Why take chemistry stoically? The case of posidonius

Foundations of Chemistry 10 (1):63-75 (2008)
This paper analyzes views of the Stoic philosopher Posidonius (1st century BC) in the light of modern Chemistry. I propose that Posidonius’ account on “generation and destruction” bears noteworthy similarities to the scientific notions of chemical elements, chemical species, nuclear reactions, and the law of conservation of mass. I find that his views compare favorably also with our understanding of chemical change at solid surfaces. Provided his thought is correctly placed in the cultural context of his day, I argue that Posidonius deserves a previously un-acknowledged consideration in the historical background of modern Chemistry.
Keywords Posidonius  Stoic philosophy  Chemical element  Chemical species  Chemical change
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DOI 10.1007/s10698-007-9035-0
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R. W. Sharples & J. M. Rist (1980). The Stoics. Journal of Hellenic Studies 100:240.

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