The ontological function of first-order and second-order corpuscles in the chemical philosophy of Robert Boyle: the redintegration of potassium nitrate

Foundations of Chemistry 14 (3):221-234 (2012)
Abstract
Although Boyle has been regarded as a champion of the seventeenth century Cartesian mechanical philosophy, I defend the position that Boyle’s views conciliate between a strictly mechanistic conception of fundamental matter and a non-reductionist conception of chemical qualities. In particular, I argue that this conciliation is evident in Boyle’s ontological distinction between fundamental corpuscles endowed with mechanistic properties and higher-level corpuscular concretions endowed with chemical properties. Some of these points have already been acknowledged by contemporary scholars, and I actively engage with their ideas in this paper. However I attempt to contribute to the debate over Boyle’s mechanical philosophy by arguing that Boyle’s writings suggest an emergentist, albeit still mechanistic, notion of chemical properties. I contrast Boyle’s views against those of strict reductionist mechanical philosophers, focusing on the famous debate with Spinoza over the redintegration of niter, and argue that Boyle’s complex chemical ontology provides a more satisfactory understanding of chemical phenomena than is provided by a strictly reductionist and Cartesian mechanical philosophy
Keywords Boyle  Spinoza  Corpuscularism  Mechanism  Reductionism  Emergentism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10698-012-9159-8
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,188
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
Selected Philosophical Papers of Robert Boyle.M. A. Stewart (ed.) - 1979 - Manchester University Press Barnes & Noble Books.
Joan Baptista Van Helmont: Reformer of Science and Medicine.Walter Pagel - 1984 - Journal of the History of Biology 17 (2):291-294.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories.Matthew J. Barker - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Neutralism Within the Semantic Tradition.Robert Trueman - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):246-251.
Locke, Boyle, and the Percieving of Corpuscles.I. I. Wolf - 1997 - Southwest Philosophy Review 13 (2):43-56.
Robert Boyle and the Limits of Reason.Jan W. Wojcik - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
Ideas, Qualities and Corpuscles. Locke and Boyle on the External World.Ezra Talmor - 1988 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 26 (1):152-153.
Boyle on Seminal Principles.R. P. - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (4):597-630.
Higher-Order Ontological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1066-1078.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-07-24

Total downloads

20 ( #242,783 of 2,153,834 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #162,587 of 2,153,834 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums