Lavoisier’s "Reflections on phlogiston" I: against phlogiston theory

  title={Lavoisier’s "Reflections on phlogiston" I: against phlogiston theory},
  author={Nicholas W. Best},
  journal={Foundations of Chemistry},
This seminal paper, which marks a turning point of the chemical revolution, is presented for the first time in a complete English translation. In this first half Lavoisier undermines phlogiston chemistry by arguing that his French contemporaries (particularly P.-J. Macquer and Baumé) had replaced Stahl’s original theory with radically different systems that conceptualised the phlogiston principle in completely incompatible ways. He refutes their claims by showing that these later models were… 
9 Citations
Acids and Rust: A New Perspective on the Chemical Revolution
  • F. Jacoby
  • Philosophy
    Perspectives on Science
  • 2021
This paper uses scientific perspectivism as a lens for understanding acid experiments from the Chemical Revolution. I argue that this account has several advantages over several recent
Living Messages from Chemistry Icons: Legacies with Contemporary Relevance.
In an era when science is more necessary than ever to help meet oncoming global challenges, yet the principles and results of science are irrationally questioned, it is particularly relevant to re-connect with the broad insights and messages that can be derived from examining the thoughts and deeds of chemistry icons from the past.
Discoveries of Oxygen and the “Chemical Revolution” in the Context of European Scientific Networks
The so-called Chemical Revolution in the late 18th century often related chemistry to Lavoisier’s discovery of oxygen. It is argued that modern chemistry, and its rise as a scientific discipline,
A History of Thermodynamics: The Missing Manual
A history of thermodynamics is presented, a pre-history of heat and temperature, and steam engine efficiency, which motivated thermodynamics, and three heat conservation-based foundational papers by Carnot, Clapeyron, and Thomson are considered.
The Nature of Heat and the Absolute Zero Temperature
This paper starts with the most basic concept of heat as well as temperature, historically investigates the understanding of the nature of heat, the conclusion is that the nature of heat is just a


We Have Never Been Whiggish (About Phlogiston)1
. If whiggism involves judging past scientific theories according to our modern standards, not many people have been properly whiggish about the Chemical Revolution. From a modern perspective,
The Significance of "Chymical Atomism"
The historical treatment of atomism and the mechanical philosophy largely neglects what I call "chymical atomism," namely a type of pre-Daltonian corpuscular matter theory that postulated particles
"A Proverb of Versatile Mutability": Proteus and Natural Knowledge in Early Modern Britain
The image of the mythological shape-changing sea-god Proteus was used in several contexts relating to natural philosophy in early modern Britain. These uses derived from different ancient sources,
Macquer's Dictionnaire de Chymie: a bibliographical study.
A detailed account of the circumstances in which the various editions, reprints and translations of P. J. Macquer's Dictionnaire de chymie were published is given, and detailed bibliographical descriptions of them are added.
Lavoisier's Thoughts on Calcination and Combustion, 1772-1773
ON 1 NOVEMBER 1772 ANTOINE LAURENT LAVOISIER drafted the now-famous note outlining his recent experiments on the combustion of phosphorus and sulphur and the reduction of litharge (lead oxide). To
Meta-Incommensurability between Theories of Meaning: Chemical Evidence
Attempting to compare scientific theories requires a philosophical model of meaning. Yet different scientific theories have at times—particularly in early chemistry—pre-supposed disparate theories of
Some large burning lenses and their use by eighteenth-century French and british chemists
Summary In scientific circles in Paris and London large burning lenses were used in the eighteenth century as a means of reaching very high temperatures. However, their great expense proved to be