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The Limits of Matter
Author: Hjalmar Fors

ISBN: 9780226194998
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 7 November 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.54
Intellectual battles over the nature of reality were fought across Europe in the seventeenth- and eighteenth centuries. As Europeans turned their backs on witches, trolls, magic, and miraculous transformations, their perceptions of matter changed radically. What was the relationship between the realm of spirit (or imagination) and the realm of matter? Whereas matter before was seen as malleable, transmuting, and ever-changing, it would increasingly be treated as predictable and fitting into stable categories. This is a book about how our modern notion of materiality was established during the first half of the eighteenth century. It shows how alchemists and chemists contributed to Enlightenment discourse about matter and about natural" and out-of-the-ordinary, or curious," objects. In doing so, it pins an important epistemological change in European culture to the formation of the modern discipline of chemistry.
The Limits of Matter is a genesis story of how practices that today would be classed under chemistry and alchemy were transformed at the hands of a rather unknown group of Nordic mining officials into utilitarian chemistry. Bec...

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