Robert Boyle and the Intelligibility of the Corpuscular Philosophy

In Peter R. Anstey & Alberto Vanzo (eds.), Experiment, Speculation and Religion in Early Modern Philosophy. New York: Routledge (2019)

Authors
Peter R. Anstey
University of Sydney
Abstract
Early modern experimental philosophers were opposed to speculation, and yet many endorsed speculative theories. This chapter gives a partial explanation of why this is so, using Robert Boyle’s acceptance and promotion of the corpuscular philosophy as a case study. It argues that, in addition to furnishing experimental evidence for the corpuscular hypothesis in his Forms and Qualities, Boyle attempted to establish its epistemic superiority over other speculative theories on the grounds that it is founded upon superior principles. In his ‘Excellency and Grounds of the Mechanical Hypothesis’, Boyle claims that the principles of the corpuscular philosophy are more intelligible, more parsimonious, ontologically primary, simpler and more comprehensive than those of its rivals. On grounds of comparative plausibility then, according to Boyle, the corpuscular philosophy is eminently preferable to its rivals. The final section of the chapter traces the legacy of Boyle’s appraisal of the epistemic status of the corpuscular philosophy in the writings of many of his compatriots from the mid-1660s to the Cyclopedia of Ephraim Chambers of 1728.
Keywords Robert Boyle  Corpuscular philosophy  Early modern experimental philosophy  Natural philosophy  Corpuscularism  Corpuscularianism  Experimental philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,132
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Robert Boyle and John Locke: Corpuscular Hypothesis and Experimental Philisophy.Luciana Zaterka - 2006 - Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science 1:58-66.
Boyle and the Origins of Modern Chemistry: Newman Tried in the Fire.Alan F. Chalmers - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):1-10.
A Useful Anachronism: John Locke, the Corpuscular Philosophy, and Inference to the Best Explanation.Selman Halabi - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (2):241-259.
Experiment Versus Mechanical Philosophy in the Work of Robert Boyle: A Reply to Anstey and Pyle.Alan Chalmers - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):187-193.
Robert Boyle on Natural Philosophy. [REVIEW]J. R. J. - 1967 - Review of Metaphysics 20 (3):542-543.
John Locke and Natural Philosophy.Peter R. Anstey - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Boyle on Seminal Principles.Peter R. Anstey - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (4):597-630.
Qualities and Powers in the Corpuscular Philosophy of Robert Boyle.Frederick O' Toole - 1974 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 12 (3):295.
Qualities and Powers in the Corpuscular Philosophy of Robert Boyle.Frederick J. O'Toole - 1974 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 12 (3):295-315.
Intermediate Causes and Explanations: The Key to Understanding the Scientific Revolution.Alan Chalmers - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):551-562.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-11-06

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes