The scholar and the craftsman revisited: Robert Boyle as aristocrat and artisan

Annals of Science 49 (3):255-276 (1992)

Summary The early background of Robert Boyle, a leading advocate of the mechanical philosophy at the Restoration, helps to illuminate his later understanding of both the relationship between gentleman naturalists and artisans, as well as that of theoretical abstraction and practical application in experimental philosophy and the manual arts. Boyle's agenda for ethical reconstruction emphasized practical moral knowledge and a transformation in intellectual values which, reinforced by the general outlook of the Hartlib circle, postulated the desirability of knowledge gleaned from scholars and artisans alike. The promotion of the manual arts, as contained in the general programme of Baconianism espoused by the Royal Society, helped Boyle's own unusual position as a chemist of high social rank. He hoped that chemical experiments could raise esteem for the ?useful art? of chemistry among naturalists if they would help establish the principles of the mechanical philosophy
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DOI 10.1080/00033799200200261
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The Origins of William Gilbert's Scientific Method.Edgar Zilsel & The Editors - 1941 - Journal of the History of Ideas 2 (1):1.
Alchemy, Magic and Moralism in the Thought of Robert Boyle.Michael Hunter - 1990 - British Journal for the History of Science 23 (4):387-410.

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