A propos d'une prétendue distinction entre la chimie et l'alchimie au XVIIe siècle : Questions d'histoire et de méthode

Abstract : Modern chemistry was not the result of a break with the alchemical tradition, but the continuation of a « chemical philosophy » coming from Paracelsian ideas, which still influenced the works of chemists at the Académie royale des sciences in the early 18th century. A quarrel between Louis Lémery and Étienne-François Geoffroy concerning the artificial fabrication of iron shows that Geoffroy's arguments against Lémery's mechanical conceptions come from alchemical works about metallic dye and metallic principles of the transmutation process. The attack against the alchemist's tricks by Geoffroy is directed at charlatans, but not at ancient chemists : their works provide the matter for the famous affinity table, which is a pillar of 18th century chemistry.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 9:45:18 AM
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Bernard Joly. A propos d'une prétendue distinction entre la chimie et l'alchimie au XVIIe siècle : Questions d'histoire et de méthode. Revue d'Histoire des Sciences, Armand Colin 2007, 60-1 (janvier-juin), p. 167-183. ⟨10.3917/rhs.601.0167⟩. ⟨halshs-00181484⟩

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