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Alchemy as studies of life and matter: reconsidering the place of vitalism in early modern chemistry.
Isis. 2011 Jun; 102(2):322-9.ISIS

Abstract

Early modern alchemy studied both matter and life, much like today's life sciences. What material life is and how it comes about intrigued alchemists. Many found the answer by assuming a vital principle that served as the source and cause of life. Recent literature has presented important cases in which vitalist formulations incorporated corpuscular or mechanical elements that were characteristic of the New Science and other cases in which vitalist thinking influenced important figures of the Scientific Revolution. Not merely speculative, vitalist ideas also motivated chymical practice. The unity of life science and material science that is found in many formulations of Renaissance alchemy disintegrated in Georg Ernst Stahl's version of post-Cartesian vitalism.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, 130 Academia Road, Section 2, Nankang District, Taipei City, 11529, Taiwan. kchang@sinica.edu.te

Pub Type(s)

Historical Article
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21874692

Citation

Chang, Ku-ming. "Alchemy as Studies of Life and Matter: Reconsidering the Place of Vitalism in Early Modern Chemistry." Isis; an International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, vol. 102, no. 2, 2011, pp. 322-9.
Chang KM. Alchemy as studies of life and matter: reconsidering the place of vitalism in early modern chemistry. Isis. 2011;102(2):322-9.
Chang, K. M. (2011). Alchemy as studies of life and matter: reconsidering the place of vitalism in early modern chemistry. Isis; an International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, 102(2), 322-9.
Chang KM. Alchemy as Studies of Life and Matter: Reconsidering the Place of Vitalism in Early Modern Chemistry. Isis. 2011;102(2):322-9. PubMed PMID: 21874692.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Alchemy as studies of life and matter: reconsidering the place of vitalism in early modern chemistry. A1 - Chang,Ku-ming, PY - 2011/8/31/entrez PY - 2011/8/31/pubmed PY - 2011/10/1/medline SP - 322 EP - 9 JF - Isis; an international review devoted to the history of science and its cultural influences JO - Isis VL - 102 IS - 2 N2 - Early modern alchemy studied both matter and life, much like today's life sciences. What material life is and how it comes about intrigued alchemists. Many found the answer by assuming a vital principle that served as the source and cause of life. Recent literature has presented important cases in which vitalist formulations incorporated corpuscular or mechanical elements that were characteristic of the New Science and other cases in which vitalist thinking influenced important figures of the Scientific Revolution. Not merely speculative, vitalist ideas also motivated chymical practice. The unity of life science and material science that is found in many formulations of Renaissance alchemy disintegrated in Georg Ernst Stahl's version of post-Cartesian vitalism. SN - 0021-1753 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21874692/Alchemy_as_studies_of_life_and_matter:_reconsidering_the_place_of_vitalism_in_early_modern_chemistry_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -