David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):1-32 (2002)
The paper illustrates how organic chemists dramatically altered their practices in the middle part of the twentieth century through the adoption of analytical instrumentation - such as ultraviolet and infrared absorption spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy - through which the difficult process of structure determination for small molecules became routine. Changes in practice were manifested in two ways: in the use of these instruments in the development of 'rule-based' theories; and in an increased focus on synthesis, at the expense of chemical analysis. These rule-based theories took the form of generalizations relating structure to chemical and physical properties, as measured by instrumentation. This 'Instrumental Revolution' in organic chemistry was two-fold: encompassing an embrace of new tools that provided unprecedented access to structures, and a new way of thinking about molecules and their reactivity in terms of shape and structure. These practices suggest the possibility of a change in the ontological status of chemical structures, brought about by the regular use of instruments. The career of Robert Burns Woodward (1917-1979) provides the central historical examples for the paper. Woodward was an organic chemist at Harvard from 1937 until the time of his death. In 1965, he won the Nobel Prize in 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
Jeffry L. Ramsey (2008). Mechanisms and Their Explanatory Challenges in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):970-982.
William Goodwin (2007). Scientific Understanding After the Ingold Revolution in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 74 (3):386-408.
Ursula Klein (2001). Berzelian Formulas as Paper Tools in Early Nineteenth-Century Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 3 (1):7-32.
Ursula Klein (2005). Technoscience. Perspectives on Science 13 (2).
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.
U. Klein (2001). Paper Tools in Experimental Cultures. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (2):265-302.
Leo B. Slater (2002). Instruments and Rules: R. B. Woodward and the Tools of Twentieth-Century Organic Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):1-33.
William Goodwin (2008). Implementation and Innovation in Total Synthesis. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):177-186.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads14 ( #116,050 of 1,102,974 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #120,763 of 1,102,974 )
How can I increase my downloads?