The British Journal for the History of Science

Boyling over: a commentary on the preceding papers

a1 Division of the History and Philosophy of Science, School of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT


When Michael Hunter first publicized the idea of ‘Psychoanalysing Robert Boyle’ I understood that his main aim was to test three competing psychoanalytical theories against the historical evidence provided by the life and work of Robert Boyle. Although this would have been a valuable exercise, and one that the British Society for the History of Science meeting partly engaged, the papers by Brett Kahr, John Clay and Karl Figlio published here raise some far more compelling issues which I shall explore in the ensuing discussion. Before turning to this discussion I offer a few introductory remarks.