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Other titles in the New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine series:
Distilling Knowledge : Alchemy, Chemistry, and the Scientific Revolution (05 Edition)by Bruce T. Moran
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
In The Secrets of Alchemy, Lawrence M. Principe, one of the worldandrsquo;s leading authorities on the subject, brings alchemy out of the shadows and restores it to its important place in human history and culture. By surveying what alchemy was and how it began, developed, and overlapped with a range of ideas and pursuits, Principe illuminates the practice. He vividly depicts the place of alchemy during its heyday in early modern Europe, and then explores how alchemy has fit into wider views of the cosmos and humanity, touching on its enduring place in literature, fine art, theater, and religion as well as its recent acceptance as a serious subject of study for historians of science. In addition, he introduces the reader to some of the most fascinating alchemists, such as Zosimos and Basil Valentine, whose lives dot alchemyandrsquo;s long reign from the third century and to the present day. Through his exploration of alchemists and their times, Principe pieces together closely guarded clues from obscure and fragmented texts to reveal alchemyandrsquo;s secrets, andandmdash;most exciting for budding alchemistsandmdash;uses them to recreate many of the most famous recipes in his lab, including those for the andldquo;glass of antimonyandrdquo; and andldquo;philosophersandrsquo; tree.andrdquo; This unique approach brings the reader closer to the actual work of alchemy than any other book.
This book suggests that scientific revolution may wear a different appearance in different cultural contexts. The metaphor of the Scientific Revolution, Moran argues, can be expanded to make sense of alchemy and other so-called pseudo-sciences--by including a new framework in which "process can count as an object, in which making leads to learning, and in which the messiness of conflict leads to discernment." Seen on its own terms, alchemy can stand within the bounds of demonstrative science.
Alchemy can't be science--common sense tells us as much. But perhaps common sense is not the best measure of what science is, or was. In this book, Bruce Moran looks past contemporary assumptions and prejudices to determine what alchemists were actually doing in the context of early modern science. Examining the ways alchemy and chemistry were studied and practiced between 1400 and 1700, he shows how these approaches influenced their respective practitioners' ideas about nature and shaped their inquiries into the workings of the natural world. His work sets up a dialogue between what historians have usually presented as separate spheres; here we see how alchemists and early chemists exchanged ideas and methods and in fact shared a territory between their two disciplines.
Distilling Knowledge suggests that scientific revolution may wear a different appearance in different cultural contexts. The metaphor of the Scientific Revolution, Moran argues, can be expanded to make sense of alchemy and other so-called pseudo-sciences--by including a new framework in which "process can count as an object, in which making leads to learning, and in which the messiness of conflict leads to discernment." Seen on its own terms, alchemy can stand within the bounds of demonstrative science.
About the Author
Bruce T. Moran is Professor of History, University of Nevada at Reno.
University of Nevada at Reno
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Is Alchemy?
1and#160;and#160; Origins: Greco-Egyptian Chemeia
2and#160;and#160; Development: Arabic al-Kand#299;miyand#257;and#8217;
3and#160;and#160; Maturity: Medieval Latin Alchemia
4and#160;and#160; Redefinitions, Revivals, and Reinterpretations: Alchemy from the Eighteenth Century to the Present
5and#160;and#160; The Golden
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