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June 28, 1965

Robert Boyle on Natural Philosophy: An Essay With Selections From His Writings

JAMA. 1965;192(13):1176. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080260064033

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Robert Boyle is one of those great men more often talked about than read. One of the great figures in that "century of genius," the 17th century—he is familiar to every schoolboy as the author of Boyle's law. But his great significance lies rather in the part he played in establishing modern science and the scientific method. His writings, in the early editions, have been excessively rare, and, until recent years, the only work currently available was the Skeptical Chymist. Very recently a facsimile edition of his Experiments and Considerations Touching Colour has been reprinted.

Dr. Marie Hall has long been an authority on Boyle and 17th-century physics and chemistry. In the present volume she has made a selection of his writings, classifying them among four categories dealing respectively with "The New Learning," "The Mechanical Philosophy," "Chemistry," and "Pneumatics." Boyle contributed greatly to the experimental approach, the scientific method, and

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