A brief history of corpuscular discoveries [timeline]

Philosophers of science are in the business of explaining the special features of science, like the unifying power of scientific explanation and the wonderful sense of understanding it produces. We
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Philosophers of science are in the business of explaining the special features of science, like the unifying power of scientific explanation and the wonderful sense of understanding it produces. We try to explain the amazing success of modern scientific theories, the structure of inductive inference in the science, and extract systematic positions – like realism, constructivism, and empiricism – from the evidence of theoretical success. One source of theoretical success I trace comes from the history of corpuscular alchemy and chemistry, which provided what we would now call atomic and molecular views of unobserved reality. Even the biological discoveries depicted here, like DNA and penicillin, rested on assumptions about molecular, and so corpuscular, structures. The vision of a world made up of atoms or corpuscles goes back at least as far as Democritus. Until the late 1500s, through Al-Kindi and Paracelsus and Gassendi that vision was heavily laden with magical incantation,. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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