Boyle's Natural Kind Realism

In Bloomsbury Companion to Robert Boyle. London, UK: pp. 199-224 (2020)
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Abstract

Boyle argues that because matter naturally possesses size, shape and mobility, it can be organized into structures that have qualities that exceed what the particles themselves have. These structures can become an essence or ‘corpuscular form’ that accounts both for the properties of the body and its membership in a natural kind. Similarly, increasingly more complex structures can result in the production of organisms that are also members of natural kinds. In this way, Robert Boyle is arguing for a version of natural kind realism that is based on the structure of the underlying matter and discovered empirically via the resulting properties.

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