David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Foundations of Chemistry 14 (3):235-243 (2012)
Intra-molecular connectivity (that is, chemical structure) does not emerge from computations based on fundamental quantum-mechanical principles. In order to compute molecular electronic energies (of C 3 H 4 hydrocarbons, for instance) quantum chemists must insert intra-molecular connectivity “by hand.” Some take this as an indication that chemistry cannot be reduced to physics: others consider it as evidence that quantum chemistry needs new logical foundations. Such discussions are generally synchronic rather than diachronic —that is, they neglect ‘historical’ aspects. However, systems of interest to chemists generally are metastable . In many cases chemical systems of a given elemental composition may exist in any one of several different metastable states depending on the history of the system. Molecular structure generally depends on contingent historical circumstances of synthesis and separation, rather than solely or mainly on relative energies of alternative stable states, those energies in turn determined by relationships among components. Chemical structure is usually ‘kinetically-determined’ rather than ‘thermodynamically-determined.’ For instance, cyclical hydrocarbon ring-systems (as in cyclopropene) are produced only in special circumstances. Adequate theoretical treatments must take account of the persistent effects of such contingent historical events whenever they are relevant—as they generally are in chemistry.
|Keywords||Synchronic Diachronic Isomers Chemical structure W*-algebra Allene Propyne Propadiene Philosophy of chemistry Metastable Potential energy surfaces Equilibrium states Transition states Quantum chemistry Historicity Contextual emergence|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Jaegwon Kim (2005). Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
N. Sukumar (2009). The Chemist's Concept of Molecular Structure. Foundations of Chemistry 11 (1):7-20.
Robert C. Bishop (2005). Patching Physics and Chemistry Together. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):710-722.
Robert Bishop (2005). Patching Physics and Chemistry Together. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):710-722.
Mark E. Eberhart & Travis E. Jones (2013). The Two Faces of Chemistry: Can They Be Reconciled? [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 15 (3):277-285.
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.
Markus Reiher (2003). The Systems-Theoretical View of Chemical Concepts. Foundations of Chemistry 5 (2):147-163.
Paul A. Bogaard (2006). After Substance: How Aristotle's Question Still Bears on the Philosophy of Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):853-863.
Mark Eberhart (2002). Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Design in the Twenty First Century. Foundations of Chemistry 4 (3):201-211.
Andrea I. Woody (2000). Putting Quantum Mechanics to Work in Chemistry: The Power of Diagrammatic Representation. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):627.
Wolfgang Lefèvre (2012). Viewing Chemistry Through its Ways of Classifying. Foundations of Chemistry 14 (1):25-36.
Roman F. Nalewajski (2014). Entropic Concepts in Electronic Structure Theory. Foundations of Chemistry 16 (1):27-62.
Joachim Schummer (2003). The Notion of Nature in Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (4):705-736.
Joachim Schummer (1998). The Chemical Core of Chemistry I: A Conceptual Approach. Hyle 4 (2):129 - 162.
Added to index2012-01-17
Total downloads10 ( #168,059 of 1,679,339 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #183,792 of 1,679,339 )
How can I increase my downloads?