"In Promethean Ambitions", William R. Newman uses alchemy as a means to discuss the thinning boundary between the natural and the artificial. Focusing primarily on the period between 1200 and 1700, Newman examines the labors of pioneering alchemists and the impassioned - and often negative - responses to their efforts. Newman also shows that alchemy was not an unformed and capricious precursor to chemistry; it was an art founded on coherent philosophical and empirical principles - with vocal supporters and even louder critics - that attracted individuals of first-rate intellect. The historical relationship that he charts here between human creation and nature has innumerable implications today. "Promethean Ambitions" ably imbues a millennium-old scientific and ethical debate with modern relevance.
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(229mm x 180mm x 21mm)
University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
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Author Biography - William R. Newman
William R. Newman is the Ruth N. Halls Professor in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University. He is the author of Gehennical Fire and, with Lawrence M. Principe, Alchemy Tried in the Fire, both published by the University of Chicago Press.