Ideas from 'The Origin of Forms and Qualities' by Robert Boyle [1666], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Selected Philosophical Papers' by Boyle,Robert (ed/tr Steward,M.A.) [Hackett 1991,0-87220-122-8]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


2. Reason / D. Definition / 4. Real Definition
Essential definitions show the differences that discriminate things, and make them what they are
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers
Boyle attacked a contemporary belief that powers were occult things
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
In the 17th century, 'disposition' usually just means the spatial arrangement of parts
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / a. Hylomorphism
Form is not a separate substance, but just the manner, modification or 'stamp' of matter
To cite a substantial form tells us what produced the effect, but not how it did it
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / d. Secondary qualities
Boyle's term 'texture' is not something you feel, but is unobservable structures of particles
Boyle's secondary qualities are not illusory, or 'in the mind'
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / h. Explanations by mechanism
Explanation is deducing a phenomenon from some nature better known to us
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / c. Atoms
The corpuscles just have shape, size and motion, which explains things without 'sympathies' or 'forces'
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 3. Force
The corpuscular theory allows motion, but does not include forces between the particles