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  1. System, Hypothesis, and Experiments: Pierre-Sylvain Régis.Antonella Del Prete - 2023 - In Andrea Strazzoni & Marco Sgarbi (eds.), Reading Descartes. Consciousness, Body, and Reasoning. Florence: Firenze University Press. pp. 155-168.
    Pierre-Sylvain Régis’s Cartesianism is quite singular in seventeenth-century French philosophy. Though, can we speak of a form of experimental science in Régis’s work? After exploring his notions of ‘system’ and ‘hypothesis’, I will define his position in relation to Claude Perrault, Jacques Rohault, and the Royal Society. I argue, first, that the contrasts which traverse French science are not so much about the use of experiments but about whether or not observational data can be traced back to hypotheses and to (...)
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  2. Between Descartes and Boyle: Burchard de Volder’s Experimental Lectures at Leiden, 1676–1678.Andrea Strazzoni - 2023 - In Davide Cellamare & Mattia Mantovani (eds.), Descartes in the classroom: teaching Cartesian philosophy in the early modern age. Boston: Brill. pp. 174-198.
    In this chapter I provide a reconstruction of the contents of the lectures provided by Burchard de Volder by means of experiments at Leiden, in the years 1676–1678, as well as of the natural-philosophical interpretation he provided of the experimental evidences he gained. Such lectures, mostly based on the experiments described by Boyle, served De Volder to teach natural-philosophical ideas which he borrowed from Descartes, and which he re-interpreted in the light of Archimedes’s hydrostatics.
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  3. Essence, Experiment, and Underdetermination in the Spinoza-Boyle Correspondence.Stephen Harrop - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (2):447-484.
    I examine the (mediated) correspondence between Spinoza and Robert Boyle concerning the latter’s account of fluidity and his experiments on reconstitution of niter in the light of the epistemology and doctrine of method contained in the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. I argue that both the Treatise and the correspondence reveal that for Spinoza, the proper method of science is not experimental, and that he accepted a powerful under-determination thesis. I argue that, in contrast to modern versions, Spinoza’s (...)
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  4. Baconianism.Andrea Strazzoni - 2022 - Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy.
    The philosophy of Francis Bacon was interpreted in various ways in the seventeenth century. In England, his utopian project and natural history became the basis for the projects of religious pacification, pedagogical reformation, and scientific cooperation of Hartlib, Comenius and Charleton. In the hands of Evelyn, Wilkins, and Wren, moreover, Bacon’s ideal of cooperative science engendered the birth of the Royal Society, and his natural history guided the experimental activities of Boyle and Hooke. In France and the Netherlands, attention was (...)
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  5. Animism and Natural Teleology from Avicenna to Boyle.Jeff Kochan - 2021 - Science in Context 34 (1):1-23.
    Historians have claimed that the two closely related concepts of animism and natural teleology were both decisively rejected in the Scientific Revolution. They tout Robert Boyle as an early modern warden against pre-modern animism. Discussing Avicenna, Aquinas, and Buridan, as well as Renaissance psychology, I instead suggest that teleology went through a slow and uneven process of rationalization. As Neoplatonic theology gained influence over Aristotelian natural philosophy, the meaning of animism likewise grew obscure. Boyle, as some historians have shown, exemplifies (...)
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  6. Locke on Scientific Methodology.Huaping Lu-Adler - 2021 - In Jessica Gordon-Roth & Shelley Weinberg (eds.), The Lockean Mind. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 277-89.
    This chapter brings some much-needed conceptual clarity to the debate about Locke’s scientific methodology. Instead of having to choose between the method of hypothesis and that of natural history (as most interpreters have thought), he would resist prescribing a single method for natural sciences in general. Following Francis Bacon and Robert Boyle, Locke separates medicine and natural philosophy (physics), so that they call for completely different methods. While a natural philosopher relies on “speculative” (causal-theoretical) hypotheses together with natural-history making to (...)
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  7. The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence.Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This book examines the way in which Robert Boyle seeks to accommodate his complex chemical philosophy within the framework of a mechanistic theory of matter. More specifically, the book proposes that Boyle regards chemical qualities as properties that emerged from the mechanistic structure of chymical atoms. Within Boyle’s chemical ontology, chymical atoms are structured concretions of particles that Boyle regards as chemically elementary entities, that is, as chemical wholes that resist experimental analysis. Although this interpretation of Boyle’s chemical philosophy has (...)
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  8. Natural Philosophy, Deduction, and Geometry in the Hobbes-Boyle Debate.Marcus P. Adams - 2017 - Hobbes Studies 30 (1):83-107.
    This paper examines Hobbes’s criticisms of Robert Boyle’s air-pump experiments in light of Hobbes’s account in _De Corpore_ and _De Homine_ of the relationship of natural philosophy to geometry. I argue that Hobbes’s criticisms rely upon his understanding of what counts as “true physics.” Instead of seeing Hobbes as defending natural philosophy as “a causal enterprise … [that] as such, secured total and irrevocable assent,” 1 I argue that, in his disagreement with Boyle, Hobbes relied upon his understanding of natural (...)
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  9. Early Modern Experimental Philosophy.Peter R. Anstey & Alberto Vanzo - 2016 - In Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 87-102.
    In the mid-seventeenth century a movement of self-styled experimental philosophers emerged in Britain. Originating in the discipline of natural philosophy amongst Fellows of the fledgling Royal Society of London, it soon spread to medicine and by the eighteenth century had impacted moral and political philosophy and even aesthetics. Early modern experimental philosophers gave epistemic priority to observation and experiment over theorising and speculation. They decried the use of hypotheses and system-building without recourse to experiment and, in some quarters, developed a (...)
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  10. Experiment and Speculation in Seventeenth-Century Italy: The Case of Geminiano Montanari.Alberto Vanzo - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:52-61.
    This paper reconstructs the natural philosophical method of Geminiano Montanari, one of the most prominent Italian natural philosophers of the late seventeenth century. Montanari’s views are used as a case study to assess recent claims concerning early modern experimental philosophy. Having presented the distinctive tenets of seventeenth-century experimental philosophers, I argue that Montanari adheres to them explicitly, thoroughly, and consistently. The study of Montanari’s views supports three claims. First, experimental philosophy was not an exclusively British phenomenon. Second, in spite of (...)
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  11. From Aristotle’s Teleology to Darwin’s Genealogy: The Stamp of Inutility, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 (pdf: Contents, Introduction).Marco Solinas - 2015 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Starting with Aristotle and moving on to Darwin, Marco Solinas outlines the basic steps from the birth, establishment and later rebirth of the traditional view of living beings, and its overturning by evolutionary revolution. The classic framework devised by Aristotle was still dominant in the 17th Century world of Galileo, Harvey and Ray, and remained hegemonic until the time of Lamarck and Cuvier in the 19th Century. Darwin's breakthrough thus takes on the dimensions of an abandonment of the traditional finalistic (...)
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  12. Ruardus Andala e la nuova filosofia.Stefano Caroti - 2014 - In Stefano Caroti & Alberto Siclari (eds.), _Filosofia e religione. Studi in onore di Fabio Rossi_. Raccolti da Stefano Caroti e Alberto Siclari. Parma: E-theca OnLineOpenAccess Edizioni. pp. 236-257.
    In assuming his post of Professor of Philosophy at the University of Franeker, Ruardus Andala expounded in his Oratio inauguralis de physicae praestantia, utilitate et iucunditate (1701) his aim to replace Scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy with more recent philosophical and scientific theories as the rational foundation of theology. In this paper, Andala’s program is reconstructed by taking into account his later works, where he abandoned his former predilection for Jean Leclerc’s Physica (1696), replacing it with René Descartes’s Principia philosophiae (1644), complemented with (...)
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  13. Kant and the Problem of Form: Theories of Generation, Theories of Mind.Jennifer Mensch - 2014 - Estudos Kantianos 2 (2):241-264.
    This is an article-length summary of the argument in my book, Kant's Organicism: Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2013; 2015).
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  14. Hobbes's Challenge to Descartes, Bramhall and Boyle: A Corporeal God.Patricia Springborg - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5):903-934.
    This paper brings new work to bear on the perennial question about Hobbes's atheism to show that as a debate about scepticism it is falsely framed. Hobbes, like fellow members of the Mersenne circle, Descartes and Gassendi, was no sceptic, but rather concerned to rescue physics and metaphysics from radical scepticism by exploring corporealism. In his early letter of November 1640, Hobbes had issued a provocative challenge to Descartes to abandon metaphysical dualism and subscribe to a ?corporeal God?; a provocation (...)
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  15. Kant on Experiment.Alberto Vanzo - 2012 - In James Maclaurin (ed.), Rationis Defensor. Springer. pp. 75-96.
    This paper discusses Immanuel Kant’s views on the role of experiments in natural science, focusing on their relationship with hypotheses, laws of nature, and the heuristic principles of scientific enquiry. Kant’s views are contrasted with the philosophy of experiment that was first sketched by Francis Bacon and later developed by Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. Kant holds that experiments are always designed and carried out in the light of hypotheses. Hypotheses are derived from experience on the basis of a set (...)
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  16. Sensible qualities and material bodies in Descartes and Boyle.Lisa Downing - 2011 - In Lawrence Nolan (ed.), Primary and secondary qualities: the historical and ongoing debate. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Descartes and Boyle were the most influential proponents of strict mechanist accounts of the physical world, accounts which carried with them a distinction between primary and secondary (or sensible) qualities. For both, the distinction is a piece of natural philosophy. Nevertheless the distinction is quite differently articulated, and, especially, differently grounded in the two thinkers. For Descartes, reasoned reflection reveals to us that bodies must consist in mere extension and its modifications, and that sensible qualities as we conceive of them (...)
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  17. The Wisdom in Wood Rot: God in Eighteenth Century Scientific Explanation.Eric Palmer - 2011 - In William Krieger (ed.), Science at the Frontiers: Perspectives on the History and Philosophy of Science. Lexington Books. pp. 17-35.
    This chapter presents a historical study of how science has developed and of how philosophical theories of many sorts – philosophy of science, theory of the understanding, and philosophical theology – both enable and constrain certain lines of development in scientific practice. Its topic is change in the legitimacy or acceptability of scientific explanation that invokes purposes, or ends; specifically in the argument from design, in the natural science field of physico-theology, around the start of the eighteenth century. ... The (...)
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  18. Review of Michael Hunter, The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle (Ashgate, 2007). [REVIEW]Simon B. Duffy - 2008 - Reviews in the Enlightenment 1.
    Michael Hunter, The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle. With contributions by Edward B. Davis, Harriet Knight, Charles Littleton and Lawrence M. Principe. Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Pp. xiii + 674. US$139.95/£70.00 HB. -/- The publication by Michael Hunter of this revised edition of the catalogue of the Boyle Papers contributes admirably to the renaissance in Boyle studies which has taken place over the past decade and a half. Robert Boyle (1627–91), arguably the most influential British (...)
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  19. Locks, Schlocks, and Poisoned Peas: Boyle on Actual and Dispositive Qualities.Dan Kaufman - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 3:153-198.
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  20. Robert Boyle.Lisa Downing - 2002 - In Steven Nadler (ed.), A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell. pp. 338-353.
    This chapter contains section titled: I. Life and Works II. Theoretical Natural Philosophy: Boyle's Corpuscularianism III. Experimental Natural Philosophy and Methodology IV. Theology, Metaphysics, and Natural Philosophy V. Boyle's Influence.
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  21. God and nature in the thought of Robert Boyle.Timothy Shanahan - 1988 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 26 (4):547-569.
    THERE IS WIDESPREAD AGREEMENT among historians that the writings of Robert Boyle (1697-1691) constitute a valuable archive for understanding the concerns of seventeenth-century British natural philosophers. His writings have often been seen as representing, in one fashion or another, all of the leading intellectual currents of his day. ~ There is somewhat less consensus, however, on the proper historiographic method for interpreting these writings, as well as on the specific details of the beliefs expressed in them. Studies seeking to explicate (...)
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  22. Hysteria and Mechanical Man.John P. Wright - 1980 - Journal of the History of Ideas 41 (2):233.
    In this article I contrast 17th and 18th explanations of hysteria including those of Sydenham and Willis with those given by Plato and pre-modern medicine. I show that beginning in the second decade of the 17th century the locus of the disorder was transferred to the nervous system and it was no longer connected with the womb as in Hippocrates and Galen; hysteria became identified with hypochondria, and was a disease contracted by men as well as women. I discuss the (...)
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  23. Robert Boyle's Anonymous Writings.Joseph Agassi - 1977 - Isis 68:284-287.
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  24. Boyle, Spinoza and Glauber: On the Philosophical Redintegration of Saltpeter A Reply to Antonio Clericuzio.Filip A. A. Buyse - manuscript
    Traditionally, the so-called ‘redintegration experiment’ is at the center of the comments on the supposed Boyle/Spinoza correspondence. A. Clericuzio argued (refuting the interpretation by R.A. & M.B. Hall) in his influential publications that, in De nitro, Boyle accounted for the ‘redintegration’ of saltpeter on the grounds of the chemical properties of corpuscles and did not make any attempt to deduce them from the mechanical principles. By contrast, this paper claims that with his De nitro Boyle wanted to illustrate and promote (...)
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