Internal realism and the problem of ontological autonomy: a critical note on Lombardi and Labarca

Foundations of Chemistry 15 (2):225-228 (2013)
Abstract
This paper discusses the proposal made by Lombardi and Labarca (Found Chem 7:125–148, 2005) that internal realism can secure the ontological autonomy of chemistry. I argue that internal realism is not, by itself, sufficient to accomplish this task. The fact that conceptual schemes may differ with respect to their theoretical virtues, and the possibility that the relations between them may be reductive undermine the premise that each conceptual scheme has an equal right to define its own ontology, which is a key premise in Lombardi and Labarca’s proposal
Keywords Autonomy of chemistry  Internal realism  Conceptual schemes  Reduction of chemistry to physics  Ontological rights
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