According to Michael Sendivogius

Michael Sendivogius (/ˌsɛndɪˈvoʊdʒiəs/; Polish: Michał Sędziwój; 2 February 1566 – 1636) was a Polish alchemist, philosopher, and medical doctor.

A pioneer of chemistry, he developed ways of purification and creation of various acids, metals and other chemical compounds.

How did Michael Sendivogius think of his own findings at the time? Did he consider them to be "Alchemy", or by that time he saw them as "Chemistry"?


According to History of Chemistry

The protoscience of chemistry, alchemy, was unsuccessful in explaining the nature of matter and its transformations. However, by performing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry. The distinction began to emerge when a clear differentiation was made between chemistry and alchemy by Robert Boyle in his work The Sceptical Chymist (1661).

Alchemy and chemistry share an interest in the composition and properties of matter, and until the 18th century they were not separate disciplines. The term chymistry has been used to describe the blend of alchemy and chemistry that existed before that time.


Etymology of Chemistry from Alchemy to Chemistry

Later medieval Latin had alchimia / alchymia "alchemy", alchimicus "alchemical", and alchimista "alchemist". The mineralogist and humanist Georg Agricola (died 1555) was the first to drop the Arabic definite article al-. In his Latin works from 1530 on he exclusively wrote chymia and chymista in describing activity that we today would characterize as chemical or alchemical

  • $\begingroup$ Please share the results of your preliminary research into this. To my (certainly limited) knowledge there was no notion of chemistry as separate from alchemy prior to Robert Boyle (1627–1691) and Johann Kunckel (1630–1703). $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Feb 9, 2022 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ I added some notes. This is interesting because it shows Alchemy had elements of real science, and it wasnt pure mystical or wrongly theorized content $\endgroup$
    – Pablo
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ Consider also the 1675 publication of "Cours de Chymie" by Nicolas Lemery (1645–1715), who was one of the first to develop an acid-base theory of chemistry. $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ Interestingly enough, Alchemy was definitely not purely mystical, it picked up that connotation (particularly) in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a diverse field that attracted many types of people (mystics included), but most of the time the materials and preparation methods were quite modern. The theoretical side was lacking, but in the 17th century the distinction between magic and what we now consider "science" was vague at best. Most lab techniques (distillation, recrystallization, reducing things by boiling) were staples of alchemical research going back centuries. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2022 at 18:45
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    $\begingroup$ The transition was somewhat gradual. For example, Kunckel, for all his debunking of the charlatanry of alchemists and improvements to evidence-based experimental underpinnings of chemistry, continued to believe in transmutation. Johann Kunckel, "Philosophia Chemica Experimentis Confirmata," Amsterdam: J. Wolters 1694. Boyle can be credited with being the first to draw a sharp line. Robert Boyle, "The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico-Physical Doubts & Paradoxes," London: J. Cadwell 1661. Lemery introduced the distinction between organic and anorganic chemistry. $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Feb 9, 2022 at 21:47

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