Positivist-whig historians claimed that Boyle's work was neglected because early-eighteenth-century chemists became engrossed in the erroneous and speculative phlogiston theory
For the young, especially, socialism is rapidly receding into the category of anciently powerful social concept now needing a lot of contextualizing, like the phlogiston theory
, the divine right of kings, the vaginal orgasm.
This killed the phlogiston theory
, although a few important chemists continued to accept phlogiston for some decades longer.
Thus there are two major theses to the book: the primary one involves a cognitive analysis of such conceptual changes as the chemical revolution in which Stahl's phlogiston theory
was overturned by Lavoisier's oxygen theory; the Darwinian revolution that replaced the conception of special creation; the geological revolution whereby the theory of plate tectonics superceded that of continental drift; the revolutions initiated by Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, and Planck; and the twentieth-century revolutions in psychology involving behaviorism and the rise of cognitivism.
Early scientists behaved in a similar way when they used the name "heat" and, because a name existed for "something", went looking for the substance represented by that name: the result was the phlogiston theory
, ultimately replaced by Joseph Priestley's discovery of oxygen and the chemical nature of combustion.
Dudman (1981, 1983, 1984) argued hard for that relocation of Doesn't-will; and a paper of mine - insolently titled "Farewell to the Phlogiston Theory
of Conditionals" (1988) - poured gasoline onto the fire.