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  1. Robert Bishop (2005). Patching Physics and Chemistry Together. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):710-722.
    The "usual story" regarding molecular chemistry is that it is roughly an application of quantum mechanics. That is to say, quantum mechanics supplies everything necessary and sufficient, both ontologically and epistemologically to reduce molecular chemistry to quantum mechanics. This is a reductive story, to be sure, but a key explanatory element of molecular chemistry, namely molecular structure, is absent from the quantum realm. On the other hand, typical characterizations of emergence, such as the unpredictability or inexplicability of molecular structure based (...)
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  2. Robert C. Bishop & Harald Atmanspacher (2006). Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties. Foundations of Physics 36 (12):1753-1777.
    The role of contingent contexts in formulating relations between properties of systems at different descriptive levels is addressed. Based on the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for interlevel relations, a comprehensive classification of such relations is proposed, providing a transparent conceptual framework for discussing particular versions of reduction, emergence, and supervenience. One of these versions, contextual emergence, is demonstrated using two physical examples: molecular structure and chirality, and thermal equilibrium and temperature. The concept of stability is emphasized as a (...)
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  3. Mario Bunge (1982). Is Chemistry a Branch of Physics? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 13 (2):209-223.
    Summary Opinion is divided as to whether chemistry is reducible to physics. The problem can be given a satisfactory solution provided three conditions are met: that a science not be identified with its theories; that several notions of theory dependence be distinguished; and that quantum chemistry, rather than classical chemistry, be compared with physics. This paper proposes to perform all three tasks. It does so by analyzing the methodological concepts concerned as well as by examining the way a chemical rate (...)
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  4. Joseph Earley (2008). How Philosophy of Mind Needs Philosophy of Chemistry. Hyle 14 (1):1 - 26.
    By the 1960s many, perhaps most, philosophers had adopted 'physicalism' – the view that physical causes fully account for mental activities. However, controversy persists about what counts as 'physical causes'. 'Reductive' physicalists recognize only microphysical (elementary-particle-level) causality. Many, perhaps most, physicalists are 'non-reductive' – they hold that entities considered by other 'special' sciences have causal powers. Philosophy of chemistry can help resolve main issues in philosophy of mind in three ways: developing an extended mereology applicable to chemical combination; testing whether (...)
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  5. Robin Findlay Hendry & Paul Needham (2007). Le Poidevin on the Reduction of Chemistry. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):339 - 353.
    In this article we critically evaluate Robin Le Poidevin's recent attempt to set out an argument for the ontological reduction of chemistry independently of intertheoretic reduction. We argue, firstly, that the argument he envisages applies only to a small part of chemistry, and that there is no obvious way to extend it. We argue, secondly, that the argument cannot establish the reduction of chemistry, properly so called.
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  6. Hinne Hettema (2012). Reducing Chemistry to Physics: Limits, Models, Consequences. Createspace.
    Chemistry and physics are two sciences that are hard to connect. Yet there is significant overlap in their aims, methods, and theoretical approaches. In this book, the reduction of chemistry to physics is defended from the viewpoint of a naturalised Nagelian reduction, which is based on a close reading of Nagel's original text. This naturalised notion of reduction is capable of characterising the inter-theory relationships between theories of chemistry and theories of physics. The reconsideration of reduction also leads to a (...)
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  7. Hinne Hettema (2009). Explanation and Theory Formation in Quantum Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 11 (3):145-174.
    In this paper I expand Eric Scerri’s notion of Popper’s naturalised approach to reduction in chemistry and investigate what its consequences might be. I will argue that Popper’s naturalised approach to reduction has a number of interesting consequences when applied to the reduction of chemistry to physics. One of them is that it prompts us to look at a ‘bootstrap’ approach to quantum chemistry, which is based on specific quantum theoretical theorems and practical considerations that turn quantum ‘theory’ into quantum (...)
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  8. Anand Kumar & Barry Smith, The Ontology of Blood Pressure: A Case Study in Creating Ontological Partitions in Biomedicine. IFOMIS Reports.
    We provide a methodology for the creation of ontological partitions in biomedicine and we test the methodology via an application to the phenomenon of blood pressure. An ontology of blood pressure must do justice to the complex networks of intersecting pathways in the organism by which blood pressure is regulated. To this end it must deal not only with the anatomical structures and physiological processes involved in such regulation but also with the relations between these at different levels of granularity. (...)
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  9. Pier Luigi Luisi (2002). Emergence in Chemistry: Chemistry as the Embodiment of Emergence. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 4 (3):183-200.
    The main aim of the paper is to reinforce the notion that emergence is a basic characteristic of the molecular sciences in general and chemistry in particular. Although this point is well accepted, even in the primary reference on emergence, the keyword emergence is rarely utilized by chemists and molecular biologists and chemistry textbooks for undergraduates. The possible reasons for this situation are discussed. The paper first re-introduces the concept of emergence based on very simple geometrical forms; and considers some (...)
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  10. Paul Needham (2006). Ontological Reduction: A Comment on Lombardi and Labarca. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (1):73-80.
    In a recent article in this journal (Foundations of Chemistry, 7 (2005), 125–148) Lombardi and Labarca call into question a thesis of ontological reduction to which several writers on reduction subscribe despite rejecting a thesis of epistemological reduction. Lombardi and Labarca advocate instead a pluralistic ontology inspired by Putnam’s internal realism. I suggest that it is not necessary to go so far, and that a more critical view of the ontological reduction espoused by the authors they criticise circumvents the need (...)
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  11. Paul Needham (1999). Reduction and Abduction in Chemistry-a Response to Scerri. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):169 – 184.
    Eric Scerri has proposed an account of how reduction might be understood in chemistry. He claims to build on a general aspect of Popper's views which survives his otherwise heavy criticism, namely adherence to actual scientific practice. This is contrasted with Nagel's conception, which Scerri takes to be the philosopher's standard notion. I argue that his proposal, interesting though it is, is not so foreign to ideas in the tradition within which Nagel wrote as Scerri would have us believe. Moreover, (...)
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  12. Nikos Psarros (2001). The Lame and the Blind, or How Much Physics Does Chemistry Need? Foundations of Chemistry 3 (3):241-249.
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  13. Eric R. Scerri (2007). Reduction and Emergence in Chemistry—Two Recent Approaches. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):920-931.
    Two articles on the reduction of chemistry are examined. The first, by McLaughlin, claims that chemistry is reduced to physics and that there is no evidence for emergence or for downward causation between the chemical and the physical level. In a more recent article Le Poidevin maintains that his combinatorial approach provides grounding for the ontological reduction of chemistry and also circumvents some limitations in the physicalist program. In examining the scientific issues that each author has discussed the present (...)
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  14. Eric R. Scerri (1995). The Exclusion Principle, Chemistry and Hidden Variables. Synthese 102 (1):165 - 169.
    The Pauli Exclusion Principle and the reduction of chemistry have been the subject of considerable philosophical debate, The present article considers the view that the lack of derivability of the Exclusion Principle represents a problem for physics and denies the reduction of chemistry to quantum mechanics. The possible connections between the Exclusion Principle and the hidden variable debate are also briefly criticised.
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  15. W. H. Eugen Schwarz (2007). Recommended Questions on the Road Towards a Scientific Explanation of the Periodic System of Chemical Elements with the Help of the Concepts of Quantum Physics. Foundations of Chemistry 9 (2):139-188.
    Periodic tables (PTs) are the ‘ultimate paper tools’ of general and inorganic chemistry. There are three fields of open questions concerning the relation between PTs and physics: (i) the relation between the chemical facts and the concept of a periodic system (PS) of chemical elements (CEs) as represented by PTs; (ii) the internal structure of the PS; (iii)␣The relation between the PS and atomistic quantum chemistry. The main open questions refer to (i). The fuzziness of the concepts of chemical properties (...)
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  16. J. van Brakel (2010). Chemistry and Physics: No Need for Metaphysical Glue. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 12 (2):123-136.
    Using the notorious bridge law “water is H 2 O” and the relation between molecular structure and quantum mechanics as examples, I argue that it doesn’t make sense to aim for specific definition(s) of intertheoretical or interdiscourse relation(s) between chemistry and physics (reduction, supervenience, what have you). Proposed definitions of interdiscourse and part-whole relations are interesting only if they provide insight in the variegated interconnected patchwork of theories and beliefs. There is “automatically” some sort of interdiscourse relation if different discourses (...)
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  17. G. Krishna Vemulapalli & Henry Byerly (1999). Remnants of Reductionism. Foundations of Chemistry 1 (1):17-41.
    Central to many issues surrounding reduction in science is the relation between a physical system and its components. In this article we examine how thermodynamic theory relates properties of whole systems to properties of their components. In order to keep the analysis general, we focus our study on universal properties like volume, heat capacity, energy and temperature. In the cases examined we find that scientific explanation requires appeal to properties of components that are spatially as extensive as the whole system. (...)
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