Robert Boyle and the Limits of Reason

Robert Boyle and the Limits of Reason

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Jan W. Wojcik
Cambridge University Press, 3/28/1997
EAN 9780521560290, ISBN10: 0521560292

Hardcover, 262 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

In this study of Robert Boyle's epistemology, Jan W. Wojcik reveals the theological context within which Boyle developed his views on reason's limits. After arguing that a correct interpretation of his views on 'things above reason' depends upon reading his works in the context of theological controversies in seventeenth-century England, Professor Wojcik details exactly how Boyle's three specific categories of things which transcend reason - the incomprehensible, the inexplicable, and the unsociable - affected his conception of what a natural philosopher could hope to know. Also covered in detail is Boyle's belief that God had deliberately limited the human intellect in order to reserve a full knowledge of both theology and natural philosophy for the afterlife.

Introduction, Robert Boyle as lay theologian
Part I
1. Things above reason
2. The threat of Socinianism
3. Predestination
4. Theology and the limits of reason
Part II
5. Philosophies of nature and their theological implications
6. Sources of knowledge
7. The limits of reason and knowledge of nature
8. Boyle's voluntarism and the limits of reason