Early Science and Medicine 25 (4):388-412 (2020)

Silvia Manzo
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
This paper explores how a set of observations on the weight of lead were interpreted and assessed between the 1540s and the 1630s across three different interconnecting disciplines: medicine, mineralogy and chemistry. The epistemic import of these discussions will be demonstrated by showing: 1) the changing role and articulation of experience and quantification in the investigation of metals; and 2) the notions associated with weight in different disciplinary frameworks. In medicine and mineralogy, weight was not considered as a specific subject of inquiry in itself, but as a “sign” indicating other relevant properties of metals. In contrast, the chemistry tradition was increasingly concerned with the specific investigation of weight as a property of matter, as seen in the debates that took place in the “chemical revolution.” In addition, this study will reveal the versatility, polysemy, and parallel purposes of the recourse to experiential knowledge in different contexts, where the same “facts” operate within different disciplines.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/15733823-00254p05
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,242
External links

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

Joan Baptista van Helmont.J. R. Partington - 1936 - Annals of Science 1 (4):359-384.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Early Opposition to the Phlogiston Theory: Two Anonymous Attacks.Carleton Perrin - 1970 - British Journal for the History of Science 5 (2):128-144.
The Atomic Number Revolution in Chemistry: A Kuhnian Analysis.K. Wray - 2018 - Foundations of Chemistry 20 (3):209-217.
Contrast Effects in the Judgment of Lifted Weights.Vincent Di Lollo - 1964 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 68 (4):383.
Relationships Among the Transition Elements.Geoff Rayner-Canham - 2011 - Foundations of Chemistry 13 (3):223-232.
Reasons Have No Weight.Dalia Drai - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):60-76.
Weight in Greek Atomism.Michael J. Augustin - 2015 - Philosophia 45 (1):76-99.
Early Modern Natural Theologies.Scott Mandelbrote - 2013 - In J. H. Brooke, F. Watts & R. R. Manning (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology. Oxford Up. pp. 75.


Added to PP index

Total views
8 ( #974,232 of 2,444,825 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #185,966 of 2,444,825 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes