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Atoms and Alchemy – Chymistry and the Experimental Origins of the Scientific Revolution - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Atoms and Alchemy: Chymistry and the Experimental Origins of the Scientific Revolution

William R. Newman


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 this book 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, the book 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 t ... More

Keywords: enlightenment, alchemy, antiscience, rational chemistry, scientific revolution, Robert Boyle, mechanization, Geber, Daniel Sennert, atomic elements

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780226576961
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226577036.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William R. Newman, author