Principles and parameters in physics and chemistry

Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1082-1094 (2004)
The paper examines critically some recently published views by Ramsey on the contrast between ab initio and parametrized theories. I argue that, all things being equal, ab initio calculations are indeed regarded more highly in the physics and chemistry communities. A case study on density functional approaches in theoretical chemistry is presented in order to re‐examine the question of ab initio and parametrized approaches in a contemporary context.
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