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Occasional Papers of the Robert Boyle Project.

The Occasional Papers of the Robert Boyle Project is a series begun in 2005 which now comprises four volumes. The text of each is available as a downloadable PDF file, formatted so that it can be printed either on A4 or American quarto paper. To obtain your copy, simply click on the cover image of the relevant volume in the series and print out the downloaded text. A limited edition of printed and bound copies of each volume has also been produced, mainly for deposit in selected libraries; the titles have therefore been registered with ISBNs. The details of the four volumes are as follows:

 

click here to download   1. Robert Boyle's ‘Heads' and ‘Inquiries' , edited by Michael Hunter. ISBN 0-9551608-0-4 (10 digits); 978-0-9551608-0-6 (13 digits); xvi + 37 pp.; 1 illustration.

This publication makes available hitherto unpublished material by Robert Boyle (1627-91) in the form of the sets of ‘heads' and ‘inquiries' that he devised, a key part of the inductive method that he developed on the basis of that of Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Following Bacon, Boyle used such lists as a means of setting himself an agenda when studying a subject, for organising data and for soliciting related information from others. The documents in question cover a fascinating range of topics, from luminosity and elasticity to anatomy and the incidence of disease. They throw important light on Boyle's scientific interests and method.

 

click here to download   2. Unpublished Material relating to Robert Boyle's 'Memoirs for the Natural History of Human Blood',
edited by Michael Hunter and Harriet Knight.
ISBN 0-9551608-1-2 (10 digits); 978-0-9551608-1-3 (13 digits); xv + 50 pp.;1 illustration.

A significant number of manuscripts survive relating to Robert Boyle's Memoirs for the Natural History of Human Blood (1684). From them, important conclusions can be drawn about the history of the work and about Boyle's intellectual method more generally. It transpires that, within months of the book's publication, Boyle began work on a revised edition in which he sought to rectify the shortcomings of the published book. The extensive surviving materials relating to this planned but unpublished second edition are presented for the first time here.

The editors are Michael Hunter, Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, and Director of the Robert Boyle Project, and Harriet Knight, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the AHRC Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, Queen Mary, University of London.
 
Occasional paper 3: download   3. The Text of Robert Boyle’s ‘Designe about Natural History’, edited by Michael Hunter and Peter Anstey. ISBN 978-0-9551608-2-0; xiii + 13 pp.; 1 illustration.

This publication presents a new text of Robert Boyle’s prescriptions for the writing of natural history, compiled in 1666 and partially divulged in 1684, but unpublished till modern times. The current edition restores the text to its correct order for the first time, and adds various cognate documents, including certain sections of the ‘Designe’ which survive elsewhere among the Boyle Papers at the Royal Society and are here first published. The result is to supply a significant document for understanding the evolution of Baconian method during the formative years of the Royal Society.

The editors are Michael Hunter, Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, and Director of the Robert Boyle Project, and Peter Anstey, Professor of Early Modern Philosophy at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
 
Occasional paper 4: download  

4. Boyle’s Books: the Evidence of his Citations, by Iordan Avramov, Michael Hunter and Hideyuki Yoshimoto, ISBN 978-0-9551608-3-7; xxvi + 35 pp.; 6 illustrations

This volume differs from the previous titles in not being an edition of texts but a reference work which tabulates Boyle’s citations of books by page number as evidence of his book ownership. The introduction takes the opportunity to survey our knowledge of Boyle’s sadly lost library by way of background to the current, unprecedented exercise.

The authors are Iordan Avramov, Research Fellow at the Centre for Science Studies and History of Science, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia; Michael Hunter, Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, and Director of the Robert Boyle Project; and Hideyuki Yoshimoto, Professor in the Division of Culture and Literary Studies at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

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