Affinity, That Elusive Dream: A Genealogy of the Chemical by Kim M.G. PDF

By Kim M.G.

ISBN-10: 0262112736

ISBN-13: 9780262112734

Within the eighteenth century, chemistry used to be reworked from an artwork to a public technological know-how. Chemical affinity performed a huge function during this approach as a metaphor, a concept area, and a subject matter of research. Goethe's non-compulsory Affinities, which used to be in accordance with the present figuring out of chemical affinities, attests to chemistry's presence within the public mind's eye. In Affinity, That Elusive Dream, Mi Gyung Kim restores chemical affinity to its right position in historiography and in Enlightenment public tradition. The Chemical Revolution is generally linked to Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, who brought a latest nomenclature and a definitive textual content. Kim argues that chemical affinity used to be erased from old reminiscence through Lavoisier's omission of it from his textbook. She examines the paintings of many much less recognized French chemists (including physicians, apothecaries, metallurgists, philosophical chemists, and business chemists) to discover the institutional context of chemical guide and study, the social stratification that formed theoretical discourse, and the an important shifts in analytic equipment. Apothecaries and metallurgists, she indicates, formed the most idea domain names via their cutting edge method of research. Academicians and philosophical chemists caused transformative theoretical moments via their efforts to create a rational discourse of chemistry in music with the reigning ordinary philosophy. the subjects mentioned comprise the corpuscular (Cartesian) version in French chemistry within the early 1700s, the stabilization of the idea domain names of composition and affinity, the reconstruction of French theoretical discourse in the course of the eighteenth century, the Newtonian languages that plagued the area of affinity previous to the Chemical Revolution, Guyton de Morveau's software of affinity chemistry, Lavoisier's reconstruction of the speculation domain names of chemistry, and Berthollet's direction as an affinity chemist.

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Sample text

49 Etienne de Clave later produced a more systematic treatise in which he pointed out the shortcomings of the Paracelsian and Aristotelian philosophies on analytic grounds. He argued that a natural or physical principle had to be a simple and homogeneous body and therefore could not be compounded. Ideally, the “elements of nature” should be discovered through “the resolution of mixts into their principles,” which the Aristotelian theory did not prescribe. Furthermore, such resolution had to be “an exact & exquisite purification & the last or final reduction of The Space of Chemical Theory 29 diverse substances .

Just as the traditional apothecaries fussed over the proportion of medicinal “simples” in making an effective “composition,” French iatrochemists sought to elucidate the composition of chemical remedies to vindicate their efficacy. Throughout the seventeenth century, they claimed that their theoretical knowledge of composition would help them prepare better medicaments than the “vulgar” pharmacists. According to Jean Béguin, chemistry aimed at preparing medicaments more agreeable to the taste, more salubrious to the body, and less dangerous in their operation.

In addition to configuring the cognitive and social space of chemical theory in the seventeenth century, therefore, this chapter points to the genealogy of the definitions of elements and principles running down to Boyle and Lavoisier through the medium of French didactic discourse. This continuity in didactic tradition ensured the survival of the “principalist” approach to chemical composition—that the principles contained in bodies determined their properties—well into the nineteenth century. The didactic discourse functioned as a center of intergenerational communication and collective memory.

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Affinity, That Elusive Dream: A Genealogy of the Chemical Revolution by Kim M.G.


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