Article ID: CBB001550409

Robert Boyle, Transmutation, and the History of Chemistry before Lavoisier: A Response to Kuhn (2014)


Newman, William R. (Author)

Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Volume: 29, no. 1
Issue: 1
Pages: 63-77

Publication Date: 2014
Edition Details: Title of volume: “Chemical Knowledge in the Early Modern World”
Language: English

In an influential article of 1952, Thomas Kuhn argued that Robert Boyle had little or no influence on the subsequent development of chemistry. This essay challenges Kuhn's view on two fronts. First, it shows that Johann Joachim Becher developed his hierarchical matter theory under the influence of Boyle and then transmitted it to the founder of the phlogiston theory, G. E. Stahl. Second, this essay argues that transmutational matter theories were not necessarily opposed to the existence of stable chemical species, pace Kuhn. Boyle's corpuscular theory descended largely from the tradition of “chymical atomism,” which often advocated both chrysopoeia and the reality of robust chemical substances.

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Article Eddy, Matthew Daniel; Mauskopf, Seymour H.; Newman, William R. (2014) An Introduction to Chemical Knowledge in the Early Modern World. Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 1-15). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Newman, William Royall
Lüthy, Christoph H.
Murdoch, John Emery
Clericuzio, Antonio
Jacquart, Danielle
Molland, G.
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Foundations of Chemistry
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Nagoya Kogyo Daigaku gakuho
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Kluwer Academic
Mechanism; mechanical philosophy
Revolutions in science
Boyle, Robert
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent
Kirwan, Richard
Sennert, Daniel
Guyton de Morveau, Louis Bernard
Bacon, Roger
Time Periods
18th century
17th century
Early modern
19th century
Great Britain
Académie Royale des Sciences (France)

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