Robert Boyle, one of the most important intellectuals of the seventeenth century, was a gifted experimenter, an exceptionally able philosopher, and a dedicated Christian. In Boyle’s two Excellencies, The Excellency of Theology Compared with Natural Philosophy and About The Excellency and Grounds of the Mechanical Hypothesis, he explains and justifies his new philosophy of science while reconciling it with Christian theology. These pioneering works of early science and theology are now available in a modernized and accessible new edition.
This Broadview edition brings spelling and punctuation into line with current conventions and includes notes and references to set the works in their historical and philosophical context. The appendices include works by Boyle’s predecessors in the philosophy of science, other philosophical writings by Boyle, and an appendix of the other figures mentioned in the texts.
J.J. MacIntosh is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary.
“To the Excellencies of Boyle published here we can add a third—the excellence of J.J. MacIntosh’s more-than-welcome edition that will make these important works accessible to an unprecedented degree. The edition animates the texts in the way that Boyle’s contemporary Richard Baxter thought that ‘his philosophy was the life of his theology (and conversely).’ The introduction, annotations, and appendices alone will be of great value to all those interested not only in Boyle, but also in any of the intellectual figures of the period.” — Thomas Lennon, University of Western Ontario
“In his edition, J.J. MacIntosh offers a modernized text of Boyle’s Excellencies, together with a lengthy introduction comprising a discursive biographical account of Boyle, a synopsis of his argument, and an account of the thinkers who influenced him. MacIntosh provides helpful extra headings indicating the content of the different components of the main treatise, and elucidatory footnotes that sometimes give analogous passages from other writings by Boyle and others. At the end appear a series of appendices, notably one giving biographical notes on people mentioned in the text. In all, this edition should do much to make Boyle accessible to a wider audience.” — Michael Hunter, Birkbeck, University of London