The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle and His Alchemical Quest

The Aspiring Adept Robert Boyle and His Alchemical Quest The Aspiring Adept presents a provocative new view of Robert Boyle one of the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution by revealing for the first time his avid and lifelong pursuit of

  • Title: The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle and His Alchemical Quest
  • Author: Lawrence M. Principe
  • ISBN: 9780691050829
  • Page: 478
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Aspiring Adept presents a provocative new view of Robert Boyle 1627 1691 , one of the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution, by revealing for the first time his avid and lifelong pursuit of alchemy Boyle has traditionally been considered, along with Newton, a founder of modern science because of his mechanical philosophy and his experimentation with the air puThe Aspiring Adept presents a provocative new view of Robert Boyle 1627 1691 , one of the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution, by revealing for the first time his avid and lifelong pursuit of alchemy Boyle has traditionally been considered, along with Newton, a founder of modern science because of his mechanical philosophy and his experimentation with the air pump and other early scientific apparatus However, Lawrence Principe shows that his alchemical quest hidden first by Boyle s own codes and secrecy, and later suppressed or ignored positions him accurately in the intellectual and cultural crossroads of the seventeenth century.Principe radically reinterprets Boyle s most famous work, The Sceptical Chymist, to show that it criticizes not alchemists, as has been thought, but unphilosophical pharmacists and textbook writers He then shows Boyle s unambiguous enthusiasm for alchemy in his lost Dialogue on the Transmutation and Melioration of Metals, now reconstructed from scattered fragments and presented here in full for the first time Intriguingly, Boyle believed that the goal of his quest, the Philosopher s Stone, could not only transmute base metals into gold, but could also attract angels Alchemy could thus act both as a source of knowledge and as a defense against the growing tide of atheism that tormented him In seeking to integrate the seemingly contradictory facets of Boyle s work, Principe also illuminates how alchemy and other unscientific pursuits had a far greater impact on early modern science than has previously been thought.

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