Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer

Author: Michael White

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 000739201X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 2227

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First time in ebook format, this biography of Isaac Newton reveals the extraordinary influence that the study of alchemy had on the greatest Early Modern scientific discoveries. In this ‘ground breaking biography’ Michael White destroys the myths of the life of Isaac Newton and reveals a portrait of the scientist as the last sorcerer.
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Isaac Newton and the Transmutation of Alchemy

An Alternative View of the Scientific Revolution

Author: Philip Ashley Fanning

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

ISBN: 1556437722

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 247

View: 4942

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Isaac Newton was a dedicated alchemist, a fact usually obscured as unsuited to his stature as a leader of the scientific revolution. Author Philip Ashley Fanning has diligently examined the evidence and concludes that the two major aspects of Newton’s research—conventional science and alchemy—were actually inseparable. In Isaac Newton and the Transmutation of Alchemy, Fanning reveals the surprisingly profound influence that Newton’s study of this hermetic art had in shaping his widely adopted scientific concepts. Alchemy was an ancient tradition of speculative philosophy that promised miraculous powers, such as the ability to change base metals into gold and the possibility of a universal solvent or elixir of life. Fanning compellingly describes this carefully tended esoteric institution, which may have found its greatest advocate in the career of the father of modern science. Relegated to the fringes of discourse until its twentieth-century revival by innovative thinkers such as psychiatrist Carl Jung, alchemy offers a key to understanding both the foundations of modern knowledge and important avenues in which we may yet discover wisdom.
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Riding the Windhorse

Manic-Depressive Disorder and the Quest for Wholeness

Author: Robert S. Corrington

Publisher: Hamilton Books

ISBN: 146162679X

Category: Psychology

Page: 260

View: 4391

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In this moving account of his struggles with manic-depressive disorder, distinguished philosopher Robert S. Corrington, creator of the school of ecstatic naturalism, presents a compelling argument for rethinking the nature of this malady. Having inherited the disorder from his mother, a gifted actress who struggled with her own form of it until her death, he developed crucial survival strategies that he recommends to other sufferers. In Riding the Windhorse, Corrington details the latest medical, psychological, and spiritual thinking about bipolar disease; a disorder characterized by extreme mood swings and responsible for many untimely deaths each year. Surprisingly, however, manic-depression is also found in almost all forms of genius and Corrington presents two detailed case studies showing this correlation. Riding the Windhorse represents one person's eventual triumph over a potentially crippling disease by demonstrating how creativity and the quest for wholeness can support the erratic flight of the windhorse of manic-depression.
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Coffee with Isaac Newton

Author: Michael White

Publisher: Duncan Baird Pub

ISBN: 9781844836116

Category: Fiction

Page: 144

View: 1561

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Presents a fictionalized interview with Isaac Newton, where the British physicist discusses his life, his work, and his times.
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The Last Witchfinder

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Author: James Morrow

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0297865617

Category: Fiction

Page: 576

View: 5349

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A great historical novel following the picaresque adventures of Jennet, daughter of the last Witchfinder of Mercia and East Anglia. Jennet is the daughter of the Witchfinder of Mercia and East Anglia. Whilst her father roams the countryside in search of heretics, Jennet is left behind to be schooled by her aunt Isobel in the New Philosophy principally expounded by Isaac Newton. But her aunt's style of scientific enquiry soon attracts the attention of the witchfinders. To save her aunt, Jennet travels to Cambridge to seek the help of Newton himself. Isobel is burned at the stake but in her dying moments, begs Jennet to devote her life to overturning the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. This is a huge rollercoaster of a novel as Jennet travels to America and witnesses the Salem witch trials; is abducted by Indians; begins an affair with Benjamin Franklin; travels back to England and finally meets the real Newton; is shipwrecked; then ends up back in America where her brother is now the Witchfinder Royal. In a great final showdown between old superstition and new science, Jennet decides to have herself accused of witchcraft in order to disprove its existence.
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The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Strange and Inventive Life of Robert Hook 1653 - 1703

Author: Stephen Inwood

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 0330532189

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 512

View: 2948

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Robert Hooke was one of the most inventive, versatile and prolific scientists of the late 17th Century, but for 300 years his reputation has been overshadowed by those of his two great contemporaries, his friend Sir Christopher Wren and his rival Sir Isaac Newton. If he is remembered today, it is as the author of a law of elasticity or as amisanthrope who accused Newton of stealing his ideas on gravity. This book, the first life of Hooke for nearly fifty years, rescues its subject from centuries of obscurity and misjudgement. It shows us Hooke the prolific inventor, the mechanic, the astronomer, the anatomist, the pioneer of geology, meteorology and microscopy, the precursor of Lavoisier and Darwin. It also gives us Hooke the architect of Bedlam and the Monument, the supervisor of London's rebuilding after the Great Fire, the watchmaker, the consumer of prodigious quantities of medicines and purgatives, the candid diarist, the lover, the hoarder of money and secrets, the coffee house conversationalist. This is an absorbing study of a fascinating and unduly forgotten man.
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The Promethean Illusion

The Western Belief in Human Mastery of Nature

Author: Bob Tostevin

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786462280

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 9702

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This book explores two contradictory realities: our continuing belief that nature is subject to our willful control and nature’s refusal to abide by this belief. It investigates particular aspects of modern science and spotlights the impact Newtonian science had upon the Western world. It then critically assesses twentieth century developments in science, presenting a number of biological and ecological case studies that document the various limitations that the natural world places upon human knowledge. The analysis argues against programmatic proposals to control nature via genetic engineering and planet management.
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Isaac Newton

Author: Kathleen Krull

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101098368

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 128

View: 1453

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What was Isaac Newton like? Secretive, vindictive, withdrawn, obsessive, and, oh, yes, brilliant. His imagination was so large that, just "by thinking on it," he invented calculus and figured out the scientific explanation of gravity.Yet Newton was so small-minded that he set out to destroy other scientists who dared question his findings. Here is a compelling portrait of Newton, contradictions and all, that places him against the backdrop of 17th-century England, a time of plague, the Great Fire of London, and two revolutions.
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Europe

A Cultural History

Author: Peter Rietbergen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317606299

Category: History

Page: 618

View: 4202

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This third, revised and augmented edition of Peter Rietbergen’s highly acclaimed Europe: A Cultural History provides a major and original contribution to the study of Europe. From ancient Babylonian law codes to Pope Urban’s call to crusade in 1095, and from Michelangelo on Italian art in 1538 to Sting’s songs in the late twentieth century, the expressions of the culture that has developed in Europe are diverse and wide-ranging. This exceptional text expertly connects this variety, explaining them to the reader in a thorough and yet highly readable style. Presented chronologically, Europe: A Cultural History examines the many cultural building blocks of Europe, stressing their importance in the formation of the continent’s ever-changing cultural identities. Starting with the beginnings of agricultural society and ending with the mass culture of the early twenty-first century, the book uses literature, art, science, technology and music to examine Europe’s cultural history in terms of continuity and change. Rietbergen looks at how societies developed new ways of surviving, believing, consuming and communicating throughout the period. His book is distinctive in paying particular attention to the ways early Europe has been formed through the impact of a variety of cultures, from Celtic and German to Greek and Roman. The role of Christianity is stressed, but as a contested variable, as are the influences from, for example, Asia in the early modern period and from American culture and Islamic immigrants in more recent times. Since anxieties over Europe's future mount, this third edition text has been thoroughly revised for the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Moreover, it now also includes a 'dossier' of some seventeen essay-like vignettes that highlight cultural phenomena said to be characteristic of Europe: social solidarity, capitalism, democracy and so forth. With a wide selection of illustrations, maps, excerpts of sources and even lyrics from contemporary songs to support the arguments, this book both serves the general reader as well as students of historical and cultural studies.
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The Last Sorcerers

The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table

Author: Richard Morris

Publisher: Joseph Henry Press

ISBN: 0309167914

Category: Science

Page: 294

View: 4665

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They started with four: earth, air, fire, and water. From these basics, they sought to understand the essential ingredients of the world. Those who could see further, those who understood that the four were just the beginning, were the last sorcerers â€" and the world’s first chemists. What we now call chemistry began in the fiery cauldrons of mystics and sorcerers seeking not to make a better world through science, but rather to make themselves richer through magic formulas and con games. But among these early magicians, frauds, and con artists were a few far-seeing “alchemists†who, through rigorous experimentation, transformed mysticism into science. By the 18th century the building blocks of nature, the elements of which all matter is composed, were on the verge of being discovery. Initially, it was not easy to determine whether a substance really was an element. Was water just water, plain and simple? Or could it be the sum of other (unknown and maybe unknowable) parts? And if water was made up of other substances, how could it be broken down into discreet, fundamental, and measurable components? Scientific historians generally credit the great 18th century French chemist Antoine Lavoisier with addressing these fundamental questions and ultimately modernizing the field of chemistry. Through his meticulous and precise work this chaotic new field of scientific inquiry was given order. Exacting by nature, Lavoisier painstakingly set about performing experiments that would provide lasting and verifiable proofs of various chemical theories. Unfortunately, the outspoken Lavoisier eventually lost his head in the Terror, but others would follow his lead, carefully examining, measuring, and recording their findings. As the field slowly progressed, another pioneer was to emerged almost 100 years later. Dimitri Mendeleev, an eccentric genius who cut his flowing hair and beard but once a year, sought to answer the most pressing questions that remained to chemists: Why did some elements have properties that resembled those of others? Were there certain natural groups of elements? And, if so, how many, and what elements fit into them? It was Mendeleev who finally addressed all these issues when he constructed the first Periodic Table in the late 1800s. But between and after Lavoisier and Mendeleev were a host of other colorful, brilliant scientists who made their mark on the field of chemistry. Depicting the lively careers of these scientists and their contributions while carefully deconstructing the history and the science, author Richard Morris skillfully brings it all to life. Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a “clear and lively writer with a penchant for down-to-earth examples†Morris’s gift for explanation â€" and pure entertainment â€" is abundantly obvious. Taking a cue from the great chemists themselves, Morris has brewed up a potent combination of the alluringly obscure and the historically momentous, spiked with just the right dose of quirky and ribald detail to deliver a magical brew of history, science, and personalities.
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