Read e-book online An Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledge: The ‘Christian PDF

By Georgiana D. Hedesan

ISBN-10: 147246916X

ISBN-13: 9781472469168

History of technological know-how credit the Flemish doctor, alchemist and thinker Jan Baptist Van Helmont (1579-1644) for his contributions to the improvement of chemistry and medication. but, as this e-book makes transparent, focussing on Van Helmont's impression on smooth technological know-how doesn't do justice to the complexity of his proposal or to his effect on successive generations of intellectuals like Robert Boyle or Gottfried Leibniz.

Revealing Van Helmont as an unique philosopher who sought to supply a post-Scholastic synthesis of faith and traditional philosophy, Georgiana Hedesan reconstructs his formidable quest for common wisdom because it emerges from the textual content of the Ortus medicinae (1648). released after Van Helmont's dying through his son, the paintings can top be understood as a compilation of accomplished and unfinished treatises, the old made from a existence unsettled by way of spiritual persecution and private misfortune. the current booklet presents a coherent account of Van Helmont's philosophy via analysing its major tenets.

Divided into components, the examine opens with a historical past to Van Helmont's idea of an alchemical Christian philosophy, demonstrating that his outlook used to be deeply grounded within the culture of scientific alchemy as reformed by means of Theophrastus von Hohenheim, referred to as Paracelsus (1493-1541). It then reconstitutes Van Helmont's biography, whereas giving a ancient size to his highbrow output. the second one half reconstructs Van Helmont's Christian philosophy, investigating his perspectives on God, nature and guy, in addition to his utilized philosophy. Hedesan additionally offers an account of the improvement of Van Helmont's proposal all through his lifestyles. the realization sums up Van Helmont's highbrow fulfillment and highlights avenues of destiny research.

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An Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledge: The ‘Christian Philosophy’ of Jan Baptist Van Helmont (1579-1644) (Universal Reform: Studies in Intellectual History, 1550-1700) by Georgiana D. Hedesan

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