Abstract
Alan Chalmers uses Robert Boyle’s mechanical philosophy as an example of the irrelevance of ‘philosophy’ to ‘science’ and criticizes my 2006 book Atoms and alchemy for overemphasizing Boyle’s successes. The present paper responds as follows: first, it argues that Chalmers employs an overly simplistic methodology insensitive to the distinction between historical and philosophical claims; second, it shows that the central theses of Atoms and alchemy are untouched by Chalmers’s criticisms; and third, it uses Boyle’s analysis of subordinate causes and his debate with Henry More in the 1670s to demonstrate the inadequacy of Chalmers’s construal of the mechanical philosophy.Keywords: Robert Boyle; Alan Chalmers; Geber; Paul of Taranto; Daniel Sennert; Alchemy; Chymistry; Mechanical philosophy; Reduction to the pristine state.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.03.002
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: 52,704
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

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.
The Lack of Excellency of Boyle's Mechanical Philosophy.Alan Chalmers - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (4):541-564.
Robert Boyle and the Heuristic Value of Mechanism.Peter R. Anstey - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):157-170.
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.
Boyle on Science and the Mechanical Philosophy: A Reply to Chalmers.Andrew Pyle - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):171-186.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Understanding Science Through its History: A Response to Newman.Alan Chalmers - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):150-153.
Atomism From the 17th to the 20th Century.Alan Chalmers - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Boyle on Science and the Mechanical Philosophy: A Reply to Chalmers.Andrew Pyle - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):171-186.
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.
Understanding Science Through its History: A Response to Newman.Alan Chalmers - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):150-153.
Robert Boyle and the Heuristic Value of Mechanism.Peter R. Anstey - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):157-170.
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.
The Lack of Excellency of Boyle's Mechanical Philosophy.Alan Chalmers - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (4):541-564.
Robert Boyle and the Heuristic Value of Mechanism.R. P. - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):157-170.
Review of David J. Chalmers, Constructing the World.Thomas W. Polger - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):419-423.
Science and its Fabrication.Alan Chalmers - 1990 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
An Objection to the Laplacean Chalmers.T. Parent - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):237-240.
The Heuristic Role of Maxwell's Mechanical Model of Electromagnetic Phenomena.Alan F. Chalmers - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 17 (4):415.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-09-14

Total views
34 ( #286,241 of 2,340,047 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #516,585 of 2,340,047 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes