Chemistry, a lingua philosophica

Foundations of Chemistry 13 (3):233-249 (2011)
We analyze the connections of Lavoisier system of nomenclature with Leibniz’s philosophy, pointing out to the resemblance between what we call Leibnizian and Lavoisian programs. We argue that Lavoisier’s contribution to chemistry is something more subtle, in so doing we show that the system of nomenclature leads to an algebraic system of chemical sets. We show how Döbereiner and Mendeleev were able to develop this algebraic system and to find new interesting properties for it. We pointed out the resemblances between Leibniz program and Lavoisier legacy, particularly regarding the lingua philosophica for understanding and thinking Nature, in this particular case, chemistry. In the second part we discuss, from the linguistic viewpoint, how Lavoisian algebraic system may be taken further to build a language. We study the constituents of such a chemical language. Finally, we formalize some of the ideas here presented by using elements of network theory and discrete mathematics
Keywords Leibniz  Lavoisier  Algebra  Lingua philosophica  Chemical grammar  Networks
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