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  1. Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino (2013). The Relevance of Boyle's Chemical Philosophy for Contemporary Philosophy of Chemistry. In Jean-Pierre Llored (ed.), The Philosophy of Chemistry: Practices, Methodologies, and Concepts.
  2. Nalini Bhushan (2007). What is a Chemical Property? Synthese 155 (3):293 - 305.
    Despite the currently perceived urgent need among contemporary philosophers of chemistry for adjudicating between two rival metaphysical conceptual frameworks—is chemistry primarily a science of substances or processes?—this essay argues that neither provides us with what we need in our attempts to explain and comprehend chemical operations and phenomena. First, I show the concept of a chemical property can survive the abandoning of the metaphysical framework of substance. While this abandonment means that we will need to give up essential properties, contingent (...)
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  3. Liberato Cardellini (2008). The Views and Influence of Ernst Von Glasersfeld: An Introduction. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 10 (2):129-134.
    Research into learners' ideas about science suggests that students often have alternative conceptions about important science concepts. Because of this dissatisfaction, constructivism has been adopted as a theoretical framework by many teachers and researchers, and it has had a curricular influence in many countries. Constructivism is much more than an educational doctrine and we are aware that a ‘science war’ about the possibility of objectivity is in progress. ‘Constructivism’ cannot necessary be a package deal: it must be possible to accept (...)
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  4. Liberato Cardellini (2006). The Foundations of Radical Constructivism: An Interview with Ernst Von Glasersfeld. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (2):177-187.
    Constructivism rejects the metaphysical position that “truth”, and thus knowledge in science, can represent an “objective” reality, independent of the knower. It modifies the role of knowledge from “true” representation to functional viability. In this interview, Ernst von Glasersfeld, the leading proponent of Radical Constructivism underlines the inaccessibility of reality, and proposes his view that the function of cognition is adaptive, in the biological sense: the adaptation is the result of the elimination of all that is not adapted. There is (...)
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  5. Mario Castagnino (2010). Matters Are Not so Clear on the Physical Side. Foundations of Chemistry 12 (2):159-166.
    According to ontological reductionism, molecular chemistry refers, at last, to the quantum ontology; therefore, the ontological commitments of chemistry turn out to be finally grounded on quantum mechanics. The main problem of this position is that nobody really knows what quantum ontology is. The purpose of this work is to argue that the confidence in the existence of the physical entities described by quantum mechanics does not take into account the interpretative problems of the theory: in the discussions about the (...)
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  6. Alan F. Chalmers (2008). Atom and Aether in Nineteenth-Century Physical Science. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):157-166.
    This paper suggests that the cases made for atoms and the aether in nineteenth-century physical science were analogous, with the implication that the case for the atom was less than compelling, since there is no aether. It is argued that atoms did not play a productive role in nineteenth-century chemistry any more than the aether did in physics. Atoms and molecules did eventually find an indispensable home in chemistry but by the time that they did so they were different kinds (...)
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  7. Kevin C. de Berg (2006). The Status of Constructivism in Chemical Education Research and its Relationship to the Teaching and Learning of the Concept of Idealization in Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 8 (2):153-176.
    A review of the chemical education research literature suggests that the term constructivism is used in two ways: experience-based constructivism and discipline-based constructivism. These two perspectives are examined as an epistemology in relation to the teaching and learning of the concept of idealization in chemistry. It is claimed that experience-based constructivism is powerless to inform the origin of such concepts in chemistry and while discipline-based constructivism can admit such theoretical concepts as idealization it does not offer any unique perspectives that (...)
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  8. 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.
  9. Robert J. Good (1999). Why Are Chemists 'Turned Off' by Philosophy of Science? Foundations of Chemistry 1 (2):65-95.
    The most immediate reason why chemists are unenthusiastic about the philosophy of science is the historic hostility of important philosophers, to the concept of atoms. (Without atoms, discovery in chemistry would have proceeded with glacial slowness, if at all, in the last 200 years.) Other important reasons include the anti-realist influence of the philosophical dogmas of logical positivism, instrumentalism, of strict empiricism. Though (as has been said) these doctrines have recently gone out of fashion, they are still very influential.A diagram (...)
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  10. Rom Harré (2009). Trope Theory and the Ontology of Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 11 (2):93-103.
    The traditional ontology within which chemistry has developed involved various versions of a general substance/attribute scheme. Recently this has been challenged by two versions of Dynamism. One version is derived from the writings of A. N. Whitehead and the other from several sources, including G. Leibniz and I. Kant. Both involve the idea of flux of actual occasions. Unlike the former scheme, the latter involves a foundation of causal powers and the energetics of field theory. The situation has been made (...)
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  11. Robin Hendry (2010). The Elements and Conceptual Change. In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge.
  12. 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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  13. Roald Hoffmann (2007). What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It? Synthese 155 (3):321 - 336.
    Had more philosophers of science come from chemistry, their thinking would have been different. I begin by looking at a typical chemical paper, in which making something is the leitmotif, and conjecture/refutation is pretty much irrelevant. What in fact might have been, might be, different? The realism of chemists is reinforced by their remarkable ability to transform matter; they buy into reductionism where it serves them, but make no real use of it. Incommensurability is taken without a blink, and actually (...)
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  14. Zack Jenkins (2003). Do You Need to Believe in Orbitals to Use Them?: Realism and the Autonomy of Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1052-1062.
    Eric Scerri and other authors have acknowledged that the reality of chemical orbitals is not compatible with quantum mechanics. Recently, however, Scerri and Sharon Crasnow have argued that if chemists cannot consider orbitals as real entities, then chemistry is in danger of being reduced to physics. I argue that the question of the existence of orbitals is best viewed as an issue of approximation, not metaphysics: in many chemically important cases orbitals do not make sufficiently accurate predictions, and must be (...)
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  15. Zack Jenkins (2003). Do You Need to Believe in Orbitals to Use Them?: Realism and the Autonomy of Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1052-1062.
    Eric Scerri and other authors have acknowledged that the reality of chemical orbitals is not compatible with quantum mechanics. Recently, however, Scerri and Sharon Crasnow have argued that if chemists cannot consider orbitals as real entities, then chemistry is in danger of being reduced to physics. I argue that the question of the existence of orbitals is best viewed as an issue of explanation, not metaphysics: In many chemically important cases orbitals do not make sufficiently accurate predictions, and must be (...)
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  16. Rosária S. Justi & John K. Gilbert (2002). Philosophy of Chemistry in University Chemical Education: The Case of Models and Modelling. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 4 (3):213-240.
    If chemistry is to be taught successfully, teachers must have a good subject matter knowledge (SK) of the ideas with which they are dealing, the nature of this falling within the orbit of philosophy of chemistry. They must also have a good pedagogic content knowledge (PCK), the ability to communicate SK to students, the nature of this falling within the philosophy and psychology of chemical education. Taking the case of models and modelling, important themes in the philosophy of chemistry, an (...)
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  17. Martín Labarca & Olimpia Lombardi (2010). Why Orbitals Do Not Exist? Foundations of Chemistry 12 (2):149-157.
    In this paper we will address the problem of the existence of orbitals by analyzing the relationship between molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics. In particular, we will consider the concept of orbital in the light of the arguments that deny its referring character. On this basis, we will conclude that the claim that orbitals do not exist relies on a metaphysical reductionism which, if consistently sustained, would lead to consequences clashing with the effective practice of science in its different branches.
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  18. Jean-Pierre Llored (2010). Mereology and Quantum Chemistry: The Approximation of Molecular Orbital. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 12 (3):203-221.
    Mulliken proposed an Aufbauprinzip for the molecules on the basis of molecular spectroscopy while establishing, point by point, his concept of molecular orbit. It is the concept of electronic state which becomes the lever for his attribution of electronic configurations to a molecule. In 1932, the concept of orbit was transmuted into that of the molecular orbital to integrate the probabilistic approach of Born and to achieve quantitative accuracy. On the basis of the quantum works of Hund, Wigner, Lennard-Jones and (...)
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  19. Olimpia Lombardi & Martín Labarca (2006). The Ontological Autonomy of the Chemical World: A Response to Needham. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (1):81-92.
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  20. Olimpia Lombardi & Martín Labarca (2005). The Ontological Autonomy of the Chemical World. Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2):125-148.
    In the problem of the relationship between chemistry and physics, many authors take for granted the ontological reduction of the chemical world to the world of physics. The autonomy of chemistry is usually defended on the basis of the failure of epistemological reduction: not all chemical concepts and laws can be derived from the theoretical framework of physics. The main aim of this paper is to argue that this line of argumentation is not strong enough for eliminate the idea of (...)
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  21. Olimpia Lombardi & Martín Labarca (2005). The Ontological Autonomy of the Chemical World. Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2):125-148.
    In the problem of the relationship between chemistry and physics, many authors take for granted the ontological reduction of the chemical world to the world of physics. The autonomy of chemistry is usually defended on the basis of the failure of epistemological reduction: not all chemical concepts and laws can be derived from the theoretical framework of physics. The main aim of this paper is to argue that this line of argumentation is not strong enough for eliminate the idea of (...)
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  22. Alexandru Manafu (2013). Internal Realism and the Problem of Ontological Autonomy: A Critical Note on Lombardi and Labarca. Foundations of Chemistry 15 (2):225-228.
    This paper discusses the proposal made by Lombardi and Labarca (Found Chem 7:125–148, 2005) that internal realism can secure the ontological autonomy of chemistry. I argue that internal realism is not, by itself, sufficient to accomplish this task. The fact that conceptual schemes may differ with respect to their theoretical virtues, and the possibility that the relations between them may be reductive undermine the premise that each conceptual scheme has an equal right to define its own ontology, which is a (...)
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  23. Peter H. Plesch (1999). On the Distinctness of Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 1 (1):6-15.
    Chemistry is concerned with all aspects of the changing of one kind of matter into another. It has many parts and all but one of these are so different from all the adjacent sciences that their distinctness is obvious; the exception is physical chemistry. The activities of its practitioners resemble prima facie those of physicists. These however deal with unchanging matter that retains its chemical identity, and virtually all their experimental information is numerical. The physical chemist's concerns are the nature, (...)
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  24. Nikos Psarros (1997). Critical Rationalism in the Test Tube? Lecture Given at the ''International Summer School on the Philosophy of Chemistry and Biochemistry'', Bradford & Ilkley Community College, 11. – 14. July 1994. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 28 (2):297-305.
    Popper's critical rationalism is widely accepted under scientists and philosophers of science as a proper method for the reconstruction of scientific theories. On occasion of the application of the Popperian ideas for the reconstruction of chemistry by Akeroyd the flaws of the critical rationalist approach are criticised and a methodical alternative is proposed, involving the operational definition of scientific terms.
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  25. Jeffry L. Ramsey (2000). Joachim Schummer, Realismus Und Chemie: Philosophische Untersuchungen der Wissenschaft Von den Stoffen. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 2 (1):79-84.
  26. Klaus Ruthenberg (2009). Paneth, Kant, and the Philosophy of Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 11 (2):79-91.
    Immanuel Kant has built up a dualistic epistemology that seems to fit to the peculiarities of chemistry quite well. Friedrich Paneth used Kant’s concept and characterised simple and basic substances which refer to the empirical and to the transcendental world, respectively. This paper takes account of the Kantian influences in Paneth’s philosophy of chemistry, and discusses pertinent topics, like observables, atomism and realism.
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  27. Eric Scerri (2005). Some Aspects of the Metaphysics of Chemistry and the Nature of the Elements. Hyle 11 (2):127 - 145.
    There is now a considerable body of published work on the epistemology of modern chemistry, especially with regard to the nature of quantum chemistry. In addition, the question of the metaphysical underpinnings of chemistry has received a good deal of attention. The present article concentrates on metaphysical considerations including the question of whether elements and groups of elements are natural kinds. It is also argued that an appeal to the metaphysical nature of elements can help clarify the re-emerging controversies among (...)
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  28. Eric R. Scerri, Have Orbitals Really Been Observed?
    The article disputes the recent claim featured in "Nature" magazine and many other science magazines to the effect that atomic orbitals have been observed for the first time. The claim is incorrect in view of the unconvincing nature of the evidence adduced and since atomic orbitals are deemed unobservable in principle by quantum mechanics. In addition, the possible educational drawbacks of this incorrect claim are discussed.
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  29. Joachim Schummer (2006). Gestalt Switch in Molecular Image Perception: The Aesthetic Origin of Molecular Nanotechnology in Supramolecular Chemistry. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (1):53-72.
    According to ‘standard histories’ of nanotechnology, the colorful pictures of atoms produced by scanning probe microscopists since the 1980s essentially inspired visions of molecular nanotechnology. In this paper, I provide an entirely different account that, nonetheless, refers to aesthetic inspiration, First, I argue that the basic idea of molecular nanotechnology, i.e., producing molecular devices, has been the goal of supramolecular chemistry that emerged earlier, without being called nanotechnology. Secondly, I argue that in supramolecular chemistry the production of molecular devices was (...)
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  30. Joachim Schummer (2000). Editorial: Models in Chemistry, Part 2: Molecular Models. Hyle 6 (1):3 - 4.
    As supposed in the last Editorial (HYLE, 5-1, p. 78), our special topic ‘Models in Chemistry’ has attracted new attention to the philosophy of chemistry. Only during the past couple of month, the number of visitors of the HYLE website has nearly doubled to some 1,600 per month. There is nothing comparable in the whole field of philosophy of science, as there is no other science having such a lot to catch up on philosophical work. At the same time, this (...)
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  31. Shant Shahbazian & Mansour Zahedi (2007). Letter to the Editor: The Concept of Chemical Bond – Some Like It Fuzzy but Others Concrete. Foundations of Chemistry 9 (1):85-95.
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  32. Shant Shahbazian & Mansour Zahedi (2006). The Role of Observables and Non-Observables in Chemistry: A Critique of Chemical Language. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (1):37-52.
    In this paper, aspects of observable and non-observable based models are discussed. A survey of recent literature was done to show how using non-observable-based language carelessly may cause disagreement, even in professional research programs and incorrect assertions, even in prestigious journals. The relation between physical measurements and observables is discussed and it is shown that, in contrast to general belief, this relation may be complicated and not always straightforward. The decomposition of the system into basic subsystems (physical or conceptual) is (...)
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  33. Joseph Simonian (2005). The Paradoxes of Chemical Classification: Why `Water is H2o' is Not an Identity Statement. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 7 (1):49-56.
    A puzzle for identity statements using massnouns, central to the expression of chemicaltypes, arises if one accepts that both `Wateris H2O' and `Ice is H2O' are identitystatements, since they jointly entail that`Water is ice'. The puzzle is resolved if itcan be shown that the `is' of such statementsis not the `is' of identity.
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  34. Keith S. Taber (2006). Constructivism's New Clothes: The Trivial, the Contingent, and a Progressive Research Programme Into the Learning of Science. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (2):189-219.
    Constructivism has been a key referent for research into the learning of science for several decades. There is little doubt that the research into learners’ ideas in science stimulated by the constructivist movement has been voluminous, and a great deal is now known about the way various science topics may commonly be understood by learners of various ages. Despite this significant research effort, there have been serious criticisms of this area of work: in terms of its philosophical underpinning, the validity (...)
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  35. Keith S. Taber (2003). The Atom in the Chemistry Curriculum: Fundamental Concept, Teaching Model or Epistemological Obstacle? Foundations of Chemistry 5 (1):43-84.
    Research into learners' ideas aboutscience suggests that school and collegestudents often hold alternative conceptionsabout `the atom'. This paper discusses whylearners acquire ideas about atoms which areincompatible with the modern scientificunderstanding. It is suggested that learners'alternative ideas derive – at least in part –from the way ideas about atoms are presented inthe school and college curriculum. Inparticular, it is argued that the atomicconcept met in science education is anincoherent hybrid of historical models, andthat this explains why learners commonlyattribute to atoms properties (...)
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  36. Tuomas E. Tahko (forthcoming). Natural Kind Essentialism Revisited. Mind.
    Recent work on Natural Kind Essentialism has taken a deflationary turn. The assumptions about the grounds of essentialist truths concerning natural kinds familiar from the Kripke-Putnam framework are now considered questionable. The source of the problem, however, has not been sufficiently explicated. The paper focuses on the Twin Earth scenario and it will be demonstrated that the essentialist principle at its core (which I call IDENT) – necessarily, a sample of a chemical substance, A, is of the same kind as (...)
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  37. Emma Tobin (2010). Microstructuralism and Macromolecules: The Case of Moonlighting Proteins. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 12 (1):41-54.
    Microstructuralism in the philosophy of chemistry is the thesis that chemical kinds can be individuated in terms of their microstructural properties (Hendry in Philos Sci 73:864–875, 2006 ). Elements provide paradigmatic examples, since the atomic number should suffice to individuate the kind. In theory, Microstructuralism should also characterise higher-level chemical kinds such as molecules, compounds, and macromolecules based on their constituent atomic properties. In this paper, several microstructural theses are distinguished. An analysis of macromolecules such as moonlighting proteins suggests that (...)
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  38. Holly VandeWall (2007). Why Water is Not H2O, and Other Critiques of Essentialist Ontology From the Philosophy of Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):906-919.
    Ellis argues that certain essential properties of objects in the world not only determine the nature of these objects but also how they will behave in any situation. In this paper I will critique Ellis's essentialism from the perspective of the philosophy of chemistry, arguing that our current knowledge of chemistry in fact does not lend itself to essentialist interpretations and that this seriously undercuts Ellis's project. In particular I will criticize two key distinctions Ellis draws between internal vs. external (...)
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  39. Torsten Wilholt (2005). Explaining Models: Theoretical and Phenomenological Models and Their Role for the First Explanation of the Hydrogen Spectrum. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2):149-169.
    Traditional nomological accounts of scientific explanation have assumed that a good scientific explanation consists in the derivation of the explanandum’s description from theory (plus antecedent conditions). But in more recent philosophy of science the adequacy of this approach has been challenged, because the relation between theory and phenomena in actual scientific practice turns out to be more intricate. This critique is here examined for an explanatory paradigm that was groundbreaking for 20th century physics and chemistry (and their interrelation): Bohr’s first (...)
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  40. Donald J. Wink (2006). Connections Between Pedagogical and Epistemological Constructivism: Questions for Teaching and Research in Chemistry. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 8 (2):111-151.
    The rich and ongoing debate about constructivism in chemistry education includes questions about the relationship, for better or worse, between applications of the theory in pedagogy and in epistemology. This paper presents an examination of the potential to use connections of epistemological and pedagogical constructivism to one another. It examines connections linked to the content, processes, and premises of science with a goal of prompting further research in these areas.
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  41. Paweł Zeidler & Danuta Sobczyńska (1995). The Idea of Realism in the New Experimentalism and the Problem of the Existence of Theoretical Entities in Chemistry. Foundations of Science 1 (4):517-535.
    The paper is focused on some aspects of experimental realism of Ian Hacking, and especially on his manipulability criterion of existence. The problem is here related to chemical molecules, the objects of interest in chemical research. The authors consider whether and to what extent this criterion has been applied in experimental practice of chemistry. They argue that experimentation on is a fundamental criterion of existence of entities in chemistry rather than experimentation with. Some examples regarding studies of structures of complex (...)
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