One set of claims Anstey takes to task are those that construe Locke's Essay as aiming primarily to defend mechanistic or corpuscularian
metaphysics, the first being views that explain matter by analogy to the functioning of machines and the second being those that do so by appeal to imperceptible corpuscles similar to what we now call atoms.
-from elemental to early corpuscularian
chemistry to Stahl's phlogiston theory to Lavoisier's oxygen chemistry to Daltonian atomic and contemporary chemistry
Rather than corpuscularian
void-space, the flesh is said to span these gaps; they are thick with its general sense of being.
(25) And Locke himself admits as much: "I have here instanced in the corpuscularian
hypothesis, as that which is thought to go farthest in an intelligible explication of the qualities of bodies" (4.3.16, 547).
Anstey notes that at times Locke seems to assume tacitly some forms of mechanical or corpuscularian
hypotheses, but his thesis is that the scientific method endorsed, defended, and perhaps exemplified by Locke in the Essay is the experimental philosophy, which is in some respects antithetical to speculative philosophy.
While embracing Descartes's radical separation between mind and matter, even Locke does not hesitate to make thought subject to a mechanistic or corpuscularian
conception that flirts with the kind of materialism that finds favor with most Anglophone philosophers today.
Boyle's rejection of substantial forms relies heavily on empirical, natural philosophical arguments viewed as supporting the superiority of the corpuscularian
theory of qualities.
Thirdly, that Locke, like Boyle and Hooke, practised speculative natural philosophy and that, like Boyle, he favoured the corpuscularian
hypothesis (that matter consisted of small sub-microscopic particles) and mercurialist transmutational chymistry (derived from Paracelsus, Van Helmont, and the alchemical tradition as opposed to the Galenic theory of the humours).
Simon discusses the seventeenth century apothecaries, Nicolas Lemery and Christophle Glaser, showing that their discussion of corpuscularian
and Paracelsian theories was inseparable from the practical aims of their work as artisans.
Knoeff documents a shift in Boerhaave's thinking from his early Institutiones medicae (1708), which was influenced by Robert Boyle's corpuscularian
chemistry and the mechanics of inertia and attraction in Newton's Principia, to emphasize more the chemical attractions and repulsions that are found in Newton's Opticks, and eventually to abandon mechanical philosophy for a more Paracelsian metaphysics of seminal agencies that act directly on bodies from within them.
If some phenomenon x was best explained in corpuscularian
categories, it would be ad hoc and question-begging for advocates of R simply to adjust their entities to take on particle properties in the case of x.
He sought to use science as a means of persuading others to accept his own strong Christian beliefs and used his corpuscularian
ideas and interest in alchemy as potential pathways towards a deeper understanding of nature.