•  1986
    Early Modern Experimental Philosophy
    In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Blackwell. pp. 87-102. 2016.
    In the mid-seventeenth century a movement of self-styled experimental philosophers emerged in Britain. Originating in the discipline of natural philosophy amongst Fellows of the fledgling Royal Society of London, it soon spread to medicine and by the eighteenth century had impacted moral and political philosophy and even aesthetics. Early modern experimental philosophers gave epistemic priority to observation and experiment over theorising and speculation. They decried the use of hypotheses and …Read more
  •  943
    The Origins of Early Modern Experimental Philosophy
    Intellectual History Review 22 (4): 499-518. 2012.
    This paper argues that early modern experimental philosophy emerged as the dominant member of a pair of methods in natural philosophy, the speculative versus the experimental, and that this pairing derives from an overarching distinction between speculative and operative philosophy that can be ultimately traced back to Aristotle. The paper examines the traditional classification of natural philosophy as a speculative discipline from the Stagirite to the seventeenth century; medieval and early mo…Read more
  •  153
    The Philosophy of John Locke: New Perspectives (edited book)
    Routledge. 2003.
    This collection of new essays on John Locke's philosophy provides the most up-to-date entrée into the exciting developments taking place in the study of one of the most important contributors to modern thought. Covering Locke's natural philosophy, his political and moral thought and his philosophy of religion, this book brings together the pioneering work of some of the world's leading Locke scholars
  •  89
    John Locke and the Case of Anthony Ashley Cooper
    with Lawrence M. Principe
    Early Science and Medicine 16 (5): 379-503. 2011.
    In June 1668 Anthony Ashley Cooper, later to become the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, underwent abdominal surgery to drain a large abscess above his liver. The case is extraordinary, not simply on account of the eminence of the patient and the danger of the procedure, but also because of the many celebrated figures involved. A trove of manuscripts relating to this famous operation survives amongst the Shaftesbury Papers in the National Archives at Kew. These include case notes in the hand of the phil…Read more
  •  80
    Robert Boyle and the heuristic value of mechanism
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1): 157-170. 2002.
    This paper argues that, contrary to the claims of Alan Chalmers, Boyle understood his experimental work to be intimately related to his mechanical philosophy. Its central claim is that the mechanical philosophy has a heuristic structure that motivates and gives direction to Boyle's experimental programme. Boyle was able to delimit the scope of possible explanations of any phenomenon by positing both that all qualities are ultimately reducible to a select group of mechanical qualities and that al…Read more
  •  68
    Robert Boyle's 'Designe about Natural History'
    Early Science and Medicine 13 (2): 83-126. 2008.
    This paper provides an analysis of Robert Boyle's most detailed discussion of the Baconian method of natural history. In a long letter to Henry Oldenburg dated 13 June 1666 and in ancillary manuscript material, Boyle spells out the method or 'Designe' by which he believes experimental programs in natural philosophy should be written up. The 'Designe' is enormously important in giving a clear statement of the precise contours of Boyle's Baconian methodology and providing a key to understanding th…Read more
  •  61
    From scientia to science Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9483-3 Authors Peter R. Anstey, Department of Philosophy, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9054 New Zealand Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796
  •  59
    Boyle on seminal principles
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (4): 597-630. 2002.
    This paper presents a comprehensive study of Robert Boyle’s writings on seminal principles or seeds. It examines the role of seeds in Boyle’s account of creation, the generation of plants and animals, spontaneous generation, the generation of minerals and disease. By an examination of all of Boyle’s major extant discussions of seeds it is argued that there were discernible changes in Boyle’s views over time. As the years progressed Boyle became more sceptical about the role of seminal principles…Read more
  •  58
    John Locke and Natural Philosophy
    Oxford University Press. 2011.
    Peter Anstey presents a thorough and innovative study of John Locke's views on the method and content of natural philosophy. Focusing on Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding, but also drawing extensively from his other writings and manuscript remains, Anstey argues that Locke was an advocate of the Experimental Philosophy: the new approach to natural philosophy championed by Robert Boyle and the early Royal Society who were opposed to speculative philosophy. On the question of method, An…Read more
  •  53
    Serious philosophical reflection on the nature of experiment began in earnest in the seventeenth century. This paper expounds the most influential philosophy of experiment in seventeenth-century England, the Bacon-Boyle-Hooke view of experiment. It is argued that this can only be understood in the context of the new experimental philosophy practised according to the Baconian theory of natural history. The distinctive typology of experiments of this view is discussed, as well as its account of th…Read more
  •  51
    Francis Bacon and the Laws of Ramus
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1): 1-23. 2015.
    This article assesses the role of the laws of the French logician and educational reformer Petrus Ramus in the writings of Francis Bacon. The laws of Ramus derive from Aristotle’s grounds for necessary propositions. Necessary propositions, according to Aristotle, Ramus, and Bacon, are required for the premises of scientific syllogisms. It is argued that in Bacon’s Advancement of Learning and De augmentis scientiarum the only role for these laws is in the transmission of knowledge that has alread…Read more
  •  50
    John Locke’s seed lists: a case study in botanical exchange
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (4): 256-264. 2009.
    This paper gives a detailed analysis of four seed lists in the journals of John Locke. These lists provide a window into a fascinating open network of botanical exchange in the early 1680s which included two of the leading botanists of the day. Pierre Magnol of Montpellier and Jacob Bobart the Younger of Oxford. The provenance and significance of the lists are assessed in relation to the relevant extant herbaria and plant catalogues from the period. The lists and associated correspondence provid…Read more
  •  49
    Locke and botany
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (2): 151-171. 2006.
    This paper argues that the English philosopher John Locke, who has normally been thought to have had only an amateurish interest in botany, was far more involved in the botanical science of his day than has previously been known. Through the presentation of new evidence deriving from Locke’s own herbarium, his manuscript notes, journal and correspondence, it is established that Locke made a modest contribution to early modern botany. It is shown that Locke had close and ongoing relations with th…Read more
  •  45
    Francis Bacon and the Classification of Natural History
    Early Science and Medicine 17 (1): 11-31. 2012.
    This paper analyses the place of natural history within Bacon's divisions of the sciences in The Advancement of Learning and the later De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum. It is shown that at various points in Bacon's divisions, natural history converges or overlaps with natural philosophy, and that, for Bacon, natural history and natural philosophy are not discrete disciplines. Furthermore, it is argued that Bacon's distinction between operative and speculative natural philosophy and the plac…Read more
  •  45
    Locke, Bacon and Natural History
    Early Science and Medicine 7 (1): 65-92. 2002.
    This paper argues that the construction of natural histories, as advocated by Francis Bacon, played a central role in John Locke's conception of method in natural philosophy. It presents new evidence in support of John Yolton's claim that "the emphasis upon compiling natural histories of bodies ... was the chief aspect of the Royal Society's programme that attracted Locke, and from which we need to understand his science of nature". Locke's exposure to the natural philosophy of Robert Boyle, the…Read more
  •  45
    This book presents the first integrated treatment of the philosophy of Robert Boyle, one of the leading English natural philosophers of the Scientific Revolution.
  •  40
    The methodological origins of Newton’s queries
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (2): 247-269. 2004.
    This paper analyses the different ways in which Isaac Newton employed queries in his writings on natural philosophy. It is argued that queries were used in three different ways by Newton and that each of these uses is best understood against the background of the role that queries played in the Baconian method that was adopted by the leading experimenters of the early Royal Society. After a discussion of the role of queries in Francis Bacon’s natural historical method, Newton’s queries in his Tr…Read more
  •  39
    Thomas Reid and the Justification of Induction
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 12 (1): 77-93. 1995.
  •  38
    Locke, the Quakers and enthusiasm
    Intellectual History Review 29 (2): 199-217. 2019.
  •  37
    Experimental philosophy was an exciting and extraordinarily successful development in the study of nature in the seventeenth century. Yet experimental philosophy was not without its critics and was far from the only natural philosophical method on the scene. In particular, experimental philosophy was contrasted with and set against speculative philosophy and, in some quarters, was accused of tending to irreligion. This volume brings together ten scholars of early modern philosophy, history and s…Read more
  •  34
    Revisiting Matter, Form and Mechanism in the Seventeenth Century (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (3): 569-579. 2015.
  •  32
    Boyle on Occasionalism: An Unexamined Source
    Journal of the History of Ideas 60 (1): 57-81. 1999.
  •  31
    Locke's Moral Man, by Antonia LoLordo
    Mind 122 (488): 1146-1149. 2013.
  •  30
    Branching Off: The Early Moderns in Quest for the Unity of Knowledge (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4). 2011.
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 19, Issue 4, Page 819-822, July 2011
  •  26
    This volume explores the themes of vanishing matter, matter and the laws of nature, the qualities of matter, and the diversity of the debates about matter in the early modern period. Chapters are unified by a number of interlocking themes which together enable some of the broader contours of the philosophy of matter to be charted in new ways. Part I concerns Cartesian Matter; Part II covers Matter, Mechanism and Medicine; Part III covers Matter and the Laws of Motion; and Part IV covers Leibniz …Read more