Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Dana Jalobeanu, Charles T. Wolfe

Boyle’s Mechanical Philosophy

  • Jan-Erik JonesEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_132-1



Robert Boyle (1627–1691) is a highly influential early modern philosopher who is now most commonly associated with the ideal gas law that bears his name and is even sometimes referred to as “the father of chemistry.” He is also noted for demonstrating the necessity of air for combustion, sound transmission, and animal respiration. Although his writings span nearly the entirety of philosophical subdisciplines, his most notable contributions to early modern philosophy come by way of his work on the mechanical natural philosophy and his criticisms of the Aristotelian substantial forms and real qualities, and of the chymist’s tria prima.

Boyle was deeply influenced by Francis Bacon’s New Organon and the call to establish natural histories (Knight 2019), as well as the emphasis among Chymists and mechanists to engage in...

Related Topics

Boyle Natural philosophy Atomism Explanation Aristotelianism Chemistry Mechanism Corpuscularianism 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySouthern Virginia UniversityBuena VistaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Delphine Bellis
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PhilosophyPaul Valéry UniversityMontpellier cedex 5France