ALCHEMY OF THE RENAISSANCE TODAY: SCIENTIFIC-EDUCATIONAL AND SCIENTIFIC-HISTORICAL APPROACH
The scientific-educational approach, combining the educational point of view with the scientific criticism of the educational approach, was formed, oddly enough, in the study of alchemy, and views the latter as a stage in the development of chemistry. It is this approach which combined the ideas of the Enlightenment with natural science and its history and became the basis for the formation of a classical view of the Hermetic tradition. This approach is based on the reality of the object of alchemy, proving that it is indeed real, and that behind the curtain of illusions and allegories lies the ‘solid body’ of chemical transformations and very unusual experiments of physics. This approach is focused on desacralizing the content of ancient and medieval ‘dark’ texts, to identify in them a scientific component and reformulate in modern scientific language the problems they solve.
In this text the rational components of alchemy are considered from the point of view of the history of thermodynamics. One can give a ‘thermodynamic’ interpretation of the alchemical fragments of ‘Atalanta fugiens’ (EMBLEMS III, IV, V).
Describing the stages of the Great Work, alchemists widely use metaphors, legends and various forms of allegory. The alchemists knew that thermal effects almost always accompany chemical changes.
It is shown that the basis for a number of alchemic experiments is the correct scientific idea of the thermodynamic effect of a chemical reaction.
Keywords: alchemy, scientific approach, history of science, history of chemistry, history of thermodynamics
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