Instruments and the Experimental Method

in Inventing Chemistry

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226677606
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226677620 | DOI:
Instruments and the Experimental Method

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This chapter explores Herman Boerhaave's reasons for adopting the new style of presentation, which aimed to illustrate theoretical principles in action and explain the experimental methodology through which they were established. It also evaluates the experiments that Boerhaave undertook to work out his demonstrations. Boerhaave's pedagogical work for his instrument course was a form of natural philosophy. His demonstrational method was an organizational tool for his lecture notes and a means of drawing the student's attention to the relevant aspects of the displayed phenomenon. Boerhaave's instruments course's ultimate goal was to discipline the student into seeing and interacting with the world in a certain manner. Furthermore, his pedagogical practice was an enterprise that produced new knowledge and techniques. The immediate success of Boerhaave's chemical course depended on its pedagogical aspects.

Keywords: natural philosophy; Herman Boerhaave; demonstrations; chemical course; pedagogical work

Chapter.  10295 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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