International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées

Elements, Principles and Corpuscles

A Study of Atomism and Chemistry in the Seventeenth Century

Authors: Clericuzio, Antonio

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About this book

In Elements, Principles and Particles, Antonio Clericuzio explores the relationships between chemistry and corpuscular philosophy in the age of the Scientific Revolution. Science historians have regarded chemistry and corpuscular philosophy as two distinct traditions. Clericuzio's view is that since the beginning of the 17th century atomism and chemistry were strictly connected. This is attested by Daniel Sennert and by many hitherto little-known French and English natural philosophers. They often combined a corpuscular theory of matter with Paracelsian chemical (and medical) doctrines. Boyle plays a central part in the present book: Clericuzio redefines Boyle's chemical views, by showing that Boyle did not subordinate chemistry to the principles of mechanical philosophy. When Boyle explained chemical phenomena, he had recourse to corpuscles endowed with chemical, not mechanical, properties. The combination of chemistry and corpuscular philosophy was adopted by a number of chemists active in the last decades of the 17th century, both in England and on the Continent.
Using a large number of primary sources, the author challenges the standard view of the corpuscular theory of matter as identical with the mechanical philosophy. He points out that different versions of the corpuscular philosophy flourished in the 17th century. Most of them were not based on the mechanical theory, i.e. on the view that matter is inert and has only mechanical properties. Throughout the 17th century, active principles, as well as chemical properties, are attributed to corpuscles. Given its broad coverage, the book is a significant contribution to both history of science and history of philosophy.

Reviews

`[...] it is an important contribution to our understanding of early modern matter theory.'
Ambix 50 (2003)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-015-9464-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $179.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-7923-6782-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-90-481-5640-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Elements, Principles and Corpuscles
Book Subtitle
A Study of Atomism and Chemistry in the Seventeenth Century
Authors
Series Title
International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées
Series Volume
171
Copyright
2000
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-015-9464-6
DOI
10.1007/978-94-015-9464-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-7923-6782-6
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-5640-5
Series ISSN
0066-6610
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 232
Topics