By William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe
What truly happened within the inner most laboratory of a mid-seventeenth century alchemist? How did he direct his quest after the secrets and techniques of Nature? What tools and theoretical rules did he employ?
Using, as their consultant, the formerly misunderstood interactions among Robert Boyle, widely recognized as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the main favorite American medical author ahead of Benjamin Franklin as their advisor, Newman and Principe display the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a well-known alchemist and argue that a few of the rules and practices attribute of recent chemistry derive from alchemy. by way of studying Starkey's impressive laboratory notebooks, the authors convey how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of conventional alchemy into quantitative, conscientiously reasoned laboratory practice—and then encoded his personal paintings in allegorical, secretive treatises below the identify of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The fascinating "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this examine as a shockingly important determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a typical emphasis on quantification, fabric construction, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of ambitions and practices from past due medieval alchemy all the way down to and past the Chemical Revolution.
For someone who desires to know how alchemy used to be truly practiced in the course of the medical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of recent chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire could be a veritable philosopher's stone.
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