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The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of SensibilityScience and the Shaping of Modernity, 1680-1760$
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Stephen Gaukroger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594931

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594931.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 November 2019

Explaining the Phenomena

Explaining the Phenomena

Chapter:
(p.187) 5 Explaining the Phenomena
Source:
The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of Sensibility
Author(s):

Stephen Gaukroger (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594931.003.0006

This chapter examines three examples of non‐reductionist natural philosophy, something supported, at a philosophical level, by Locke's anti‐reductionist approach. The first is John Ray's rejection of the ideas that there is a single basis for botanical classification. The second is Stephen Gray's phenomenological account of electrical conductivity, which makes no attempt to account for the phenomena in terms of underlying corpuscular activity. The third is Étienne Geoffroy's phenomenological account of chemical combination, which likewise makes no attempt to account for the phenomena in terms of underlying corpuscular activity. The chapter concludes with a discussion of horizontal versus vertical forms of explanation.

Keywords:   John Ray, botany, Stephen Gray, electricity, Étienne Geoffroy, chemistry, scientific reduction, phenomenological explanation

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