Isaac Newton: The Vegetable Spirit: Reasons In Philosophy

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Vegetable Spirit:
The “vegetable spirit” was a concept introduced by Isaac Newton who was an active physicist in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. To Newton, the vegetable spirit was a vital alchemical principle that explained cohesion and surpassed the realm of vulgar mechanics. He thought the Light of Genesis could be explained by the vegetable spirit and its fermental virtues because it was the vital ether in the world and God’s agent on Earth. Newton’s vegetable spirit represents the struggle between science and religion within our class. Ultimately, Newton thought the vegetable spirit rectified the growing division between science and religion, would eliminate atheism, and lead alchemists and laymen alike to (T)ruth.
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More simply, we must acknowledge the all-inclusive nature of particular observations without trying to prove everything individually -- there are universal principles. Newton’s second rule appears in the Mathematical Principle of Natural Philosophy, sometimes referred to as the Principia, written in the seventeenth century. Newton’s Principia represents the Scientific Revolution in a broad sense as well as the need for overarching truths during a period of massive overhaul. The “Rules of Reasonings in Philosophy” served as a guide to all scholars and is also indicative of what qualifies particular research and science as valid. To Newton, if one was not following his rules, their research was invalid. In the scope of our class, Newton’s Principia is evidence of the scholarly elite that would come to categorize …show more content…
Browne asserts there are many creatures who do have a “testaceous concretion” placed on their head, yet there is not definitive evidence in the work of Ulisse Aldrovandi or in Browne’s own observations to prove the toad-stone. Browne’s work with toad-stones is detailed in a work called the Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or Vulgar Errors, which breaks down questions, common myths, and misguided beliefs in the seventeenth century. Within the scope of HIS 187, Browne’s work is evidence to the quest for the (T)ruth during the early stages of the Scientific Revolution. Ultimately, Browne’s work embodies the movement towards experience and experiments opposed to blind observations and

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