Research Thursdays - The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence

Images (l/r): Book cover of “The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence,”  Oxford University Press; Marina Banchetti, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Images (l/r): Book cover of “The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence,”  Oxford University Press; Marina Banchetti, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy.

This Summer, Oxford University Press will release Dr. Marina Banchetti’s book The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence.  Banchetti specializes in phenomenology, philosophy of mind and the history and philosophy of science with a current focus on the history and philosophy of chemistry. The book argues for a novel interpretation of Boyle’s chemical philosophy, proposing that Boyle regarded chemical qualities as non-reducible dispositional and relational properties that emerge from, and supervene upon, the mechanistic structure of chemical atoms. 

Banchetti’s arguments are strengthened by a detailed mereological analysis of Boylean chemical atoms as chemically elementary entities, which establishes the theory of wholes and parts that is most consistent with an emergentist conception of chemical properties. More generally, Banchetti contextualizes Boyle’s work within the framework of the 17th century mechanistic theory of matter. Banchetti interprets Boyle’s experimental work as a scientific research programme, in the Lakatosian sense, to better explain the positive and negative heuristic functions of the mechanistic theory of matter within his chemical philosophy. The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle establishes the relevance of Boyle’s chemical philosophy for contemporary thought by demonstrating that he anticipated many of the concerns that inform contemporary philosophy of chemistry,” said Banchetti.

Forthcoming Publications Department of Philosophy

Dr. Simon Glynn, who specializes in phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics and poststructuralism, and their application to the natural, human and social sciences, as well as political philosophy, has had his manuscript  The Economic Logic of Late Capitalism and the Inevitable Triumph of Socialism  accepted by Palgrave Macmillan. The work argues that the Great Recession was the consequence of a crisis of overproduction resulting from the increased exploitation of labor inherent in competitive capitalism, and therefore the harbinger of its ultimate demise.

Dr. Carol Gould is completing a manuscript for Bloomsbury titled Aesthetics, Glamour, and Personhood , which explores the critical role of aesthetics in defining our identities and the unique complexity of human agency.  Gould investigates the elusive concept of glamour, thus advancing her theory of the aesthetic properties of persons, which she has developed from her publications and presentations in both Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Psychiatry . She has two new articles appearing in anthologies this year: one on "The Ontological Reality of Beauty," the other on "Imagination and Psychoanalysis." Gould specializes in aesthetics,  philosophy of psychiatry, ancient philosophy, and  philosophy of literature.   

Dr. Clevis Headley is finalizing his book  Race, Philosophy and Being: Working Through the Contestability of Race and Philosophy,  which will be published by Lexington Books. Headley, who specializes in Africana philosophy, critical race theory, pragmatism, and analytic philosophy, is also currently co-editing  George Yancy: A Critical Reader  (Rowman & Littlefield) and is working on additional manuscripts on Afro-Caribbean philosophy.

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