Recent historiography has pointed out the influence on early modern chemistry of different classical theories of matter. Among these the reading and interpretation of the writings of Lucretius is a particularly interesting example. While the De rerum natura has been regarded by religious authorities as a dangerous heterodox work, chemists throughout Europe between 1500 and 1800 became progressively interested in adopting Lucretius’ qualitative atomism. It is argued that such atomism played an important role not only in building an alternative philosophy of matter to that of Aristotle, but also in developing more concrete and operative options, such as the definition of chemical reaction.

Did Lucretius’ Atomism play any Role in Early Modern Chemistry?

BERETTA, MARCO
2008

Abstract

Recent historiography has pointed out the influence on early modern chemistry of different classical theories of matter. Among these the reading and interpretation of the writings of Lucretius is a particularly interesting example. While the De rerum natura has been regarded by religious authorities as a dangerous heterodox work, chemists throughout Europe between 1500 and 1800 became progressively interested in adopting Lucretius’ qualitative atomism. It is argued that such atomism played an important role not only in building an alternative philosophy of matter to that of Aristotle, but also in developing more concrete and operative options, such as the definition of chemical reaction.
Neighbours and Territories : The Evolving Identity of Chemistry
237
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M. Beretta
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/62184
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