Ideas of Robert Boyle, by Theme

[Irish, 1627 - 1691, Wealthy independent scientist.]

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2. Reason / D. Definition / 4. Real Definition
Essential definitions show the differences that discriminate things, and make them what they are
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers
Boyle attacked a contemporary belief that powers were occult things [Alexander,P]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
In the 17th century, 'disposition' usually just means the spatial arrangement of parts [Pasnau]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / a. Hylomorphism
Form is not a separate substance, but just the manner, modification or 'stamp' of matter
To cite a substantial form tells us what produced the effect, but not how it did it
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / d. Secondary qualities
Boyle's secondary qualities are not illusory, or 'in the mind' [Alexander,P]
Boyle's term 'texture' is not something you feel, but is unobservable structures of particles [Alexander,P]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
Explanation is generally to deduce it from something better known, which comes in degrees
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / i. Explanations by mechanism
Explanation is deducing a phenomenon from some nature better known to us
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / b. Ultimate explanation
The best explanations get down to primary basics, but others go less deep
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / g. Atomism
The corpuscles just have shape, size and motion, which explains things without 'sympathies' or 'forces' [Alexander,P]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / b. Corpuscles
The corpuscular theory allows motion, but does not include forces between the particles [Alexander,P]
27. Natural Reality / G. Biology / 3. Evolution
I don't see how mere moving matter can lead to the bodies of men and animals, and especially their seeds