, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 41-57
Date: 06 Apr 2011

Historiography in a metaphysical mode

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access
This is an excerpt from the content

Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent

Over the past fifty years, the chemical revolution has been one of the most attractive episodes for historians and philosophers of science to forge their own vision of scientific change or to test philosophical hypotheses. The Lavoisier industry reached a peak between 1989 and 1994 in the context of the celebration of the bicentennial of Lavoisier’s execution during the French Revolution. A review of the abundant literature about the chemical revolution by a respected and well-known scholar of eighteenth-century chemistry is therefore most welcome. Although it is not the first historiographical review of this event, John McEvoy’s essay distinguishes itself by its level of generality. Rather than just surveying the different attempts at determining the meaning and significance of the chemical revolution, McEvoy adopts a meta-historical perspective that allows him to subsume the various interpretations of the chemical revolution under the broader general trends ...