Reading the Book of Nature: The Other Side of the Scientific Revolution

Allen G. Debus & Michael T. Walton, eds.

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Fifteen essays in the history of science teach us that we must judge the work of earlier authors in its entirety and relate these views to the medical, religious, and even the political maelstrom of the period.  (SCE&S 41)

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Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, Vol. 41

Fifteen essays in the history of science teach us that we must judge the work of earlier authors in its entirety and relate these views to the medical, religious, and even the political maelstrom of the period. As Debus and Walton point out, recent work has shown us that giants such as Boyle and Newton were deeply interested in alchemy and religion, and that they were influenced by a broad spectrum of thought.

Contents

Genesis and Chemistry in the Sixteenth Century.....Michael T. Walton
Seeds with a Mechanical Purpose: Severinus’ Semina and Seventeenth-Century Matter Theory.....Jole Shackelford
Erastus and Patracelsianism: Theological Motifs in Thomas Erastus’ Rejection of Paracelsian Natural Philosophy.....Charles D. Gunnoe Jr.
Libavius the Paracelsian? Monstrous Novelties, Institutions, and the Norms of Social Virtue.....Bruce T. Moran
Alchemical and Baconian Views on the Art-Nature Division.....William R. Newman
The Wisdom of the Ancients and Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis.....Stephen A. McKnight
John Dee and the Paracelsians....Nicholas H. Clulee
An “Older” View about Matter in John Wilkins’ “Modern” Mathematical Magick....Ana Maria Alfonso-Goldfarb
Paracelsus and the Delayed Scientific Revolution in Spain: A Legacy of Philip II.....Allen G. Debus
Danish Medicines for the Danes and the Defense of Indigenous Medicines.....Martha Baldwin
Diversity in Alchemy: The Case of Gaston “Claveus” DuClo, a Scholastic Mercurialist Chrysopoeian.....Lawrence M. Principe
The Many Worlds of Jean D’Espagnet.....Thomas Willard
Talismans, Incubi, Divination, and the Book of M*: The Bureau d’adresse Confronts the Occult.....Kathleen Wellman
Nature and Art in Seventeenth-Century French Chemical Textbooks.....Ursula Klein
The Contribution of Laurent Joubert’s Traité du Ris to Sixteenth-Century Physiology of Laughter .....Vera Cecília Machline

Authors

Allen G. Debus is the Morris Fishbein Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago. He has published extensively on Renaissance and early modern science and medicine including The English Paracelsians (1965), The Chemical Philosophy: Paracelsian Science and Medicine in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, 2 vols. (1977), Man and Nature in the Renaissance (1978), and The French Paracelsians: The Chemical Challenge to Medical and Scientific Tradition in Early Modern France (1991). In addition, he has published new editions of works by John Dee, Elias Ashmole, Robert Fludd, and John Webster as well as many research papers. He has achieved the Sarton Medal and the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society, the Dexter Award of the American Chemical Society, the Edward Kremers Award of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, and an honorary degree from the Catholic University of Louvain.

Michael T. Walton’s most recent works are “Should Genetic Health Care Providers Attempt to Influence Reproductive Outcome Using Directive Counseling Techniques,” in Genetic Services Proceedings, ed. Freeman, Hinton, and Elsas (1996;with Robert M. Fineman) and “Witches, Jews and Spagyrists: Blood Remedies and Blood Transfusion in the Sixteenth Century,” Cauda Pavonis, (Spring 1996; with Phyllis J.Walton). He is completing a study of law and medicine in fifteenth-century London.

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