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The Rise of Cryptographic Metaphors in Boyle and Their Use for the Mechanical Philosophy

Matthiessen, Dana (2019) The Rise of Cryptographic Metaphors in Boyle and Their Use for the Mechanical Philosophy. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper tracks the development of Boyle’s conception of the natural world in terms of the popular “book of nature” trope. Boyle initially spoke of the creatures and phenomena of nature in a spiritual and moral register, as emblems of divine purpose, but gradually shifted from this ideographic view to an alphabetical account, which at times became posed in explicitly cryptographic terms. I explain this transition toward cryptographic metaphors in terms of Boyle’s social and intellectual milieu and their concordance with the reductive and conjectural character of the mechanical philosophical program.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Matthiessen, Danadam228@pitt.edu
Keywords: Robert Boyle; Royal Society; Mechanical Philosophy; Hypothetical Method; Cryptography
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
Depositing User: Dana Matthiessen
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2023 14:02
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2023 14:02
Item ID: 22451
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
Date: 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22451

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