Occult qualities

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those qualities whose effects only were observed, but the nature and relations of whose productive agencies were undetermined; - so called by the schoolmen.

See also: Occult

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Adhering to a widely held intellectual concept rooted in antiquity, the Scottish physicians used the notion of occult qualities to explain the unexpected operation of the waters.
65) The existence of occult qualities was a notion that explained the anomalous effect of a simple without invalidating the Galenic system, and 'did not always have the strange connotations that we now associate with the concept or with magic'.
Mineral and metallic waters, therefore, possessed life and power which through their possession of occult qualities could act in unexpected ways.
so much the more fit to receiue both the taste, and all other second qualities from all simples: yea, not onely second qualities, which are manifest and knowne by the senses, but also hidden and occult qualities, of which, some doe alter the taste [such as rhubarb] and some doe not [such as the decoction of gold].
But in contrast with Szeemann's interest in the erotic and occult qualities of machinery, Hulten's was more that of a Swedish engineer with a slightly juvenile bent toward the absurd and anarchic.
It is this approach that causes her to neglect Gassendi's treatment of occult qualities without explaining the importance of this topic in the programmatic treatises on the mechanical philosophy, such as Gassendi's Syntagma Philosophicum and Descartes's Principles of Philosophy.
Experiments with instruments that explained music's occult qualities further marginalized natural magic from self-conscious articulation within scientific discourse, as it was no longer needed to explain musical phenomena.
His alchemical beliefs and strange effluvial cosmology modified his leaning towards Cartesian mechanism, but they also re-introduced scholastic-type occult qualities and his writings reveal an awareness of such problems.
With this edition of a sixteenth-century treatise on magnetism, previously known only from contemporary references, Monica Ugaglia fills a long-noted lacuna in the history of science, and presents historians with the raw materials for a better understanding of early modern views of occult qualities, experiment, and natural philosophy.
By adopting wholesale arguments that have been criticized as overdrawn (from Elizabeth Eisenstein on printing, to Keith Hutchinson on occult qualities during the scientific revolution, or Lawrence Stone on the decline of the aristocracy), his picture of the transition from medieval to modern is sharp and clear rather than complicated and fine-grained.