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Alchemy Tried in the Fire : Starkey, Boyle and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry download ebook

Alchemy Tried in the Fire : Starkey, Boyle and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry download ebook

Alchemy Tried in the Fire : Starkey, Boyle and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry. Lawrence M. Principe

Alchemy Tried in the Fire : Starkey, Boyle and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry
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Author: Lawrence M. Principe
Page Count: 296 pages
Published Date: 30 Dec 2002
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publication Country: Chicago, IL, United States
Language: English
Type: eBook
ISBN: 9780226577111
File size: 39 Mb
File Name: alchemy.tried.in.the.fire.starkey,.boyle.and.the.fate.of.helmontian.chymistry.pdf
Download Link: alchemy tried in the fire starkey, boyle and the fate of helmontian chymistry
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What actually took place in the private laboratory of a mid-17th-century alchemist? How did he direct his quest for the secrets of Nature? What instruments and theoretical principles did he employ? Using as their guide the previously misunderstood interactions between Robert Boyle, widely known as "the father of chemistry", and George Starkey, an alchemist and the most prominent American scientist before Benjamin Franklin, William Newman and Lawrence Principe reveal the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a famous alchemist and argue that many of the principles and practices characteristic of modern chemistry derive from alchemy. By analyzing Starkey's extraordinary laboratory notebooks, the authors show how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of traditional alchemy into quantitative, carefully reasoned laboratory practice - and then encoded his own work in allegorical, secretive treatises under the name of Eirebaeus Philalethes. The intriguing "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont - a favourite of Starkey, Boyle and even of Lavoisier - emerges from this study as a surprisingly central figure in 17th-century "chymistry". A common emphasis on quantification, material production and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of goals and practices from late mediaevel alchemy down to and beyond the Chemical Revolution. For anyone who wants to understand how alchemy was actually practiced during the Scientific Revolution and what it contributed to the development of modern chemistry, "Alchemy Tried in the Fire" should be a veritable philosopher's stone.

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