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In: Early Modern Color Worlds
In: Early Modern Color Worlds
In: Reading Newton in Early Modern Europe
In: Reading Newton in Early Modern Europe
Natural Philosophy, Medicine, and Chymistry in England, 1650-1750
Author:
Consisting of a series of case studies, this book is devoted to the concept and uses of salt in early modern science, which have played a crucial role in the evolution of matter theory from Aristotelian concepts of the elements to Newtonian chymistry. No reliable study on this subject has been previously available. Its exploration of natural history’s and medicine’s intersection with chemical investigation in early modern England demonstrates the growing importance of the senses and experience as causes of intellectual change from 1650-1750. It demonstrates that an understanding of the changing definitions of “salt” is also crucial to a historical comprehension of the transition between alchemy and chemistry.
Author:

Before Newton’s seminal work on the spectrum, seventeenth-century English natural philosophers such as Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Nehemiah Grew and Robert Plot attributed the phenomenon of color in the natural world to salts and saline chymistry. They rejected Aristotelian ideas that color was related to the object’s hot and cold qualities, positing instead that saline principles governed color and color changes in flora, fauna and minerals. In our study, we also characterize to what extent chymistry was a basic analytical tool for seventeenth-century English natural historians.


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In: Early Science and Medicine
In: Archival Afterlives