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  1. Form, Substance, and Mechanism.Robert Pasnau - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (1):31-88.
    Philosophers today have largely given up on the project of categorizing being. Aristotle’s ten categories now strike us as quaint, and no attempt to improve on that effort meets with much interest. Still, no one supposes that reality is smoothly distributed over space. The world at large comes in chunks, and there remains a widespread intuition, even among philosophers, that some of these chunks have a special sort of unity and persistence. These, we tend to suppose, are most truly agents (...)
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  • The Case Against Powers.Walter Ott - 2021 - In Stathis Psillos, Benjamin Hill & Henrik Lagerlund (eds.), Causal Powers in Science: Blending Historical and Conceptual Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 149-167.
    Powers ontologies are currently enjoying a resurgence. This would be dispiriting news for the moderns; in their eyes, to imbue bodies with powers is to slide back into the scholastic slime from which they helped philosophy crawl. I focus on Descartes’s ‘little souls’ argument, which points to a genuine and, I think persisting, defect in powers theories. The problem is that an Aristotelian power is intrinsic to whatever has it. Once this move is accepted, it becomes very hard to see (...)
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  • Boyle, Bentley and Clarke on God, Necessity, Frigorifick Atoms and the Void.J. J. MacIntosh - 2001 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (1):33 – 50.
    In this paper I look at two connections between natural philosophy and theology in the late 17th century. In the last quarter of the century there was an interesting development of an argument, earlier but sketchier versions of which can be found in classical philosophers and in Descartes. The manoeuvre in question goes like this: first, prove that there must, necessarily, be a being which is, in some sense of "greater", greater than humans. Second, sketch a proof that such a (...)
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  • Induction Before Hume.J. R. Milton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (1):49-74.
  • The Heyday of Teleology and Early Modern Philosophy.Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2011 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 35 (1):179-204.
    This paper offers a non-traditional account of what was really at stake in debates over the legitimacy of teleology and teleological explanations in the later medieval and early modern periods. It is divided into four main sections. The first section highlights two defining features of ancient and early medieval views on teleology, namely, that teleological explanations are on a par (or better) with efficient causal explanations, and that the objective goodness of outcomes may explain their coming about. The second section (...)
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  • Materialism and ‘the Soft Substance of the Brain’: Diderot and Plasticity.Charles T. Wolfe - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):963-982.
    ABSTRACTMaterialism is the view that everything that is real is material or is the product of material processes. It tends to take either a ‘cosmological’ form, as a claim about the ultimate nature of the world, or a more specific ‘psychological’ form, detailing how mental processes are brain processes. I focus on the second, psychological or cerebral form of materialism. In the mid-to-late eighteenth century, the French materialist philosopher Denis Diderot was one of the first to notice that any self-respecting (...)
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  • Kant’s Dynamical Theory of Matter in 1755, and its Debt to Speculative Newtonian Experimentalism.Michela Massimi - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):525-543.
    This paper explores the scientific sources behind Kant’s early dynamic theory of matter in 1755, with a focus on two main Kant’s writings: Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens and On Fire. The year 1755 has often been portrayed by Kantian scholars as a turning point in the intellectual career of the young Kant, with his much debated conversion to Newton. Via a careful analysis of some salient themes in the two aforementioned works, and a reconstruction of the (...)
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  • Revelation and the Nature of Colour.Keith Allen - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (2):153-176.
    According to naïve realist (or primitivist) theories of colour, colours are sui generis mind-independent properties. The question that I consider in this paper is the relationship of naïve realism to what Mark Johnston calls Revelation, the thesis that the essential nature of colour is fully revealed in a standard visual experience. In the first part of the paper, I argue that if naïve realism is true, then Revelation is false. In the second part of the paper, I defend naïve realism (...)
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  • Reid's Foundation for the Primary/Secondary Quality Distinction.Jennifer McKitrick - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):478-494.
    Reid offers an under-appreciated account of the primary/secondary quality distinction. He gives sound reasons for rejecting the views of Locke, Boyle, Galileo and others, and presents a better alternative, according to which the distinction is epistemic rather than metaphysical. Primary qualities, for Reid, are qualities whose intrinsic natures can be known through sensation. Secondary qualities, on the other hand, are unknown causes of sensations. Some may object that Reid's view is internally inconsistent, or unacceptably relativistic. However, a deeper understanding shows (...)
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  • Mechanism, Resemblance and Secondary Qualities: From Descartes to Locke.Keith Allen - 2008 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):273 – 291.
    Locke’s argument for the primary-secondary quality distinction is compared with Descartes’s argument (in the Principles of Philosophy) for the distinction between mechanical modifications and sensible qualities. I argue that following Descartes, Locke’s argument for the primary-secondary quality distinction is an essentially a priori argument, based on our conception of substance, and the constraints on intelligible bodily interaction that this conception of substance sets.
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  • An Elaboration of a Cardinal Goal of Science Instruction: Scientific Thinking.Robert H. Ennis - 1991 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 23 (1):31-44.
    SummaryIn this essay I offer a set of characteristic scientific activities, accompanied by principles to be used as guides in performing these activities, and dispositions that are desirable for the person performing these activities to have. This set is intended to provide a rough and ready elaboration of scientific thinking as a goal for our schools and colleges.Although they are here labeled scientific, they are intended to apply to other activities than doing what is standardly called science. This wider application (...)
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  • Scientific Experiment and Legal Expertise: The Way of Experience in Seventeenth-Century England.Rose-Mary Sargent - 1989 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 20 (1):19-45.
  • A New Way to Read Boyle's Works.Rose-Mary Sargent - 2002 - Annals of Science 59 (3):321-326.
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  • An Absolute Zero of Temperature: Locke's Enunciation of the Concept.B. R. Coles - 1995 - Annals of Science 52 (4):411-412.
    Attention is drawn to a clear statement of the concept of an absolute zero of temperature by John Locke some time between 1698 and 1704. From the writings of Boyle and Newton it seems unlikely that either of them was responsible for providing their friend with this insight.
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  • The Alchemical Sources of Robert Boyle's Corpuscular Philosophy.William R. Newman - 1996 - Annals of Science 53 (6):567-585.
    Summary Robert Boyle is remembered largely for his integration of experiment and the ?mechanical philosophy?. Although Boyle is occasionally elusive as to what he means precisely by the ?mechanical philosophy?, it is clear that a major portion of it concerned his corpuscular theory of matter. Historians of science have traditionally viewed Boyle's corpuscular philosophy as the grafting of a physical theory onto a previously incoherent body of alchemy and iatrochemistry. As this essay shows, however, Boyle owed a heavy debt to (...)
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  • Robert Boyle's Epistemology: The Interaction Between Scientific and Religious Knowledge.J. J. MacIntosh - 1992 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (2):91 – 121.
    Abstract Boyle distinguished clearly between the areas which we would call scientific and theological. However, he felt that they overlapped seamlessly, and that the truths we discovered (or which were revealed to us) in one of these areas would be relevant to us in the other. In this paper I outline and discuss Boyle's views on the limitations of human knowing, Boyle's arguments in favour of accepting the revelations of the Christian faith, and his views on the kind of epistomological (...)
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  • Mechanism and Activity in the Scientific Revolution: The Case of Robert Hooke.Mark E. Ehrlich - 1995 - Annals of Science 52 (2):127-151.
    Recent ‘revisionist’ studies of the Scientific Revolution have utilized Robert Hooke as an example of a mechanical philosopher who incorporated active principles in his world system. This paper carefully examines Hooke's natural philosophy in order to determine the extent to which he employed active agents in his work. Thorough investigation reveals that although Hooke sometimes refrained from offering causal explanations of the phenomena he studied, there is no solid evidence that he believed active principles were at work in nature. Rather, (...)
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  • Reverend Paley's Naturalist Revival.Peter McLaughlin - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):25-37.
    This paper analyzes the remarkable popularity of William Paley’s argument from design among contemporary naturalists in biology and the philosophy of science. In philosophy of science Elliott Sober has argued that creationism should be excluded from the schools not because it is not science but because it is ‘less likely’ than evolution according to fairly standard confirmation theory. Creationism is said to have been a plausible scientific option as presented by Paley but no longer to be acceptable according to the (...)
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  • Reverend Paley’s Naturalist Revival.Peter McLaughlin - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):25-37.
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