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The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle – Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence

Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino


This book examines the way in which Robert Boyle seeks to accommodate his complex chemical philosophy within the framework of a mechanistic theory of matter. More specifically, the book proposes that Boyle regards chemical qualities as properties that emerge from the mechanistic structure of chymical atoms. Within Boyle’s chemical ontology, chymical atoms are structured concretions of particles that Boyle regards as chemically elementary entities, that is, as chemical wholes that resist experimental analysis. Although this interpretation of Boyle’s chemical philosophy has already been suggeste ... More

Keywords: Robert Boyle, mechanical philosophy, early modern chemistry, emergent chemical properties, Boylean chymical atoms, mereology of chemical wholes, mereology of chymical atoms, Boyle’s chemical philosophy, relationality of chemical properties

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780197502501
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197502501.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino, author
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Florida Atlantic University