David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):485-512 (2010)
‘Water is H 2 O’ is naturally construed as an equivalence. What are the things to which the two predicates ‘is water’ and ‘is H 2 O’ apply? The equivalence presupposes that substance properties are distinguished from phase properties. A substance like water (H 2 O) exhibits various phases (solid, liquid, gas) under appropriate conditions, and a given (say liquid) phase may comprise several substances. What general features distinguish substance from phase properties? I tackle these questions on the basis of an interpretation of a theorem of thermodynamics known as Gibbs' phase rule which systematically relates these two kinds of feature of matter. The interpretation develops the idea that the things substance and phase predicates apply to are quantities of matter which sustain mereological relations and operations and exploits these mereological features in distinguishing the two kinds of property. Gibbs' phase rule is a macroscopic principle applicable for macroscopic intervals of time. Bringing intervals of time into the picture calls for a more detailed consideration of the relation between macroscopic equilibria and the corresponding dynamic equilibria at the microlevel and throws into question the simple idea that quantities can always be regarded as collections of molecules. The account provides some insight into how the continuous, macroscopic conception of matter (‘gunk’) is reconciled with the discrete microscopic conception and illuminates the interpretation of substances present in mixtures
|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
J. Brakel (1986). The Chemistry of Substances and the Philosophy of Mass Terms. Synthese 69 (3):291 - 324.
P. Needham (2002). Duhem's Theory of Mixture in the Light of the Stoic Challenge to the Aristotelian Conception. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (4):685-708.
Paul Needham (2002). The Discovery That Water is H2O. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):205 – 226.
Paul Needham (2000). What is Water? Analysis 60 (1):13–21.
Judith Jarvis Thomson (1983). Parthood and Identity Across Time. Journal of Philosophy 80 (4):201-220.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Weisberg & Paul Needham (2010). Matter, Structure, and Change: Aspects of the Philosophy of Chemistry. Philosophy Compass 5 (10):927-937.
Paul Needham (2012). Natural Kind Thingamajigs. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (1):97 - 101.
P. Needham (2013). Process and Change: From a Thermodynamic Perspective. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):395-422.
Robin Findlay Hendry (2010). Entropy and Chemical Substance. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):921-932.
Similar books and articles
Paul Needham (2011). Microessentialism: What is the Argument? Noûs 45 (1):1-21.
S. Marc Cohen (2009). Substances. In Georgios Anagnostopoulos (ed.), A Companion to Aristotle. Blackwell-Wiley.
Gábor Forrai (2010). Locke on Substance in General. Locke Studies 10:27-59.
Paul Needham (2004). Continuants and Processes in Macroscopic Chemistry. Axiomathes 14 (1-3):237-265.
Ian J. Thompson (1988). The Nature of Substance. Cogito 2 (2):17-19.
Paul Needham (2010). Transient Things and Permanent Stuff. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):147 – 166.
Added to index2010-08-11
Total downloads18 ( #100,303 of 1,139,978 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #92,709 of 1,139,978 )
How can I increase my downloads?