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. Newmanaa historian widely credited for reviving recent interest in alchemyaexposes the speciousness of these views and challenges widely held beliefs about the origins of the Scientific Revolution. Tracing the alchemical roots of Robert Boyleas 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 predecessorsafigures like the mysterious medieval Geber or the Lutheran professor Daniel Sennertaprovided 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 aatomica 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 welcomedaand deliberatedaby all who are interested in the development of scientific theory and practice.corruptione and serving perhaps as a prolegomenon to Aristotlea#39;s biological works.6 As we have pointed out, the ... the chrysopoetic content of seventeenth- century chymical books and pluck out the elements that seem appealing from the perspective of modern chemistry. ... Chemistry: The Etymological Origins of a Historiographic Mistake, a in Early Science and Medicine 3 (1998): 32a65, especially pp.
|Title||:||Atoms and Alchemy|
|Author||:||William R. Newman|
|Publisher||:||University of Chicago Press - 2006-05-15|