Boyle Robert

<history of science, philosophy of science> english scientist (1627-1692) who discovered the relationship between the temperature, pressure, and volume of a gas and founded The Royal Society. In The Skeptical Chymist (1661) and The Origins of Forms and Qualities (1666), Boyle helped to establish the discipline of chemistry and drew a careful distinction between primary and secondary qualities, later used by his friend Locke. A principled corpuscularian, Boyle defended the reliability of mechanistic philosophy in The Excellency and Grounds of the Corpuscular or Mechanical Philosophy (1674) and in extended controversies with Spinoza and Henry More. Boyle employed the teleological argument for god's existence and defended a traditional theology in The Excellence of Theology (1674) and The Christian Virtuoso (1690). Recommended Reading: Selected Philosophical Papers of Robert Boyle (Hackett, 1991); Robert Boyle on Natural Philosophy, ed. by Marie Boas Hall (Greenwood, 1980); Peter Alexander, Ideas, Qualities and Corpuscles: Locke and Boyle on the External World; Peter R. Anstey, The Philosophy of Robert Boyle (Routledge, 2000); and Rose-Mary Sargent, The Diffident Naturalist: Robert Boyle and the Philosophy of Experiment (Chicago, 1995).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2001-10-09>

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