David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (4):533-567 (2003)
In the early eighteenth century, chemistry became the main academic locus where, in Francis Bacon's words, Experimenta lucifera were performed alongside Experimenta fructifera and where natural philosophy was coupled with natural history and 'experimental history' in the Baconian and Boyleian sense of an inventory and exploration of the extant operations of the arts and crafts. The Dutch social and political system and the institutional setting of the university of Leiden endorsed this empiricist, utilitarian orientation toward the sciences, which was forcefully propagated by one of the university's most famous representatives in the first half of the eighteenth century, the professor of medicine, botany and chemistry Herman Boerhaave. Recent historical investigations on Boerhaave's chemistry have provided important insights into Boerhaave's religious background, his theoretical and philosophical goals, and his pedagogical agenda. But comparatively little attention has been paid to the chemical experiments presented in Boerhaave's famous chemical textbook, the Elementa chemiae, and to the question of how these experiments relate not only to experimental philosophy but also to experimental history and natural history, and to contemporary utilitarianism. I argue in this essay that Boerhaave shared a strong commitment to Baconian utilitarianism and empiricism with many other European chemists around the middle of the eighteenth century, in particular to what Bacon designated 'experimental history' and I will provide evidence for this claim through a careful analysis of Boerhaave's plant-chemical experiments presented in the Elementa chemiae.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ursula Klein (2005). Shifting Ontologies, Changing Classifications: Plant Materials From 1700 to 1830. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (2):261-329.
Similar books and articles
Michela Massimi (2011). Kant's Dynamical Theory of Matter in 1755, and its Debt to Speculative Newtonian Experimentalism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):525-543.
Joachim Schummer (1998). The Chemical Core of Chemistry I: A Conceptual Approach. Hyle 4 (2):129 - 162.
U. Klein (2001). Paper Tools in Experimental Cultures. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (2):265-302.
Wolfgang Lefèvre (2012). Viewing Chemistry Through its Ways of Classifying. Foundations of Chemistry 14 (1):25-36.
Paweł Zeidler & Danuta Sobczyńska (1995). The Idea of Realism in the New Experimentalism and the Problem of the Existence of Theoretical Entities in Chemistry. Foundations of Science 1 (4):517-535.
Joachim Schummer (2003). The Notion of Nature in Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (4):705-736.
Lisa J. Downing (1995). Siris and the Scope of Berkeley's Instrumentalism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 3 (2):279 – 300.
Ursula Klein (2005). Technoscience. Perspectives on Science 13 (2).
Barbara Orland (2012). The Fluid Mechanics of Nutrition: Herman Boerhaave's Synthesis of Seventeenth-Century Circulation Physiology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (2):357-369.
R. J. Snooks (2006). Another Scientific Practice Separating Chemistry From Physics: Thought Experiments. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (3):255-270.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #194,960 of 1,679,436 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #182,836 of 1,679,436 )
How can I increase my downloads?