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  1. F. Michael Akeroyd (2000). The Foundations of Modern Organic Chemistry: The Rise of the Highes and Ingold Theory From 1930–1942. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 2 (2):99-125.
    The foundations of modern organic chemistry were laid by the seminal work of Hughes and Ingold. The rise from being an interesting alternative hypothesis in 1933 to being the leading theory (outside the USA) in 1942 was achieved by a multiplicity of methods. This include:the construction of a new scientific notation, the rationalisation of some seemingly contradictory reported data, the refutation of the experimental work of one of their persistent critics, the use of conceptual arguments and also the achievement of (...)
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  2. John Hedley Brooke (1973). Chlorine Substitution and the Future of Organic Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 4 (1):47-94.
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  3. Grant Fisher (2006). The Autonomy of Models and Explanation: Anomalous Molecular Rearrangements in Early Twentieth-Century Physical Organic Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (4):562-584.
  4. W. M. Goodwin (2008). Structural Formulas and Explanation in Organic Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (2):117-127.
    Organic chemists have been able to develop a robust, theoretical understanding of the phenomena they study; however, the primary theoretical devices employed in this field are not mathematical equations or laws, as is the case in most other physical sciences. Instead it is diagrams, and in particular structural formulas and potential energy diagrams, that carry the explanatory weight in the discipline. To understand how this is so, it is necessary to investigate both the nature of the diagrams employed in organic (...)
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  5. William Goodwin (2012). Sustaining a Controversy: The Non-Classical Ion Debate. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axs025.
    This article examines a scientific controversy that raged for twenty years in physical organic chemistry during the second half of the twentieth century. After explaining what was at stake in the non-classical ion debate, I attempt—by examining the methodological reflections of some of the participants—a partial explanation of what sustained this controversy, particularly during its early stages. Instead of suggesting a breakdown of scientific method or the unavoidable historical contingency of scientific development, the endurance of this controversy instead reveals the (...)
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  6. William Goodwin (2010). How Do Structural Formulas Embody the Theory of Organic Chemistry? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):621-633.
    Organic chemistry provides fertile ground for scholars interested in understanding the role of non-linguistic representations in scientific thinking. In this discipline, it is not plausible to regard diagrams as simply heuristic aids for expressing or applying what is essentially a linguistic theory. Instead, it is more plausible to think of linguistic representation as supplementing theories whose principal expression is diagrammatic. Among the many sorts of diagrams employed by organic chemists, structural formulas are the most important. In this paper, by examining (...)
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  7. William Goodwin (2008). Implementation and Innovation in Total Synthesis. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):177-186.
    This article investigates how understanding the theory of organic chemistry facilitates the total synthesis of organic compounds. After locating the philosophical significance of this question within the methodology or epistemology of applied science, I summarize the results of previous work on this issue—roughly that theoretical organic chemistry underwrites a sequence of heuristic policies that help to isolate plausible synthetic routes from the array of possibilities provided by structural or descriptive organic chemistry. While this prior account makes a solid start, it (...)
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  8. William Goodwin (2007). Scientific Understanding After the Ingold Revolution in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 74 (3):386-408.
    This paper characterizes the increase in ‘scientific understanding’ that resulted from the Ingold Revolution in organic chemistry. By describing both the sorts of explanations facilitated by Ingold’s Revolution and the sense in which organic chemistry was ‘unified’ by adopting these approaches to explanation, one can appreciate how this revolution led to a dramatic qualitative improvement in organic chemists’ understanding of the phenomena that they study. The explanatory unification responsible for this transformation in organic chemistry is contrasted with contemporary philosophical accounts (...)
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  9. William Mark Goodwin, Diagrams and Explanation in Organic Chemistry.
    Organic chemists have been able to develop a robust, theoretical understanding of the phenomena they study; however, the primary theoretical devices employed in this field are not mathematical equations or laws, as is the case in most other physical sciences. Instead it is the diagram, and in particular the structural formula, that carries the explanatory weight in the discipline. To understand how this is so, it is necessary to investigate both the nature of the diagrams employed in organic chemistry and (...)
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  10. Robert C. Kerber (2002). Markovnikov's Rule in History and Pedagogy. Foundations of Chemistry 4 (1):61-72.
    In 1870–75 Markovnikov enunciatedan empirical Rule which generalized theregiochemical outcome of addition reactions tounsymmetrical alkenes. This Rule remaineduseful for about 75 years, until suchreactions came to be better understood inmechanistic terms. Thereafter the Rule couldbe deduced from principles of relativecarbocation stabilization and ceased to servean independent purpose. Nevertheless, mostorganic textbooks continue to cite it (oftenin a historically inaccurate, anachronisticway), thereby distracting student attentionfrom the underlying principles. This paperadvocates doing away with the Rule in organicchemistry textbooks and classrooms.
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  11. Ursula Klein (2001). Berzelian Formulas as Paper Tools in Early Nineteenth-Century Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 3 (1):7-32.
    This paper studies the semiotic,epistemological and historical aspects of Berzelianformulas in early nineteenth-century organicchemistry. I argue that Berzelian formulas wereenormously productive `paper tools' for representingchemical reactions of organic substances, and forcreating different pathways of reactions. Moreover, myanalysis of Jean Dumas's application of Berzelianformulas to model the creation of chloral from alcoholand chlorine exemplifies the role played by chemicalformulas in conceptual development (the concept ofsubstitution). Studying the dialectic of chemists'collectively shared goals and tools, I argue thatpaper tools, like laboratory instruments, areresources (...)
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  12. B. L. (2002). Instruments and Rules: R. B. Woodward and the Tools of Twentieth-Century Organic Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):1-32.
    The paper illustrates how organic chemists dramatically altered their practices in the middle part of the twentieth century through the adoption of analytical instrumentation - such as ultraviolet and infrared absorption spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy - through which the difficult process of structure determination for small molecules became routine. Changes in practice were manifested in two ways: in the use of these instruments in the development of 'rule-based' theories; and in an increased focus on synthesis, at the expense (...)
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  13. Richard Martin Pagni (2009). The Origin and Development of the Acidity Function. Foundations of Chemistry 11 (1):43-50.
    The acidity function is a thermodynamic quantitative measure of acid strength for non-aqueous and concentrated aqueous Brønsted acids, with acid strength being defined as the extent to which the acid protonates a base of known basicity. The acidity function, which was developed, both theoretically and experimentally, by Louis P. Hammett of Columbia University during the 1930s, has proven useful in the area of physical organic chemistry where it has been used to correlate rates of acid-catalyzed reactions and to quantitate the (...)
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  14. Jeffry L. Ramsey (2008). Mechanisms and Their Explanatory Challenges in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):970-982.
    Chemists take mechanisms to be an important way of explaining chemical change. I examine the usefulness of the mechanism approach in the recent philosophical literature in explicating the explanatory use of mechanisms by organic chemists. I argue that chemists consider a mechanism to be explanatory because it accounts for the “dynamic process of bringing about” (Tabery 2004 , 10) chemical change. For chemists, mechanisms are causal explanations based on interventions that show “how some possibilities depend on others” (Woodward 2003 , (...)
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  15. Leo B. Slater (2002). Instruments and Rules: R. B. Woodward and the Tools of Twentieth-Century Organic Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):1-33.
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