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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Seminal Ideas: The Forces of Generation for Robert Boyle and His Contemporaries
by Inglehart, Ashley J., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2017, 239; 10268267
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Newman, William R.
Commitee: Bertoloni Meli, Domenico, Schickore, Jutta, Schneider, Robert A., Smith, Justin E. H.
School: Indiana University
Department: History and Philosophy of Science
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 78/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy of Science, Philosophy, Science history
Keywords: Boyle, Robert, Early modern Europe, History of science, Plastic powers, Problem of generation, Seminal principles
Publication Number: 10268267
ISBN: 978-1-369-75642-5
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