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.
|Advisor:||Newman, William R.|
|Commitee:||Bertoloni Meli, Domenico, Schickore, Jutta, Schneider, Robert A., Smith, Justin E. H.|
|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|
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