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The Context Of Salts

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter overviews the book The Salt of the Earth. The book explores the concept chapter-wise; the analysis of significance of the salts to the English Paracelsian School, shows that chymistry was more intimately connected to the “virtuosic dabblings,” then analyzes to what extent the alchemical understanding of salts was modified. In this work the author demonstrates the centrality of salt and salt chymistry to early chymistry and matter theory generally, and ask to what extent natural philosophers and physicians in the seventeenth and eighteenth century considered salt fundamental to science and medicine. Asserts that salt chymistry provides a nexus for studying the interrelationships between chymistry, natural history, physiology, and medical sciences in the early modern period. Author argues that analyzing to what extent the alchemical understanding of salts was modified in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries crucial to our understanding of the transition between alchemy and chymistry.

Keywords: alchemy; matter theory; medical sciences; natural history; physiology; salt chymistry



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