400 and 1700, he shows how these approaches influenced their respective practitioners' ideas about nature and shaped their inquiries into the workings of the natural world. His work sets up a dialogue between what historians have usually presented as separate spheres; here we see how alchemists and early chemists exchanged ideas and methods and in fact shared a territory between their two disciplines. "Distilling Knowledge" suggests that scientific revolution may wear a different appearance in different cultural contexts. The metaphor of the Scientific Revolution, Moran argues, can be expanded to make sense of alchemy and other so-called pseudo-sciences--by including a new framework in which "process can count as an object, in which making leads to learning, and in which the messiness of conflict leads to discernment." Seen on its own terms, alchemy can stand within the bounds of demonstrative science.

Alchemy And Authority In The Holy Roman Empire

Author: Tara Nummedal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226608573
Size: 55.22 MB
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What distinguished the true alchemist from the fraud? This question animated the lives and labors of the common men—and occasionally women—who made a living as alchemists in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Holy Roman Empire. As purveyors of practical techniques, inventions, and cures, these entrepreneurs were prized by princely patrons, who relied upon alchemists to bolster their political fortunes. At the same time, satirists, artists, and other commentators used the figure of the alchemist as a symbol for Europe’s social and economic ills. Drawing on criminal trial records, contracts, laboratory inventories, satires, and vernacular alchemical treatises, Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire situates the everyday alchemists, largely invisible to modern scholars until now, at the center of the development of early modern science and commerce. Reconstructing the workaday world of entrepreneurial alchemists, Tara Nummedal shows how allegations of fraud shaped their practices and prospects. These debates not only reveal enormously diverse understandings of what the “real” alchemy was and who could practice it; they also connect a set of little-known practitioners to the largest questions about commerce, trust, and intellectual authority in early modern Europe.

Early Modern Medicine And Natural Philosophy

Author: Peter Distelzweig
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 940177353X
Size: 74.67 MB
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This volume presents an innovative look at early modern medicine and natural philosophy as historically interrelated developments. The individual chapters chart this interrelation in a variety of contexts, from the Humanists who drew on Hippocrates, Galen, and Aristotle to answer philosophical and medical questions, to medical debates on the limits and power of mechanism, and on to eighteenth-century controversies over medical materialism and 'atheism.' The work presented here broadens our understanding of both philosophy and medicine in this period by illustrating the ways these disciplines were in deep theoretical and methodological dialogue and by demonstrating the importance of this dialogue for understanding their history. Taken together, these papers argue that to overlook the medical context of natural philosophy and the philosophical context of medicine is to overlook fundamentally important aspects of these intellectual endeavors.

Matter And Method In The Long Chemical Revolution

Author: Victor D. Boantza
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317099346
Size: 42.87 MB
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The seventeenth-century scientific revolution and the eighteenth-century chemical revolution are rarely considered together, either in general histories of science or in more specific surveys of early modern science or chemistry. This tendency arises from the long-held view that the rise of modern physics and the emergence of modern chemistry comprise two distinct and unconnected episodes in the history of science. Although chemistry was deeply transformed during and between both revolutions, the scientific revolution is traditionally associated with the physical and mathematical sciences whereas modern chemistry is seen as the exclusive product of the chemical revolution. This historiographical tension, between similarity in ’form’ and disparity in historical ’content’ of the two events, has tainted the way we understand the rise of modern chemistry as an integral part of the advent of modern science. Against this background, Matter and Method in the Long Chemical Revolution examines the role of and effects on chemistry of both revolutions in parallel, using chemistry during the chemical revolution to illuminate chemistry during the scientific revolution, and vice versa. Focusing on the crises and conflicts of early modern chemistry (and their retrospectively labeled ’losing’ parties), the author traces patterns of continuity in matter theory and experimental method from Boyle to Lavoisier, and reevaluates the disciplinary relationships between chemists, mechanists, and Newtonians in France, England, and Scotland. Adopting a unique approach to the study of the scientific and chemical revolutions, and to early modern chemical thought and practice in particular, the author challenges the standard revolution-centered history of early modern science, and reinterprets the rise of chemistry as an independent discipline in the long eighteenth century.

Solomon S Secret Arts

Author: Paul Kleber Monod
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300123582
Size: 41.21 MB
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DIVDIVThis illuminating book reveals the surprising extent to which great and lesser knownthinkers of the Age of Enlightenment embraced the spiritual, the magical, and the occult./div/div

The Invention Of Discovery 1500 1700

Author: Dr James Dougal Fleming
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1409478688
Size: 68.83 MB
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The early modern period used to be known as the Age of Discovery. More recently, it has been troped as an age of invention. But was the invention/discovery binary itself invented, or discovered? This volume investigates the possibility that it was invented, through a range of early modern knowledge practices, centered on the emergence of modern natural science. From Bacon to Galileo, from stagecraft to math, from martyrology to romance, contributors to this interdisciplinary collection examine the period's generation of discovery as an absolute and ostensibly neutral standard of knowledge-production. They further investigate the hermeneutic implications for the epistemological authority that tends, in modernity, still to be based on that standard. The Invention of Discovery, 1500–1700 is a set of attempts to think back behind discovery, considered as a decisive trope for modern knowledge.

Promethean Ambitions

Author: William R. Newman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226575241
Size: 56.44 MB
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In an age when the nature of reality is complicated daily by advances in bioengineering, cloning, and artificial intelligence, it is easy to forget that the ever-evolving boundary between nature and technology has long been a source of ethical and scientific concern: modern anxieties about the possibility of artificial life and the dangers of tinkering with nature more generally were shared by opponents of alchemy long before genetic science delivered us a cloned sheep named Dolly. In Promethean Ambitions, William R. Newman ambitiously uses alchemy to investigate the thinning boundary between the natural and the artificial. Focusing primarily on the period between 1200 and 1700, Newman examines the labors of pioneering alchemists and the impassioned—and often negative—responses to their efforts. By the thirteenth century, Newman argues, alchemy had become a benchmark for determining the abilities of both men and demons, representing the epitome of creative power in the natural world. Newman frames the art-nature debate by contrasting the supposed transmutational power of alchemy with the merely representational abilities of the pictorial and plastic arts—a dispute which found artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Bernard Palissy attacking alchemy as an irreligious fraud. The later assertion by the Paracelsian school that one could make an artificial human being—the homunculus—led to further disparagement of alchemy, but as Newman shows, the immense power over nature promised by the field contributed directly to the technological apologetics of Francis Bacon and his followers. By the mid-seventeenth century, the famous "father of modern chemistry," Robert Boyle, was employing the arguments of medieval alchemists to support the identity of naturally occurring substances with those manufactured by "chymical" means. In using history to highlight the art-nature debate, Newman here shows that alchemy was not an unformed and capricious precursor to chemistry; it was an art founded on coherent philosophical and empirical principles, with vocal supporters and even louder critics, that attracted individuals of first-rate intellect. The historical relationship that Newman charts between human creation and nature has innumerable implications today, and he ably links contemporary issues to alchemical debates on the natural versus the artificial.