Relations and Powers
The Cartesian rejection of powers was built on a rejection of the view of relations that underpinned them. One clear way, then, to “sanitize” powers — to make them acceptable within a mechanist ontology — would be to begin by treating relations and then move on to their subset, powers. This is what Locke and Boyle, with varying degrees of success, attempt. This chapter argues that Locke and Boyle use some familiar scholastic arguments to show that relations supervene on their relata and hence do not constitute an extra element in one's ontology. The case is more complicated, however, when it comes to Boyle.
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