Calvinism, Catholicism, skepticism, Baconian method, the mechanical
philosophy, collecting, and antiquarianism all dealt at times with the religious and
philosophical implications of alchemy. Belief in alchemy demanded that one
Author: Bruce Janacek
Publisher: Penn State Press
What did it mean to believe in alchemy in early modern England? In this book, Bruce Janacek considers alchemical beliefs in the context of the writings of Thomas Tymme, Robert Fludd, Francis Bacon, Sir Kenelm Digby, and Elias Ashmole. Rather than examine alchemy from a scientific or medical perspective, Janacek presents it as integrated into the broader political, philosophical, and religious upheavals of the first half of the seventeenth century, arguing that the interest of these elite figures in alchemy was part of an understanding that supported their national--and in some cases royalist--loyalty and theological orthodoxy. Janacek investigates how and why individuals who supported or were actually placed at the traditional center of power in England's church and state believed in the relevance of alchemy at a time when their society, their government, their careers, and, in some cases, their very lives were at stake.
Chapter One INTRODUCTION SCHOLARS who have written about alchemy are
far from agreeing about what alchemy actually is (or was). Some go along with
the popular view that alchemy is nothing but the art that tries, or claims to be able,
Author: Raphael Patai
Publisher: Princeton University Press
In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Until now there has been little attention given to the significant role that Jews played in the field of alchemy. Here, drawing on an enormous range of previously unexplored sources, Patai reveals that Jews were major players in what was for centuries one of humanity's most compelling intellectual obsessions. Originally published in 1994. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
ALTHOUGH the belief in alchemy had been on the decline since the end of the
seventeenth century, it was not until the first half of the eighteenth century that the
practicability of transmutation and the possibility of discovering the Elixir of Life ...
Author: C. J. S. Thompson
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Well-researched study traces history of alchemy, chronicling search for philosopher's stone and elixir of life, alchemist's laboratory and apparatus, symbols and secret alphabets, famous practitioners, plus contributions to field of chemistry. 77 black-and-white illustrations, 31 plates.
... linked with the alchemical belief in the unity of all things; of the undying faith of
generations of alchemists in the possibility of metallic transmutation; and of
Plato's view, conceived more than two thousand years ago, that Nature rests
upon a ...
Author: John Read
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Broad, humanistic treatment focuses on great figures of chemistry and ideas that revolutionized the science. Much on alchemy, also development of modern chemistry, atomic theory, elements, organic chemistry, more. 50 illustrations.
In this essay, I argue that this rose-tinted view of alchemy is unrealistic when one
examines the alchemical literature at first hand. Indeed, early modern science
may well have derived from the alchemical tradition itself some of the very
Author: Noretta Koertge
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Cultural critics say that "science is politics by other means," arguing that the results of scientific inquiry are profoundly shaped by the ideological agendas of powerful elites. They base their claims on historical case studies purporting to show the systematic intrusion of sexist, racist, capitalist, colonialist and/or professional interests into the very content of science. Physicist Alan Sokal recently poked fun at these claims by foisting a sly parody of the genre on the unwitting editors of the cultural studies journal Social Text touching off a still unabated torrent of editorials, articles, and heated classroom and Internet discussion. This hard-hitting collection picks up where Sokal left off. The essayists offer crisp and detailed critiques of case studies offered by the cultural critics as evidence that scientific results tell us more about social context than they do about the natural world. Pulling no punches, they identify numerous crude factual blunders (e.g. that Newton never performed any experiments) and egregious errors of emission, such as the attempt to explain the slow development of fluid dynamics solely in terms of gender bias. Where there are positive aspects of a flawed account, or something to be learned from it, they do not hesitate to say so. Their target is shoddy scholarship. Comprising new essays by distinguished scholars of history, philosophy, and science (including Sokal himself), this book raises a lively debate to a new level of seriousness.
Both Aiton and Brown suggest that the alchemical belief that every substance
contains a seminal core or “flower,” which can be reconstituted even from ashes,
fits nicely with this way of thinking and could have influenced Leibniz in the ...
Author: A.P. Coudert
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
The general view of scholars is that the Kabbalah had no meaningful influence on Leibniz's thought. } But on the basis of new evidence I am convinced that the question must be reopened. The Kabbalah did influence Leibniz, and a recognition of this will lead to both a better understanding of the supposed "quirkiness,,2 of Leibniz's philosophy and an appreciation ofthe Kabbalah as an integral but hitherto ignored factor in the emergence of the modem secular and scientifically oriented world. During the past twenty years there has been increasing willingness to recognize the important ways in which mystical and occult thinking contributed to the development of science and the emergence 3 of toleration. However, the Kabbalah, particularly the Lurianic Kabbalah with its monistic vitalism and optimistic philosophy of perfectionism and universal salvation, has not yet been integrated into the new historiography, although it richly deserves to be. On the basis of manuscripts in libraries at Hanover and Wolfenbiittel, it is clear that Leibniz's relationship with Francis Mercury van Helmont (1614- 1698) and Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (1636-1689), the two leading Christian Kabbalists of the period, was much closer than previously imagined and that his direct knowledge of their writings, especially the collection of 4 kabbalistic texts they published in the Kabbala Denudata, was far more detailed than most scholars have realized. During 1688 Leibniz spent more than a month at Sulzbach with von Rosenroth.
There is nothing to wonder at in this ; the human mind seldom moves by fits and
starts ; an essentially new V. mode of thought and new form of belief is rare , and
many appaThe Alchemists . — Origin of Alchemy . — Hermes Trismegistus.
Geoffroy's 1722 paper against the alchemical cheats and tricksters surely
supports this establishment view . Yet , at the same time , it gives solid evidence
of the extent of contemporary interest in alchemy . It was a time when sincere alchemists ...
Author: Allen George Debus
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A 1992 account of the prolonged struggle between Paracelsians and Galenists, and its significance for the scientific revolution.
A Study of Alchemical Symbolism in Goethe's Literary and Scientific Works
Ronald Douglas Gray. CHAPTER XI CONCLUSION The last quarter of the
eighteenth century saw the renaissance of mystical and quasi-mystical beliefs of
Author: Ronald Douglas Gray
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
This 1952 study analyses Goethe's writings in the light of his youthful readings in alchemy.
The most obvious manifestation of this interest in alchemical secrets lay in the belief that controlled experimentation with mercury and sulphur could effect
transmutation of base metals into gold. In the fourteenth century there was a great
Author: Dennis William HauckPublish On: 2008-04-01
Alexander's primary instructor in alchemy was Aristotle, whose theory of the Four
Elements found full expression among the alchemists of Alexandria (see Chapter
7). Aristotle's belief that nature strives toward perfection is clearly part of the ...
Author: Dennis William Hauck
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
More than magic... Where else can one combine chemistry and philosophy to turn base metal into gold while discovering a magical elixir to prolong life? Here's a simple and straightforward guide to alchemy that explains its basic principles. Written by one of the world's few practicing alchemists, it's a concise reference guide that provides easy-to-follow information so that anybody can be a wizard-in-training.
The attack on belief in the possibility of alchemical transmutation occupies the
last five paragraphs of the selection , beginning with “ As to the claims of the alchemists ” ; earlier topics of interest include Avicenna's views on the properties
It was printed many times before 1500 . 69 . Paracelsus , The Aurora , trans . J . H
. Oxon ( London , 1659 ) , p . 46 . Paracelsus astutely deduced that vegetable
matter changed to coal , but the tradition of alchemical belief was so strong ...
In this stream of metaphysical speculation belief in alchemy was , however ,
relatively unimportant : it was one means among many of satisfying spiritual
needs . Nevertheless , the fact that it could attract so strongly the greatest genius
of the ...
alchemy ' s historical development , it is necessary to await the turn to more
particular events in Chapter 3 . ... it could be reduced to a belief in metallic
transmutation , and rested usually on Aristotelian or Arabic theory derived from
the rational ...
Author: B. J. T. Dobbs
Publisher: CUP Archive
This book sets the foundations of Newton's alchemy in their historical context in Restoration England. It is shown that alchemical modes of thought were quite strong in many of those who provided the dynamism for the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century and that these modes of thought had important relationships with general movements for reform in the same period.
This study examines the figure of the alchemist in literature from Dante to the present and shows how the popular response to that figure has changed through the ages.
Author: Theodore Ziolkowski
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Alchemy in literature
The figure of the alchemist has, in recent years, become an enormously prevalent image in advertising and popular culture. You can scarcely open a magazine or the Internet without encountering references to economists, chemists, artists, and others as 'alchemists' of their fields. This study examines the alchemist in literature from Dante to the present and shows how the popular response to that figure varies from period to period. From the Middle Ages down tothe Enlightenment, when many people still believed in alchemy, writers treated alchemists with ridicule and exposed them as charlatans out to cheat the gullible public. When alchemy was discredited bymodern science, the alchemist himself was romanticized by some writers, who turned the figure into a social altruist, poet, or religious thinker. In the twentieth century, under the influence of C. G. Jung, the figure of the alchemist was further popularized, becoming an image for transmutations of every sort-from economics and medicine to music and art. This vast popular appeal encouraged many writers to undertake fictions of various sorts-historical novels, juxtapositions of present andpast, contemporary settings-featuring protagonists who regard themselves in some sense as modern alchemists. In sum, the figure of the alchemist provides a seismograph by which we can measure shifts inpopular culture.
Proceedings of the International Conference on the History of Alchemy at the
University of Groningen, 17-19 April 1989 ... the alchemical furnaces continued to
burn , and the alchemical world - view continued to have a significant influence in
'warring of Christian and Pagan spirits'; his 1944 near-death visions as an alchemical transformation mystery; and on toward ... I locate this event
esoterically in terms of Jung's belief that a turbulent and chaotic end of the Aeon
of the Fishes ...
Author: Mathew Mather
The figure of the alchemical Mercurius features ubiquitously and radically in Jung’s later works, but despite this, there has been little research concerning Mercurius in Jungian studies to date. In this book, Mathew Mather explores the figure of the alchemical Mercurius and contextualises and clarifies its significance in Jung’s life and works. Placing the alchemical Mercurius as a central concern reveals a Jungian interpretation in which the grail legend, alchemy and precessional astrology, as three thematic threads, converge. In such a treatment, Jung’s belief in the dawning of a new platonic month emerges as a central consideration and an esoteric perspective on Jung’s life and works is brought more fully to light, constructing a life-myth interpretation. The book is comprised of three parts: Aurea Catena: locating the figure of the alchemical Mercurius within the Western esoteric tradition Daimonic Encounter: the relevance of this figure in Jung’s personal life Magnum Opus: Jung’s portrayal of this figure in key texts such as Synchronicity, Aion, Mysterium Coniunctionis; and Emma Jung and von Franz’s The Grail Legend. The Alchemical Mercurius is a unique contribution to analytical psychology, substantially revealing ‘esoteric Jung’ and providing valuable perspectives on the theme of his myth for our times. The book will appeal to researchers and academics in the field of analytical psychology as well as postgraduate students.
The philosophers ' stone corresponds to the proper point of view , the perspective
which lets one see " the other side of things ” , and “ wake up their souls ” . And
this perspective , according to alchemical belief , is not discovered as much as it ...
Modernist Alchemy takes a close look at the work of twentieth-century poets whose use of the occult constitutes a recovery of discarded beliefs and modes of thought: Yeats and Plath try to dismiss conventional religion, Hughes captures a ...
Author: Timothy Materer
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Modernist Alchemy takes a close look at the work of twentieth-century poets whose use of the occult constitutes a recovery of discarded beliefs and modes of thought: Yeats and Plath try to dismiss conventional religion, Hughes captures a sense of adventure, H.D. seeks to liberate repressed concepts, while Duncan and Merrill hunt for a lost understanding of sexual identity which will allow for androgyny and homosexuality.