Thesis ID: CBB794876546

Seminal Ideas: The Forces of Generation for Robert Boyle and His Contemporaries (2017)


This dissertation looks at the life and work of famed English Aristocrat Robert Boyle. Specifically, I examine his treatment of generation and its organizing forces—seminal principles, plastic powers, and petrifick spirits. Generation, I argue, provided the context by which Boyle was introduced both to chymistry and anatomy. The problem of generation would remain at the forefront of his concerns as he experimented in chymistry, pneumatics, minerals, anatomy, transmutation, and plants. Looking at the various communities in Europe with which Robert Boyle interacted, I show that the mechanical philosophy was actually quite diverse. As one of the most influential scholars of his time, Boyle presents a distinctly mechanical account of generation that would have a profound effect upon Western science.

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Authors & Contributors
Clericuzio, Antonio
Osler, Margaret J.
Newman, William Royall
Chalmers, Alan Francis
Banchetti-Robino, Marina Paola
Pyle, Andrew
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Foundations of Chemistry
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Kluwer Academic
Ashgate Publishing
Mechanism; mechanical philosophy
Natural philosophy
Matter theory
Boyle, Robert
Gassendi, Pierre
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent
More, Henry
Descartes, René
Hobbes, Thomas
Great Britain
17th century
16th century
18th century
Early modern
Royal Society of London

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