Two conceptions of the chemical bond

Philosophy of Science 75 (5):909-920 (2008)
In this article I sketch G. N. Lewis’s views on chemical bonding and Linus Pauling’s attempt to preserve Lewis’s insights within a quantum‐mechanical theory of the bond. I then set out two broad conceptions of the chemical bond, the structural and the energetic views, which differ on the extent in which they preserve anything like the classical chemical bond in the modern quantum‐mechanical understanding of molecular structure. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN, UK; e‐mail:
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DOI 10.1086/594534
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Alexandru Manafu (2014). How Much Philosophy in the Philosophy of Chemistry? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):33-44.
Paul Needham (2013). Hydrogen Bonding: Homing in on a Tricky Chemical Concept. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):51-65.
Robin Findlay Hendry (2010). Ontological Reduction and Molecular Structure. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (2):183-191.
Paul Needham (2014). The Source of Chemical Bonding. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45 (1):1-13.

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