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Revealing natural processes through the laboratory (Phase II): the search for material principles in the three kingdoms until the specialization of science in the 1800s

Grant number: 11/14040-9
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: March 01, 2012 - February 28, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Science
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria Alfonso-Goldfarb
Grantee:Ana Maria Alfonso-Goldfarb
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Exatas e Tecnologia. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Márcia Helena Mendes Ferraz
Associated researchers:Andrea Paula dos Santos Oliveira Kamensky ; Carla Bromberg ; Daniel Couto Gatti ; Fumikazu Saito ; Marcos Galindo Lima ; Maria Helena Roxo Beltran ; SIlvia Irene Waisse de Priven ; Vera Cecília Machline
Associated grant(s):17/08058-9 - Visiting professor: Stephen Weldon, Oklahoma University, USA, AV.EXT
16/18870-0 - Visiting professor: Frank A.J.L. James, University College London/Royal Institution, AV.EXT
16/11921-8 - Visiting researcher: Prof. Piyo Rattansi, University College London, AV.EXT
+ associated grants 16/11477-0 - English alchemy and medicine in the seventeenth-century, Prof. Jennifer Rampling, University of Princeton, AV.EXT
15/06886-6 - Scientiae 2015, AR.EXT
13/23837-3 - Visiting professor: Dr. Piyo Rattansi, AV.EXT
13/07806-0 - 24th International Congress of History of Science Medicine and Technology, AR.EXT
13/06491-6 - 24th International Congress of History of Science Medicine and Technology, AR.EXT
13/01526-6 - 24th International Congress of History of Science Medicine and Technology, AR.EXT
12/10785-2 - Visiting professor: Dr. Hasok Chang, AV.EXT - associated grants
Associated scholarship(s):12/25181-5 - Plastic and respiratory foods: concepts and discussions about nutrition in chemical medical sciences and their role in 19th Century cookbooks, BP.PD


Our previous thematic project (Proc. FAPESP 2005/56638-7) focused on an important network of discussions about the principles of matter that extended well into the 18th century. These discussions were characterized by an appeal to laboratory work grounded on a thorough revision of ancient and/or traditional sources. Within this network, two major lines were identified: one maintaining that each kingdom of nature possesses material principles of its own; and another conversely claiming there is one single principle of matter circulating among all three kingdoms. The discovery of previously unknown documents, however, pointed to new research possibilities. Phase II of our thematic project will thus continue to pursue the early modern views on the principle(s) of matter together with new research angles aiming at: 1) a deeper understanding of 17th and 18th century varieties of associatedness, which were the source of crucial developments reshaping the network of scholars; 2) a discussion of the contemporary models to represent the relationship between science and techné, as on the one hand they had a direct say on the role of laboratory work, and on the other, they underlie different routes for the transmission of trade secrets - that probably is one of the major factors explaining the permanence of and the continual search for ancient sources; 3) extending the scope of research up to the 19th century, when the traditional areas of knowledge dismembered towards a modern parametrical system and the notion of principle(s) of matter was overcome; 4) taking up again some topics addressed in our first thematic project (Proc. 1999/12791) as the starting point for more thorough research into the division and reorganization of knowledge leading to varying configurations of the tree of knowledge until modern specialization settled in. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
WAISSE, SILVIA; JURJ, GHEORGHE. A clinical history of Zincum metallicum: homeopathic pathogenetic trials and case reports. Homeopathy, v. 106, n. 2, p. 114-130, . (11/14040-9)

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