An Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledge Hardback

The 'Christian Philosophy' of Jan Baptist van Helmont (1579-1644)

by Georgiana D. Hedesan;

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An Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledge

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History of science credits the Flemish physician, alchemist and philosopher Jan Baptist Van Helmont (1579-1644) for his contributions to the development of chemistry and medicine. Yet, as this book makes clear, focussing on Van Helmonta (TM)s impact on modern science does not do justice to the complexity of his thought or to his influence on successive generations of intellectuals like Robert Boyle or Gottfried Leibniz. Revealing Van Helmont as an original thinker who sought to produce a post-Scholastic synthesis of religion and natural philosophy, Georgiana Hedesan reconstructs his ambitious quest for universal knowledge as it emerges from the text of the Ortus medicinae (1648). Published after Van Helmonta (TM)s death by his son, the work can best be understood as a compilation of finished and unfinished treatises, the historical product of a life unsettled by religious persecution and personal misfortune. The present book provides a coherent account of Van Helmonta (TM)s philosophy by analysing its main tenets.
Divided into two parts, the study opens with a background to Van Helmonta (TM)s concept of an alchemical Christian philosophy, demonstrating that his outlook was deeply grounded in the tradition of medical alchemy as reformed by Theophrastus Paracelsus (1493-1541). It then reconstitutes Van Helmonta (TM)s biography, while giving a historical dimension to his intellectual output. The second part reconstructs Van Helmonta (TM)s Christian philosophy, investigating his views on God, nature and man, as well as his applied philosophy. Hedesan also provides an account of the development of Van Helmonta (TM)s thought throughout his life. The conclusion sums up Van Helmonta (TM)s intellectual achievement and highlights avenues of future research.

An Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledge by Georgiana D. Hedesan was published by Ashgate Publishing Group in March 2016. The ISBN for An Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledge is 9781472469168.

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Details for An Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledge

Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
PublisherAshgate Publishing Group (March 2016)
EditionNew edition
Number of Pages254
Thickness15 mm
Height234 mm
Width156 mm
Product Code4375392
Page last updated 15th December 2017
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