Diagrams and explanation in organic chemistry
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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 how these diagrams are used in the explanations of the discipline. I will begin this paper by describing and characterizing the roles of the most important sort of diagram used in organic chemistry. Next I will present a model of explanations in organic chemistry and describe how diagrams contribute to these explanations. This will be followed by two examples that will support my abstract account of the role of diagrams in the explanations of organic chemistry.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ute Deichmann (1999). The Expulsion of Jewish Biochemists From Academia in Nazi Germany. Perspectives on Science 7 (1):1-86.
William Goodwin (2010). How Do Structural Formulas Embody the Theory of Organic Chemistry? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):621-633.
William Goodwin (2007). Scientific Understanding After the Ingold Revolution in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 74 (3):386-408.
William Mark Goodwin (2009). Scientific Understanding and Synthetic Design. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):271-301.
William Goodwin (2009). Scientific Understanding and Synthetic Design. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):271-301.
William Goodwin (2008). Implementation and Innovation in Total Synthesis. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):177-186.
William Mark Goodwin (2009). Visual Representations in Science. Philosophy of Science 76 (3):372-390.
William Goodwin (2012). Sustaining a Controversy: The Non-Classical Ion Debate. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axs025.
U. Klein (2001). Paper Tools in Experimental Cultures. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (2):265-302.
W. M. Goodwin (2008). Structural Formulas and Explanation in Organic Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (2):117-127.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads41 ( #49,528 of 1,679,330 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?