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Fermentation, Phlogiston and Matter Theory: Chemistry and Natural Philosophy in Georg Ernst Stahl's Zymotechnia Fundamentalis

Fermentation, Phlogiston and Matter Theory: Chemistry and Natural Philosophy in Georg Ernst... <jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>This paper examines Georg Ernst Stahl's first book, the Zymotechnia Fundamentalis, in the context of contemporary natural philosophy and the author's career. I argue that the Zymotechnia was a mechanical theory of fermentation written consciously against the influential "fermentational program" of Joan Baptista van Helmont and especially Thomas Willis. Stahl's theory of fermentation introduced his first conception of phlogiston, which was in part a corpuscular transformation of the Paracelsian sulphur principle. Meanwhile some assumptions underlying this theory, such as the composition of matter, the absolute passivity of matter and the "passions" of sulphur, reveal the combined scholastic and mechanistic character of Stahl's natural philosophy. In the conclusion I show that Stahl's theory of fermentation undermined the old fermentational program and paved the way for his dualist vitalism.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early Science and Medicine Brill

Fermentation, Phlogiston and Matter Theory: Chemistry and Natural Philosophy in Georg Ernst Stahl's Zymotechnia Fundamentalis

Early Science and Medicine , Volume 7 (1): 31 – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2002 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1383-7427
eISSN
1573-3823
DOI
10.1163/157338202X00027
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>This paper examines Georg Ernst Stahl's first book, the Zymotechnia Fundamentalis, in the context of contemporary natural philosophy and the author's career. I argue that the Zymotechnia was a mechanical theory of fermentation written consciously against the influential "fermentational program" of Joan Baptista van Helmont and especially Thomas Willis. Stahl's theory of fermentation introduced his first conception of phlogiston, which was in part a corpuscular transformation of the Paracelsian sulphur principle. Meanwhile some assumptions underlying this theory, such as the composition of matter, the absolute passivity of matter and the "passions" of sulphur, reveal the combined scholastic and mechanistic character of Stahl's natural philosophy. In the conclusion I show that Stahl's theory of fermentation undermined the old fermentational program and paved the way for his dualist vitalism.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

Early Science and MedicineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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