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The Limits of Matter – Chemistry, Mining, and Enlightenment - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Limits of Matter: Chemistry, Mining, and Enlightenment

Hjalmar Fors


This is a book about how the modern notion of materiality was established during the period c. 1680-1760. It studies what natural philosophers engaged in chemistry and mineralogy said about phenomena such as witchcraft, trolls and subtle matters, and relates this discourse to their innovations in matter theory. In this way it takes the debate about Enlightenment, which has mostly been confined to fields such as the history of philosophy, theology and physics, into a new arena. It shows how alchemists, chemists, mineralogists, assayers and mining officials contributed to enlightenment discourse ... More

Keywords: enlightenment, boundary work, matter, circulation of knowledge, chemical elements, history of science, history of chemistry, history of mining

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780226194998
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226195049.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hjalmar Fors, author
Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University, Sweden