Corpuscularism and Experimental Philosophy in Domenico Guglielmini's Reflections on Salts

In Peter R. Anstey (ed.), The Idea of Principles in Early Modern Thought. New York: Routledge. pp. 147-171 (2017)
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Several recent studies of early modern natural philosophy have claimed that corpuscularism and experimental philosophy were sharply distinct or even conflicting views. This chapter provides a different perspective on the relation between corpuscularism and experimental philosophy by examining Domenico Guglielmini’s ‘Philosophical Reflections’ on salts (1688). This treatise on crystallography develops a corpuscularist theory and defends it in a way that is in line with the methodological prescriptions, epistemological strictures, and preferred argumentative styles of experimental philosophers. The examination of the ‘Reflections’ shows that early modern philosophers could consistently endorse, at the same time, corpuscularism and experimental philosophy.
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