Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Newton the Alchemist$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

William Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174877

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174877.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 24 February 2020

Problems of Authority and Language in Newton’s Chymistry

Problems of Authority and Language in Newton’s Chymistry

The Concept of the Adept

Chapter:
(p.20) Two Problems of Authority and Language in Newton’s Chymistry
Source:
Newton the Alchemist
Author(s):

William R. Newman

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691174877.003.0002

This chapter traces a host of related linguistic and interpretive issues that emerge from Newton's self-identification as a would-be adept. From the beginning of his serious chymical studies in the 1660s, he seems to have been confident that he belonged among the elite sons of wisdom who had been chosen to receive the philosophers' stone as a donum dei, a gift of the Creator himself. The most striking thing about his chymical corpus is the remarkable contrast between the years of elaborate speculation that went into his decipherment of alchemical sources and the extraordinary rigor of his chrysopoetic experiments. Despite his private acceptance of extravagant “authorities” such as Edwardus Generosus and the author of Manna, Newton remained wedded to the most stringent methods of the “experimental philosophy” and refused to believe that he had succeeded at the aurific art until experiment might tell him otherwise.

Keywords:   chymical studies, Isaac Newton, alchemy, experimental philosophy, philosophers' stone, adept

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.