It is whether belief in goodness is false like belief in phlogiston
, or true like belief in water, jade, and jobs.
(13) Adopting a foundationalist epistemology, which identified knowledge with "eureka" discoveries, or "crucial experiments," positivist-whig historians focused on Lavoisier's experiments on combustion: where the phlogistians saw the release of phlogiston
(the principle of inflammability) from the combustible, Lavoisier saw the absorption of oxygen by the combustible.
It isn't that science must recognize that race, like phlogiston
, never existed; rather, human activity is causing race to lose its biological reality.
No one would now take seriously ideas of human sacrifice, or phlogiston
, or the droit du seigneur, and so forth, ad infinitum.
To see the vertical/horizontal SA distinction at work, consider the ill-fated phlogiston
. One of the important differences between this case (and folk psychology on the deep conception) and the pot/rock case is that the Phlogiston
theory makes specific claims about the underlying causal processes responsible for the manifest regularities concerning combustion.
Hot air ballooning can be explained as a consequence of Phlogiston
's negative gravity; but it can also be a consequence of the lesser density of heated air molecules.
Stahl (1660-1734) had developed a new theory to explain combustion: All combustible bodies contain an inflammable principle, named phlogiston
. When a substance burns, it loses its phlogiston
; those substances that are consumed by combustion (oil, charcoal) contain primarily phlogiston
--, 2009, "A Structural Analysis of the Phlogiston
Case", Erkenntnis, vol.
If free will were construed as whole-person-level action-origination and thus did not reduce to ultimatese, however, because, say, there are illusions about the whole-person-level composite-type entity (analogous to illusions about fire's nature as phlogiston
), then free will would involve some conventional element incompatible with ultimate truth, reminiscent of [W.sub.x] and [W.sub.y.]
When scientific theories change, the detection properties, such as causal processes, remain, even though auxiliary properties, such as phlogiston
, may vanish.
Pneumatic chemistry was introduced by English and Scottish chemists in the late 18th century, and phlogiston
, the German name for the principle of inflammability invented by Georg Ernst Stahl (1660-1734), dominated chemistry before Lavoisier.
The lobby had an exhibit in the center, entitled "Theories of the 14th Century." There, laid Out in colorful panels, were many now obscure theories like the Phlogiston
Theory, beautifully illustrated.