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  1. added 2018-09-24
    Report: Alchemy, Chymistry, and Process.Joseph E. Earley - 2006 - Hyle 12 (2):241 - 241.
  2. added 2018-02-24
    Guest Editor: Foundations of Chemistry (Special Issue).Marina P. Banchetti - 2017 - Foundations of Chemistry 19 (1).
  3. added 2017-12-01
    How the Models of Chemistry Vie.James R. Hofmann - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:405 - 419.
    Building upon Nancy Cartwright's discussion of models in How the Laws of Physics Lie, this paper addresses solid state research in transition metal oxides. Historical analysis reveals that in this domain models function both as the culmination of phenomenology and the commencement of theoretical explanation. Those solid state chemists who concentrate on the description of phenomena pertinent to specific elements or compounds assess models according to different standards than those who seek explanation grounded in approximate applications of the Schroedinger equation. (...)
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  4. added 2017-06-01
    The Manipulation of Chemical Reactions: Probing the Limits of Interventionism.Georgie Statham - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4815-4838.
    I apply James Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation to organic chemistry, modelling three different ways that chemists are able to manipulate the reaction conditions in order to control the outcome of a reaction. These consist in manipulations to the reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and whether the kinetics or thermodynamics predominates. It is possible to construct interventionist causal models of all of these kinds of manipulation, and therefore to account for them using Woodward’s theory. However, I show that there is an alternate, (...)
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  5. added 2016-12-08
    Scientific Understanding and Synthetic Design.William Mark Goodwin - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):271-301.
    Next SectionOne of the indisputable signs of the progress made in organic chemistry over the last two hundred years is the increased ability of chemists to manipulate, control, and design chemical reactions. The technological expertise manifest in contemporary synthetic organic chemistry is, at least in part, due to developments in the theory of organic chemistry. By appealing to a notable chemist's attempts to articulate and codify the heuristics of synthetic design, this paper investigates how understanding theoretical organic chemistry facilitates progress (...)
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  6. added 2015-08-26
    Chemical Supervenience.Micah Newman - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (1):49-62.
    This paper surveys some ways in which the chemical realm can be described and outlined in terms of the concept of supervenience. The particular contours of general chemical theory provide a ready basis for interpretation of determination, covariance, and nonreduction—the characteristic metaphysical facets of the supervenience relation—in mutual terms. Building on this, the extent to which chemically characterized properties and entities can be described in terms of a supervenience-scaffolded structure represents a particularly vivid application that philosophers in general interested in (...)
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  7. added 2015-03-24
    Chemical Mechanics and Kinetics: The Significance of the Theory of Mechanical Heat for the Theory of Chemical Reactions.J. Berger - 1997 - Annals of Science 54 (6):567-584.
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  8. added 2014-04-02
    Sustaining a Controversy: The Non-Classical Ion Debate.William Goodwin - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):787-816.
    This article examines a scientific controversy that raged for twenty years in physical organic chemistry during the second half of the twentieth century. After explaining what was at stake in the non-classical ion debate, I attempt—by examining the methodological reflections of some of the participants—a partial explanation of what sustained this controversy, particularly during its early stages. Instead of suggesting a breakdown of scientific method or the unavoidable historical contingency of scientific development, the endurance of this controversy instead reveals the (...)
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  9. added 2014-03-30
    Chemical Kinetics as Part of Physical Chemistry in the XIXth Century and at the Beginning of the XXth Century: Analysis of the Origin and Development of Phenomenological Kinetics.Viktor A. Kritsman - 1996 - NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 4 (1):19-30.
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  10. added 2014-03-28
    The Atomic Shell-Structure Formula 2n.Richard D. Harcourt - 1999 - Foundations of Chemistry 1 (3):293-294.
  11. added 2014-03-28
    Why Are Chemists 'Turned Off' by Philosophy of Science?Robert J. Good - 1999 - Foundations of Chemistry 1 (2):65-95.
    The most immediate reason why chemists are unenthusiastic about the philosophy of science is the historic hostility of important philosophers, to the concept of atoms. (Without atoms, discovery in chemistry would have proceeded with glacial slowness, if at all, in the last 200 years.) Other important reasons include the anti-realist influence of the philosophical dogmas of logical positivism, instrumentalism, of strict empiricism. Though (as has been said) these doctrines have recently gone out of fashion, they are still very influential.A diagram (...)
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  12. added 2014-03-28
    Circulation of Concepts.Pierre Laszlo - 1999 - Foundations of Chemistry 1 (3):225-238.
    A major obstacle to chemistry being a deductive science is that its core concepts very often are defined in a circular manner: it is impossible to explain what an acid is without reference to the complementary concept of a base. There are many such dual pairs among the core concepts of chemistry. Such circulation of concepts, rather than an infirmity chemistry is beset with, is seen as a source of vitality and dynamism.
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  13. added 2014-03-27
    The Role of Mathematics in the Experimental/Theoretical/Computational Trichotomy of Chemistry.R. Bruce King - 2000 - Foundations of Chemistry 2 (3):221-236.
    The drastically increasing availability ofmodern computers coupled with the equally drasticallylower cost of a given amount of computer power inrecent years has resulted in the evolution of thetraditional experimental/theoretical dichotomy inchemistry into anexperimental/theoretical/computational trichotomy. This trichotomy can be schematically represented by atriangle with experimental,theoretical, and computational chemistry at the threevertices. The ET and EC edges of the ETC triangledepict the uses of theoretical and computationalchemistry, respectively, to predict and interpretexperimental results. The TC edge depicts therelationship between theoretical and computationalchemistry. Mathematics (...)
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  14. added 2014-03-26
    What and How Physics Contributes to Understanding the Periodic Law.V. N. Ostrovsky - 2001 - Foundations of Chemistry 3 (2):145-181.
    The current status of explanation worked out by Physics for the Periodic Law is considered from philosophical and methodological points of view. The principle gnosiological role of approximations and models in providing interpretation for complicated systems is emphasized. The achievements, deficiencies and perspectives of the existing quantum mechanical interpretation of the Periodic Table are discussed. The mainstream ab initio theory is based on analysis of selfconsistent one-electron effective potential. Alternative approaches employing symmetry considerations and applying group theory usually require some (...)
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  15. added 2014-03-26
    The First Subatomic Explanations of the Periodic System.Helge Kragh - 2001 - Foundations of Chemistry 3 (2):129-143.
    Attempts to explain the periodic system as a manifestation of regularities in the structure of the atoms of the elements are as old as the system itself. The paper analyses some of the most important of these attempts, in particular such works that are historically connected with the recognition of the electron as a fundamental building block of all matter. The history of the periodic system, the discovery of the electron, and ideas of early atomic structure are closely interwoven and (...)
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  16. added 2014-03-24
    Markovnikov's Rule in History and Pedagogy.Robert C. Kerber - 2002 - Foundations of Chemistry 4 (1):61-72.
    In 1870–75 Markovnikov enunciatedan empirical Rule which generalized theregiochemical outcome of addition reactions tounsymmetrical alkenes. This Rule remaineduseful for about 75 years, until suchreactions came to be better understood inmechanistic terms. Thereafter the Rule couldbe deduced from principles of relativecarbocation stabilization and ceased to servean independent purpose. Nevertheless, mostorganic textbooks continue to cite it (oftenin a historically inaccurate, anachronisticway), thereby distracting student attentionfrom the underlying principles. This paperadvocates doing away with the Rule in organicchemistry textbooks and classrooms.
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  17. added 2014-03-24
    On the Origin of Tetrahedral Carbon: A Case for Philosophy of Chemistry? [REVIEW]Pedro Cintas - 2002 - Foundations of Chemistry 4 (2):149-161.
    This essay analyzes the historical and philosophical context that led to the basic concepts of stereochemistry proposed by Van’t Hoff and Le Bel. Although it is now well established that the key idea of tetrahedral carbon, and in general a geometric view of matter, was pioneered by other chemists, Van’t Hoff and Le Bel used this idea to solve the puzzle of optical activity, thereby establishing a direct linkage between structure and physical properties. It is also interesting to note that (...)
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  18. added 2014-03-24
    Philosophy and Biochemistry: Research at the Interface Between Chemistry and Biology. [REVIEW]Claus Jacob - 2002 - Foundations of Chemistry 4 (2):97-125.
    This paper investigates the interface between philosophy and biochemistry. While it is problematic to justify the application of a particular philosophical model to biochemistry, it seems to be even more difficult to develop a special “Philosophy for Biochemistry”. Alternatively, philosophy can be used in biochemistry based on an alternative approach that involves an interdependent iteration process at a philosophical and (bio)chemical level (“Exeter Method”). This useful iteration method supplements more abstract approaches at the interface between philosophy and natural sciences, and (...)
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  19. added 2014-03-24
    Theoretical and Practical Reasoning in Chemistry.Jeffrey Kovac - 2002 - Foundations of Chemistry 4 (2):163-171.
    Traditional philosophy of science regards theoretical reasoning, based on the example of Euclidian geometry, as the hallmark of a mature science. There is, however, a parallel tradition of practical reasoning based on specific cases that goes back to Aristotle. In this paper I argue that practical reasoning is an essential part of the practice of chemistry and should be understood and appreciated on its own merits rather than regarded as a symbol of the immaturity and inferiority of chemistry as a (...)
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  20. added 2014-03-24
    Ronald J. Gillespie and Paul L. A. Popelier: Chemical Bonding and Molecular Geometry: From Lewis to Electron Densities. [REVIEW]John E. Bloor - 2002 - Foundations of Chemistry 4 (3):241-247.
  21. added 2014-03-23
    Are Laws of Nature and Scientific Theories Peculiar in Chemistry? Scrutinizing Mendeleev's Discovery.R. Vihalemm - 2003 - Foundations of Chemistry 5 (1):7-22.
    The problem of the peculiarcharacter of chemical laws and theories is a central topic in philosophy of chemistry. Oneof the most characteristic and, at the sametime, most puzzling examples in discussions onchemical laws and theories is Mendeleev''speriodic law. This law seems to be essentiallydifferent in its nature from the exact laws ofclassical physics, the latter being usuallyregarded as a paradigm of science byphilosophers. In this paper the main argumentsconcerning the peculiar character of chemicallaws and theories are examined. The laws ofchemistry (...)
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  22. added 2014-03-23
    The Systems-Theoretical View of Chemical Concepts.Markus Reiher - 2003 - Foundations of Chemistry 5 (2):147-163.
    While the principal ideas of a systems theory for the molecular sciences have been introduced in part I (Reiher, 2003), illustrative examples for the ingredients of this systems chemistry are discussed in greater detail in this work. The potential wealth of systems chemistry is then demonstrated for a recently developed approach for the calculation of hydrogen bond energies in non-decomposable systems.
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  23. added 2014-03-23
    Chemical Laws and Theories: A Response to Vihalemm. [REVIEW]John R. Christie & Maureen Christie - 2003 - Foundations of Chemistry 5 (2):165-174.
    A recent article by Vihalemm (Foundations of Chemistry, 2003) is critical of an earlier essay. We find that there is some justification for his criticism of vagueness in defining terms. Nevertheless the main conclusions of the earlier work, when carefully restated to deflect Vihalemm’s criticisms, are unaffected by his arguments. The various dicta that are used as the bases of chemical explanations are different in character, and are used in a different way from the laws and theories in classical physics.
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  24. added 2014-03-21
    Response to ``Telltale Signs: What Common Explanatory Strategies in Chemistry Reveal About Explanation Itself''.Stephen J. Weininger - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 6 (1):45-48.
  25. added 2014-03-21
    Theoretical Chemistry.Roald Hoffmann - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 6 (1):11-.
  26. added 2014-03-21
    Telltale Signs: What Common Explanatory Strategies in Chemistry Reveal About Explanation Itself.Andrea I. Woody - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 6 (1):13-43.
    This essay addresses issues concerningexplanation by exploring how explanatorystructures function within contemporarychemistry. Three examples are discussed:explanations of the behavior of gases using theideal gas law, explanations of trends inchemical properties using the periodic table,and explanations of molecular geometry usingdiagrammatic orbital schemes. In each case,the general explanatory structure, rather thanparticular explanations, occupies center stagein the analysis. It is argued that thisquasi-empirical investigation may be morefruitful than previous analyses that attempt toisolate the essential features of individualexplanations. There are two reasons for thisconclusion, (...)
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  27. added 2014-03-21
    Prediction, Explanation, and Dioxin Biochemistry: Science in Public Policy. [REVIEW]Heather Douglas - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 6 (1):49-63.
  28. added 2014-03-21
    Putting Quantum Mechanics to Work in Chemistry: The Power of Diagrammatic Representation.Andrea I. Woody - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):627.
    Most contemporary chemists consider quantum mechanics to be the foundational theory of their discipline, although few of the calculations that a strict reduction would seem to require have ever been produced. In this essay I discuss contemporary algebraic and diagrammatic representations of molecular systems derived from quantum mechanical models, specifically configuration interaction wavefunctions for ab initio calculations and molecular orbital energy diagrams. My aim is to suggest that recent dissatisfaction with reductive accounts of chemical theory may stem from both the (...)
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  29. added 2014-03-20
    Simple Chemical Reactions in the Solid State: Towards Elaborating a Conception. [REVIEW]A. Korobov - 2005 - Foundations of Chemistry 7 (3):307-314.
    In contrast to the conventional homogeneous kinetics, there is no conception of a simple reaction in the solid-state reaction kinetics. The geometric-probabilistic phenomenology currently in use is not adequate for describing the interplay between the chemical mechanism and the observed kinetic behaviour. An attempt is made to formulate a conception of simple reaction in the solid state as a basis for constructing kinetic models of involved reactions.
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  30. added 2014-03-20
    Chemistry and a Theoretical Model of Science: On the Occasion of a Recent Debate with the Christies. [REVIEW]Rein Vihalemm - 2005 - Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2):171-182.
    In the philosophy of chemistry a view is developed according to which laws of nature and scientific theories are peculiar in chemistry. This view was criticized in an earlier issue of the Foundations of Chemistry (Vihalemm, Foundation of Chemistry 5(1): 7–22, 2003) referring to an essay by Maureen and John Christie (Christie and Christie, in N. Bushan and S. Rosenfeld (Eds.), Of Minds and Molecules: New Philosophical Perspectives on Chemistry. Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pp. 34–50). This criticism was (...)
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  31. added 2014-03-20
    Explaining Models: Theoretical and Phenomenological Models and Their Role for the First Explanation of the Hydrogen Spectrum. [REVIEW]Torsten Wilholt - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2):149-169.
    Traditional nomological accounts of scientific explanation have assumed that a good scientific explanation consists in the derivation of the explanandum’s description from theory (plus antecedent conditions). But in more recent philosophy of science the adequacy of this approach has been challenged, because the relation between theory and phenomena in actual scientific practice turns out to be more intricate. This critique is here examined for an explanatory paradigm that was groundbreaking for 20th century physics and chemistry (and their interrelation): Bohr’s first (...)
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  32. added 2014-03-19
    Another Scientific Practice Separating Chemistry From Physics: Thought Experiments. [REVIEW]R. J. Snooks - 2006 - Foundations of Chemistry 8 (3):255-270.
    Thought experiments in the history of science display a striking asymmetry between chemistry and physics, namely that chemistry seems to lack well-known examples, whereas physics presents many famous examples. This asymmetry, I argue, is not independent data concerning the chemistry/physics distinction. The laws of chemistry such as the periodic table are incurably special, in that they make testable predictions only for a very restricted range of physical conditions in the universe which are necessarily conditioned by the contingences of chemical investigation. (...)
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  33. added 2014-03-19
    A Process Theory of Enzyme Catalytic Power – the Interplay of Science and Metaphysics.Ross L. Stein - 2006 - Foundations of Chemistry 8 (1):3-29.
    Enzymes are protein catalysts of extraordinary efficiency, capable of bringing about rate enhancements of their biochemical reactions that can approach factors of 1020. Theories of enzyme catalysis, which seek to explain the means by which enzymes effect catalytic transformation of the substrate molecules on which they work, have evolved over the past century from the “lock-and-key” model proposed by Emil Fischer in 1894 to models that explicitly rely on transition state theory to the most recent theories that strive to provide (...)
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  34. added 2014-03-15
    Wilhelm Ostwald’s Energetics 2: Energetic Theory and Applications, Part I. [REVIEW]R. J. Deltete - 2007 - Foundations of Chemistry 9 (3):265-316.
    This is the second of a series of essays on the development and reception of Wilhelm Ostwald’s energetics. The first essay described the chemical origins of Ostwald’s interest in the energy concept and his motivations for seeking a comprehensive science of energy. The present essay and the next discuss his various attempts, beginning in 1891 and extending over almost 3 years, to develop a consistent and coherent energetic theory. A final essay will consider reactions to this work and Ostwald’s replies, (...)
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  35. added 2014-03-15
    The Chemical 'Knight's Move' Relationship: What is its Significance? [REVIEW]Geoff Rayner-Canham & Megan Oldford - 2007 - Foundations of Chemistry 9 (2):119-125.
    Similarities in properties among pairs of metallic elements and their compounds in the lower-right quadrant of the Periodic Table have been named the ‘Knight’s Move’ relationship. Here, we have undertaken a systematic study of the only two ‘double-pairs’ of ‘Knight’s Move’ elements within this region: copper-indium/indium-bismuth and zinc-tin/tin-polonium, focussing on: metal melting points; formulas and properties of compounds; and melting points of halides and chalcogenides. On the basis of these comparisons, we conclude that the systematic evidence for ‘Knight’s Move’ relationships (...)
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  36. added 2014-03-15
    Wilhelm Ostwald’s Energetics 1: Origins and Motivations. [REVIEW]R. J. Deltete - 2007 - Foundations of Chemistry 9 (1):3-56.
  37. added 2014-03-15
    Breaking the Law: Promoting Domain-Specificity in Chemical Education in the Context of Arguing About the Periodic Law. [REVIEW]Sibel Erduran - 2007 - Foundations of Chemistry 9 (3):247-263.
    In this paper, domain-specificity is presented as an understudied problem in chemical education. This argument is unpacked by drawing from two bodies of literature: learning of science and epistemology of science, both themes that have cognitive as well as philosophical undertones. The wider context is students’ engagement in scientific inquiry, an important goal for science education and one that has not been well executed in everyday classrooms. The focus on science learning illustrates the role of domain specificity in scientific reasoning. (...)
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  38. added 2014-03-14
    Do You Need to Believe in Orbitals to Use Them?: Realism and the Autonomy of Chemistry.Zack Jenkins - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1052-1062.
    Eric Scerri and other authors have acknowledged that the reality of chemical orbitals is not compatible with quantum mechanics. Recently, however, Scerri and Sharon Crasnow have argued that if chemists cannot consider orbitals as real entities, then chemistry is in danger of being reduced to physics. I argue that the question of the existence of orbitals is best viewed as an issue of explanation, not metaphysics: In many chemically important cases orbitals do not make sufficiently accurate predictions, and must be (...)
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  39. added 2014-03-12
    Fundamental Theories and Their Empirical Patches.Jerome A. Berson - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):147-156.
    Many theories require empirical patches or ad hoc assumptions to work properly in application to chemistry. Some examples include the Bohr quantum theory of atomic spectra, the Pauli exclusion principle, the Marcus theory of the rate-equilibrium correlation, Kekule’s hypothesis of bond oscillation in benzene, and the quantum calculation of reaction pathways. Often the proposed refinements do not grow out of the original theory but are devised and added ad hoc. This brings into question the goal of constructing theories derived from (...)
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  40. added 2014-03-12
    Wilhelm Ostwald's Energetics 3: Energetic Theory and Applications, Part II. [REVIEW]Robert J. Deltete - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):187-221.
    This is the third of a series of essays on the development and reception of Wilhelm Ostwald’s energetics. The first essay described the chemical origins of Ostwald’s interest in the energy concept and his motivations for seeking a comprehensive science of energy. The second essay and the present one discuss his various attempts, beginning in 1891 and extending over almost 3 years, to develop a consistent and coherent energetic theory. A final essay will consider reactions to this work and Ostwald’s (...)
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  41. added 2014-03-12
    Some Presuppositions in the Metaphysics of Chemical Reactions.Rom Harré - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (1):19-38.
    The project of chemistry to classify substances and develop techniques for their transformation into other substances rests on assumptions about the means by which compounds are constituted and reconstituted. Robert Boyle not only proposed empirical tests for a metaphysics of material corpuscules, but also a principle for designing experimental procedures in line with that metaphysics. Later chemists added activity concepts to the repertoire. The logic of activity explanations in modern times involves hierarchies of activity concepts, transitions between levels through non-dispositional (...)
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  42. added 2014-03-12
    The Physicists, the Chemists, and the Pragmatics of Explanation.Robin Hendry - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1048-1059.
    In this paper I investigate two views of theoretical explanation in quantum chemistry, advocated by John Clarke Slater and Charles Coulson. Slater argued for quantum‐mechanical rigor, and the primacy of fundamental principles in models of chemical bonding. Coulson emphasized systematic explanatory power within chemistry, and continuity with existing chemical explanations. I relate these views to the epistemic contexts of their disciplines.
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  43. added 2014-03-10
    Discovery by Serendipity: A New Context for an Old Riddle. [REVIEW]Pio García - 2009 - Foundations of Chemistry 11 (1):33-42.
    In the last years there has been a great improvement in the development of computational methods for combinatorial chemistry applied to drug discovery. This approach to drug discovery is sometimes called a “rational way” to manage a well known phenomenon in chemistry: serendipity discoveries. Traditionally, serendipity discoveries are understood as accidental findings made when the discoverer is in quest for something else. This ‘traditional’ pattern of serendipity appears to be a good characterization of discoveries where “luck” plays a key role. (...)
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  44. added 2014-03-10
    Explanation and Theory Formation in Quantum Chemistry.Hinne Hettema - 2009 - Foundations of Chemistry 11 (3):145-174.
    In this paper I expand Eric Scerri’s notion of Popper’s naturalised approach to reduction in chemistry and investigate what its consequences might be. I will argue that Popper’s naturalised approach to reduction has a number of interesting consequences when applied to the reduction of chemistry to physics. One of them is that it prompts us to look at a ‘bootstrap’ approach to quantum chemistry, which is based on specific quantum theoretical theorems and practical considerations that turn quantum ‘theory’ into quantum (...)
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  45. added 2014-03-10
    The Weak Nuclear Force, the Chirality of Atoms, and the Origin of Optically Active Molecules.Richard M. Pagni - 2009 - Foundations of Chemistry 11 (2):105-122.
    Although chemical phenomena are primarily associated with electrons in atoms, ions, and molecules, the masses, charges, spins, and other properties of the nuclei in these species contribute significantly as well. Isotopes, for instance, have proven invaluable in chemistry, in particular the elucidation of reaction mechanisms. Elements with unstable nuclei, for example carbon-14 undergoing beta decay, have enriched chemistry and many other scientific disciplines. The nuclei of all elements have a much more subtle and largely unknown effect on chemical phenomena. All (...)
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  46. added 2014-03-10
    Isoelectronic Series: A Fundamental Periodic Property. [REVIEW]Geoff Rayner-Canham - 2009 - Foundations of Chemistry 11 (2):123-129.
    The usefulness of isoelectronic series (same number of total electrons and atoms and of valence electrons) across Periods is often overlooked. Here we show the ubiquitousness of isoelectronic sets by means of matrices, arrays, and sequential series. Some of these series have not previously been identified. In addition, we recommend the use of the term valence-isoelectronic for species which differ in the number of core electrons and pseudo-isoelectronic for matching (n) and (n + 10) species.
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  47. added 2014-03-09
    What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It?Roald Hoffmann - 2007 - Synthese 155 (3):321 - 336.
    Had more philosophers of science come from chemistry, their thinking would have been different. I begin by looking at a typical chemical paper, in which making something is the leitmotif, and conjecture/refutation is pretty much irrelevant. What in fact might have been, might be, different? The realism of chemists is reinforced by their remarkable ability to transform matter; they buy into reductionism where it serves them, but make no real use of it. Incommensurability is taken without a blink, and actually (...)
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  48. added 2014-03-09
    What is a Chemical Property?Nalini Bhushan - 2007 - Synthese 155 (3):293 - 305.
    Despite the currently perceived urgent need among contemporary philosophers of chemistry for adjudicating between two rival metaphysical conceptual frameworks—is chemistry primarily a science of substances or processes?—this essay argues that neither provides us with what we need in our attempts to explain and comprehend chemical operations and phenomena. First, I show the concept of a chemical property can survive the abandoning of the metaphysical framework of substance. While this abandonment means that we will need to give up essential properties, contingent (...)
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  49. added 2014-03-09
    Patching Physics and Chemistry Together.Robert Bishop - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):710-722.
    The "usual story" regarding molecular chemistry is that it is roughly an application of quantum mechanics. That is to say, quantum mechanics supplies everything necessary and sufficient, both ontologically and epistemologically, to reduce molecular chemistry to quantum mechanics. This is a reductive story, to be sure, but a key explanatory element of molecular chemistry, namely molecular structure, is absent from the quantum realm. On the other hand, typical characterizations of emergence, such as the unpredictability or inexplicability of molecular structure based (...)
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  50. added 2014-03-09
    Continuants and Processes in Macroscopic Chemistry.Paul Needham - 2004 - Axiomathes 14 (1-3):237-265.
    Chemistry deals with substances and their transformations. School chemistry provides a picture of this in terms of small balls called atoms and ball-and-stick structures called molecules which, despite its crudity, has been taken to justifiably reflect a reductionist conception of macroscopic concepts like the chemical substances and chemical reactions. But with the recent interest in chemistry within the philosophy of science, an extensive and determined criticism has developed of the idea that the macroscopic world has been, or is likely to (...)
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