Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Robert Boyle (1627-1691)

Sierra Club


But now, the Virtuosi I speak of, and by whom, in this whole Discourse, I mean those, that Understand and Cultivate Experimental Philosophy, make a much greater and better use of Experience in their Philosophical Researches. Your Virtuosi have a peculiar Right to the distinguishing Title that is often given them, of Experimental Philosophers.


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English scientist regarded as the father of chemistry. He developed Boyle's law, which states that pressure varies inversely as volume at constant temperature. In The Sceptical Chemist (1661) Boyle argued against Aristotle's view of the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. He argued that matter was composed of corpuscles which themselves were differently built up of different configurations of primary particles. Many of these ideas were taken over from Descartes. Descartes, however, did not believe in a vacuum, rather he believed in an all pervading ether. Boyle's experiments found no evidence of Descartes' ether. [Adapted from MacTutor]

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