When he began his active career it was generally believed that, although some instances of the synthetical production of organic substances had been observed, on the whole organic chemistry must remain an analytical science and could not become a constructive one, because the formation of the substances with which it deals required the intervention of vital activity in some shape.
To this attitude he offered uncompromising opposition, and by the synthetical production of numerous hydrocarbons, natural fats, sugars and other bodies he proved that organic compounds can be formed by ordinary methods of chemical manipulation and obey the same laws as inorganic substances, thus exhibiting the "creative character in virtue of which chemistry actually realizes the abstract conceptions of its theories and classifications - a prerogative so far possessed neither by the natural nor by the historical sciences."
His reputation mainly rests on his Introduzione ad una teoria geometrica delle curve piane, which proclaims him as a follower of the Steinerian or synthetical school of geometricians.
It is difficult to determine which configuration most accurately explains the observed facts; Kekule's formula undoubtedly explains the synthetical production of benzenoid compounds most satisfactorily, and W.
Researches in synthetical organic chemistry have shown that this property of fluorescenceis common to an immense number of substances, and theories have been proposed whose purpose is to connect the property with constitution.
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