La chimie du XVIIe siècle : une question de principes.

Abstract : The last decades of 17th century represent a decisive period for the history of Chemistry which switched from institutional recognition to dispute of its theoretical basis, to seem finally, during the very first years of the next century, the only part of Physics being able to claim reaching the "unquestionable truth". What did happen then is nothing less than the redefinition of principles of Chemistry, i.e. its basis of truths on which is based this science. This period is in fact the last stage of evolution of the relationship between the two dimensions -theoretical and practical- in which Chemistry spreads: by the development of the use of principles known as second, the whole of the chemical principles were involved towards an empirical realism, resulting in removing from Chemistry any theoretical coherence. So the appearance of mechanism -even Boyle's corpuscular philosophy- can not be actually pointed out as the reason that the upheaval Chemistry knew; and not anymore of its regeneration at the very beginning of 18th century. The consciousness of Chemistry's theoretical weakness will become a promise of theoretical strength, on the basis of what does represent its force: the experiment. After losing his certainty, the chemist becomes a scientist to be re-educated. A chemist such Samuel Cottereau Du Clos illustrates perfectly the change of a chemical science defined like knowledge of the principles to a Chemistry as science of only probable truths.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 4:42:37 PM
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Rémi Franckowiak. La chimie du XVIIe siècle : une question de principes.. Methodos : savoirs et textes, Savoirs textes langage - UMR 8163, 2008, 8, Revue en ligne (http://methodos.revues.org/1823). 〈10.4000/methodos.1823〉. 〈halshs-00594084〉

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