The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (2020)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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 already been suggested by other Boyle scholars, the present book provides a sustained philosophical argument to demonstrate that, for Boyle, chemical properties are dispositional, relational, emergent, and supervenient properties. This argument is strengthened by a detailed mereological analysis of Boylean chymical atoms that establishes the kind of theory of wholes and parts that is most consistent with an emergentist conception of chemical properties. The emergentist position that is being attributed to Boyle supports his view that chemical reactions resist direct explanation in terms of the mechanistic properties of fundamental particles, as well as his position regarding the scientific autonomy of chymistry from mechanics and physics.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BANTCP
Revision history
First archival date: 2020-06-23
Latest version: 2 (2020-06-23)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2020-02-12

Total views
12 ( #50,415 of 50,067 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #38,358 of 50,067 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.