History And Philosophy Of Science | Alchemy and Its Offspring
X705 | 3019 | William Newman


"Alchemy and its Offspring" will cover the history of alchemy from its
inception in late Antiquity up to its demise as a serious discipline
around the beginning of the eighteenth century.  The course will deal
with such issues as the relationship of alchemy to technology and to
the "occult sciences," the role of alchemy in breaking down the
Aristotleian division between nature and art, the development of
experimentalism, the birthof iatrochemistry (i.e. chemical medicine),
corpuscular theories of matter in alchemy and their relationship to
the "mechanical philosophy" of the seventeenth century, the question
of secrecy and allusive presentation in alchemical literature, and the
validity of analytical psychology as a tool for interpreting
alchemical texts.  No chemical background will be assumed and the
focus of the course will be non-technical.