The Philosophy of Robert Boyle  book cover
1st Edition

The Philosophy of Robert Boyle

ISBN 9780415513777
Published November 24, 2011 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

First Published in 2004. This book presents the first integrated treatment of the mechanical or corpuscular philosophy of Robert Boyle, one of the leading English natural philosophers of the Scientific Revolution. It focuses on the concepts central to Boyle?€?s philosophy, including the theory of matter and its qualities, causation, laws of nature, motion and the incorporeal. The book is divided into two parts?€”the first examining the manner in which Boyle distinguished between various types of qualities, his view on the perception of these qualities and the ontological status of the sensible qualities. The second part examines Boyle?€?s mechanism in general. Through detailed examination of Boyle?€?s conceptions of motion, laws and space, it is argued that Boyle upholds a unique view of the causal interaction of natural bodies.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part 1 The theory of qualities; Chapter 1 Distinctions among the qualities; Chapter 2 Distinguishing criteria for the primary qualities; Chapter 3 The perception of the sensible qualities; Chapter 4 The ontological status of the sensible qualities; Part 2 Matter in motion; Chapter 5 Natural and violent states and motions; Chapter 6 The nature of place; Chapter 7 Laws and concurrence; Chapter 8 Mind/body interaction;

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Peter R.Anstey is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. He has had a long-term interest in the natural philosophy of Robert Boyle and is co-editor of the Boyle newsletter


'... Peter Anstey's rare combination of historical sensitivity with analytical sophistication should have a salutary effect on ongoing debates about Robert Boyle in a philosophical setting.' - Michael Hunter, Times Literary Supplement August 31st 2001

'Anstey succeeds admirably in presenting Boyle's often scattered remarks and comments as a distinct and original voice in the early modern history of ideas. By his thoughtful discussion of the recent secondary literature, Anstey's own contribution can be easily discerned.' - Ernst Homburg, The Journal of the Society for the History of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry

'Peter Anstey's The Philosophy of Robert Boyle successfully fills a large hole in the existing literature. ... Anstey does very valuable work in analysing Boyle's metaphysical commitments.'

'I welcome a book on Robert Boyle's philosophy, because he was a considerable philosopher and made important contributions to the development of the experimental sciences ... ' - Peter Alexander, Locke Studies: An Annual Journal of Locke Research