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Newtonian Atomism and Eighteenth-Century Chemistry

  • W. Bonsiepen
Chapter
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 136)

Abstract

This discussion of Newtonian atomism and eighteenth-century chemistry will indicate some of the main developments that took place, both in Newton’s own thought and in the Newtonianism that drew its inspiration from it. Since these developments are of central importance to any proper evaluation of the Hegelian philosophy of chemistry, some mention of this relevance is made at the end of the article. The exposition will involve reference to most of the recent literature on the subject.

Keywords

Eighteenth Century Chemical Affinity Meteorological Process Mechanical Philosophy Hegelian Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Brewster,D. 1965, II.374f.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Quoted in Dobbs, B.J.T. 1975, p. 13. The following presentation of Newton’s alchemical studies summarizes Dobb’s work.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hall, A.R. and Hall, M.B. 1960, p. 136; Dobbs 1975, pp. 17f.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hall and Hall 1960, pp. 143f.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Westfall, R.S. 1984, p, 330.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid. pp. 322f., 326, 331f.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dobbs 1975, p. 212.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Westfall 1984, pp. 320f., 330.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dobbs 1975, pp. 43, 36ff.,46f., 89, 197f.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Boyle, R. 1966, vol. 1, pp. 474f. (The sceptical chymist), vol. 3, pp. 29f. (Origin of forms and qualities).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wiener, P.P. 1932, p. 602. Wiener summarizes Boyle’s twelve principles of the variety of bodies; cf. Boyle 1966, vol. 3, pp. 297f. (The history of particular qualities).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Subow, W. 1960, pp. 161-191.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
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  14. 14.
    Wiener 1932, p. 603.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Boyle 1966, vol. 3, pp. 105, 108 (Origin of forms and qualities. Considerations and Experiments touching the origin of forms and qualities. Experiment IX).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Newton Principles II.542; Dobbs 1975, pp. 200ff.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gregory, J.C. 1954, pp. 243-247. According to Gregory, Boyle did not set up an explicit hierarchical construction of matter. However, evidence against Gregory’s claim is found in the above texts (cf. note 11).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    This interpretation was put forward by Vavilov, who is criticized by Gregory; see Gregory, J.C. 1954, p. 246.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    McGuire, J.E. 1967, p. 84.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Thackray, A. 1970, p. 22.Google Scholar
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    Newton Opticks, p. 395 (Book III, Query 31).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dobbs 1975, pp. 218f.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hall and Hall 1960, pp. 132f.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dobbs 1975, pp. 204, 211.Google Scholar
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    Thackray 1970, pp. 18f., 31, 37; Schofield, R.E. 1970, p. 10. The following presentation of the eighteenth-century assessment of Newton is based upon both of these works.Google Scholar
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    Schofield 1970, p. 19; Thackray 1970, p. 41.Google Scholar
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    Metzger, H. 1925, pp. 440ff., 451f.Google Scholar
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    Heimann, P.M. and McGuire, J.E. 1971, pp. 255ff.Google Scholar
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    Thackray, A. 1970, pp. 142ff., 151ff.Google Scholar
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    Thackray 1970, pp. 256ff.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Schofield 1970, pp. 122f., 124f., 127., 132f.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Heimann and McGuire 1971, pp. 289f.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Hegel Encyclopedia § 328; tr. Petry II.184f.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ibid. § 286 Remark; II.43,6-22.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Schofield 1970, pp. 95f., 101, 157ff.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Newton Principles II.542; see also Dobbs 1975, p. 201.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Hegel Encyclopedia § 333 Remark; tr. Petry II.210f.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ruschig, U. 1987, pp. 173-179.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Hegel Encyclopedia § 333 Addition; tr. Petry II.213,10.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Thackray 1970, p. 275.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

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  • W. Bonsiepen

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