On the boundary between laboratory 'givens' and laboratory 'tangibles'

Foundations of Chemistry 12 (3):187-202 (2010)
structure of a laboratory report (generalized from Italian, Chinese and US sources), we distill a fifth flavor, the givens, whose flip side is the freedoms or tangibles of an experiment. (Stated in terms of computer science, we are trying to find inputs and outputs, but these turn out to be surprisingly vague in chemistry.) Then, in the service of a white-boxing ethos (which sounds less severe than ‘anti black-boxing’), we establish a movable boundary between givens and tangibles, with implications for ‘ontological attitudes’ and for the future of chemistry. Next, in revisiting a 2002 exchange between Schummer and Laszlo, which might be paraphrased as the chemist-as-philosopher versus chemist-as-artisan, we apply a second kind of sliding scale which seems to harmonize the discussion. Finally, on a possibly quixotic note, we look briefly at a third kind of sliding scale, now aimed squarely at ontology itself. For illustrative purposes, we adopt an atomocentric viewpoint (as distinct from atomistic), and assign it the provisional name ‘Fuzzy CH4 Ontology’
Keywords Ontology  Laboratory procedure  White box  Imagination  Basic chemistry  Atomocentric
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    6 ( #162,851 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)


    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.