Lavoisier’s Elementalism

“[…] the fondness for reducing all the bodies in nature to three or four elements, proceeds from a prejudice which has descended to us from the Greek Philosophers. The notion of four elements, which, by the variety of their proportions, compose all the known substances in nature, is a mere hypothesis, assumed long before the first principles of experimental philosophy or chemistry had any existence. In those days, without possessing facts, they framed systems; while we, who have collected facts, seem determined to reject them, when they do not agree with our prejudices. The authority of these fathers of human philosophy still carry great weight, and there is reason to fear that it will even bear hard upon generations yet to come.”

– Antoine Lavoisier (1789), Elements of Chemistry

(Stolen from: ‘synapsomatic’)

Leave a Reply

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 135,827 bad guys.