Affinity, That Elusive Dream: A Genealogy of the Chemical by Kim M.G.

By Kim M.G.

Within the eighteenth century, chemistry used to be reworked from an paintings to a public technology. Chemical affinity performed a tremendous function during this approach as a metaphor, a concept area, and a topic of research. Goethe's non-obligatory Affinities, which used to be in accordance with the present knowing of chemical affinities, attests to chemistry's presence within the public mind's eye. In Affinity, That Elusive Dream, Mi Gyung Kim restores chemical affinity to its right position in historiography and in Enlightenment public tradition. The Chemical Revolution is generally linked to Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, who brought a contemporary nomenclature and a definitive textual content. Kim argues that chemical affinity was once erased from ancient reminiscence by way of Lavoisier's omission of it from his textbook. She examines the paintings of many much less recognized French chemists (including physicians, apothecaries, metallurgists, philosophical chemists, and business chemists) to discover the institutional context of chemical guideline and learn, the social stratification that formed theoretical discourse, and the the most important shifts in analytic equipment. Apothecaries and metallurgists, she exhibits, formed the most idea domain names via their leading edge method of research. Academicians and philosophical chemists caused transformative theoretical moments via their efforts to create a rational discourse of chemistry in track with the reigning common philosophy. the themes mentioned contain the corpuscular (Cartesian) version in French chemistry within the early 1700s, the stabilization of the idea domain names of composition and affinity, the reconstruction of French theoretical discourse in the course of the eighteenth century, the Newtonian languages that plagued the area of affinity ahead of the Chemical Revolution, Guyton de Morveau's application of affinity chemistry, Lavoisier's reconstruction of the idea domain names of chemistry, and Berthollet's direction as an affinity chemist.

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60 Lefebvre’s text is full of meandering thoughts and does not fit the mold Béguin provided. ” The “universal spirit” had a threefold denomination of sulphur, mercury and salt. It entered the composition of mixts only in these “specificated or embodyed” forms of sulphur, mercury, and salt, imparting specific properties. ”61 “Let us then conclude,” wrote Lefebvre, “that this radical and fundamental substance of all things, is truly and really one in its essence, but hath a threefold denomination; for in respect of its natural heat and fire, it is called Sulphur; in respect of its moysture, which is the food and aliment of this fire, Mercury; and finally, in respect of the radical drought, which is, as it were, the knot and cement of the fire and moysture, it is called Salt.

35 Chemists knew “how to separate heterogeneous or dissimilar bodies, and to join the homogeneous or similar ones” by virtue of fire. ”36 In other words, the discourse of elements and principles served the rhetorical function of asserting chemists’ superiority over common apothecaries. In his polemical work De priscorum philosophorum(1603), Du Chesne recounted a similar The Space of Chemical Theory 25 story of Genesis, but further speculated on the relationship between the four elements and the spagyric principles.

Two positions of demonstrator were soon transformed, however, into lectureships in chemistry and anatomy. 25 He was succeeded in 1651 by Nicaise Lefebvre (ca. 1610–1669), son of 22 Chapter 1 a Protestant apothecary in the Huguenot center of Sedan. 26 When Lefebvre left for England with Charles II in 1660, the position fell to Christophe Glaser (1615–1678), an apothecary from Basel. 27 Moyse Charas (1619–1698) occupied the position briefly before Guy-Crescent Fagon was appointed as the intendant.

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