Catalogue


Enlightenment science in the romantic era : the chemistry of Berzelius and its cultural setting /
edited by Evan M. Melhado and Tore Frängsmyr.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
description
xiv, 246 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. --
ISBN
0521417759
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
isbn
0521417759
catalogue key
2847390
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-242) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-03:
Nine essays by as many different authors, on various aspects of Berzelius's life and work, provide a good introduction to a figure whose significance, according to most of the authors, has too often been misunderstood by the excessive present-mindedness of earlier historians of chemistry. (It may be noted that a much fuller account of Berzelius's chemical system is already available in Melhado's Jacob Berzelius, 1981.) It is true that Berzelius carried on the tradition of Enlightenment chemistry's central concern (as in Lavoisier) for the discrimination of various species of matter ("elements," "compounds," "mixtures"), but Berzelius succeeded, like none of his predecessors, in developing "the entire science of chemistry on a rigorous stoichiometric foundation" (Melhado). It is also true that Berzelius violently rejected all forms of Romantic holism or vitalism, but he never gave up his claim "that there was nevertheless something unique about living creatures" (Alan Rocke). Finally, though Berzelius insisted on extending the notion of electrochemical dualism from inorganic to organic chemistry a dualism which, it must be remembered, involved the necessary rejection of Avogadro's hypothesis, with its multiatomic molecules such extension was, in Berzelius's time, "neither implausible, nor unduly restrictive, nor crudely executed" (J. H. Brooke). Some of the essays presuppose considerable knowledge of early 19th-century chemistry. Brief but useful bibliography; useful index. Advanced undergraduate through professional. R. Palter; emeritus, Trinity College (CT)
Reviews
Review Quotes
'This collection of essays helps us considerably to see Berzelius's life and work in depth and in perspective.'Times Higher Education Supplement
‘This collection of essays helps us considerably to see Berzelius's life and work in depth and in perspective.’Times Higher Education Supplement
"...The aim of this excellent volume is to use the results of modern scholarship to replace the impoverished image of Berzelius and his chemistry with a keener appreciation of his contemporary significance...reflects admirably on the current state of Berzelius scholarship. It also promises to be an important focal point for future research into nineteenth-century chemistry for many years to come." John McEvoy, Isis
'This collection of essays helps us considerably to see Berzelius's life and work in depth and in perspective.' Times Higher Education Supplement
"...helps us considerably to see Berzelius's life and work in depth and in perspective." Alistair Duncan, Times Higher Education Supplement
"I recommend this multifaceted portrait of one of chemistry's most original and influential figures to a broad audience of chemists and historians of chemistry and of science." George B. Kauffman, Journal of Chemical Education
"...an attractive collection of essays, offering significant new perceptions of Berzelius...chemists, historians of science and, indeed, anyone interested in those disciplines will find them of interest." Trevor H. Levere, American Scientist
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1993
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This volume remedies the scarcity of accessible, modern assessments of Berzelius by bringing to a broad audience the results of recent scholarship, and it offers an enhanced assessment of his originality and influence.
Main Description
Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848), one of the world's leading scientists in the first half of the nineteenth century, dominated the field of chemistry, animated the cultural life of his native Sweden, and served for three decades as perpetual secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Despite his immense stature, modern studies have underestimated his significance. This volume remedies the scarcity of accessible, modern assessments of Berzelius by bringing to a broad audience the results of recent scholarship, and it offers an enhanced assessment of his originality and influence.
Main Description
Joseph Berzelius (1779-1848), one of the world's leading scientists in the first half of the nineteenth century, dominated the field of chemistry, animated the cultural life of his native Sweden, and served for three decades as secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Despite his immense stature, modern studies have underestimated his significance. This volume remedies the scarcity of accessible, modern assessments of Berzelius by bringing to a broad audience the results of recent scholarship, and it offers an enhanced assessment of his originality and influence.
Table of Contents
Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction
Berzelius and his time
'Truth, The Angel of Light': Berzelius, Agardh and Hwasser
Berzelius and the atomic theory: the intellectual background
Berzelius, Dalton and the chemical atom
Berzelius's animal chemistry: from physiology to organic chemisty, 1805-1814
Novelty and tradition in the chemistry of Berzelius (1803-1819)
Berzelius as godfather of isomorphism
Berzelius, the dualistic hypothesis, and the rise of organic chemistry
Berzelius as a European traveller
A selected bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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