Lavoisier's Achievement; More Than a Chemical Revolution

Crosland, Maurice P. (2009) Lavoisier's Achievement; More Than a Chemical Revolution. AMBIX, 56 (2). pp. 93-114. ISSN 0002-6980. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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The Chemical Revolution of the late eighteenth century consisted essentially of combustion being explained by the addition of oxygen rather than by the removal of phlogiston. This has been seen as the “paradigm shift” of a scientific revolution in the familiar Kuhnian sense. Yet Lavoisier helped to change chemistry in several other ways as well, particularly by the introduction of a new chemical language. This reorganisation of chemistry, at a time when it was being swamped with many new substances, has great similarity to the slightly earlier systematisation of botany by Linnaeus through the introduction of a binomial nomenclature. A further parallel in the late eighteenth century was the introduction of the metric system, which also introduced a new language. Yet, however one understands the Chemical Revolution, Lavoisier clearly made an enormous difference, not only to the internal science of chemistry, but also to its status. By the end of the 1700s, chemistry had become something of a model science.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2009 09:41
Last Modified: 15 May 2014 13:28
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